Oxford is trialling six pop-up electric vehicle (EV) charge points for residents who have no off-street parking.
The ‘UEone’ charge points are app-operated and retract underground when not in use in order to reduce street clutter. The trial will finish in February 2020.
Principal contractor Oxford Direct Services (ODS) has been involved since 2018 in the planning and consulting stages of the project led by Oxford City Council.
James Barrett, the electrician ODS assigned specifically for the project, designed the on-street electrical installation and worked closely with the pop-up charger product designers to help them meet new requirements on EV chargers.
In 2019, the highways team at ODS began ‘trial holes’ to find the best position for where the chargers would be housed. During early summer, the team excavated the pavement, and installed the chargers outer casing and ducting, whilst the electrical team pulled in the cables ready.
By the end of summer, the chargers were fully installed and the top surface of the pavement had been finished – ready to begin the trial.
Shaun Hatton, ODS’ director of operations, said: “We are delighted to have contributed to this pioneering project.
“Both our electrical department who designed, installed and commissioned the electrical installation; and, our highways department who prepared the infrastructure to welcome the chargers, have been outstanding in their delivery and made the company very proud.
“Our teams are looking forward to see this project succeed, together with partners, and thanks to Oxford City Council.
“It is our company’s work ethos to be intentional about innovation and doing good in our part of the world, so we are also looking forward to being part of more world-changing initiatives like this one.”
Councillor Tom Hayes, cabinet member for Zero Carbon Oxford, added: “Everything we do to tackle emissions has to be practical if it’s going to work. We‘ll only achieve our Zero Emission Zone and clean our dirty air if the city council supports drivers to replace older polluting vehicles with cleaner ones. That’s why it’s so important to have Oxford Direct Services furthering our values, in this case by helping to make our new pop-up electric vehicle chargers a reality.
“This is an exciting trial which will allow us to explore new electric vehicle charging options for residents and I am thankful that ODS were a part of the shared effort.”