Cheltenham firm helps lead research into EV charging accessibility
By Matt Hall | 19th March 2021
Cheltenham-based technology and product design company, Duku will be collaborating on an accessible EV charging project led by Urban Foresight, the world's first dedicated 'smart city' consultancy.
Urban Foresight has been awarded funding for two projects to develop solutions to the biggest challenges facing electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure accessibility.
The first project will look at developing a solution to combat the issue of 'bay hogging' or ICEing (which is to park or block a space intended for electric cars). The plan is to revolutionise the way local authorities and Charge Point Operators approach the creation of EV charging bays.
The second project will look at ways to make EV charging more accessible to those with mobility impairments, and work to build the confidence and independence of those who are anxious about how to access EV charging in different settings.
Working in close collaboration with a variety of disability organisations, Duku and Urban Foresight will identify the key issues for a range of users and will use live design and test trials. The focus will be on finding solutions which are affordable, needs driven and allow for real change.
Alex Lee, director at Duku, said: "We first began working with Urban Foresight in 2017, helping them to solve issues around on street charging for electric vehicles, the solution we developed was an innovative pop-up electric vehicle charger project.
"We have a lot of expertise in EV charging systems and will be applying this to these projects. We're looking forward to working with the team at Urban Foresight to find solutions to the challenges of EV charging."
Duku said Urban Foresight's vision of providing accessible EV charging through the development of new technologies and services makes them a perfect match.
"There's plenty of opportunity for the development and application of innovative ideas in the EV sector," added Andrew Aylesbury, director at Duku.
"The UK has set the goal that between 50-70 per cent of all new vehicles must be ultra-low emission by 2030.
"For that to happen, we're going to need a 30 per cent year-on-year growth in the EV charging infrastructure. But charging needs to be accessible to all and we believe there's plenty of scope for smart solutions for all, whether it's private or public, on or off road, whatever the time of day and with fast charge capabilities."
Set up in 2011, Urban Foresight is on a mission to transform urban services and solve societal challenges.
Gary McRae, head of electric mobility at Urban Foresight said: "Duku has already proved its capabilities to us and we know their expertise, particularly in the EV charging sector, is going to help us with these projects.
"We are looking forward to working with them to widen accessibility of EV charging and deal with some of the behaviours that curtail the use of available chargers."
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