Retractable kerbside chargepoint trials achieve 99% network uptime

Extended trials of Urban Electric’s retractable street-side chargepoints have revealed an official 99.4% average network uptime.

The UEone dual socket 7kW kerbside chargepoint solves the problem of near home charging for residents without a garage or drive. Conveniently deployed as hubs in residential streets and urban centres, the smartphone operated UEone retracts under the pavement when not in use, leaving pavements street clutter and obstruction free.

The UEone is the result of 5 years and £5m of product development and engineering refinement. 124 prototype charging bays were installed in Dundee, Plymouth and Staffordshire for Innovate UK and ADEPT Live Labs trials over a period of 18 months. 99.4% uptime is significantly above the industry average and was achieved thanks to the unique plug-and-play design of the UEone chargepoint. This means that in the event of vandalism or a failure the entire chargepoint can be swapped out and replaced with another unit in under 30 minutes, without the need for civil works. This breakthrough design for on-street chargepoints addresses the issue of low and uncertain availability, with Reliability repeatedly cited in EV driver research as the #1 problem with public chargepoints.

“This combination of ultra-low streetscape impact and high network resilience represents a significant step forward in the deployment of reliable, accessible and scalable on-street charging infrastructure in our towns and cities.” said Urban Electric CEO Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson.

The trial also compared dedicated and non-dedicated bays. Dedicated bay utilisation was up to 400% higher than non-dedicated bays, providing certainty of availability for EV drivers and utilisation levels exceeding 20%, ensuring sufficient ROI for Urban Electric’s fully funded business model that supplies local authorities with a zero-cost solution under a long-term contract.

Fraser Crichton, Corporate Fleet Manager at Dundee City Council said, “This was one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved in. Urban Electric provide a solution to residential street charging in both affluent and poor areas and solve issues around vandalism and street furniture deployment. But what I really love is the swap-out system, gold dust to keep the network going.”

Dan Turner, former Low Carbon City Officer at Plymouth City Council said, “The Urban Electric chargepoint is a look into the future of our streetscape and works towards many of the best practice design standards for enhancing the public realm.”

The trial officially ended in April, although the prototypes will stay in place on a free to use basis for as long as they remain in working order. All existing UEone charging hubs will be retrofitted with series production units next year.

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