Press release

PA Consulting unveils design concept for an electric vehicle chargepoint to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission road transport

10 November 2021

The inclusive and sustainable design is launched today at COP26

new design concept for EV chargepoints that could become as recognisable as the red post box or black cab
new design concept for EV chargepoints that could become as recognisable as the red post box or black cab

PA Consulting (PA), the consultancy that’s bringing ingenuity to life, has today unveiled its design for a British electric vehicle chargepoint. The new chargepoint, developed in conjunction with the Royal College of Art (RCA), has been designed as an inclusive and sustainable piece of street furniture, with the potential to bring the electric revolution to life - a key step in achieving net zero.

The project - commissioned by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in August 2021 - supports local authorities up and down the country by providing a blueprint of good design standards for electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints. It has been designed to enhance the charging experiences of residents, businesses, and visitors alike.

EV chargepoints are an increasingly common feature across the UK but positive action is now needed to encourage wider adoption. User experience will take centre stage, ensuring that chargepoints are easily locatable, and that interfaces are consistent across regions and locations, so that EV drivers across the country are confident they can charge their vehicles simply and efficiently. The ambition of this project is to develop a concept design that could become as recognisable as the red post box or black cab and accelerate the UK government’s transport decarbonisation plan.

PA developed the new design from research, through concept, to prototype by leveraging its world-class innovation capabilities and facilities. This meant bringing together its expertise in human insights, exceptional product design and engineering capability, and vast experience of the EV ecosystem to create a design with inclusivity and accessibility at its heart.

There were six principles that guided the design of the chargepoint; not only did the end product need to be functional, inclusive, sustainable, adaptable and affordable, but people had to love it. With this in mind, the chargepoint has an instantly recognisable circular handle, and the materials, size and colour help it to blend into the UK’s diverse surroundings, whilst remaining visible for EV drivers. The design is influenced by heritage street furniture, brought into the 21st century via smart technology, materials and form.

To achieve this design, PA engaged an inclusive group of existing and potential EV drivers from across the country to understand their challenges, as well as getting the perspective of different organisations in the EV space - from chargepoint manufacturers and operators, to local authorities and consumer groups such as Motability. This work complemented the government’s consumer experience consultation and ensured the design was aligned with accessibility standards, infrastructure strategy and local authority guidance. The end product is a visible emblem to help position the UK at the forefront of advances in EV manufacture, charging infrastructure and battery technology.

Warwick Goodall, transport expert and project lead at PA Consulting added:

“It is incredibly exciting to unveil the new design concept at COP26. Combining functionality and inclusivity, this design will have a profound impact on how we think about charging EVs and accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles. Ultimately, this is essential to deliver the reduction in carbon emissions and meet our climate change commitments.”

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