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Oxfordshire County Council gets green light for on-street EV charging trial

The chargers are to be installed across the Oxford and Cherwell districts. Image: Abdulhakeem Samae/pixabay

The chargers are to be installed across the Oxford and Cherwell districts. Image: Abdulhakeem Samae/pixabay

A pilot project trialing 30 on-street electric vehicle (EV) chargers that connect directly to a household’s electricity supply is to be run across Oxford and Cherwell.

Having been awarded funding by Innovate UK and the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford Direct Services are now expecting installations to start in between December 2021 and January 2022.

The project is to test on-street EV charging using a specially designed ‘gully’ or channel installed into the pavement which allows residents to safely connect their EV to their home electricity supply when parked outside their home.

Through the connection to a household’s electricity supply, the charging is cheaper and more convenient than a typical on-street charger, the council said. It also enables residents to charge their EVs directly from solar panels if installed.

The channel will also be seamlessly integrated into the pavement and has been designed so that cables don’t cause a slip or trip hazard.

The project is a continuation of a 2020 scheme between Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford Direct Services, with the latter being a social enterprise owned by the council. It also builds on previous work completed in the Go Ultra Low Oxford Project.

Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for climate change delivery and environment, said that with an estimated 30-40% of Oxfordshire residents having no access to off-street parking, a lack of suitable charging can be a barrier to EV adoption.

"This trial will have those people especially in mind. I look forward to seeing them begin," he addede.

The council is now looking for 30 volunteers to take part in the project.

Oxfordshire is currently a hot spot for energy trials and infrastructure development, with Project Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO) having recently been granted a nine-month extension by UK Research and Innovation as it looked to begin flexibility market trials.

Meanwhile, the Oxford Energy Superhub is also under development, with this to see 38 fast and ultra-rapid EV chargers and a 50MW lithium-ion and vanadium flow hybrid battery as well as low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies installed.

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