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An on-street EV charging point in Oxford (Photo:John Cairns)

Cities around the world are seeking to accelerate the transition from conventional petrol and diesel cars to cleaner, greener electric vehicles (EVs). One barrier to residents living in dense urban areas to switching to EVs is the availability of charging infrastructure, where off-street parking is limited.

Oxford City Council was awarded funding in 2016 to trial five different EV charging technologies designed to be installed in residential neighbourhoods. Phase 1 of Go Ultra Low Oxford converted lampposts into charge-points, installed three different models of bollard into residential areas, and implemented a solution to allow residents to trail cables across footpaths by digging channels into pavements outside participants’ homes.

Researchers from the Transport Studies Unit have been monitoring the Go Ultra Low Oxford trial, and today we publish our final evaluation report. The report analyses the performance of the five technologies using criteria developed from interviews with users and project stakeholders. These criteria include ease of access, robustness, price, utilisation, commercial sustainability and others. They are used to highlight the different perspectives of users, private companies and local authorities.

The report also reports on how users adapted their habits and routines to incorporate charging into their daily lives; and the responses from the local community to the charging installations.

Finally, we provide insights and recommendations for local authorities and government policy makers regarding the roll-out charging infrastructure in cities. These include practical advice based on the experiences of the Oxford trial, as well as recommendations for strategic planning.

Professor Tim Schwanen, Director of the Transport Studies Unit, said: “The first phase of Go Ultra Low Oxford has yielded a wealth of insights into how on-street chargers are used by trial participants and how the installations can be operated in efficient and user-friendly ways. We expect the insights to be very helpful to local authorities around the UK as they roll-out charging infrastructure.”

Read the full report for more information about the Oxford trial, and its implications for EV charging infrastructure in cities around the world.


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