COBE has unveiled the first of 48 ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicle (EVs) in Scandinavia. Built in cooperation with Powered by E.ON Drive & Clever, 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 the Danish city of 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 optimize the car’s charging time but also offer a meaningful mental break for people to rejuvenate themselves while on the move.
COBE’s design, which won the infrastructure award of the 2018 Danish Building Awards for its groundbreaking 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.
“Electric vehicles are the way of the future. With our design we offer EV drivers a time-out and an opportunity to mentally recharge in a green oasis. The energy and the technology are green, so we wanted the architecture, the materials and the concept to reflect that. So, we designed a charging station in sustainable materials placed in a clean, calm setting with trees and plantings that offer people a dose of mindfulness on the highway,” says Dan Stubbergaard, architect and founder of COBE.
The charging stations consist of a series of structural “trees”. They feature with canopies much like the crowns of trees that filters and offers shade and protection from the elements while defining a green setting and a calming atmosphere. A wild contrast to a traditional gas station where lines of vehicles and the smells of gas fumes and car exhaust are the norm.
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.
The first of the ultra-fast charging stations, opened last week, offers a relaxed experience in nature with a capacity of recharging four EVs simultaneously. The Fredericia charging station is constructed as a grove of 12 “trees” with a total crown of 400-m2, rendered in a mix of open and closed roof panels. The goal is for both the new and the coming charging stations to offer users a pleasant, restful and Zen-like feel that may even, hopefully, make the roads safer.
In the longer term, ultra-fast charging stations can also help make it more attractive to invest in EVs and thus promote the transition from fossil fuels to more green, more energy-efficient and CO2-neutral transportation both in Denmark and abroad.