Rapid Chargers Considered “Too Ugly” To Install In Some Areas

NOV 22 2018 BY MARK KANE 29

Maybe it’s the right time to open a business of that makes only stylish chargers?

Zipcar notes delays of expansion of the fast charging infrastructure in London, apparently caused by ‘petty’ arguments from the authorities.

The car-sharing company operates 2,800 cars in the city, including 75 Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrids and recently added 325 Volkswagen e-Golfs.

The e-Golfs became very popular, as during the first three months they were used by 6,000 drivers on over 20,000 trips.

Zipcar intends to switch to 100% electric cars by 2025.

The problem is that London is lacking fast chargers and some were not installed because they are considered “too ugly” for some boroughs, according to Jonathan Hampson, General Manager for Zipcar UK. Hampson said that the city promised “huge” targets for the number of DC fast chargers, but have failed to materialize.

““Only a fraction of what we were told would be installed have been put in,” he said, “and it’s really because, between the boroughs and City Hall they haven’t reached agreement on where they should go; how they’re going to be put in. The boroughs don’t want them on their land because they perceive them to be ugly.”Hampson acknowledged that Transport for London (TfL) is installing rapid chargers on red routes – a network of major roads that make up 5% of the total, but carry up to 30% of the city’s traffic and therefore have tight controls on parking and loading – but said these locations were “probably the least suitable place for them to go.”

He added: “I just think, at some point or other we need to get over these – what are in many senses – quite petty arguments, in the grand scheme of some of the issues we’ve got. Why does London make life so difficult when the issues we’ve got are so big?””

Because the new installations are way behind the increase of EV sales, Londoners note problems with charging infrastructure (some 60% don’t have a garage or driveway).

Currently, there are some 4,000 charging points in London, including 100 DC fast chargers (at least 300 should be ready by the end of 2020).

Source: driving.co.uk

Categories: Charging

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29 Comments on "Rapid Chargers Considered “Too Ugly” To Install In Some Areas"

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EV chargers looks like some fancy good looking gadget, what makes them think that its ugly.
Did those officials/politicians take some money from diesel loving german automakers and the OPEC despots.

I hope every household install a plug outside their home and start buying plugins and charge them.
Hope they read about the Chinese plugin sales which numbered 120,000 last month and may hit 1 million mark this year.

They would look significantly out of place in front of a listed Georgian building (the kind shown above), which is probably one of the main arguments. Nothing to do with “big oil” conspiracy theories.

As Brian mentioned below, hiding them in period lamp posts may be a better way to go.

By that argument, they should remove the parking spaces in front of that house altogether — after all, any car looks out of place there…

Too true. Parked cars are much more visually intrusive than any charger, but we don’t notice them any more because they’re so common.

Perhaps. Try and install a bin/trash can in places like the above and see how much effort it takes. Those sort of streets are listed and still look like that for a reason.

along with any parking meters that an area has.

Gas stations are not pretty either, but no one is suggesting to put a gas pump in front of someone’s home or buisness.
I think this is a valid concern with plenty of soutions (like hiding in lamp posts).

DC Fast charger in lamp post?? Which one is that?

In London they’ve been installing outlets in lamp posts where you can plug in a (I think) L2 EVSE (a portable EV charger), but as you say, not DC Fast Chargers.


I don’t think the photo at the top fits this article. That is the kind of place that, in the future, we’ll see curbside L2 chargers installed. Residential neighborhoods are not where I’d expect to see DC fast chargers installed, or at least not most of them.

Agreed on all counts.

The majority of central London is residential, with the rest being tourist spots and things like the Houses of Parliament and Regent Street.

Not sure what your point is. There are certainly plenty of shops and businesses in central London; such commercial areas are where I’d expect most DC fast chargers to be located.

That’s not to say that we’ll never see any DC fast chargers located in residential areas, but I wouldn’t expect that to be any more common than petrol stations in such areas.

This is the first scientific article I’ve seen that makes me think wireless charging could be efficient enough to replace plugging in. https://phys.org/news/2018-11-defy-19th-century-law-physics.html

Invisible charging equipment *should* satisfy the aesthetic police… if they can work out how to make it solid state.

You are using the term “scientific article” in the same sentence as a link to phys.org? Ouch 🙂 While they are *talking* about scientific research, I find all their articles frustratingly devoid of any actual scientific information 🙁

Wikipedia says:

“Phys.org is a science, research and technology news aggregator where much of the content is republished directly from press releases and news agencies-in a practice known as churnalism. It also produces some science journalism.”

Perhaps, Antrik, you haven’t read enough of the articles there to have seen any actual scientific journalism, but *I* certainly have.

The problem I have, those flower boxes shown in the picture above are not that attractive either.

It’s not the chargers that is the problem but lost parking spaces that local gas cars’ owners won’t be able to use anymore.

Just paint them black. The typical British glossy black paint were you can tell that it has been painted a dozen times and the paint must now be at least 3 mm thick.

I was thinking red, and hide it in an imitation post box. It may well pass then.

You can’t have those every 5m.

If it’s just a L2 EV charger, it could be hidden inside a lamp post or decorative cast iron hitching post, and there are some areas with those every 5 meters, or even closer.


Anyone who thinks that EV chargers will never be seen in upscale residential neighborhoods is thinking much too far inside the box. Wireless chargers buried in the street might be a better solution, but even if those never become commonplace, the day will come when nearly every public parking space for overnight or long term parking, in all first-world countries, will have either L2 fast chargers or wireless EV chargers within reach. And we can reasonably expect that will happen in less than 20 years. Heck, it’s happening in some places already.

Make the look like red post boxes. That will keep the NIMBYS at bay.

And then little old ladies will complain that they can’t find the letter slot.

A charger could be easily disguised as a mail (sorry: *post*) box, a phone booth, or the TARDIS. The latter wouldn’t even need a power line

One solution: install wireless chargers all over the place. They can be totally hidden.

Problems from the first world. Ridiculous. People care about how looks, and not how works or how many are for charge more EVs as possible.

EV chargers need to be considered just part of a city’s utility infrastructure, like a lamp post. If certain neighborhoods demand that lamp posts be of a certain style to conform to the architecture there, then it seems reasonable to ask for EV chargers to likewise conform to the architecture.

But this could be accomplished merely by putting the chargers into some sort of case. It’s the case which should have to conform to the architectural style, not the charger itself.

It makes little sense to have DC fast chargers on blocks. These cars are normally parked for say 5-10 hours at a time. How about a level 2 instead? In addition, if these are brick homes from the 1800-mid 1900s, were horses /carriages not the standard then? If these folks REALLY want to make it look interesting, how about a disguise of a horse hitching post? Heck, you can make it a real hitching post with a plug hidden in it. this way each spot has an inexpensive plug. Ideally, these would be controlled so that it requires authorization to use it (i.e. Credit card or mobile phone/NFC backed ).

Yes because petrol station are so much more attractive!