The anxiety over the availability of electric charging stations across the country is becoming a thing of the past… yet another problem arises – how can we make these stations more functional? And what do we mean by that?
Depending on the type of car and its charging capabilities, when going to an electric charging station, you might need to wait for an hour, if not more, for your vehicle to charge. That’s too much for you, so you decide to charge it for 30 minutes. Now, being at a regular gas station for 30 minutes or more comes easy. There’s a shop, a cafe/restaurant where you can sit, and other basic amenities available to you, in case you need them. But with charging stations, things look a little different. There has been an overabundance of weirdly placed stations nestled away in parking lots, frequently far from any convenience stores. Sometimes it takes a couple of minutes to check if the electric charging station has been abandoned or not. That is how bad some of them appear. Because of this, EV charging stations must include either basic necessities like a place where you can sit and grab something to eat/drink, or be placed near someplace that offers these things.
Electrify America has unveiled a new design it calls The Charging Station of the Future, Today, in an attempt to progressively transform this state of things. When the first sites open later this year, they will be among the first of their kind in the United States. Dedicated charging hubs with a few modern comforts we generally take for granted at petrol stations have been a long time coming.
The new station architecture has been developed to lower the charger’s size, allowing for more EVs to be charged at a given station. Canopies will protect owners from the sun and severe weather, and the chargers will have significantly longer wires to allow an EV to access a charging station from any direction.
To avoid glare, the chargers will have recessed touchscreens that are shaded from the light. Finally, solar cells on the overhanging canopies will generate supplemental electricity for these stations, a feature we just saw on Shell’s showcase station in the UK.
Electrify America would develop charging stations near retail areas, which may offer curbside delivery choices or even valet charging services, for the comfort and convenience of owners. Stations might include customer lounges depending on their location, as we recently saw with Audi’s charging center design in Germany. The stations might include up to 20 DC fast-chargers with charging powers of between 150 and 350 kW, which is a lot more than we’re used to seeing at charging stations.
Some of the first locations that Electrify America will target for this project will include San Francisco, San Diego, Beverly Hills, Manhattan as well as Brooklyn.