Users very happy with Urban Electric charge points in Oxford trial

Users very happy with Urban Electric charge points in Oxford trial


Urban Electric has completed its trials in Oxford, with the retractable on-street charge points proving popular with users.

The project involved Urban Electric, Oxford City Council, Co-Wheels Car Club, and Duku, and launched in 2018. Six on-street 7 kW charge points were installed in pavements, which could retract into the ground when not in use.

The design is intended to reduce street furniture when EVs aren’t charging from the post. Controlled via an app, the posts are intended as a solution to on-street residential EV charging, which more than 40% of households will rely on with wide-spread usage of EVs in the UK.

The initial six units expanded into a larger trial, with positive reactions from drivers and residents.

Respondents rated the charge points 4.2 out of 5 when asked if they would recommend them to family or friends. Other feedback included the importance of access to on-street chargers, plus reliability and availability were key factors when installing EV charging infrastructure.

Joanna Spencer, one of the trial participants said: “A truly innovative idea, the Urban Electric hub is completely discreet and makes the business of charging really stress free and convenient. I hope pop-up chargers become standard in every street.”

Urban Electric co-founder Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson said: “We were delighted to learn that all residents – not just EV drivers – were ‘very happy’ with the installation of a charging hub on their street, validating the pop-up hub concept as a breakthrough in on-street charging for electric vehicles.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council, said: “The learning from this trial will help Urban Electric to shape the future of the EV charging infrastructure industry, and I am thrilled that Oxford was able to be a part of through being the first city to trial this world’s first technology.