On 21st January 2021, Hyundai and SK Networks’ first electric vehicle charging station opened in Seoul. Housed in a converted gas station, ‘Hyundai EV Station Gangdong’ is a perfect symbol of the transition mobility is making from internal combustion to efficient, sustainable mobility.
Much more than a place to power up, the 4000m2 space sits across six storeys and includes a driver center where drivers can book a Hyundai test drive, a large café space for visitors to enjoy, and an SK Magic experiential brand shop where visitors can try, rent and buy home appliances. The combining of a charging station with a café and lifestyle store converts waiting time into quality time.
The Hyundai EV Station Gangdong has the largest and fastest charging capacity in Korea. The four Hi-Charger units that greet you at street level have 350kW high-power and high-efficiency charging technology, so if your car has an 800V charging system, it can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes.
Models fitted with the new E-GMP, including the upcoming IONIQ 5, can be fully charged in just half an hour.
This year, we plan to install a total of 120 super-fast chargers in 12 highway rest areas and eight major city centers across [Korea]. We will take the lead in developing and distributing the world’s best electric vehicles, and at the same time, we will expand the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. - HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP
The charging connector hangs from above in order to conveniently and easily reach the vehicle’s charging port – wherever it is on the car. The connection line also includes partial automation, allowing drivers to connect their car to the charging port without having to wrestle with a heavy cable. Truly advanced in terms of usability, drivers have full and intuitive control of when to stop charging thanks to the large touch screens integrated into the units, which display charging time, power, and the percentage of charge remaining.
EV Infrastructure Around The World
Plans for innovative charging stations like Hyundai EV Station Gangdong are springing up all over the world, and many of them are in development.
Innovationspark Zusmarshausen is an EV fast-charging station currently being built on the A8 between Munich and Stuttgart, Germany. When finished, it will boast 144 charging ports to cater to 4000 vehicles per day – a huge step to remedy the shortage of EV infrastructure in the country. In addition, drivers will be able to take advantage of coworking spaces, shops and cafés while they charge their cars.
Already operational, the Delta EV Charging Station in Yokohama offers drivers easy-access charging and payment with their smartphone. A café includes space for coworking so visitors can maximize their time. What sets this charging station apart, however, is that it serves the local government’s emergency response EVs. Additionally, EV battery electricity deployment can supply the city with power in the event of a disaster.
The Future for Gas Stations?
As the world transitions from internal combustion and realizes it has had its fill of gas stations, turning them into EV charging stations is an ideal solution for these spaces. However, this is by no means the only option, and there are already many disused gas stations around the world being repurposed and given a new lease of life. Often positioned on corners with great accessibility, they make successful new sites for auto repair shops, restaurants, community spaces and much more.
A great example of this can be seen in London’s White City, where as part of a larger offensive to revitalise the neighbourhood and turn it into a creative quarter, artist duo Craig & Karl converted a former gas station into a kaleidoscope of colors and a venue for all sorts of pop-up events.
However they are transformed for the future, Hyundai EV Station Gangdong and these other innovative solutions are clear demonstrations that, with some creative thinking, gas stations can still play a key role in the future. Wait until you see more!