The Royal College Of Art Will Design ‘Landmark’ British EV Chargers

The government has commissioned the Royal College of Art to design an EV charger that’ll prove to be as iconic as a London bus or red telephone box…

‘British’ EV Chargers

The government doesn’t just want to tens of thousands of electric chargers in the UK; it wants them to be ‘British’. Precisely what this means isn’t particularly clear, but it’s commissioned the Royal College of Art to design them; with the goal of producing something as iconic and recognisable as the red telephone box or a London bus. The final design, whatever it is, will be unveiled during the lead-up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.

But the design isn’t simply a curious, patriotic gesture. According to Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, the design is intended to raise awareness around the mass-transition to electric motoring.

Our National Culture 

As of now, the Department for Transport hasn’t clarified whether the design of the chargers will be reserved for government-funded infrastructure or all public chargers. All we know, for now, is that it must be, as Shapps put it, “as iconic and recognisable as the British phone box, London bus or black cab”. No pressure for the designers, then.

Clive Grinyer, the RCA’s service design chief, seems unfazed by the challenge. He 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”. He continued, “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”.

Despite the unknowns, we think it’s unlikely all public chargers will use the design; regardless of what it is. There’s a diverse and growing range of private providers of EV charging infrastructure. All of them, one way or the other, will want to stand out to consumers in some fashion; which requires their own, recognisable designs.

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