Electric vehicle charging infrastructure expands and evolves. Initially, there were only single, 20-50 kW chargers, followed by larger stations with multiple high-power chargers.
In one of the latest episodes, Bjørn Nyland visits a brand new, large station built by Circle K in Norway along one of the highways. It's actually the largest station in Norway, according to the video.
This station gives us glimpses of the future of EV charging, as it has almost everything that one could wish for.
There are several 300 kW ultra-fast chargers, supplied by Hypercharger, equipped with CCS2 plugs (500A, 1,000V) and outgoing CHAdeMOs (but only 50 kW, 125A, 500V). The drive-through layout of the station is similar to gas stations, which means that cars with trailers or long vehicles can easily use the chargers.
Additionally, there is a roof (with solar on top), lights, trash bins, vacuum, a place for kids and a shop with a restaurant and more. There is also battery energy storage on the side.
Bjørn Nyland notes that it is a much better offer than a simple charging station, like IONITY for example. Also, Tesla Superchargers do not offer too much aside from charging. From this perspective probably Fastned was a little bit ahead, but still lacking the surrounding infrastructure.
This particular Circle K station probably demonstrates the direction, in which the network heads. Soon other networks and gas stations might also adopt a similar concept that combines the proven layout of gas stations with the electric vehicle charging needs.
After all, the drive-through layout is very convenient and most of the rest of the gas station business remains the same. Finally, the scale of the EV market has tempted large companies to build something like this in prime locations.