The electric car is a promising idea that is still to take off in many locations. With limited mileage runs between charges, electric vehicles face real challenges from prospective car buyers who are eager to get in the electric car game but need to travel distances beyond the 70-100 mile range these vehicles are capable of going before needing to charge up.
A stylish new solar powered charging station by the German firm EIGHT in collaboration with BMW Group and architects LAVA is called ‘Point.One S’ and was installed this week at BMW Welt in Munich. The structure holds great promise for e-mobility and the future of electric vehicles. A prototype was released by LAVA in 2011.
Striking in its design, which echoes the sinuous forms and cleans lines of the architecture of the BMW Welt, the ‘Point.One S‘ charging station is designed for a single car and is therefore a good solution for small to medium-sized businesses and private homes. It can be customised with various technology options geared to the end user.
The version installed at BMW Welt is a single column that terminates in a striking canopy that users drive under. Solar cells on the roof provide energy for charging the batteries of electric cars, bicycles and public transport vehicles, and send any excess energy back to the grid.
The platform delivers pre-trip information to drivers, including an all-important range monitor. The station powers up quickly and incorporates LED lighting that interacts with users, changing in colour and brightness as they approach the charging point.
It is hoped that the installation will help fuel e-mobility and put more energy efficient vehicles on the road.