Dundee City Council continues to embrace innovation

07 June, 2024 | Dundee Electric

Dundee City Council continues to embrace innovation and enhance the city’s streetscape by investing in pioneering electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.  

Following over seven years of development and a successful 18-month long trial period of Europe’s first fully retractable EV chargers installed in Dundee by Urban Electric back in 2020, Dundee City Council included this innovation in its on-street charging strategy once again in 2024. 

Urban Fox, a partnership between Balfour Beatty Investments and Urban Electric Networks, delivered 18 x 7kW pop-up chargers installed in the heart of local communities. Their flagship UEone charge point is the ideal solution for EV drivers without access to off-street parking. Designed with accessibility in mind, when not in use, the chargers remain flush with the pavement, which eliminates the risk of tripping as well as minimises street clutter and obstruction.  

Controlled on the Urban Fox app, users can easily activate and raise the charger from the ground, plug in their vehicle and keep track of usage on their mobile phone. When risen from the ground, they are at an accessible height of 80 cm to allow for easy access without a need for bending. The unit features a socket on each side, which was designed to allow handling with a single hand, further improving the unit's accessibility.  

Urban Foresight was one of the key partners in bringing on-street EV pop-up chargers to life during the pilot back in 2020, when they led the Clean Streets project across Dundee City Council and Plymouth City Council. Securing funding allowed the UK’s leading place-based innovation consultancy to work closely with Urban Electric and both the councils and ultimately, support the pilot of this innovative technology and create new infrastructure to solve societal challenges. 

Following their involvement in the trial pilot of the pop-up chargers in Dundee, it was with great sentiment that Urban Foresight renewed their previous partnership and supported Urban Fox by hosting an event coinciding with the official launch of the newest version of the UEone chargers in Dundee on 5 June 2024. The Charge Up conference was held at the Apex hotel, where attendees were provided with insights into the successful deployment and procurement of the new charging infrastructure in Dundee. 

The conference was followed by a media event at the pop-up chargers installed in the flagship location on South Crichton Street outside of the renowned V&A museum. Smart UK, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Group and Geely Holding, demonstrated one of its latest award-winning electric models, the Smart #1. A compact SUV designed for urban environments, yet offering up to 273 miles of range, the #1 represents the kind of EV that can take full advantage of improved on-street charging.  

Fair Work, Economic Growth & Infrastructure Convener Councillor Steven Rome marked the launch of the UEone chargers in Dundee by saying: 

''I am pleased to see Dundee City Council invest in low-emission transport, further proving that we are continuously making progress towards achieving our net-zero targets. 

‘’Dundee City Council believes that it is important to deploy charge points that are as accessible as possible to deliver equitable access to EV charging solutions, and this innovation helps cater to the needs of our communities.’’ 

Oli Freeling-Wilkinson, CEO of Urban Fox, said: "After more than seven years of intensive development and testing, we are immensely proud to unveil Europe's only flat and flush charging solution that complies with the highest accessibility standards. At Urban Fox we are passionate about addressing the pressing need for near-home EV charging infrastructure across the UK, to ensure that no one is left behind on the road to net zero.” 

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