World’s first ‘pop up’ on-street electric vehicle chargers
Oxford Direct Services (ODS) has played a role as Principal Contractor for the residential trial of ‘pop up’ on-street electric vehicle charging points. The ‘OxPops’ trial comprises six ‘UEone’ retractable (‘pop up’) pavement bollards installed on the north eastern end of Lonsdale Road in North Oxford.
The trial aims to provide electric vehicle charging facilities for residents who live on a street with on carriageway parking, and aims to resolve the struggle residents on these streets may have to charge their electric vehicles.
The charging points are app-operated and retract underground when not in use in order to reduce street clutter. The charging hub will be trialled from September 2019 to February 2020. ODS has been involved since 2018 in the planning and consulting stages of the project led by Oxford City Council.
James Barrett, the electrician ODS assigned specifically for the project, designed the on-street electrical installation and worked closely with the pop-up charger product designers to help them meet new requirements on EV chargers.
In 2019, the highways team at ODS began ‘trial holes’ to find the best position for where the chargers would be housed. During early summer, the team excavated the pavement, and installed the chargers outer casing and ducting, whilst the electrical team pulled in the cables ready. By the end of summer, the chargers were fully installed and the top surface of the pavement had been finished – ready to begin the trial.
“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 made the company very proud.
“Our teams are looking forward to see this project succeed, together with partners, and thanks to Oxford City Council. It is our company’s work ethos to be intentional about innovation and doing good in our part of the world, so we are also looking forward to being part of more world-changing initiatives like this one,” said Shaun Hatton, ODS’ Director of Operations
Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, added: “Everything we do to tackle emissions has to be practical if it’s going to work. We‘ll only achieve our Zero Emission Zone and clean our dirty air if the City Council supports drivers to replace older polluting vehicles with cleaner ones.
“That’s why it’s so important to have Oxford Direct Services furthering our values, in this case by helping to make our new pop-up electric vehicle chargers a reality. This is an exciting trial which will allow us to explore new electric vehicle charging options for residents and I am thankful that ODS were a part of the shared effort.”
Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson of Urban Electric, said: “Oxford Direct Services' professional and proactive approach to this groundbreaking project set the standard for installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Highly recommended.”
Andrew Aylesbury, Director of Duku, said: “James and the team at ODS played a hugely important role in delivering this project successfully. As the project involves testing a brand new design within a residential setting, challenges arose which needed to be resolved.
“Working directly with James meant solutions could be discussed and implemented quickly and the installation could keep moving forward. The ODS team provided first class service to ensure there was minimal disruption to the residents and the work was completed to a very high standard.”