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E.ON and Graft Architects have presented a modular charging station.
Ultra-fast charging station by E.ON and Graft Architects © GRAFT Architects, 2021

Suppliers of power for electric vehicles (EVs) not only need to build up a network of rapid-charging stations, but also must respond to the changes in customer expectations that longer stopovers cause. The time taken to charge batteries changes the order in which processes occur at these “modern service stations”, making new facilities and services necessary. In conjunction with its partners, E.ON operates one of Europe’s largest charging networks for EVs and has installed over 36,000 charging stations at its customers’ locations in 25 countries. On behalf of E.ON Drive, Graft Architects and Graft Brandlab have now developed an ultra-fast charging station with an elegant steel canopy construction. It consists of an expandable module system that can be easily adapted to future requirements.

An initial prototype has recently been completed at the E.ON main office in Essen. Based on two base modules, the system can cater for a large number of charging and parking situations. The smaller of the two modules can be combined to make small or extra-small stations, for example. With a rectangular footprint of roughly 3.5 by 5 metres, it has been developed for use in existing car parks and motorway service areas. Thanks to the self-supporting steel construction, the modules can be expanded in a linear fashion to create smaller drive-through options with up to four charging points. In an urban context, stations like these provide covered barrier-free parking in parallel or angled configurations. The lighting that is integrated into the frames automatically turns on when the charging zone is occupied.

The frames can be configured in different ways, with an opaque rooftop with or without vegetation, or with a glass rooftop with or without integrated solar-panel modules. When installed, the solar panels provide energy for the lounge and integrated media technology. The lounges feature fully glazed exterior walls to create a protected space that is visually open to its surroundings. The interior makes use of natural materials, with the design integrating media elements such as touchscreens that customers can use to communicate directly with operators.

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