Plug + Play is a winning formula for an electric vehicle charging station


March 6, 2012

Design By Many recently announced the winners of its Electric Vehicle Charging Station competition, with first prize being awarded to HMMY for its Plug + Play concept

Design By Many recently announced the winners of its Electric Vehicle Charging Station competition, with first prize being awarded to HMMY for its Plug + Play concept

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Design By Many, a challenge-based design community, recently announced the winners of its Electric Vehicle Charging Station competition. First prize was awarded to the HMMY team for its Plug + Play concept. The smart-looking electric vehicle charging station attempts to stimulate awareness of the gap between production and consumption of energy. The design "generates a renewed consciousness of energy use in our modern lives," according to HMMY.

The exterior surface of the Plug + Play concept features a series of LED lights that act like a battery reader. The lights illuminate in a range of different colors to indicate when the station is ready for use or when the car battery is fully charged. Fitted with photovoltaic cells, the station is at full charging capacity after 8 hours of sunlight and it takes 30 minutes to charge an electric vehicle. Any excess or unused solar energy is then redirected back to the local power grid. The model's curves are designed to optimize absorption of the sun's rays whilst remaining compact enough to fit neatly into two standard parking bays.

The Plug + Play concept also includes the possibility to plug-in and watch a film, with a screen being mounted at one end of the unit. The concepts also allows the car to charge while the owner completes regular daily activities such as grocery shopping or going to the gym.

Source: Design By Many

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Come on! this is rubbish.

First of all, nobody will use these things are they take up far too much valuable ground space.

Secondly, there is no hope in hell that the small surface produces enough power to charge the batteries of a car and most certainly not in 30 minutes with todays technology.

The losses are ridiculous because electricity needs to be stored either in batteries (while there is no car) or by putting the power into the grid (There is your first 15% loss already)

In the latter case, you just have a very expensive solar panel using up expensive parking space feeding the grid and nothing more.

Wishful thinking and utter nonsense. About as bad as an animation I saw where they tear down a coal powered electricity plant and replaced it with 3 wind mills. Yeah right, that is all it takes.

Does anyone study science anymore these days?

Paul van Dinther

Electric vehicles already fight an image problem with backward thinking people and this will not help.

The Hoff

re; Paul van Dinther

It takes 8 hours to charge the battery that charges the car's battery in 30 minutes. ........................................................................................................................

re; The Hoff

The problem is not the 'image' it's that electric cars are overpriced under-preforming pieces of junk.


I agree with 'Paul van Dinther' that this does not seem a very practical idea. But we are not all engineers; and non-engineers usually need pretty lights to encourage them to try new things. If it gets common people using electric cars faster then we can sooner avoid pointless slandering of the better technology.


Gah - I hate "design" teams that don't know squat about the technical aspects of what they're designing. And I hate even more design competition judges that blatantly ignore physics and engineering.

"Designed to optimize absorption of the sun's rays" my shiny white butt... there's a reason why solar panels are flat and pointed in one direction. Or even better, flat and movable so they can track the sun.

A complex shaped cowl like they're proposing here may look pretty (so some; seems more like an eyesore to me), but it will be significantly more expensive to produce, and capture significantly less solar energy than a flat panel at the correct angle. Not to mention taking up a lot more precious space.


Looks like an oversized hat from the 20's, or a mini nuke cooling tower. Probably design by a California studio. That's why Hyundai brought they designing home.


Oh! my battery is going dead. I'll just pull in here and watch movies for hours on end while my battery charges. It's 20 degrees out and I have no heat. No big deal. Look how I am saving the environment. Why are my fingers and toes going numb?

Larry Hoffman

Building a roof plastered with solar collectors over the whole parking lot would be a lot more practical. ...........................................................................................................................

re; Paul van Dinther

That 15% loss guarantees you a charge even in a blackout.


Having several batteries already charged up and ready for quick changing (within a minute) would seem to be a better way to go. Most cars sit in parking lots for 8 hours a day anyways, why not have the solar charger working then?


re; PatrikD

With meta-materials the shape has become more or less irrelevant.


Really Everyone?

You have done a good job of criticizing a technology and industry that has been developmentally suppressed for 100 years.

And you all want the other option to dominate? Which is an internal combustion engine that has about a 20% fuel efficiency and runs on petroleum. Do we need to go over the drawbacks of being dependent on a fuel that is running out of high quality, easy to extract and easy to process deposits?

When you criticize emerging technologies and fuel sources it has to be in comparison to the current system that we have (personal vehicles, internal combustion engine and petroleum), which is causing mass societal disruptions, mass health problems and consolidates money and power in the hands of the few while the people that live in oil rich lands languish in diseased poverty.

Maybe, we should research a subject before commenting on it. But, the internet makes us feel anonymous so we feel justified in leaving un-researched viewpoints in comment and discussion sections.

Anders Hellum-Alexander
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