Could electric vehicle chargepoints become next great British emblem?

Electric Charger design

Electric vehicle chargepoints across the UK could become as recognisable as the red post box or black cab, following the appointment of the Royal College of Art (RCA) and PA Consulting to deliver an iconic British chargepoint design.

The design will be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow this November and could be seen on streets across the country from 2022. The chargepoints will be functional and accessible for all users with sustainability at the heart of the design.

This project gets underway as independently produced statistics from Bristol-based Zap Map reveal there are now more than 25,000 public charging devices across the UK– a major milestone, which means that electric vehicle drivers are never more than 25 miles from a chargepoint on UK roads. This comes as recent statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that more than one in six cars sold in July 2021 had a plug.

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 chargepoints that are as iconic and recognisable as the British phone box or black cab.

“With less than 3 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 rollout will allow chargepoints 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.

Clive Grinyer, Head of Service Design at the RCA, said: “This is an opportunity to support the design of a future icon that will be part of our national culture as we move towards a sustainable future. The RCAhas been at the forefront of shaping our products, mobility and services for the last 180 years. We are delighted to be playing a role in the design of the total service experience to ensure a usable, beautiful and inclusive design that is an excellent experience for all.”