Balfour Beatty enters on-street EV charging market with launch of Urban Fox

Balfour Beatty Investments has announced its entry into the on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging market with the formation of Urban Fox – a partnership with Urban Electric Networks, a British EV charge point operating company. 

Balfour Beatty Investments expects 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 combines Urban Electric Networks’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit with Balfour Beatty’s unmatched scale, skill and capabilities in delivering infrastructure in the heart of local communities, building on the company’s experience and longstanding relationships with public realm services and local authorities.

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

Its innovative 7kW on-street chargepoint is the first of its kind to the market. 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 chargepoints 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 chargepoints across the UK whilst supporting local authorities to meet the growing demand for accessible and reliable on-street chargepoints for the travelling public.

The launch of Urban Fox follows a five year pilot 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 pilot indicated that Urban Fox’s unique retractable chargers can be installed in c. 80% of streets.

Mark Flynn, Convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “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, said: “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 collaborative spirit to good use.”

Net Zero Evolution partnered with Urban Electric to help build the core team. The company conducted a market-wide search which led to the successful launch of a team of people that have over 50 years combined EV experience. Commercial, engineering and operational roles were all filled without the need to use separate specialists due to the firm’s extensive network in the EV charging market.

Managing Director Lindsay Warren said: “It’s been a real pleasure working with the team at Urban Fox. We are looking forward to seeing the business grow in the coming years and supporting Urban Fox as their exclusive recruitment partner.”

To learn more about Urban Fox watch the video below:

Image courtesy of Balfour Beatty Investments.

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