Move over red telephone box, the next great British emblem could be Electric vehicle charge points
*Nerd alert* – Did you know that the man who designed Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, also designed the iconic red British telephone box?
Who would have thought that Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s talent could be as diverse as imagining the World’s 5th largest cathedral, and also such a unique and, in the 20th century, commonly seen piece of street ‘furniture’?
Fast-forward to the 21st century and British Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points could overtake (in commonality) the once ubiquitous phone boxes; the charge points could be seen on the UK’s streets from as early as 2022.
Current Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that the The Royal College of Art and PA Consulting (a tech and innovation consultancy) have been appointed to design and deliver an iconic British charge point.
The design, set to be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow this November, could be seen across the country from next year. The charge points will be functional and accessible for all users with sustainability at the heart of the design.
Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that one in six cars sold in July 2021 had some form of charging requirement. And, with now over 25,000 public charging devices across the UK, EV owners and drivers are never more than 25 miles from a charge point in the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“Excellent design plays a key role in supporting our transition to zero emission vehicles, which is why I want to see EV charge points that are as iconic and recognisable as the British phone box, London bus or black cab.
With less than 3 months to go until COP26, we continue to put the UK at the forefront of the design, manufacture and use of zero emission vehicles and their charging infrastructure, as we build back greener and call on countries around the world to similarly accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.”
The aim of the roll-out is, in part, to make the charging points more recognisable for drivers, helping to create awareness around the transition to EVs – and linking them to the iconic British designs of old that are recognised the world over.
As yet, there’s no information around the speed and output capability of the charge points, however the messages and intention around the launch and roll-out have to be commended.
A design icon for modern times could be imminent, however if a charge point version of the Sinclair C5 is to be avoided, the importance of functionality and effectiveness can’t be overlooked.
We await the launch with huge anticipation……