Charging Station of the Future

With the increasing number of electric cars, the gas station is becoming a discontinued model. Instead, more and more charging stations are being opened, some of which coexist with gas stations, but also very often in completely new locations. After all, there are only power cables to lay and not a tank of toxic liquids to bury.

Since electric cars currently still need at least 20 to 30 minutes or even longer to get a sufficient charge of electricity, the question arises as to what a charging station can look like that helps drivers:inside and passengers to pass the time pleasantly.

Canadian service station operator Parkland, which operates 3,000 service stations in 25 countries, was one of the main sponsors for a design competition on what charging stations of the future might look like. And there were some very interesting submissions, ranging from fitness rooms and parks to cafés and children’s playgrounds. All using natural and dignified materials.

Since the requirements for the experience with charging stations differ from gas stations, they must also be designed differently. While you might spend just 5 minutes at a gas station, and they are often in unattractive and uninviting locations, you stay at least 20 to 30 minutes at charging stations. With that, they need to be inviting and safely set up, and provide distraction opportunities. Also, these designs were intended to trigger a bit of electric car envy among drivers of gasoline and diesel cars, organizers said.

In the next step, Parkland intends to erect the stations at the first locations. The design of the winner also allows, among other things, the expansion of the stations through a modular system.

The first prize went to an architect in Edinburgh in Scotland, the second to architects in Istanbul in Turkey, and the third to an architect in Berlin, Germany. The winners were selected by an international jury.

Here’s an image gallery of the winners, and there are more examples of the other submissions on the contest page:

And here are a few more videos of the winners:

This article was also published in German.

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