Smart Transport

EV charge points set to be next British emblem

Electric vehicle (EV) charging

Electric vehicle (EV) charge points in the UK could be set to become as recognisable as the red post box and black cab from 2022. 

The Royal College of Art (RCA) and PA Consulting have been appointed to deliver an iconic British charge point design, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced today (June 9).

The design will be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow this November - where zero-emission transport will be a key theme - and could be seen on streets across the country from 2022.

The charge points will be functional and accessible for all users with sustainability at the heart of the design, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

Shapps said: “Excellent design plays a key role in supporting our transition to zero emission vehicles, which is why I want to see EV charge points that are as iconic and recognisable as the British phone box, London bus or black cab.

“With less than three months to go until COP26, we continue to put the UK at the forefront of the design, manufacture and use of zero emission vehicles and their charging infrastructure, as we build back greener and call on countries around the world to similarly accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.”

The project gets underway as independently produced statistics from Zap Map has revealed there are more than 25,000 public charging devices across the UK.

The DfT described this as a ‘major milestone’, which means EV drivers are never more than 25 miles from a charge point on UK roads, it said. However, this figure is still a long way from estimates around the number of charge points required by 2030 when new diesel and petrol cars are phased out. 

Clive Grinyer, head of service design at the RCA, said: “This is an opportunity to support the design of a future icon that will be part of our national culture as we move towards a sustainable future.

“We are delighted to be playing a role in the design of the total service experience to ensure a usable, beautiful and inclusive design that is an excellent experience for all.”

The announcement comes as recent statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that more than one in six cars sold in July 2021 had a plug.

In the run-up to COP26, the UK government is calling on countries around the world to accelerate the transition to EVs, which – along with phasing out of coal power and halting deforestation – are crucial to keeping warming to 1.5°C, the Government said.

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