Not since Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey has the world witnessed such a dramatic introduction to new technology. Absent the crashing cymbals and pounding kettle drums, the new promo for the Ionity charging stations of the future makes visual love to the chargers in a way that is almost erotic. At one point, the camera looks up at a charger the same way Kubrick’s camera focused on that obsidian obelisk at the beginning of the movie.
Truth to tell, the design of the chargers and the charging plazas that Ionity plans to install across Europe is stunning. The chargers are lithe and pure white. They virtually scream “modern.” The charging stations themselves feature panels that float above the earth and soar toward the sun. (They may or may not have solar panels embedded in them.) They make you want to run out and buy an electric car just so you can plug it in to an Ionity charger.
The company’s latest press release is effusive in its self adulation.
“As if it were floating, the light box sits like a roof over the slender vertical pylon, giving the charging station the appearance of a beacon, an effect which is particularly striking at night. In keeping with the character of EMobility, the station’s architecture conveys an open, light and warm sense of space.
“Crisp, simple structures and surfaces, smart interfaces and a mixture of robust lightweight materials merge together into a seamless‘charging experience.’ In keeping with the IONITY logo, the colors represent the flow of energy during the charging process as depicted by
the charge status.”
Gosh, can I get a tissue over here? That is language worthy of the purple prose found in the best romance novels.
Ionity, you may recall, is the new partnership between Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, and Ford that says it will install 400 high power (350 kW) charging stations along major European transportation routes by the end of 2020. The network will rely on the CCS charging standard. It is no coincidence that the infrastructure push is taking place at the same time as Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes are planning to begin offering battery electric cars like the Mission E Sport Turismo to the public. If Ford is planning to introduce an electric car for European customers any time soon, it is keeping that information very hush-hush.
The first question I had after watching the Ionity video was, how well will those swooping panels stand up to snow loads in Scandinavia and mistral winds that sweep across Europe in the winter? Surely, the architects have taken all those factors into consideration when designing these structures.
Elon Musk is known for insisting all his products meet the highest design standards, a theme he borrowed from Apple. Apparently, Ionity has been paying attention. Its new charging locations will definitely be places that delight the eye while they replenish EV batteries. These are not your grandfather’s gasoline filling stations by any stretch of the imagination. That’s a good thing.