Oxford trials world’s first retractable on-street EV chargers

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A trial of the world’s first retractable on-street EV chargers is underway in the UK city of Oxford.

Work on the pop-up charging points – known as OxPops – was completed in September 2019 by principle contractor Oxford Direct Services (ODS) on behalf of Oxford City Council.

The Innovate UK-funded trial, which runs to February 2020, aims to address a lack of on-street access to charging points for residents who rely on on-street parking at home.

In total, there are six UEone retractable pavement bollards installed on the north eastern end of Lonsdale Road in North Oxford,

The charging points are app-operated and retract underground when not in use in order to reduce street clutter.

James Barrett, the electrician assigned by ODS to the project, designed the on-street electrical installation and worked with pop-up charger product designer Urban Electric to help the company meet new requirements on EV chargers.

Prior to the start of the trial, ODS tested different ‘trial holes’ to determine the best positions for the chargers.  The company excavated the pavement and installed each charger’s outer casing and ducting, whilst an electrical team pulled in cables.

The chargers were fully installed and the top surface of the pavement was finished by the end of the summer.

Shaun Hatton, director of operations at ODS, said: “We are delighted to have contributed to this pioneering project.

“Both our electrical department, who designed, installed and commissioned the electrical installation, and our highways department, who prepared the infrastructure to welcome the chargers, have been outstanding in their delivery and have made the company very proud.

“Our teams are looking forward to seeing this project succeed, together with our partners, and thanks to Oxford City Council.”