harging up is about to become a part of infrastructure. With more than 300 million electric vehicles (EVs) expected on the roads by 2030, radical shifts in how people juice up while on the road are coming. EV charging stations will become part of the infrastructure of every town and city. While charging stations have been strictly utilitarian up until this point, it can be expected that they will evolve to become more experiential, more commercialized, and full of added value for EV owners. What does the EV charging station of the future look like? Take a look at eight things that can be assumed about the electric vehicle charging stations coming to a town near everyone.
"If half of all cars sold by 2030 were electric, EVs could make up between 60%-70% of cars on the road by 2050," according to Reuters.
Expect safety to be a big part of the design of future EV stations. Designers will meet the demand for well-lit, monitored spaces that make EV owners feel good about pulling in. It's also likely that there will be measures for vetting cars to ensure that only EVs are permitted to pull in. EV charging stations will be designed as havens that act like warm, bright beacons on the road where drivers can pull over with confidence. Charging stations are also likely to operate on a 24-hour basis. While they will rely heavily on automation and self-service features, it's likely that customers will prefer stations that have a "human" presence for both customer service and safety reasons.
EV charging stations won't just transform the way people power their cars. They'll be at the forefront of sustainable design. Expect for EV charging stations to be designed using sustainable elements like solar-energy harvesting and rainwater collection. It's also likely that builders and designers will prioritize the use of sustainable building materials.
The EV charging station of the future will be an affair for the whole family. With each charging session taking up to 40 minutes, it's impossible to focus on the design without considering how a busy family might interact with the landscape. Designers will prioritize spaces where families can get out of the car to stretch their muscles. This means a combination of grassy areas, paved walkways, and areas for sitting. Designers are also likely to add in everything from games to playgrounds in areas where space permits.
EV charging stations are likely to evolve into one-stop shops where people can combine charging time with everything from errand time to leisure time. Designers will hone in on the average person's desire to multitask by providing stores, restaurants, nail salons, massage clinics, and more to help people turn charging time into a productive time. Expect planners to also try to integrate some unconventional retail opportunities into EV stations. For instance, there may be spaces for farmers' markets.
There's speculation that some EV charging stations of the future might resemble airport lounges. These will be relaxing, temperature-controlled areas where people can sit down to catch up on work, check the news, or sip coffee while getting away from the weather for a little while. Like airport lounges, EV station lounges will likely have high-end cafés and coffee bars.
Yes, EV charging stations of the future are likely to feature many bells and whistles that entice people to get out for a bit to stretch their legs while doing some shopping, dining, or walking. However, designers will also need to take into consideration the needs of people who prefer to stay inside their EVs. Expect apps to do much of the work to help these vehicle owners get in on the experience. Location-specific apps will allow people to plug into the option for ordering drinks and food from their car. Picture the old "car hop" approach to fast food with a high-tech twist. EV owners will have the option to order from their cars to have treats delivered directly to their doors.
With "home charging" being such a convenient option, it's reasonable to expect that a large portion of EV owners pulling up to a charging station are from out of town. As a result, charging stations are likely to offer products and services that cater to people traveling for work or leisure. The merchandise offered might reflect more of what you find at a truck stop than a local convenience store. In addition, it's likely that some EV charging stations will offer everything from showers to sleeping pods.
EV charging stations of the future will be fully integrated with mobile devices. This will allow patrons to handle payment, loyalty rewards, and special offers on a fully contactless basis. In fact, patrons will likely be able to use touchless payment during every interaction they have with adjacent vendors.
From an infrastructure perspective, many people see EV charging stations as representing a chance to do an edit to correct all of the mistakes that have been made when planning conventional retail spaces. Builders and designers are likely to emphasize sustainable, eco-friendly designs that create spaces that encourage patrons to get out of their cars. EV charging stations are coming. However, there's still a lot up in the air regarding how infrastructural realities and driver needs will intersect.