Electrify America has introduced a redesign of its charging stations in an effort to make them more user-friendly. Labels that clearly indicate charging levels, a new “balanced charging” system that delivers the maximum charge possible to each vehicle, and clearer payment options are among the changes. According to the company, the updates were made in response to Electric vehicle driver surveys and are intended to create a more familiar “gas station”-like experience.
One of the main problems with charging stations, they found, is that users often don’t know the charging speeds of their own Electrical vehicles — so the current labelling (CCS and CHAdeMO) may not make sense. To that end, Electrify America will keep the CHAdeMo label for low-level charging (up to 50kW), but will use new labels above that: Ultra-Fast (up to 150kW) and Hyper-Fast (up to 350kW), similar to mid-grade and premium gas options. Up top, it also displays one, two, or three lightning bolts for charging levels, the type of plug, and CHAdeMO or CCS labelling.
“We want to simplify the transition to Electric vehicle charging easier by translating kilowatt ratings into simple names like Hyper-Fast and Ultra-Fast, with corresponding colours to help them make a selection at the charger,” said Robert Barrosa of Electrify America.
Furthermore, the company is introducing “Balanced Charging” for each pair of chargers in a single power cabinet to ensure your Electric vehicle receives the maximum kilowatts possible. For example, if a vehicle capable of receiving a 150kW charge approaches a charging station, the charger will detect its capacity and deliver the maximum 150kW. If another vehicle with a capacity of 280kW approaches, it will automatically deliver 200kW to the second vehicle until the first requests less than 150kW. Each charger that supports that system will be clearly labelled “Balanced.”
Finally, it will make payment simpler. You can charge as a member (via NFC) or as a guest (via credit/debit card terminal) at a station, but many users were unsure which to use. To that end, the company has created new labels to indicate where members should tap their phones in the NFC target area. The credit card readers are also more clearly labelled, making it easier for guests to understand where to insert their card. In addition, the company made it easier to contact support in the event of a problem by making the phone number more visible and adding a QR code.
Electrify America previously stated that by 2026, it will have 1,800 fast charging stations and 10,000 individual chargers across North America. Many of these chargers will be able to accommodate the most recent EVs, such as the Porsche Taycan, which can handle up to a 270 kW charge. It also recently revealed its charging station of the future, which includes customer lounges, solar canopies, and other features. The company will replace all charging station speed, contact, and payment labels, and any “new stations will feature balanced charging functionality.”