PA Consulting selected to create ‘iconic’ British charge point

16 August 2021 2 min. read
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Professionals from PA Consulting will partner with the Royal College of Art to help produce a new design for Britain’s electric vehicle charge points. The project aims to elevate the status of electric vehicles in the minds of UK road users before the ban of new combustion vehicles comes into play at the end of the decade.

With various reports suggesting electric vehicles are set to become the ‘norm’ by 2030, and Britain having moved its ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel cars forward to then, infrastructure changes need to be realised quickly. In the coming years, electric charge points will become as common as the nation’s red phone booths or post boxes once were – and as such, a design is being sought which could be just as iconic as those historic British landmarks.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced the appointment of the Royal College of Art (RCA) and PA Consulting to draw up a new design for British charge points. Aiming to be functional and accessible for all users, with sustainability at the heart of the design, the blueprints will be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, and could be seen on streets across the country from 2022.

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… The roll-out [of the design] will allow charge points to be 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.”

PA Consulting boasts a strong legacy in product design, as well as a strong end-to-end innovation offering. Meanwhile, the RCA has worked at the forefront of shaping British products, mobility and services for the last 180 years. The combination of the advisory firm’s design team with the institution’s knowhow assembles the creative expertise necessary to re-imagine the EV charge point “as an iconic piece of British street furniture,” according to PA net-zero mobility expert Warwick Goodall.

“We know that excellent design has the power to dismantle barriers to growth and simplify the user experience, making the switch to electric vehicles more attractive, accessible, affordable and secure for drivers,” Goodall added. “We look forward to working together with the public and industry on a design framework that will accelerate the charge point rollout ambitions and bring to life the electric vehicle revolution on our streets.”

The project gets underway as statistics from Zap-map reveal that there are now over 25,000 public charging devices across the UK. This represents a major milestone which means that electric vehicle drivers are never more than 25 miles from a charge point on UK roads.