Fredericia charging station- flagship station
New ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicles have now been unveiled in the Danish city of Fredericia. The stations are designed by COBE and offer to recharge the batteries of both vehicles and drivers. In cooperation with Powered by E.ON Drive & Clever, COBE has designed a new type of charging station for electric vehicles (EVs) in Scandinavia. The stations not only promise to recharge a vehicle in just 15 minutes but also offer drivers and passengers a welcome break and the chance to recharge their own mental batteries while the car is being powered up.
The new charging station is centrally located on the E20 motorway in Fredericia. The first of its kind, it is part of an upcoming network of 48 ultra-fast EV charging stations along Scandinavian highways. In the future, electricity will replace fossil fuels in our vehicles. However, while it currently takes around five minutes to fill up the gas tank, recharging an EV is a much more time-consuming process. In our busy everyday lives, every minute counts. Thus, future charging stations should not only optimise the car’s charging time but also offer a meaningful mental break for people to rejuvenate themselves while on the move.
PREMIER CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE spoke to Project Manager, Ulrich Pohl of COBE. He said:
“This was primarily an EU project. The EU proposed funding for us to do this project in the middle of September 2017.I only became project manager at the time we were planning designs in further detail down the line, and I have been on the project since November until it finished recently.
“We’ve had projects on this scale before, and done projects with future mobility in mind, but not charging stations specifically. With the design, the client left it up to us; it was left up to us for open discussion, and so we came up with proposals and analysis of what traditional gas stations do at the moment and then the client came to the conclusion that they would like to do something that is quite contradictory to the current market.
“From our research of old gas stations, we saw that a lot of them were colour focused with logos and the rest was pretty boring, but we wanted to do it differently. We realised we might not need a sign on the gas station where it’s usually placed but decided that the logo should be an icon in itself and the architecture used for it would let it speak for itself; and also something that tells the story of the build.”
COBE’s design, which won the infrastructure award at the 2018 Danish Building Awards for its ground-breaking architecture, revolves around a green rethink of the traditional gas station. The new ultra-fast charging stations, currently being installed, are a place where drivers can quickly and efficiently recharge their vehicle and themselves.
Ulrich continued: “We’ve turned towards more elegant and modern design and have moved away from the association of stress and fumes. It stands that the charging still takes a while longer than filling a car up with gas, so the idea was to make this break and time spent waiting useful and valuable to the user. We decided to give it some kind of character so that it could become an enjoyable mental recharge too.
“One of the core ideas here was to incorporate the green card; a landscape in the middle of the station that invites you to rest and enjoy the space. You don’t have the same noise or fumes as you’d have at a gas station and that’s why we thought we could put something that could happen next to you. It reduces the commercial overload that typical gas stations have so we’ve created an environment you’d actually enjoy being in.”
Thanks to a modular design concept the stations are scalable so a single “tree” can easily become an entire “grove” depending on the need. The stations are constructed in certified wood and concrete,
topped by solar panels and surrounded by actual trees, grass and other plantings selected in cooperation with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation with the aim of enhancing biodiversity around the station. All components of the construction can be broken down into usable and recyclable materials and the choice of wood as a building material further emphasizes the building’s sustainable design.