Electrify America upgrades charging stations with solar canopies, battery storage, more customer amenities

Electrify America has announced “a new design vision” for some of its future charging stations, and will soon introduce a next-generation charger with updates to improve the charging experience.  

EA says its Charging Station of the Future will add design and comfort elements such as solar canopies and awnings, customer waiting areas and other customer-focused services, at select locations. The company will showcase the transition in 2022 and 2023 at new “flagship” charging facilities in Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego, Beverly Hills, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

“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,” said CEO Giovanni Palazzo. “These new designs will help elevate the charging experience for our customers.”

The improvements are timely. umlaut’s 2021 EV Charging Infrastructure Benchmark highlighted the importance of the physical surroundings and amenities of a charging station. Of the seven national networks tested, EA scored second in this category, behind Tesla.

Some of the new showcase stations will feature up to 20 ultra-fast (150 kW and up) DC chargers. Some locations will add customer lounges, overhead solar canopies to shield customers from the weather, security cameras and additional lighting. Stations at shopping locations may offer valet charging and curbside delivery options.

Electrify America is currently adding solar awnings to 400-500 individual chargers at 100 stations across the country. In addition to providing shelter from the sun and rain, the solar awnings will help power the station’s operations. The company is also adding on-site battery energy storage systems to more than 150 stations, which will help manage the energy load to the grid and capture excess solar energy.

EA’s next-generation charger will offer up to 350 kW of charging power, and will feature a new design that reduces the footprint of the charger, an improved touchscreen and an all-new cable management system.

“The momentum moving us closer to an electric transportation system is accelerating, with consumers finding more and more choices of EVs from virtually every manufacturer,” Palazzo said.  “Our customer research shows the need to transition to a more inviting charging experience that accommodates the human experience with waiting areas and other conveniences.”

Source: Electrify America

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