Pop-up Pavement Chargers
Inventor/Assignee: Urban Electric, U.K.
Introduction: There is a general acceptance that for EVs to overtake petrol and diesel to become the new norm, more charging points will be needed to remove the “range anxiety” many drivers fear due to limited battery life and lengthy recharging times. At the moment, chargers are mainly installed at homes with off-road parking, office car parks and in some public streets. Yet a significant amount of vehicles do not have much access to these locations. An innovation that could reduce street clutter is pop-up EV chargers, which rise out of the pavement when activated remotely using a smartphone app.
Pop-up chargers are designed to be flush with the pavement, so they do not interfere with walkways or create trip hazards. Until it is activated by a user, the charging portion of the device is hidden underground. London-based EV charging company Urban Electric Networks has developed the UEone on-street devices, which retract into the ground when not in use like bollards. Six pop-up chargers, offering fast charging measuring up to seven kilowatts (kW), were installed in Oxford in November 2019 as part of a trial and the company plans to begin commercial production in 2021. It claims they will be zero cost to councils for supply, installation, operation and maintenance. Installations will be in clusters rather than individual charge points to limit the amount of pavements that need to be dug up to fit them.
- Provides certain, convenient and affordable EV charging
- Utilises the same Smart Cable as ubitricity lamp posts
- Cost to residents approximately half that of fuelling an equivalent diesel car
- Pop-up chargers are designed to be flush with the pavement, so they do not interfere with walkways or create trip hazards. Until it is activated by a user, the charging portion of the device is hidden underground.
- These chargers deliver a 7kW charging rate and are said to be suitable for 90 per cent of residential streets. While 7kW might not sound like a lot, these units are designed to be used overnight, and since they’d be placed in residential areas, it means EV owners could use them as frequently as they like or need.
- There will be no dedicated parking spaces next to the charge points. Parking spaces beside these points are not exclusively for electric vehicles. Both electric and petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles are able to use the same space. If charging points are present every 16 feet down the length of the street, parking wars can be avoided at charging stations.
- In regions where there are chances of salt water clogging from sea floods and regions affected from heavy snow falls, there might be some issues as it may hinder the popping out of the charging points. Experiments and tests are being carried out to ensure to make it durable in adverse situations.
Process: The process includes setting up a charging port mounted inside a pavement which is connected to the main supply line or the source. The port is installed at a depth of only 16 inches, but will rise to standard height when required for use. When the vehicle is parked, the driver need to access the pop-up port using an application specifically designed to authorize and access the port. As soon as the user is authenticated, the port pops out of the pavement and one can connect their vehicle to the port. The ports are enabled with fast charging technology hence it takes less time to charge the vehicle to its optimum capacity.
Commercialization: Urban Electric, Trojan Energy
Use Cases: Electronics; Automotive industry
Theme: Charging Infrastructure | Subtheme: Public charging station
Six electric vehicle charging innovations that could be crucial green transport revolution, NS Energy, April 2020
Pop-up electric vehicle charge points, Designing Buildings, January 2022
Pop-Up EV charging points could be the next big thing In urban mobility, Carscoop, April 2020
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