When it comes to EV charging stations, what’s old is new again!

A Blog by Ron Groves – Plug’n Drive’s Manager of Education and Outreach

Attendants on roller skates? Drive-up EV chargers under a solar canopy? Wait! We’ve seen this before and it sounds like the A&W drive-up burger joints we saw back in the 50s. A little bit retro methinks.

This was the conversation my buddy Kent and I were having the other day. What might a DC Quick station for EVs look like? And the more we talked and joked about the features, the more it started to sound like one of those A&W burger joints.

The old and new.fw

Consider this scenario… You and your family have decided to head to Niagara Falls from Toronto in your EV. At highway speeds, most pure EVs (Tesla excepted) won’t quite make it, especially in the winter. And stopping for 2 hours or more to charge at 30A doesn’t have anyone jumping with excitement. So, stopping at a DC Quick charger along the way that can almost refill your battery in 25 minutes is just the answer.

But sitting in your car, with nothing to do, without refreshments, and for the kids, no entertainment, heaven forbid even for 25 minutes, is not a pleasant prospect. So what to do for 25 minutes? A free wi-fi hotspot would keep the kids happy. So if you don’t need a bathroom break, the next obvious answer is food. A drive thru doesn’t work because no EV is driving anywhere while charging.

So what if the food came to you? Using an app on your smartphone, you can order and pay for your food.  While you are waiting, a large screen in front of your parking spot can be connected to the cars sound system via Bluetooth.  Using another app on your phone controls the screen to deliver news, weather, sports, traffic updates or the menu for the restaurant.

Of course there would be some advertising around the screen real estate a la CP24.  And then your meal comes on a tray that can be attached to your vehicles rolled down window. Right out of the 50’s!  While the vehicle is charging, shore power can keep the interior warm or cool, heating the seats, running the sound system and the navigation. Very cozy!

There won’t be oil to check, but the attendant could clean the windows and top off the washer fluid.  Tires might need a few pounds of air. 25 minutes later both you and your car are refreshed ready for the next leg of your journey, and you never left the vehicle.  If that had been a gasoline powered car, all that idling would have wasted fuel and contributed to green house gas emissions.  But your EV was sipping on an electrical grid that in Ontario is almost carbon free.  Now that is an efficient pit stop.  And even better than in the old days.

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