Electric Charging Stations and Their Many Variations

Posted by: Lydia on 5/11/2020

Category: General

Over the past decade, worldwide electric car sales have had close to a 50% gain year-on-year, as consumers work towards reducing global emissions. Countries such as Denmark and France even have plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars in the coming years.

As electric car sales rise, so does the demand for charging stations. In 2018 alone there was a 44% global increase of charging points, bringing the total number to approximately 5.2 million worldwide. Comparethemarket.com.au has created a set of concept images that explore 5 different charging stations that are already in use or in development (fast-charging, solar-powered, wireless, hydrogen fuel and dynamic conductive charging), and how they could hypothetically look in the 10 countries with the highest amount of electric vehicle sales.

Fast Charging

1. Fast-charging stations.The advanced technology used in this type of station means that they are likely to be incredibly useful in and around highly trafficked cities that are supported by a strong energy network. We could expect to see this design accompanied by increased power from the current 250 kilowatts (kW) to a potential 400kW, which is believed to satisfy requirements for most long-distance journeys in around 10 minutes. Fast charging also generates a lot of heat, so we are likely to see liquid-cooling methods used for more advanced fast-charging stations in the future, as it is more effective than air-cooling.

Where might we see this technology?

New York City, USA

London, UK

Shenzen, China

Oslo, Norway

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Zurich, Switzerland

Paris, France

Frankfurt, Germany

Vienna, Austria

Brussels, Belgium


Solar Charging 

2. Solar charging stations. This type of charging station provides clean energy for vehicles by supplying their own power. They are likely to be seen in sunny cities that have limited skyscrapers to optimize their performance. Some features include self-powering technology, advanced battery storage for when the weather prohibits the panels from charging, and smaller panel sizes for efficiency.

Where might we see this technology?

Phoenix, USA

Eastbourne, UK

Chengdu, China

Kvamsøy, Norway

Maarstricht, the Netherlands

Zermatt, Switzerland

Marseille, France

Freiburg, Germany

Klagenfurt, Austria

Ghent, Belgium


Wireless Charging 

3. Wireless charging stations.Although primarily used in hand-held devices, wireless charging technology is currently being developed for use on electric cars. It could be a useful design for people’s homes as well as in public spaces with plenty of car parks. Some of the best design elements include space-saving capabilities and the convenience of not needing to be physically connected to any existing structure.

Where might we see this technology?

San Francisco, USA

Cambridge, UK

Shanghai, China

Bergen, Norway

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Lausanne, Switzerland

Bordeaux, France

Düsseldorf, Germany

Linz, Austria

Antwerp, Belgium


Hydrogen Fuelling 

4. Hydrogen fuel refuelling stations. This alternative method consists of using a clean energy source in the form of hydrogen fuel cells and converting liquid hydrogen into electricity. As it is a liquid, refuelling with hydrogen takes the same amount of time as petrol or diesel takes to top up. Although it is the most common element in the universe, there are some setback to hydrogen refuelling such as less-developed technology and the requirement for tank storage space.

Where might we see this technology?

Los Angeles, USA

Cobham, UK

Wuhan, China

Stavanger, Norway

The Hague, the Netherlands

Dübendorf, Switzerland

Sarreguemines, France

Mönchengladbach, Germany

Innsbruck, Austria

Zavantem, Belgium


Dynamic Conductive Charging 

5. Dynamic conductive charging. Contrary to most station designs which require the vehicle to be stationary, this technology is designed to charge cars as they move along the road. The reduced downtime is the main highlight of this charging type, which has been in trial since 2016 on a test track in Sandviken, Sweden. Similar to hydrogen stations, dynamic charging presents some obstacles, especially surrounding the safety and mobility of the design.

Where might we see this technology?

Long Beach, USA

Salisbury, UK

Kunming, China

Trondheim, Norway

Almere, the Netherlands

Bern, Switzerland

Tours, France

Wuppertal, Germany

Graz, Austria

Charleroi, Belgium


Visit comparethemarket.com.au to see the full research behind each type of charging station including challenges with electric cars, imagery of the technology and the methodology behind the chosen cities.