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April 7, 2022

Designer unveils disability and elderly-friendly EV charger

Patented features include a motorised cable drum.

By Graeme Roberts

Duku, a Cheltenham, England-based product design consultancy specialisting in EV infrastructure, unveiled what i claimed was the UK’s first charger developed for elderly and disabled drivers.

Patented features include a motorised cable drum to automatically coil and uncoil the cable using plug-mounted buttons.

A crash-resistant base protects the unit from damage without the need for obstructive collision barriers.

The charger is also designed to be highly visible with a tap to pay interface that doesn’t use touchscreens or an app. The 7-22kW fast chargers are said to be ideal for residential streets or car parks, and a plug and play system allows installation in under 10 minutes.

Duku designed the charger eight months after winning funding from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and Innovate UK in July 2021. Live product trials took place in Dundee, Scotland, in March and received “very positive feedback from a wide range of users”.

Director Andrew Aylesbury said: “Our research highlighted the problems people were having; including the need to use two hands and reach past those collision barriers. Now, everything’s touchless, lightweight and the obstructions are gone. Ultimately, it’s a better charging point for everyone regardless of disability.”

Final stage development is now under way and the designer is planning production and installation.

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