The Department for Transport (DfT) is looking for designers for EV charging stations, raising hopes that they will become icons of British design, such as red telephone boxes and the London Underground map.
DfT’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles is offering designers a £200,000 contract to develop an “iconic, functional public charging point for electric vehicles”.
The contract runs from August 9 to October 29 this year. “As the roll-out of charging stations accelerates, there is a chance that this design will become iconic British street furniture.
The project will spark enthusiasm about our charging point rollout ambitions and contribute to an industry-wide conversation about proper charging point design,” the advertisement reads.
The emphasis on iconic design was welcomed by the conservative former transport minister, Sir John Hayes, who said he hoped the electric car charging stations could become a “design classic” on British streets, akin to the red letterbox or telephone box.Sir John, who represents South Holland and the Deepings, told the PA news agency:
“We should think of something like the Gilbert Scott phone booth or the pillar box, something that people can identify immediately and it should be something that itself becomes a design classic .” “We shouldn’t see this as a mere tool, although of course it serves a utilitarian purpose.
We should see it as something that contributes to the street furniture in our towns and cities. That is why the design becomes critical, not only so that it is recognizable, but also that people like to see it.
”Sir John has previously proposed a design competition for the charging stations, and his enthusiasm for the project led Karl Turner, a Labor MP, to propose that the charging stations should be known as “Hayes hooks”. Sir John continued:
“Using the phone booth example, I think it was quite radical back then, but now it’s seen as quite retro. We shouldn’t be afraid of a quality enough design that looks good in all sorts of places – it’s not just something that’s brutally metropolitan or the opposite.”
“It has to be something that can fit in all sorts of places, with the necessary minor tweaks or tweaks, so if you’re going to put it in Bath it probably wants to look a little different than what it might look like in Canary Wharf, but it has to are sufficiently recognizable.
That certainly applies to column cabinets.” The government recently accelerated its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 to 2030, prompting an urgent call to accelerate the rollout of EV infrastructure to support the massive growth of EVs over the next two decades.to support.
This includes the installation of millions of fast charging points and possibly the establishment of new EV battery production facilities. Last month, company secretary Kwasi Kwarteng acknowledged the need to get the “correct charging infrastructure” in place, given concerns about the reach of EV owners.