Currently reading: Government reveals new "iconic" EV charger design at COP26
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has unveiled the RCA's charger design in Glasgow

The UK government has revealed a new "iconic" electric car charger to be rolled out across the road network from 2022 as part of a drive to facilitate EV adoption.

Unveiled by transport secretary Grant Shapps at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the new charger has been designed by the Royal College of Art (RCA) in partnership with PA Consulting and is aimed at making EV chargers as easily recognisable as red postboxes and London buses. 

Details of its charging capacity and dimensions have not yet been revealed, nor has the government outlined its plans for a nationwide roll-out, but the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) – which commissioned the design – claims the priority for the project is "putting ease of use and accessibility at the heart of EV charging". 

The final design appears to be an interpretation of the street-side devices currently used in built-up areas by firms such as Polar, Source and Ubitricity, which suggests a maximum charging capacity in the region of 7.4kW-22kW.

It remains unclear if the UK government plans to standardise this design for use by all EV charger manufacturers or how else it could form part of the government's wider plans to electrify the transport industry. 

PA Consulting outlined its design process: "Focusing on human-centric design principles, we spoke with electric car users, traditional motorists, disability and consumer groups, and industry stakeholders to draw out the real needs of people and businesses.

"This work complemented the government’s consumer experience consultation and ensured the design was aligned with accessibility standards, infrastructure strategy and local authority guidance."

Specific EV user concerns that were taken into account have not been detailed, but Autocar's own vision of an "iconic" charger was designed to address some of the devices' commonly accepted pitfalls, namely their vulnerability to adverse weather, unclear labelling and general cleanliness. 

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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NavalReserve 10 November 2021
They've closed all the car parks near us to build flats on them.

So all the roads are full of workers' cars by half past eight.

When these things are rolled out, there will be a race to get to the ones nearest to work, so the roads will be full of parked EVs by seven o'clock!!!

Hughbl 10 November 2021

Perhaps they should repurpose those iconic red phone boxes as EV charging units.

fellwalker 10 November 2021

Iconic? No. 


Cigarette disposal?

Easily missed because black is a ridiculous colour for street furniture.