FUELLING TOMORROW’S SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY
Studio Volpi designed DKC’s next generation e-charger
Electric mobility is gaining momentum as our collective environmental consciousness is inexorably changing the way modern societies apprehend the future of private transport. The success of electric mobility depends, though, on the possibility to recharge our electric vehicles when and where needed, easily and in the least possible time. The market for domestic, public and semi-public charging devices has been soaring. Electric cabling and installations leading specialist DKC have put in a lot of effort to make sure their first EV charging product stood out from the crowd not only from a technological point of view, but also under the design perspective. Attractive, smart, functional and intuitive was the basic brief given to Studio Volpi to conceive the design of their new e-charger wallbox, a product destined to be the forebearer of an entire family of DKC next generation chargers.
Keeping it simple
The principal task of the the DKC wallbox is to provide immediate and intuitive recharging functions for electric vehicles. Also, it needs to be flexible and allow for different possible configurations: attached to domestic electricity outlets, with integrated cables, wall-mounted or with ground support, either single or double-sided. For this reason, the Studio's designers concentrated on creating a product that satisfied these basic requirements before turning their attention to form, function and ease-of-use. The idea behind the new design was to make it as easy and natural as possible for everyday users to recharge their vehicle as part of a carefree routine, with the charger giving them a sense of reassurance and reliability. Also the look of the product needed to be consistent with DKC’s brand visual language. Finally the whole process needed to be checked and monitored from a specially developed web app, and wifi connection integrated in the device.
The main source of inspiration for the designers came from the automotive world, with its typical taut lines and surfaces. Also, the use of durable materials for the shell and cover contributed to communicate a sense of performance and reliability. All components tuck nicely into a compact design, with the rear metal part acting as a sturdy-looking bodywork, and the glossy glass-like polycarbonate front giving off a sense of sleek elegance. Particular attention was given to the finishings as well as the various models, like the stand-alone version. All include refined details such as the treated sheet metal stand providing durability and resistance to weather conditions and corrosion. The colour scheme of the stand also matches the livery of the box, with the bright red finishing on the cable holders and the central line further enhancing the visual impact of the product. In the integrated cable configuration, a useful cable support element was added to provide for a neat solution to keep everything tidy.
In hi-tech products such as EV chargers, functionality is paramount. The front glass-like polycarbonate cover, conceived to be entirely customisable, serves as the device’s control panel, with a clearly visible logo and an Rfid icon. Intuitive feedback lights are also located in this area, and are based on a simple colour scheme indicating the status of the system: green meaning “ready to charge”; blue for “connected”; blinking blue for “charging” and red for “error”. Luminosity is automatically adjusted according to ambient light so that the info is clearly visible in all light conditions. The dedicated app easily lets the user monitor the recharging process throughout the entire operation.
A strong personality
Every detail of the wallbox speaks to the brand, making the product become an important element of its narrative and enhancing user experience at all levels, starting from the installation, to the aesthetics of the product, to its actual everyday use and its maintenance. Its clean and streamlined look, with no superfluous frills, help it blend seamlessly into any environment, from the home garage to the public parking lot. Functions are straight to the point, providing an increased perception of effectiveness and ease-of-use, contributing to reinforcing the strong personality of both product and brand. Resistance and security features, among which a latest-gen emergency cut off system, as well as IP54 E IK10 certification, further elevate the product’s credibility, enhance the feeling of safety and establish the brand’s authority in the field, which is particularly important since this is DKC’s first EV charging device.
A long lifecycle, easy to maintain and open to upgrading
Studio Volpi’s designers deliberately introduced an element of flexibility in the design of the wallbox, making for simple, straightforward maintenance and most of all, easy upgrading. This means the product will have a longer lifecycle since it will be less prone to breakdowns and malfunctions. Being an EV charger, the product is by its very nature responding to today’s demand for cleaner technologies and means of transport. Except for the front and rear shells, which require injection moulding technology, the rest of the device only requires very simple, non-energy-intensive technology to produce thanks to its streamlined design.
Once again, the cross-disciplinary expertise of Studio Volpi’s designers, brand strategists and engineers, helped the client to successfully launch into a new market with a product that is breaking new ground in the industry, bringing automotive-grade design together with world-class engineering and the client’s own invaluable competence in the cables and electric installations field.