The Department for Transport (DfT) is hoping to make electric vehicle (EV) charge points across the UK become as recognisable as the red post box.
It has appointed the Royal College of Art (RCA) and PA Consulting to deliver an iconic British charge point design, which will be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow in November.
The new-look charge points could then be seen on streets across the country from 2022.
Transport secretary Grant 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.”
New EV charge point milestone
The project gets underway as independently produced statistics from Zap Map reveal there are now more than 25,000 public charging devices across the UK.
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.
Shapps said: “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 announcement follows the launch of the Government’s transport decarbonisation plan, a ‘greenprint’ published earlier this summer that sets out a path for the UK to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
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.
“The RCA has been at the forefront of shaping our products, mobility and services for the last 180 years. 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.”
Warwick Goodall, transport and net-zero mobility expert at PA, added: “We know that excellent design has the power to dismantle barriers to growth and simplify the user experience, making the switch to electric vehicles more attractive, accessible, affordable and secure for drivers.
“PA has a strong legacy in product design, which is an integral part of our world-leading end-to-end innovation capability.
“The combination of PA’s world-class design team and the Royal College of Art brings the creative expertise to reimagine the EV chargepoint as an iconic piece of British street furniture.”