Stations of the future handbook

The Stations of the Future Handbook is designed to help cities evaluate different types and configurations of electric vehicle charging stations. It was created through our EU-funded User-Chi project. The document outlines four types of future charging stations designed to meet the specific requirements of electric vehicle users, including those using ‘light electric vehicles’ (such as scooters). It was created after a process of extensive qualitative and quantitative research in Norway, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Italy, and Spain, exploring users’ charging needs, demands, and barriers.

You can read the full handbook here, or check out the summary below.

Infrastructure requirements

There are several ‘must-have’ and ‘incremental gain’ requirements for charging infrastructure, such as:

  • A dense network of charging points, crucial in urban and highway contexts.
  • User-friendly booking systems to ensure availability upon arrival.
  • Standardisation of technical components and enhanced interoperability across Europe.
  • Integration of advanced digital features, such as real-time charging status updates and automatic user detection.

Additional services and sustainability

Future charging stations should be paired with additional services, like retail or leisure activities, especially in urban settings or along highways, which can enhance the user experience during charging times. Sustainability remains a core value that users expect to be reflected in all aspects of electromobility, including the charging process.

Different user groups have different needs. Those in urban areas have more need for light electric vehicles like scooters. For female users, it is important to ensure safer and more accessible charging options, for example in private settings.

Intermodal stations

Intermodal stations should combine a variety of services such as standard and fast charging, vehicle maintenance, parking, catering services, lockers, and co-working spaces, enhancing user convenience at key transport nodes like railway stations or universities. The technology array includes both slow and fast chargers and facilities for shared mobility, such as electric scooters and bikes, supported by versatile payment options.

Diagram of an intermodal electric charging station
Diagram of an intermodal electric charging station

These stations are typically integrated into natural settings and require significant space. The market strategy for intermodal stations emphasises their role in strategic locations, offering high-value services like grid balancing and energy storage. This model targets a diverse audience, including private drivers, public transport companies, and electromobility providers, focusing on harmonised charging standards and provider roaming solutions.

Highway stations

Designed for motorists on long journeys, highway stations should be equipped with fast charging solutions, vehicle maintenance, retail outlets, fitness areas, and playgrounds. They focus heavily on fast DC charging technology and incorporate a charger reservation system to reduce wait times. Situated along major highways, these stations are essential for long-distance travel, requiring expansive spaces to accommodate the range of services offered.

Diagram of highway electric charging station
Diagram of highway electric charging station

The marketing strategy for highway stations targets private and professional electric vehicle drivers, emphasising convenience and the availability of multiple ancillary services like logistics support and emergency support. The business model revolves around partnerships with highway operators, charging point operators, and grid infrastructure managers to ensure seamless service and infrastructure integration.

Light electric vehicle chargers

Light electric vehicle chargers should be designed to support urban mobility for users of e-bikes and e-scooters. These stations offer secure and vertical parking solutions, integrating solar-powered chargers into urban furniture such as streetlamps and bus canopies, ideally located near educational and recreational facilities. Within the User-Chi project, a design for such a station, the ‘InSoc’ solution was tested in several cities.

Diagram of light electric vehicle charging station
Diagram of light electric vehicle charging station

The technology suite includes photovoltaic solar panels, battery storage, and charging modularity to suit the compact urban environment. The market approach for these chargers focuses on providing accessible and secure charging solutions at strategic urban locations, appealing to private users and cargo-bike logistics operators. The business model emphasises partnerships with local authorities and mobility operators to enhance urban electromobility.

Urban stations

Urban stations should cater to a wide range of users within city centres, offering ultrafast charging for light electric vehicles and comprehensive charging and parking solutions for all types of electric vehicles. These stations are equipped with both AC and DC chargers, logistical services, and areas for short stays, featuring high-tech booking and payment systems to streamline user experiences.

Diagram of an urban electric vehicle charging station
Diagram of an urban electric vehicle charging station

Positioned in city centres, neighbourhoods, or shopping areas, they are designed to support daily commutes and enhance urban mobility. The strategic marketing for urban stations targets private drivers, charging at home or the office, and commercial entities like taxi corporations, focusing on providing a seamless charging infrastructure integrated into daily activities. Partnerships with local governments and energy providers are crucial to the urban stations’ operational success, ensuring that the stations meet local infrastructural and regulatory requirements.

Read more in the full handbook here.

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Marion Pignel Project Coordinator
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