Start-up company Trojan Energy is trialling innovative electric vehicle (EV) chargers that are only visible when a car is charging.
It is installing 200 of the “flat and flush” connections across Brent and Camden in London for people without driveways or garages, with the technology having no permanent footprint or “street clutter”.
The Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways (STEP) – which has been awarded £3 million in co-funding by Innovate UK – consists of two parts, a chargepoint slotted into the ground and a ‘lance’ which is inserted into the chargepoint.
It can provide charge rates from 2kW up to 22kW and up to 18 chargers can run in parallel from one electricity network connection.
Cllr Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning at London Borough of Brent said: “We’re thrilled to be among the first to try these innovative new charging points. Electric vehicles will play an important part in improving our local air quality which we know can have a detrimental impact on people’s health.
“I hope these discreet curbside chargers will make electric vehicles accessible for more people and get us one step closer to our aim of becoming a zero-carbon borough.”
Trojan Energy is also collecting consumer feedback on the technology and gathering new information on the charging behaviour of EV drivers who park on-street, with research led by the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds.