Are retractable points ideal for on-street electric car charging?
ONE OF the chief obstacles to mass uptake of electric cars is being addressed in trials of “pop-up” charging points, designed for use in residential areas by drivers who have no access to off-street parking.
Oxford City Council will assess the viability of the new type of charging point in a pilot programme that will run until February 2020.
Urban Electric, which manufactures the “OxPop” charging points, says the system allows electric car drivers to “charge conveniently overnight in the street where you live”.
While the power of the charging points won’t set the pure-electric world alight (the 7kW output is similar to that of a domestic wall box charger), its advantage is in being able to retract into the ground when not in use, thereby reducing pavement clutter. The maker says this means pedestrians and wheelchair users on narrow footpaths won’t have to navigate around fixed charging points when they’re not in use.
Oxford City Council says the retractable nature of the points also means they negate the need for parking spaces reserved only for electric vehicles.
While the OxPops will be free to use during the trial period, only local residents who have successfully applied to take part in the pilot programme will have access to them. The council has also secured the use of a pure-electric BMW i3 city car for the duration of the trial, in order to ensure people who “are not ready to lease or purchase an electric car outright” can still participate.
Read more: Driving