Volkswagen-owned Electrify America plans to make its new charging stations more user-friendly with solar panel awnings and waiting lounges.
"Charging an electric car isn’t as straightforward as refilling a gas tank. Recharging times can vary depending on the vehicle type and power source. Battery experts claim that charging times will eventually shrink to around 10 minutes, but not for years to come."
To improve the experience, writes Andrew J. Hawkins in The Verge, Volkswagen's Electrify America charging company "aims to make charging as comfortable and seamless as possible" by installing "human-centered stations" in several California cities and New York. The stations will feature awnings with solar panels and a waiting area.
"The company’s new stations are organized around comfort, security, and amenities, with a nod toward the length of time it takes to recharge an EV," according to Hawkins. "The most notable change for Electrify America’s current design is the inclusion of solar panel awnings, which have the dual effect of sheltering customers from the sun and inclement weather while also supplying power for the station’s operations."
As Hawkins writes, "The charging experience in the US is extremely fragmented, especially for people who don’t own a Tesla. While Tesla’s Supercharger network has been praised for its seamless user experience and fast charging ability, the opposite appears to be true for pretty much everyone else." But EV proponents see hope in the Biden administration's $5 billion investment in EV chargers. "Experts in urban policy and electrification have said that the money authorized for a nationwide network of EV chargers would have a measurable impact on Americans’ car-buying choices," making it possible for more Americans to make the switch.
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