Urban Fox set to revolutionise the EV charging market

Balfour Beatty Investments has announced its entry into the on-street EV charging market with the formation of Urban Fox – through a partnership with Urban Electric Networks.

Balfour Beatty Investments expect to invest up to £60 million of capital in the partnership to fund the roll out of up to 35,000 charge points across the UK over the next decade.

Urban Fox offers local authorities a whole-life solution to EV charge points: funding, building, operating and maintaining a range of fast, rapid and slow charge points across the counties in which they will be deployed.

Its 7kW on-street charge point is the first of its kind to the market, according to the maker. Installed into the pavement, the unit is fully retractable underground – leaving pavements clutter free and accessible when not in use. With 43% of British households without access to off-street parking, and the growing demand and uptake of electric vehicles, Urban Fox’s quick installation and replacement process allows additional charge points to be easily installed as demand dictates.

Urban Fox supports local authorities to achieve the green targets as set out in the UK Government’s electric vehicle infrastructure strategy ‘Taking Charge’ by creating a sustainable, resilient and convenient network of charge points across the UK whilst supporting local authorities to meet the growing demand for accessible and reliable on-street charge points for the travelling public.

The launch of Urban Fox follows five years of rigorous product development and testing of the retractable charging unit across Oxford, Dundee and Plymouth city councils, as well as Staffordshire County Council. The pilots indicated that Urban Fox’s retractable chargers can be installed in 80% of streets.

Mark Flynn, Convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, says, “Last year when we commissioned these on street residential chargers through a combination of funding, including local and Scottish Government, we wanted to start breaking down some of the barriers to owning and running an electric vehicle. In particular, recognising that more than half of the city’s homes don’t have access to off street parking by putting these chargers at seven locations spread across the Maryfield, Lochee and West End wards we are making a start.”

Gavin Russell, CEO Balfour Beatty Investments, adds, “In order to achieve the government’s 2050 net zero strategy, it’s imperative that alternative energy sources are widely available and accessible.

“Balfour Beatty’s close and long-standing relationships with local authorities across the length and breadth of the UK make us well able to tackle the challenge head on; putting our unrivalled capability in providing green infrastructure for communities and our innovative, collaborative spirit to good use.”

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