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In Better Energy's charging park, drivers unwind among wild flowers while their EV refuels

Sønderborg, Denmark is home to a new EV charging station that offers a refreshing take on the conventional gas-filling or battery-charging experience. Rather than the stark spaces we've come to expect from car-centric infrastructure, Better Energy Charge is designed to be an inviting area with sustainability at its core. It swaps out concrete and steel for a timber structure, green roof and permeable surfaces, and the surrounding area is thoughtfully landscaped with trees and vegetation.

Spread out around the charging park are benches where drivers can relax and enjoy a small dose of nature. The station, developed by Copenhagen-based design studio EFFEKT for renewable energy company Better Energy, opened in September 2023. But the space will truly come alive this spring when its wild meadow plants grow and bloom, offering both a pleasant reprieve for human users and a habitat for birds and insects.

Notably, Better Energy's fast-charging EV station is also one of the first to implement a dynamic pricing model, encouraging consumers to charge when renewable energy is most abundant. Rates are lowered during peak clean energy times, and prices are visible to drivers from the road.

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As EV adoption accelerates worldwide, transforming fueling stations into appealing public spaces is one way to signal that the transition from gas to electric is about more than just swapping energy sources.

Better Energy Charge demonstrates how integrating nature can turn something as mundane as refilling an EV battery into a pleasurable experience. Add in dynamic pricing, and drivers will no doubt opt for an al fresco lunch or coffee break at a charging park when prices are lowest.

Beyond electric vehicles, what else could be redesigned through a climate-positive lens that enhances life rather than just minimizing harm? How might elevating the ordinary uncover new opportunities to reshape consumer habits and expectations?