How can you charge your electric car right outside your house if you don’t have a driveway? The answer is simple: install a cable tunnel or “gully” through the pavement that fits flush with the surface.
The idea is simple – rather than dragging your EV charging cable across the pavement, why not run it through the pavement?
With a gully, you can install a fast home charger like the Ohme ePod or Easee One and charge at speeds of 7kW or 7.4kW on the street outside your house without obstructing the footpath and incurring the wrath of pedestrians.
In other words, if you want to charge your car on the road outside your house, a gully makes it safe, legal, and convenient. Plus you get to say bye bye to slow 3-pin charging!
Sounds sweet, right?
You’ll need to get permission from the local council, but this innovative solution, officially named the Electric Vehicle Cable Channel (EVCC), is the best answer to Britain’s on-street, no-driveway charger problem.
Below, we’ll run through the main companies offering car charging pavement gully installation, what to expect, and the pros and cons.
Let’s jump in!
- What is an EV charging cable gully?
- Who should get a charging gully?
- How much does it cost?
- The gully is simply a pass through for the cable
- Successful council trials
- Pavement gully installers for EV chargers
- Individual gullies you can buy
- Can't I just run a cable over the pavement?
- Can you have an electric car if you don't have a driveway?
- Closing thoughts
What is an EV charging cable gully?
A car charging pavement channel, gully, or EVCC is a trench that is cut into the pavement/sidewalk outside your house. It allows an electric vehicle charging cable to be run underground from the charger location to the parked car.
The channel is about 5cm wide and 5cm deep. A cover fits over top, flush with the pavement, so the cable can be hidden when not in use.
It provides a pathway for the EV cable so it doesn’t have to be run overhead across the sidewalk, avoiding a tripping hazard.
The channel connects the EV charger, often mounted on the outside wall of the home, to the parking spot on the street.
This allows EV owners without driveways to install a home charger and charge conveniently right outside their house.
Channels are sometimes referred to as “charging troughs”, “cable ducts” or “electric avenues” by installers, although most people call them gullies.
The installation involves cutting the concrete, laying conduit, backfilling over it, then patching the pavement. This work requires council approval.
Who should get a charging gully?
Pavement charger gullies are designed for EV owners who don’t have off-street parking or a driveway at their home. Typically this includes:
- People living in terraced or row houses without driveways.
- People who run cables over the pavement.
- Urban residents with street parking only.
- Apartment dwellers who park on the street.
- People living in shared accommodation.
The DfT released a research report in 2022 about drivers without access to off-street parking. The report found that on-street charging near home was the most appealing option for future EV charging infrastructure among drivers without access to off-street parking because it allows existing driving and parking habits to be retained, as vehicles can be charged where they are naturally parked overnight.
Proximity of the charge point to home was a key priority, with most respondents indicating they currently park within 2 minutes walk of their home. Acceptable walking distance was 2-5 minutes. Parking further away was seen as inconvenient and raised security concerns with most respondents.
Interestingly, participants were asked to imagine running a charging cable safely from their home through a channel or conduit under the pavement. The appeal was high, with 59% finding it very or quite appealing. It was seen as convenient as it allowed charging at home (see page 92).
Overall, on-street charging was seen as the ideal primary charging method for electric vehicle owners. Destination charging (e.g. at supermarkets, workplaces) was considered a useful secondary option, and rapid charging hubs were not seen as a primary day-to-day charging option.
The bottom line is that without on-street chargers, people with no driveway are limited to using public chargers (which can be very expensive), charging at work, or charging very slowly on a regular 3-pin outlet.
An EV charging gully allows you to use a faster Level 2 home charger outside your house and charge conveniently overnight without trailing cables.
Simply put, it opens up EV ownership to people with no driveway access and enable more people to access cheaper charging rates at home.
How much does it cost?
We asked ODS Group to clarify the cost of the Gul-e. “The cost of the installation will vary subject to the actual install type and the amount of units that will be installed within the area. However, as a guide, an approximate cost would be £250.”
“At this stage, there is not one model that is being adopted by councils. Local Authorities may opt to fund, part-fund or request the resident entirely funds the solution. It will depend on the Local Authority and whether they have been able to obtain central government funding to support solutions such as Gul-e. However, even if councils choose not to fund Gul-es, the product still offers excellent value for residents when compared with public charging due to its cost-effectiveness and long term benefits.”
The gully is simply a pass through for the cable
It’s important to understand that the pavement channel is not the actual electric vehicle charger. It is simply a gully that houses and protects the charging cable.
The EVCC runs from the charger location on the outside wall of the home to the parking spot on the street.
The EV charger itself is a separate device installed on the wall of the house. It converts AC power to DC to charge the vehicle’s battery pack.
The charger communicates with the vehicle to deliver the optimal charging current and monitor progress. It has all the control circuitry and brains.
The pavement channel is purely the underground ducting that enables the cable to connect the charger to the car. It allows safe, hidden routing rather than trailing cables overhead.
The channel facilitates charging but is not the charger itself. The charger is mounted conveniently on the home’s exterior wall.
Successful council trials
Oxford City Council’s Local Authority Trading Company has been trialling a simple cable gully solution for electric vehicle charging.
The Gul-e cable gully in the trial provides a discrete underground channel for charging cables to run from homes to roadside parking spots. This avoids trailing cables that could cause public trip hazards.
The trial was conducted by Oxford Direct Services (ODS), Oxford’s Local Authority Trading Company. It was so successful that ODS received £160K in funding from Innovate UK to further develop the cable gully for broader rollout.
The promising Oxford trial shows the EVCC’s potential as an innovative, game-changing approach to enable more widespread EV home charging for difficult parking situations.
Pavement gully installers for EV chargers
Before we mention a few installers, we want to clarify that we are not affiliated with them. We have mentioned them after researching the market, product, and reviews.
Gul-e offers flush-fit charging channels that allow EV owners to charge without a driveway. The ducting lays level with the pavement, opening when needed to insert the charging cable.
The channels feature a slip-resistant coating to avoid tripping or slipping hazards. A locking mechanism provides security for the charging cable when not in use.
The slight slope of the gulley allows rainwater drainage to the street. Occasional debris removal may be needed based on conditions.
There is no maximum charging time, but Gul-e recommends removing the cable after the vehicle is fully charged. The channels are intended for personal home charging only.
If the designated parking spot is occupied, owners can locate public charging on apps like ZapMap. There is no reserved parking, so charger sharing and coordination with neighbors is recommended.
In summary, Gul-e provides an unobtrusive sidewalk solution for inconspicuous home charging without a driveway. The flush installation blends into the pavement while keeping cables safely below ground when not in use.
Pavecross fits level with the sidewalk, opening when in use to accept a standard charging cable. This avoids trip hazards while protecting the cable when not charging.
It is a permanent shallow installation, running from the property line to the curb. Pavecross supports third-party billing, potentially turning home chargers into community chargers with subsidies for residents.
The channel works with all charging cables and vehicles. It connects individual home chargers rather than tapping the main grid.
Key advantages of the Pavecross system:
- Minimal groundworks and pavement disturbance
- No trenching or underground infrastructure needed
- Zero street clutter
- Ultra low cost installation
- Access to lowest electricity rates
Kerbocharge offers an innovative ducting solution that allows EV owners to charge their car at home without off-street parking. Their product includes a wall mounted charger ( Indra Smart Pro, Ohme ePod or My Energi Zappi charger), the pavement channel, and app.
The channel is installed flush in the pavement, running from the charger to the parking spot. A lid lifts open so the charging cable can be dropped inside, keeping it neatly concealed when not in use. This avoids hazardous trailing cables while allowing convenient home charging.
The ducting integrates into most pavement types including brick, stone, and asphalt. It self-closes and can withstand being driven over. The unit is made of rigid PVC rated for over 25 million open/close cycles.
Kerbocharge handles all council permissions and installation. The package includes a 10 year product guarantee and 3 year labour warranty. Only routine cleaning is required for maintenance.
The ducting is currently being piloted with Milton Keynes Council. After the trial completes, Kerbocharge will expand availability to other UK local authorities.
Pricing is provided on their website. The system offers an innovative solution so urban EV owners without driveways can charge easily and safely at home.
Charge Gully is a flush-fit aluminium channel installed across the pavement which provides EV owners without off-street parking a permanent solution to charge their on-street parked vehicle.
The channel has a lockable lid that is opened to insert the charging cable. The lock is operated using a special tool provided preventing third-parties pulling the cable out when left unattended. The lid cannot be left open and create a trip hazard as it closes under its own weight, and is covered with ribs to prevent slippage. Their channel has good environmental credentials as it is made of partly recycled aluminium which can in turn be easily recycled. The channel accommodates all EV charging leads, including larger three-phase cables.
Once installed, the solution provides flexibility for charging even if another car is parked in front as the charging cable can usually reach a vehicle parked once space or down from the space directly in front of the house. The durable, corrosion-resistant aluminum comes with a 7 year product guarantee. No maintenance is required apart from routine cleaning. Rainwater will drain along the sloped pavement into street drains so the channel doesn’t flood. Charge Gully handles all approvals with the Local Authorities.
Charge Gully can be easily paired with Peer-to-Peer EV charger sharing apps enabling EV owners to earn money when they are not using their charger.
The innovative solution can be deployed by cities without requiring expensive new grid connections. It reduces the need for residents to convert their front gardens into dropped kerbs.
Residents can place orders for private pavement installations on their website. An updated list of Local Authorities joining their trials is also available.
Individual gullies you can buy
The only product we can find is the Stormguard EV Charge Cable Gully, which has flexible bristles to hold your EV charging cable in place. It’s available in 1m and 3m lengths.
Here’s a photo of the Stormguard:
This is a quality piece of kit made from aluminium. You can watch a video of it here.
Can’t I just run a cable over the pavement?
Unless you want the council to send a warning letter regarding pavement charging, it’s best to avoid trailing a cable across a footpath/pavement. Running a cable across the street will also open you up to public complaints and personal injury claims.
Under the Highways Act 1980, c.66, part IX, Section 162, “Lawful and Unlawful Interference with Highways and Streets”, it is illegal to run a cable along a public highway because it is classed as an obstruction, so councils can ask you to stop.
Can you have an electric car if you don’t have a driveway?
As this post proves, yes! And you shouldn’t let your lack of a driveway stop you from making the switch to electric.
You can charge outside your house on the street using your own smart home charger – all you need is a cable gully to run the charging cable through the pavement.
If you don’t install a gully, you will have to charge in public or at work. Check out our article on no driveway charging solutions for ideas.
If you’re asking yourself how can I charge my electric car if I don’t have a driveway, the humble cable gully is the best solution.
As more households switch to electric cars, simple and affordable systems like the cable gully will be key for accessible home charging for terraced houses and flats relying on street parking.
- Allows fast charging speeds up to 7kW for non-driveway EV owners.
- Avoids trip hazards from trailing cables across sidewalks.
- Provides secure, out-of-sight cable routing when not charging.
- Enables cheaper overnight charging rates at home.
- Installation costs involved for cutting, conduit, and concrete work.
- Requires council approval for pavement alterations.
- Potential for debris accumulation needing occasional cleaning.
- If you don’t have reserved on-street parking, the gully may not always be available despite you paying for it.
A large portion of UK homes, especially in cities, do not have private driveways or garages where they can install a home EV charger. This makes EV charging more difficult.
Public charging infrastructure is still being built out and is not yet comprehensive in many areas. So residents without home charging rely heavily on public chargers.
On-street parking is common in the UK, but trailing cables across sidewalks from homes to EVs parked on the street can be hazardous.
Overall, for mass EV adoption, we need clever solutions like this for accessible home charging without driveways.
Any questions? Fire away below.