2 minute read • published in partnership with Albright IP
Pop-up prototype brings on-street residential EV charging a step closer
Product design consultancy and sister company to Albright IP, Duku has unveiled its prototype for a unique pop-up charge point for electric vehicles (EV). The pop-up bollard, which retracts underground when not in use, is the centrepiece of an on-street residential charging hub trial due to start in Oxford in Summer 2019.
Helping to secure the future of the invention, Duku worked with IP attorney Albright IP, to register patents, protecting its development and securing the value in its design.
Up to 85% of people living in urban areas only having access to on-street parking, which limits their ability to charge and therefore own EVs. But this clever idea will eliminate the need for EV-Only charging bays or any changes to parking restrictions. The charging points are installed as hubs comprising multiple charge points along the street, and EV drivers can simply raise them up when needed, using an app on their phone. When not in use they disappear back into the ground, minimising street clutter and impact on the urban environment.
It’s the brainchild of EV charging company Urban Electric Networks Ltd, working in partnership with the design team at Duku and Oxford City Council, who recently announced a proposal to create the world’s first Zero Emissions Zone in 2020.
Andrew Aylesbury, Director at Duku said: “Needless to say, it’s a complex design and we’ve had a number of issues to overcome in terms of different terrains, the depth that it could be submerged due to facilities already underground, and water resistance. But overcoming challenges is something we’re used to, its now undergone a complete design change and we’re excited to showcase the final design.”
A world first, the project is going ahead thanks to £474,000 of funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and administered by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency,.
Innovate UK’s Director of Clean Growth and Infrastructure, Ian Meikle, added: “Making sure we have the right infrastructure to encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles is a key part of meeting the air quality challenge and if successful, this exciting project has the potential to be rolled out across the whole country, so we’re very interested to see how it progresses.”