ONEPOLE for Everyone: Universal Design, needless to say…

Geir Pettersen

Freelance Journalist

09/12/23

Everyone should have equal access to services, products, and ease of movement, regardless of their level of functionality. That's why we've designed the ONEPOLE pedestal, along with its accessories, in close collaboration with knowledgeable and demanding stakeholders, including charger manufacturers, charge point operators (CPOs), and the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD).

 

-It's easier for a tall person to bend down than for someone with a disability to stand up, says Freddy Ulvseth later in this article.

He is the regional leader of the Norwegian Association of Disabled in Agder, Norway and a partial wheelchair user. Ulvseth has extensive experience with both things that work and things that don't. In an exemplary manner, the regional leader described how crucial details are. It's these details that we are committed to finding.

 

Full Flexibility 

A charging pedestal is simply a pedestal designed for connecting electric vehicle chargers. It may seem straightforward, but several prerequisites must come together to create a product that is flexible, durable, reasonably priced, and accessible to all. The ONEPOLE pedestal is available in standard heights from 1 to 1.5 meters. We also manufacture them in other heights based on customer preferences. ONEPOLE comes in various forms, and thanks to a rich range of accessories, it can be used anywhere and with different chargers. 
Feel free to read more about ONEPOLE here

 

A Better Solution 

The developer of ONEPOLE, Sven Olav Sjeggestad, has extensive experience in the electrical industry. The background for product development is a desire to create products that solve challenges in better ways and are easy to use. Many of the products he has created (or which the company Q-Light produces) are multifunctional, with various customization options or combinations.

- Why did you put so much effort into designing the charging station with such flexibility?
- One of our customers had grown tired of having to use different pedestals for the two types of chargers they installed. The company that contacted us installs both chargers. Therefore, they needed to always have pedestals for both variants in stock. They found it unnecessarily cumbersome and cost-intensive, responds the product developer.

The customer asked if Q-Light could develop and produce charging stations that were more flexible and affordable than those on the market, allowing them to mount a single post and then connect any charger they desired. The following week, the first ONEPOLE charging station was ready for installation.

 

Setting the Bar High 

However, meeting the customer's wishes was not enough. The purpose of the pedestals is to charge electric vehicles. That's where Freddy Ulvseth from the Norwegian Association of Disabled comes into the story, but first, DEFA. DEFA is a family-owned Norwegian technology company established in 1946. Driven by the search for new connections between technology and people, DEFA has evolved into a leading international charging company.

- It's important never to compromise on quality because we want to exceed customer expectations, says DEFAs quality manager Tobias Johansson 
 

Their success is due, in part, to DEFA always valuing user-friendliness and simplicity for their customers as an essential part of their values.

 

For the User's Benefit 

This uncompromising commitment aligns with Q-Light's values. That's why we invited them to collaborate with us in our efforts to make products more inclusive and sustainable and as user-friendly as possible for everyone. 


- We are very pleased to be working with ONEPOLE because our products, together, will provide an optimal user experience for customers, describes DEFA.

On our side, at Q-Light, we are proud of our collaboration with DEFA and with NAD, which is crucial in such an important matter as this.

 

Falling Short 

- We in NAD are involved in many things, including universal design. Things can look good on a picture but may not be practically useful when it comes down to it. Often, simple solutions are all that's needed to eliminate what can be a significant problem, explains Freddy Ulvseth.

- When we talk to politicians, we emphasize that they must listen to those who face these challenges. We know where it pinches. It's much cheaper to do things right the first time than to correct mistakes later. I drive an electric vehicle myself and have become familiar with the issues related to being in a wheelchair and needing to charge a car.

- What's the problem?

- It's often impossible to reach the charger. There are many illegal chargers out there, chargers that many of us can't use because they are placed on pedestals or are placed elsewhere but too high for us to reach. Sometimes the screens are angled incorrectly as well. Installers place chargers where it's easiest to mount them, without considering that people in wheelchairs need to reach them too. That's why it's very convenient, even for installers, that Q-Light has taken on the task of designing a pedestal that is just right, he replies.

- You have provided input in other processes before. How would you describe this project?

- People at Q-Light are very willing to ask for them to learn, rather than assuming they know everything themselves. When architects and others ask us to recommend a supplier motivated to do the job right, it's very easy for us to say: Contact Q-Light. They are fundamentally concerned with user-friendliness and, through their product development, have set a clear standard for good universal design, responds Freddy Ulvseth, regional leader of the Norwegian Association of Disabled in Agder. 
 

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