Electrify America announced a new design vision for some of its future charging stations, with a set of enhancements to exceed customer expectations.
The network, which currently operates more than 730 stations in the U.S. (and over 2,400 CCS charging stalls, plus some CCS-CHAdeMO and AC Level 2), would like to improve the design of the stations, as well as introduce next-generation chargers, add solar awnings and more onsite battery energy storage systems.
The new vision - called "The Charging Station of the Future, Today" - was presented in a collection of images that highlight new design and comfort elements such as solar canopies and awnings, customer waiting areas, and other customer-focused services at select locations.
"The company plans to showcase this transition with installation in 2022 and 2023 in select new flagship charging facilities in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego and Beverly Hills, California and in New York within Manhattan and Brooklyn. Currently the company has flagship charging stations located in Baker, California and Santa Clara, California. "
A Customer-Centric Charging Experience
The new vision includes new features and bigger stations, with up to 20 individual chargers:
- Customer lounges, electric vehicle showcase areas, dedicated event space
- Overhead solar canopies to shield customers from the sun and inclement weather
- On-site security cameras and additional lighting
- Charging stations located at select shopping locations may offer valet charging and curbside delivery option
The company announced that it is currently adding solar awnings to 400-500 individual chargers at 100 charging stations to provide shelter from the sun and weather elements as well as generate some additional electricity.
Solar canopies were already installed at the flagship charging stations in Baker and Santa Clara, California.
Interesting is the announcement about the next generation ultra-fast charger. According to the press release, the power level will still be up to 150 and 350 kW, but the charger's design was redesigned with functional and design features to simplify the customer experience.
The next-generation charger will also feature:
- An all-new design that refines the look and reduces the footprint of the charger
- A recessed and brighter HMI (human-machine interface) screen to help reduce the glare from sunlight making it easier for customers to view the operational instructions and charging progress
- A single connector cable with an all-new cable management system to ease the effort to plug in the cable no matter where the charging port resides on a customer’s EV
- A reduced footprint of both the charger and power cabinets will allow installation of more equipment in space constrained, urban locations.
The company adds that it will keep the green glow "that customers have come to recognize and embrace, and continue to stand at an easily recognizable at 8 feet tall."
Battery Energy Storage Systems
The battery energy storage systems (BESS) were already used on a high scale by Electrify America. Before the end of 2021, the company installed ESS at 140 stations, achieving a combined output of 30 MW.
The plan is to increase the deployment of onsite battery energy storage systems to more than 150 additional BESS.
Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America said:
“Electrify America will be reinventing the look and feel at many of our charging stations to meet and exceed the expectations of customers moving from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric lifestyle. These new designs will help elevate the charging experience for our customers, building on the foundation of our ultra-fast and reliable coast-to-coast network.”