As iconic as a red post box? The £200k electric vehicle charging point design that the Government wants to make a mark with is revealed
- DfT commissioned the Royal College of Art to create a new charge point design
- Legendary art school and PA Consulting handed a £200k grant for the project
- Grant Shapps said the charge point should be ‘as iconic as the Great British post box, London bus or black cab’
- It has been revealed as part of the COP26 day dedicated to transport
The Government has today unveiled its design for a new electric car charging point it hopes will ‘become as iconic as the Great British post box, London bus or black cab’.
Shown for the first time as part of the COP26 climate summit on Wednesday – a day dedicated solely to transport – the new charger has been created by the Royal College of Art and PA Consulting.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who owns a Tesla Model 3 electric car himself, said the concept ‘prioritises inclusivity and ease of use and has been ‘designed with consumers, local government, accessibility groups and industry’.
As iconic as Britain’s red post box and phone box? Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveils the new EV charge point design he hopes will encourage more drivers to go electric
The charger features a ‘recognisable circular handset’ and has been designed ‘with user enjoyment in mind’, say those behind the concept.
An LED ring inside the handset glows white when the charger is available, turns green when removed from its holster and then blue when plugged into an electric vehicle.
Dan Toon, PA Consulting Design Lead said: ‘The end product needed to be functional, inclusive, sustainable, adaptable, affordable and finally, arguably most importantly for behavioural change, people had to love it.’
The Royal College of Art and PA Consulting were handed a £200,000 grant from the Department for Transport’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles to pen a design that would become an iconic piece of roadside furniture that can be installed up and down the country.
Ministers requested a roadside sculpture that makes them easy for drivers to spot but also incorporates ‘British designs of old that are recognised the world over’.
The Government says the new device will provide greater choice to industry and local government, as well as ‘raise awareness and generate excitement around electric vehicles’.
Britain has already set out its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and oust hybrid models – which use a combination of batteries and motors with an internal combustion engine – five years later.
The charger features a ‘recognisable circular handset’ with an LED ring inside that changes colour depending on if it is in use or not
Grant Shapps had called for a standout piece of roadside sculpture that could ‘become as iconic as the Great British post box, London bus or black cab’
Shapps hopes the new charger will help the government achieve its aims to provide ‘one of the most convenient, affordable and reliable charging networks in the world’.
‘This builds on our goal to make sure everyone benefits from the transition to zero emission transport,’ a DfT statement said.
‘ZEVs [Zero Emission Vehicles] are already cheaper to run in the UK than petrol or diesel cars and are expected to become cheaper to buy in the coming years,’ it added.
Commenting on the new charger design, Shapps said: ‘To support the transition to EVs, it’s integral that we have the infrastructure to support it.
‘My vision is for the UK to have one of the best EV infrastructure networks in the world, with excellent British design at its heart.’
The Royal College of Art was handed a £200k grant by the DfT to pen a design that would become an iconic piece of roadside furniture that can be installed up and down the country
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps visiting the Design Museum in London to unveil the new car charging point designed by the Royal College of Art with PA Consulting
Clive Grinyer, head of service design at the Royal College of Art, added: ‘This design is a landmark in our journey to electric vehicles and zero carbon.
‘We have listened to people around the country who asked to have a minimum impact on their streets, to ensure that it works well for disabled and all people and that we bring the UK’s design and engineering talent to create an iconic design that we can all be proud of.’
Shapps had previous said that ‘excellent design plays a key role in supporting our transition to zero emission vehicles’, which is why he called for the new devices to be ‘as iconic and recognisable as the British phone box, London bus or black cab’.
With MPs under pressure to ramp-up the installation of public charging devices to match the boom in sales of EVs – and develop a suitable infrastructure ahead of the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 – the art school’s creation could be seen on our roadsides by 2022.
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING