Innovation That Matters

Woods Bagot envisions the charging station as an entertainment destination in its own right | Photo source Woods Bagot

Charging station doubles as a drive-in

Mobility & Transport

A design firm has reimagined the EV charging station as its own destination, with a station that converts to a drive-in at night

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Spotted: Until now, one pain point for the take-up of electric vehicles has been the dearth of public charging stations. Now, architecture studio Woods Bagot may have a solution for turning the pain of waiting for a charge into something pleasurable – an electric vehicle charging station that doubles as a drive-in cinema.

Called Re-Charge LA, the project is designed to showcase ways in which EV charging stations could be turned into entertainment destinations. The project design includes a screen that can be lowered during the day to provide shade, and raised at night to become a drive-in cinema. Users would plug their cars in, grab a meal from a nearby food truck and relax with a movie while they charge up.

The design was Woods Bagot’s contribution to Pump to Plug, a 2020 symposium organised by the Los Angeles’ chief design officer. By 2035 all new cars sold in California will need to produce zero emissions, and the symposium was intended to come up with creative ideas for how to integrate electric vehicle charging stations in the city’s fabric.

Combining a drive-in with a plug-in is also a nod to Los Angeles’ classic car culture. According to Woods Bagot, “The team was inspired by the powerful place that gas stations — and automobile culture generally — have long held in the American imagination, and above all in Southern California.” The firm added that the proposal is “an opportunity to reinvigorate and re-energise the future of our infrastructure and create high-quality and evolving community-oriented places.”

There is no doubt now that EVs will be replacing petrol-powered vehicles in the next 10-15 years. As this happens, the innovations in design and technology will also be picking up speed. Already, we have seen battery powered bicycle carts, hybrid aircraft and riverboats. The next innovation in EV is likely just around the corner.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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