With most major car manufacturers now invested in EV development, it looks like everyone but diehard petrol-heads will be quietly getting from A to B in electric cars in the near future. Even big oil is joining the party by rolling out networks of charging points. For those who charge at home, off street parking is pretty much essential. But that's changing. Ubitricity has been installing charging points in streetlamps for a few years now, and now London, UK, startup Urban Electric is about to trial a pop-up charge point in Oxford.

The UEone charge point has been designed specifically for the 43 percent of UK households who have to park their cars in residential parking zones. The 5.8 kW charger rises to 875 mm (34.5 in) when activated by an iOS/Android companion app. The EV driver then grabs the same kind of SmartCable used for Ubitricity's streetlamp charge points and plugs in.

When the charge cable is unplugged from the UEone, the charge point retracts back flush with the pavement, so as not to permanently spoil the look of a residential area. Urban Electric says that the charger only needs an installation depth of just 405 mm (16 in), thanks to what looks like three part telescopic housing.

The pop-up solution is reckoned to be good for around 90 percent of residential streets, and if the UEone is rolled out to every parking bay in a street, then there should be no need for EV-specific parking bays. And because the system makes use of the SmartCable, EV drivers can make use of any Ubitricity streetlamp charging points that have been installed nearby or at the office without needing to carry additional cables to plug in.

Urban Electric told us it will operate the charging service in the UK, as well as supply, install and maintain all of the pop-up chargers. The first UEone chargers looks set to be rolled out in Oxford thanks to a £600,000 (US$810,000) trial of the system in partnership with Oxford City Council.

Source: Urban Electric