Gas stations aren't going to like this.
Right now, we're in a strange place with electric vehicle charging. Unlike gas stations, things aren't very uniform. When you go to a gas station, you know what's going on. An EV charger? Perhaps not so much. Which brand do you use? Is it fast charging like Tesla's Supercharger network? Or will those electrons trickle slowly into your car with all the pace of a teenager being called out of their room to do chores?
Electrify America thinks they may have a solution to change that. If you hadn't guessed, the idea is based on a concept we're all intimately familiar with: the gas station. This plan of theirs also comes alongside the introduction of the next generation of Electrify America chargers.
The EV charging brand calls it "The Charging Station of the Future, Today." The name could use a bit of work but the concept is solid. There'll be customer waiting areas, both indoors and outdoors, as well as a dedicated event space and an "electric vehicle showcase area." So imagine something like a hybrid between a car dealership and a gas station, and you've got the idea.
Those outdoor rest areas will be covered with solar awnings. Basically, they're sunshades with solar panels baked in. The energy gathered from those is fed into batteries which will discharge into your car's battery. We all know the pain of not being able to find a charger for your Tesla Model S or Polestar 2 or, well, any EV. These stations hope to solve all that with a whole lot of chargers.
Electrify America says up to 20 will be present at these charging stations. Frankly, we're all for the idea of a more welcoming gas station with a green thumb. As convenient as they are, you'd probably be hard-pressed to think of a gas station you'd like to spend any real-time in. Automakers like Audi have been looking into the idea for a while now, and it's going to be interesting to see who makes it happen first.