The move from traditional engine vehicles to Electric Vehicles is driving a need for engineered equipment and infrastructure to support the transformation. The arrival of advanced technologies and the exponential growth predicted for electric vehicle charging is inviting industrial designers to consider a new mix of design challenges.
As more EV Charging Stations are deployed, there is a need for well-designed and secure enclosures to protect the equipment. These enclosures must be effectively and seamlessly integrated into existing urban environments, and they must be regularly accessed by both technical personnel and the general public. That access needs to be highly secure and well managed, yet at the same time easy to use and cleanly integrated into the built environment.
There are a range of best practices that can be followed for adding engineered access hardware to EV Charging infrastructure, including the role that usability, security and longevity of this equipment plays in the design process. Selecting the right hardware can enhance this equipment, as well as the competitive value of enclosure technologies.
Nevertheless, industrial designers need to be equally aware of ways to incorporate access systems cleanly into enclosures so that they seamlessly merge into our built cityscapes, through the use of hidden hinges and elegantly designed latches that complement industrial design.
EV Chargers: new fixtures for the smart city
EV charging stations will eventually become as ubiquitous as the gasoline station, with much of the same requirement: the ability for the EV driver to access the charger, connect it to their vehicle and “pay at the pump”. As well as appearing next to the traditional gas pump at gas stations, EV charging stations will find their way into parking lots, convenience stores and streetscapes.
That creates a security risk: EV charging stations contain expensive electrical equipment and have direct links to communications networks, making them targets for thieves and hackers. Since they are in unsupervised locations, EV charging station designers must carefully consider incorporating the same level of secure access hardware, including top-level electronic access solutions with audit trail capabilities, to provide the same level of protection that 5G enclosures require.
There is a clear trend toward designing EV charging stations to incorporate branding elements and distinctive visual designs so that EV vehicle operators can easily spot them. Electronic access solutions providers can help support this industrial design challenge with concealed locking mechanisms and hardware that help achieve marketing design goals.
Help selecting the right access hardware
The smart city is not going to be built out in an empty field — in almost all cases the technology to make a city “smarter” will need to be retrofitted into our existing cityscapes. This is one of the most critical challenges design engineers face when creating enclosure designs and selecting access hardware to secure them.
A key source of support and creative solutions for these challenges is a proven access hardware supplier with extensive experience addressing both functional and aesthetic challenges. They can often draw on existing portfolios and design concepts to help solve these critical engineering and design challenges.
Choosing a proven supplier can be the “smart” move to ensuring that the technology infrastructure enabling the benefits of the smart city is well protected, easily accessed and intelligently woven into existing urban environments.