The beauty of the North American highway system is that it enables people to embark on long-distance trips with confidence. Over the decades, gas stations, restaurants and hotels have implanted themselves at nearly every exit along the way, ensuring that as long as you pay attention, you’ll never run out of fuel or food.
The same can’t be said for those who drive (or dream of driving) an electric vehicle. Traveling more than 100 miles in an electric car requires careful mapping of available charging stations, which are still few and far between. No one wants to run out of power on a long stretch of desolate road, because you certainly can’t bring back a 5-gallon jug of electricity.
So we’re always interested in new ideas that would make it easier for EV owners to travel worry-free. Ideas like the Rest + Recharge, for instance. This conceptual design would pair rapid-charging stations with highway rest stops along the Trans-Canada highway in an effort to ease range anxiety and encourage people to get out and enjoy the countryside through which they’re traveling.
Created by designers Kevin Tomlinson, Amanda Klassen and Ada Chiu, the Rest + Recharge stations would include a CHAdeMO standardized EV charging unit, a Puck (a time management device dispensed from the charging unit that displays charge status and current fee charges), and information cards called Quest Cards that would map all nearby charging stations and provide information about regional history and local recreational sites.
EV owners who stop at a Rest + Recharge station could clip the Puck on their belt or carry it in their pocket while stretching their legs at the rest stop. It would be programmed to signal that the car was ready by beeping, flashing or vibrating. Quest cards could be collected as a souvenir from each charging station visited along the highway, forming a map and entertaining young passengers during the trip.