Powering ahead – new ways of charging electric cars

Electric Car Charging

Charging electric cars is no longer a problem with all of the new, innovative and easily accessible public chargers. However, charging your EV at home can be a struggle for some. These new ways of charging your beloved electric cars is sure to make your life a lot easier. 

Companies and councils have realised that not all EV owners are lucky enough to have a private driveway at home. Electric car users living in flats and terraced homes are soon to be able to charge their EVs without having to sling a cable across the path and into their home. 

We know you’re intrigued so, let’s get into how they will work.

Lamp-post charging

There are around 700,000 lamp-posts in London alone! A looked over source of electricity, they are handily connected and situated outside our homes. Is re-fitting them with plug-in points to charge your electric cars the way forward? 

Lamp-post Charger - Electric Cars

According to Richard Stobart of Char.gy “you will be able to get around 20 miles of driving for every hour of charging at a lamp-post”. The good thing about electric cars is that they don’t need to be charged every night. Stobart says that he only charges his Renault ZOE once a week. An ideal world mean that one lamp-post could charge many EVs each week, especially in cities where mileage tends to be relatively low. 

In November 2018, Char.gy installed the first fifty lamp-post charging points in London, in a deal with Southwark council. In February 2019, Siemens/Ubitricity began to install a further 210 electric car charging points in Richmond upon Thames

Whilst this helps those with no access to charge their electric cars via a home unit, it still has some drawbacks. Stobart acknowledges that “the major concern is always being a trip hazard.” When running the cable down the gutter and up to your car, there is still a trip hazard. Although this is still a better solution that running a cable all over your neighbour Brenda’s beloved rose bush and creating a feud. 

Induction charging pads

Are induction pads the breakthrough technology that us besotted electric vehicle lovers have been waiting for?

These will eliminate the need for charging cables but still let you charge up your EV on the street outside your home. They work just like wi-fi charging pads for smartphones – magically charging up the device without the need to plug in.

Induction Pads - Electric Cars

Designed to look just like a manhole or drain cover at about one-metre squared, it blends right into the street. The idea is to simply stop your EV over the mat, which will transmit power through the air to another mat fitted under the vehicle. Using inductive technology (electromagnetic field) to charge your electric vehicle wirelessly. 

Induction Pads Installed - Electric Cars

Char.gy received a large government grant from the Department of Transport to develop new charging schemes. This grant will go towards developing similar mats in the UK. In July Redbridge, in London and Milton Keynes began trialling the scheme. Councillor John Howard of Redbridge council stated that ‘the project shares our commitment to improving the environment and making it easier for drivers to swap diesel and petrol cars for more eco-friendly versions’.

Although this method of charging is still in it’s infancy, it seems unlikely that as more and more people adopt electric cars, that we will still be plugging in our EVs in the next five to ten years. 

Fast charging hubs

Dundee, Scotland is one of the leaders in electric car adoption and has one of the highest concentrations of EVs in the UK. In July, Dundee opened a new charging hub for electric vehicles, one of the first of three planned for Dundee. It uses solar canopies and a battery storage system to charge up to 20 EVs at a time. The Princes Street charging hub has six rapid charge points and four fast charge points for EVs. 

Another planned charging hub is to be located on the outskirts of the city. Where commuters will be able to leave their electric car to charge, as they switch to integrated rail and cycle paths into the city centre. 

Charging Hub - Electric Cars

This is a common method of transport here in Kent. EVision have a range of customers who hire an electric vehicle or long-term lease an EV to travel or car share into London. If you didn’t know the main benefit of an electric car, it is that there is no Congestion Charge in London nor in the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ)! Here at EVision we hope to see some charging hubs in England very soon.

Connected Kerbs

The UK’s residential streets will soon see armadillos, geckos and limpets on the roadside from Connected Kerb. Don’t worry they aren’t real animals! They’re just animal-friendly names given to the new kerbside charging points. Each one represents a unique way of adjusting or installing a new way of charging, for residents and users with an electric car. Additionally, all designs are eco-friendly and made from recyclable materials. 

Armadillos

Armadillo Charger - Electric Cars

The “Armadillo” is made from recycled vehicle tyres. Designed to minimise the environmental impact and offer maximum durability. Its robust exterior makes this charging point best suited to a car park environment. The Armadillo offers a 3.5-7kWh charge and sits kerbside, connected to a subterranean master charger unit. 

Geckos

Geckos” are charge points that can be attached to existing street furniture like bollards or signs. Similar to the Armadillo, the Gecko connects to either as a single or paired socket of a subterranean master charger unit. The Gecko charge point is perfectly suited for on-street residential landscapes and offers a 3.5-7kWh charge.

Limpets

Limpets”, these are the company’s newest solution to charging your electric car. These wall-mounted units are made from recycled tyres and are designed to fit onto existing wall structures. Limpets are ideal for places such as long-stay car parks and workplaces offering a 3.5-7kWh charge rate. 

All of these charging points are designed to have a low visual impact on its environment. Connected Kerb focuses mostly on long-stay locations where the ‘dwell time’ is typically longer than three hours. 

Which do you think will lead the future of charging?

Still yet to hire an electric vehicle from EVision? There is no need to worry about the physicality of charging. Good news for you, as the UK charging network and points are growing rapidly.

A handy app that we recommend for charging an electric vehicle is ZapMap. Which will show you your closest charging points to your location as well as what charge rate it offers. 

Contact our team today to book your electric vehicle hire. 

Follow us on our social media platforms and tell us what you think will be the future of charging.

Instagram: @evision.electric.vehicle.hire

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