DfT seeks designers to make EV charge-points as iconic as telephone boxes

The Department for Transport’s Office of Zero Emission Vehicles says the designs could have potential to become “a piece of iconic British street furniture”.

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) has put out a tender to find a design team capable of reinventing electric vehicle charging points.

The contract is worth £200,000 to the successful design team.

Opening up a “sector-wide” conversation

According to the project description, the OZEV hopes the roll-out of the successful pitch will “generate excitement” for charge-point roll-out ambitions.

The successful team will work with the DfT, OZEV and relevant stakeholders to develop their idea.

The aim, it says, is for this project to act as a guide for other local authorities and companies who wish to follow in its footsteps, thereby opening up a “sector-wide conversation” on what good EV charge-point design is.

“A piece of iconic British street furniture”

A description from the OZEV states the office is looking for an “iconic, functional” design. Other documents show a consideration for accessibility, sustainability, customisability and affordability is also necessary, as this is what the final decision will be based upon.

Further on, it states there is potential for the successful design to become “a piece of iconic British street furniture”. This suggests the office hopes a successful charging point could compete with the likes of red telephone or pillar boxes.

This is not the first time in recent months the government has been on the lookout for designs that could become the next generation of memorable British street furniture.

Back in February, we covered the launch of a City of London design competition which sought to replace traditional Police Boxes with something equally as attention-grabbing.

EV charge-point roll-out is too slow

News of the tender comes after think tank Policy Exchange criticised the roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) charging points earlier this year.

Given the government’s plan to ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the organisation says the introduction of enough charging points is too slow.

It estimates the UK will need 400,000 public chargers, plus those in use privately. Currently there are only 35,000.

In a statement back in February, Policy Exchange said charge-point installation would need to rise from current levels – around 7,000 over the last three years – to 35,000 a year for the next decade.


Those looking to apply for the tender will need to do so by 5pm on 9 July 2021. The contract will aim to begin on 8 August 2021.

You can apply here.

Images from Shutterstock.

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