Electric vehicle owners know that waiting for their car to recharge at a public charging station is not fun. It can feel like a waste of time, especially if the charger is malfunctioning or isn't charging at its maximum rate. However, companies including Audi, Electrify America and Volvo are exploring ways to reduce inconvenience by creating waiting lounges and partnering with coffee shops to make the process less painful.
Customer feedback inspires Electrify America to improve the charging experience
Electrify America is a national charging station network with more than 700 stations operating in nearly every state in the nation. The company continues to build new stations, with nearly 100 underway, and some of those will be what Electrify America calls "flagship charging facilities" planned for key markets.
In a statement, Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America, said: "Our customer research shows the need to transition to a more inviting charging experience that accommodates the human experience with waiting areas and other conveniences."
Based on this customer feedback, Electrify America will roll out charging station improvements in select locations. Highlights include customer lounges, outside waiting areas covered by solar canopies to shelter against sun and rain, and additional lighting and security cameras when EV owners are charging at night. Electrify America also plans operations at popular shopping destinations, complete with valet charging and curbside delivery of the recharged vehicle.
Additionally, the company has announced a next-generation family of 150-kW and 350-kW charging stations that it says will simplify the charging process.
Audi is testing charging hubs in Germany