Is this on-street overhead EV charging arm hot or not?

Dutch company ChargeArm has developed an overhead charging arm that keeps your EV charging cable off the sidewalk – is it a good on-street home charging solution?

Overhead EV charging arm for on-street home charging

People who want to charge their EVs at home yet don’t have driveways or garages – and honestly, that’s most people – need a great on-street home charging solution. But there’s no one-size-fits-all – it depends on a lot of factors.

ChargeArm’s solution is an overhead charging arm that keeps the EV charging cable off the ground. It raises the charging cable mechanically so it doesn’t become a trip hazard on the sidewalk or get damaged due to people walking on it or running over it with bikes or strollers.

ChargeArm says its Dutch-made aluminum and stainless steel product’s reach is about 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) and is lockable; the installer will also install the Level 2 charging box and cable. The ChargeArm can be paired with all EV chargers, and there’s also a wall mount option.

Here’s how it works in the video below:

ChargeArm claims that its product is “tidy, safe, clean, and available.” I’ve contacted ChargeArm to ask the company how much the product costs and where it’s being sold, and I will update this story once I hear back, as no dealers online seem to list the price.

Electrek’s Take

Is this a good on-road EV charging solution – or simply a good try?

For people who park and charge their cars on the road, a cable that trails across the sidewalk poses a couple of problems. The cable can get damaged, and it’s a safety hazard. So on that front, it’s a solution to get the cable off the ground.

ChargeArm also claims its product is safe, as it’s got no sharp or pinching mechanics that could be a hazard for kids. The charging cable is within the arm, so it’s difficult to steal. All metal parts are earthed.

But you actually have to be able to consistently nab the space in front of your house in order to be able to charge your car. I’ve lived in many houses with on-the-road parking only, and where I parked was luck of the draw. One would probably need to have assigned parking, preferably in a low-traffic area like a cul-de-sac, in order for ChargeArm to be worthwhile. Or, if you do have a driveway but not a garage, this could be a good way to keep your charging cable safe and off the ground.

Chances are, too, that installing a ChargeArm on the street will need planning permission, regardless of which country you live in, so it may or may not be approved.

As for potential vandalism/people thinking it’s clever to try to do chin-ups on your ChargeArm, this is what the company has to say in its FAQs:

Because the ChargeArm is equipped with a limited force gas lift, the arm will automatically move downwards and partially fold inwards when someone pulls on it. The fun is soon over. When the arm is released, it will automatically return to its extended orientation.

This is a good solution for some places, but it’s not a universal solution. There are a lot of innovative home charging products increasingly coming to market – such as the UK company KerboCharge, which hides your charging cable in a channel in the sidewalk and is currently being piloted by the town of Milton Keynes’ council – so it’s likely a matter of finding the best solution available where you live that best fits your needs.

What do you think of ChargeArm? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: The makers of this Level 1 mobile EV cable want everyone to have smart charging

Photo: ChargeArm

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