Technology

Designers called on to make electric car charge points as ‘iconic' as black cabs

The result will be unveiled at the international Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow in November, and will be seen on UK roads from next year.

Designers have been appointed to make electric vehicle (EV) charge points as “iconic” as red phone boxes and black cabs.

The Royal College of Art and consultancy group PA are tasked with creating a design which makes the charges more recognisable for drivers.

The result will be unveiled at the international Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow in November, and will be seen on UK roads from next year.

Electric car plates
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps (David Parry/PA)

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 three 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 UK has more than 25,000 public charging devices.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, warned that “good design isn’t just about good looks”.

He told the PA news agency: “These public charge points will be viewed as a success if they are also easy to spot, intuitive to use, and reliably available, tests that some of the current generation of charge points would struggle to pass.”

The Government plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with hybrids prohibited from 2035.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, announced in November 2020, made clear his ambition to “accelerate the transition” to electric vehicles.

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