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New electric car charger answers calls for accessibility

Design agency Duku has unveiled a world-leading fully accessible public charger for Electric Carcomplete with a host of features aimed at removing barriers for less capable drivers.

The new 7-22kW charger design features a patented fully powered cable feed operated by buttons on the plug, so it can be deployed with one hand. A motorized drum provides only the required cable length, eliminating the effort of winding and unspooling.

There’s an accessible user interface designed to respond to guidelines for optimal use of graphics, information, and colors, and the charger features contactless payments, so it doesn’t need touch screen, buttons or mobile phone app to operate. The device rotates 90 degrees so you can swing it out of direct sunlight or point the cable towards your vehicle. The cable and the part itself are colored to improve visibility and reduce the danger to pedestrians being partially seen.

Notably, the design without drawers is vulnerable to need to be protected from scratches or bumps while parking. This means that the charger can be mounted on a road surface, free of obstacles for wheelchair users who can easily get close to the device. The secret is an impact-resistant base with a self-leveling post to protect the high-voltage cables inside.

The plastic visor at the base of the pillar is designed to deform to absorb light impacts, or to be replaced quickly and inexpensively after a heavier impact. Duku claims its ‘plug-and-play’ system means a piece of equipment can be replaced in 10 minutes using a pre-installed grounding box.

TV presenter, journalist and accessibility consultant Emily Yates, a driver and wheelchair user, took part in a recent test of the charger in Dundee. “I find driving really liberating,” she says. “Unfortunately, due to the lack of charging infrastructure in the current market, I do not yet own an electric vehicle. After reviewing Duku’s new charger design providing a completely barrier-free solution to my specific requirements, this is likely to change in the near future! ”

Duku director Andrew Aylesbury told Auto Express: “The issues identified from the initial study were mainly the weight and difficulty of using the cables, and obstructions around the stand. The ‘tethered’ charger means users don’t need their own cables, and then we challenged ourselves to overcome the problem of moving cables into cars and eliminating the need for seals around the base. He confirmed the device is being developed for mass production, likely as early as 2024.

The new charger meets or exceeds the draft guidance for BSI Group’s new voluntary accessibility standard, which has just entered the public consultation phase and will be published later this year.

Consulting firm Urban Foresight has worked closely with Duku on an eight-month charger project partially funded by Innovate UK and project manager Clare Pennington said: “With the potential to be hundreds, maybe thousands charging points will be installed before the guidelines are published, it is really important for organizations to be proactive and consider what they can do now to ensure their charge points are accessible Okay. ”

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