ev charging point design mps say will be as iconic as red post boxes
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The Government has today unveiled its design for a new electric car charging point it hopes will ‘become as iconic as the Great British post box, London bus or black cab’.

Shown for the first time as part of the COP26 climate summit on Wednesday – a day dedicated solely to transport – the new charger has been created by the Royal College of Art and PA Consulting.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who owns a Tesla Model 3 electric car himself, said the concept ‘prioritises inclusivity and ease of use and has been ‘designed with consumers, local government, accessibility groups and industry’. 

ev charging point design mps say will be as iconic as red post boxes
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The charger features a ‘recognisable circular handset’ and has been designed ‘with user enjoyment in mind’, say those behind the concept. 

An LED ring inside the handset glows white when the charger is available, turns green when removed from its holster and then blue when plugged into an electric vehicle. 

Dan Toon, PA Consulting Design Lead said: ‘The end product needed to be functional, inclusive, sustainable, adaptable, affordable and finally, arguably most importantly for behavioural change, people had to love it.’ 

The Royal College of Art and PA Consulting were handed a £200,000 grant from the Department for Transport’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles to pen a design that would become an iconic piece of roadside furniture that can be installed up and down the country. 

Ministers requested a roadside sculpture that makes them easy for drivers to spot but also incorporates ‘British designs of old that are recognised the world over’. 

The Government says the new device will provide greater choice to industry and local government, as well as ‘raise awareness and generate excitement around electric vehicles’.

Britain has already set out its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and oust hybrid models – which use a combination of batteries and motors with an internal combustion engine – five years later.

ev charging point design mps say will be as iconic as red post boxes
© Provided by This Is Money (
ev charging point design mps say will be as iconic as red post boxes
© Provided by This Is Money (

Shapps hopes the new charger will help the government achieve its aims to provide ‘one of the most convenient, affordable and reliable charging networks in the world’. 

‘This builds on our goal to make sure everyone benefits from the transition to zero emission transport,’ a DfT statement said. 

‘ZEVs [Zero Emission Vehicles] are already cheaper to run in the UK than petrol or diesel cars and are expected to become cheaper to buy in the coming years,’ it added.

Commenting on the new charger design, Shapps said: ‘To support the transition to EVs, it’s integral that we have the infrastructure to support it. 

‘My vision is for the UK to have one of the best EV infrastructure networks in the world, with excellent British design at its heart.’

ev charging point design mps say will be as iconic as red post boxes
© Provided by This Is Money (
ev charging point design mps say will be as iconic as red post boxes
© Provided by This Is Money (

Clive Grinyer, head of service design at the Royal College of Art, added: ‘This design is a landmark in our journey to electric vehicles and zero carbon. 

‘We have listened to people around the country who asked to have a minimum impact on their streets, to ensure that it works well for disabled and all people and that we bring the UK’s design and engineering talent to create an iconic design that we can all be proud of.’ 

Shapps had previous said that ‘excellent design plays a key role in supporting our transition to zero emission vehicles’, which is why he called for the new devices to be ‘as iconic and recognisable as the British phone box, London bus or black cab’.

With MPs under pressure to ramp-up the installation of public charging devices to match the boom in sales of EVs – and develop a suitable infrastructure ahead of the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 – the art school’s creation could be seen on our roadsides by 2022.    

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