Dundee City Council launches accessible EV Charging Hub
Dundee Council has opened a new public EV charging hub with SWARCO Smart Charging which has particular focus on accessibility and accommodating the needs of drivers with a disability.
The Clepington Road EV Charging Oasis – as it is known – comprises five rapid 50kW chargers and a single 150kW ultra rapid charger, adding another 12 charge points to the City’s public charging provision.
Justin Meyer, Managing Director of SWARCO Smart Charging says EV adoption has reached a tipping point and accessibility for all drivers is essential: “Accessibility is not negotiable. EV bays must be designed with maximum accessibility but there is still a serious lack of formal guidance and regulation to ensure that public charging is accessible to all EV drivers,” he explains. “There are many factors that dictate how accessible an EV charging location is, from the physical space and hardware to all elements of the user experience, which means there are many potential barriers.
“We recognise that more needs to be done to achieve fairness and inclusivity, so our aim is to remove as many of those potential barriers as possible particularly when it comes to wheelchair access, which is why we have been collaborating with experts on this issue.”
Dundee’s fourth charging hub has been designed in consultation with smart and sustainable cities consultancy, Urban Foresight, along with disabled drivers, charities and manufacturers. The design also takes into account guidance from the BSI PAS 1899:2022. Measures include longer cables to allow for wheelchair access vehicles, as well as level access from the parking bay to the charge point. Carefully considered wheel stops prevent vehicles from encroaching on the space between the front of the bays and the chargers.
The Clepington Road EV Charging Oasis is not only aiming to be set a new standard for accessibility of EV charging, but also become the city’s most innovative EV Charging hub incorporating a number of low-carbon and sustainable technologies.
SWARCO has worked with its battery energy storage systems partner, Connected Energy, which uses second life EV batteries to store solar energy collected from the solar panels installed on the hub’s canopy roof. This stored energy will support the energy demands of the site. SWARCO has also worked with leading water purification company, Bluewater, to include rainwater harvesting technology, which is the first time this has been done at a UK EV charging location. The system has been incorporated in the canopy roof to capture rainwater which is then filtered into the purifying machine so that EV drivers can refill water bottles with fresh drinking water, or to top up their windscreen washers.
“EV charging locations present us with opportunities to do more to minimise our environmental impact – opportunities that go beyond the obvious exclusion of fossil fuel,” Justin adds.
“We are really pleased to see these types of sustainable solutions adopted by Dundee City Council. We have been working with them since 2011 and they have always been pioneers in the provision of electric vehicle charging; their passion and commitment to reducing carbon emissions and building a sustainable future is incredibly impressive.”
Funding for the Clepington Road EV Charging Oasis came from ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), OZEV (Office for Zero Emission Vehicles), Transport Scotland, and Dundee City Council.
Mark Flynn, Convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “To maintain momentum and retain the class-leading position the city is already in we are increasingly replacing obsolete and outmoded fossil-fuel vehicles in our own fleet with electric vehicles of all shapes and sizes. A key part of that is of course ensuring that we have the charging network in place to keep up with the greater demand.
“This new hub, as well as others coming on stream in the city, will keep Dundee at the forefront of low and zero emission vehicle use and innovative technology which benefits us all by delivering cleaner air for the city.”