Unveiled at Biennale de St Etienne 2010 and at the Peugeot, Citroën and Renault stands during the latest Paris Motor Show (which resembled incidentally the first real electric Paris Motor Show…), the recharge terminals designed by eliumstudio are the very first concrete proposals made available to the market by Schneider Electric, to respond to the domestic and urban needs of electric vehicles. A market which has for a long time been whimsical is finally veering towards a future concrete solution for which eliumstudio offers a design which is literally and figuratively clean.
For eliumstudio, size was the issue, “To design the electric vehicle recharge terminal, is to draw the relationship imagine by Schneider Electric and the uses linking the user and their vehicle . It signifies through its design, the values that come with electric: eco conscious, simplicity and comfort. It is then to create an ecosystem which is Smart, Safe and Green,” sum up the 5 members of the Parisian design studio. A double challenge since it involved designing two modules in response to two different needs.
The Schneider Electric wall-box, first of all, is a recharge terminal for residential areas. It has a charge time of 8 to 10 hrs, ideal then for private garage owners who can leave their car to charge overnight. For this typology, eliumstudio has devised a wall casing point like a plant ramification distributing green energy. A green volume, a colour which is ecological, as well as the colour of the Schneider Electric brand. A design which is fresh, “clean” and elegant. Through its shape, its white lacquered finish, the absence of anxiety provoking signs, the terminal conforms to being a resolutely domestic object with gentle and clean technology. “We wanted it to be as compact as possible, taking into account the spatial demands of a garage.
The terminal activates, communicates, and gently lights up through LED pulses whilst charging. It therefore becomes a visual and informative marker in the garage: a reassuring “beacon.” The user interface was designed to be simple and intuitive for ease of use. It progressively indicates the charging time and the different modes: off, charging and fully charged. We have fully minimised the electric interface, on the terminal and cable side, we have made it as discrete and soft as possible to avoid any misapprehension and to convert a maximum number of users to this new means of transport.“
The studio then tackled the design of the rapid recharge terminal for service stations which offers a high speed recharging time of 15mins. A quick recharging terminal which needs to stand out from the fuel pumps to be immediately recognizable, in spite of a strongly constrained environment. Therefore it has an element of vegetation about it.
Particular attention has been paid to the design guaranteeing an image of clean technology: no retractor, no mechanical elements, no sockets, adapted ergonomics and a trim cable output. By reverting to the colours of the residential terminal, playing with the colour contrast (green for the payment part, white for the plug area), the terminal offers a cable attachment in the upper part to facilitate use, as well as for the safe storage of plugs.