Oxford Tests Different Types of On-Street Electric Vehicle Charging

CC BY-ND 2.0. Paul Robertson

Lloyd has explored the topic of electric vehicle charging before, and specifically whether a lack of places to charge will impede adoption. Specifically, people ask, will cities and towns where on-street parking is the norm really be able to go all-in on electric vehicles?

As someone with an off-street driveway, I confess I've been a little blind to this issue. I simply charge my car overnight at home 90% of the time, and use public charging mostly as an opportunistic perk—not a "must have" to allow me to get from A to B. (Yes, I leave my number on my dashboard in case anyone urgently needs a charge.)

That said, many cities and neighborhoods offer predominantly on-street parking. And while it would be nice if more people went car-free, or started using sharing services, it seems likely that we also need to cater for a growing number of EV owners here too—like this cool scheme in Hounslow, London, which uses street lighting infrastructure to provide drivers with a place to plug-in.

CNBC reports that the English city of Oxford is embarking on a cool pilot charging program, installing 30 charging stations on residential streets across the city. Not only is this cool in-and-of-itself, but the project is being designed as a learning exercise—pitting three different types of charging station set ups against each other to see which one performs best in encouraging adoption. That means ten will be available for individual households, ten will be used by a pay-as-you-go car club, and ten will be dedicated for use by individual households.

Feedback will be collected by researchers at the University of Oxford, and shared with the British government to help guide investments in charging stations nationwide. And the solution that's deemed to perform the best will be rolled out at 100 sites across the city too.