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Harnessing Plastic Power: The Evolution of EV Charging Station Shells”

Introduction

In the dynamic world of Electric Vehicles (EVs), the evolution and advances in charging equipment have managed to match the groundbreaking strides taken in EV technology. A vital element in this line of equipment is the charging station.

Besides its core function of charging EVs efficiently, the aesthetics and the environmental impacts of the material used in the construction of EV charging station shells have also emerged as influential factors.

Consequently, plastic has ascended to the top of the list of preferred materials employed in manufacturing EV charging station shells.

This deviation from traditionally utilised metals epitomizes a pivotal shift and has significantly influenced the design and functionality of EV charging station shells.

An Insight into Plastic Use by Major Brands

Leading EV charging station manufacturers globally have exhibited a marked preference for plastic in the design of their models. This widespread inclination signifies the overwhelming benefits that plastic has proven to offer. Let’s examine few successful instances of plastic use in EV charging stations by renowned brands across the world.

Tesla

Tesla-EV-charging-station-shells-is-plastic

 

Tesla Inc., the American electric vehicle and clean energy company, has positioned itself as a champion of innovation impacting multiple sectors, from automobiles to energy solutions. For their charging stations, Tesla intelligently chose a high flame-retardant grade PC/ABS (FR3030) variety of plastic.

This choice ensured that their charging stations possessed an inherent flame-retardant ability, essential for coping with the high current involved in fast charging.

BMW i3

BMW-i3-EV-charging-station-shells-is-plastic

 

BMW is another powerhouse in the electric vehicle industry that has shown noteworthy progress in electric vehicle technology.

Their i-series electric cars are equipped with charging stations featuring high-flow performance PC/ABS (T65XF) shells.

Known for their excellent machinability, these plastic shells lend the sleek, streamlined look that BMW vehicles are famous for, brilliantly marries aesthetics with functionality.

ChargePoint

Charging-point-EV-charging-station-shells-is-plastic

 

ChargePoint, a colossal name in North America’s EV charging infrastructure with an impressive 70% market share, also recognizes the advantages of employing plastic.

For their charging station shells, they utilize a PC material variant noted for its remarkable weather-resistant properties.

The result is aesthetically pleasing charging stations that remain unaltered in color and unaffected by age, even after prolonged outdoor use.

iCubic Group

Basic_EV_charging_station_monitor

 

Bringing the lens to China, iCubic Group is a domestic market leader in EV charging stations.

Their innovative approach towards deviating from the norm, marked by the early adoption of plastic shells over traditional metal ones, has paid off in terms of demand.

The company reported a stark difference in sales volumes between their aesthetically pleasing non-metallic material shells and traditional sheet metal-shelled charging stations, with the former seeing a strong preference among customers.

plastic-shell-sales-better-than-metal-shell-in-EV-charging-stations

 

The Past, Present, and Future of Plastic in EV Charging Stations

The use of plastic in EV charging station shells has seen a rapid surge, and when we explore its benefits and its impact on the industry, it’s easy to see why.

Flexible Design

The-plastic-shell-has-a-streamlined-design

 

One of the most prominent advantages that plastic offers over traditional metals is its versatile design possibilities.

Unlike the rigid, square-shaped conventional metal shells, plastic allows for a multitude of surface shapes, high gloss, or matte surface effects and a spectrum of colors.

This broader design freedom means that companies can select plastic shells to ensure their charging stations align with their brand image or reflect the unique design sensibility of their vehicle models.

Stability, Safety & Sustainability

Beyond its design merits, plastic also wins in terms of dimensional stability.

The dimensions of plastic shells are controlled by injection molds, making plastic a significantly safer and more predictable material to work with.

The inherent insulation properties and rust-free nature of plastic also highlight its superiority over metal in terms of safety.

The relatively lesser weight of plastic compared to metal positions it as a front-runner in the move towards lighter and more portable charging stations.

Furthermore, the use of plastic takes a significant step towards sustainability, given that its production and molding processes require far less energy when compared to metal.

This is especially critical in a world increasingly wary of energy consumption and emissions.

Lower Costs

cost of plastic shell and metal shell

 

The economic viability of using plastic further bolsters its status as a favored material.

Not only does plastic help cut down transportation costs due to its lightweight nature, but it also aids in significant cost reduction during production.

This is particularly beneficial when economies of scale come into play as larger volumes lead to a lower overall cost per unit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the evolution of EV charging station shells from traditionally used metals to the innovative use of plastic represents a significant leap in the industry.

As observed from the adoption by leading brands and the numerous advantages it presents – in design, cost, stability, and environmental impact – plastic undoubtedly stands as a remarkable and logical choice for EV charging equipment manufacturers.

As more and more companies discover and utilize its benefits, the use of plastic in EV charging station shells is a trend that’s here to stay.

Promoting sustainability alongside science, plastic is undoubtedly proving itself as an essential protagonist in the ongoing story of electric vehicle technology.

 

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Leo Chen

Leo has rich experience in the field of EV charger industry.

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