Better Place was one of the first of its kind, an international company set on creating a global network of battery charging and switching stations for electric cars. Nekuda’s contribution was the pole-mounted and wall-mounted charging stations, designed with the drivers’ experience as the top priority.
As outdoors charging stations, these terminals needed to be incredibly resilient. From Israel to Denmark, they would need to withstand the most extreme weather conditions, from intense sun and salty air to strong winds and snowstorms, without frequent maintenance. In addition, the user experience had to be smooth and easily adaptable, with an inviting industrial design, in order to encourage the market to transition to electric vehicles.
Through extensive research and prototyping on parking systems, user scenarios, cable arrangements, and worldwide standards and regulations, we designed and developed the Better Place charging station. The user interface allows the driver to see from afar whether the charging station is operational before pulling up beside it, and the terminal is ergonomically designed for simple and convenient plug insertion. In order to meet the MTBF requirements, we took inspiration from the world of car manufacturing to ensure the metal exterior could endure the elements. The charging socket was covered with a smart shutter to protect the socket from the rain, and also opened and closed as needed so as to prevent ice accumulation. To date, these charging stations have withstood the test of time and remain operational, years longer than the client’s definition at the start of the project.