Free electric car charging? This concept is no longer one for the future. In the summer of 2015, Volta Industries partnered with Peerless-AV® to create custom charging stations to make just this scenario a reality.

Volta was expanding its charging station locations to retail centers across the Midwest and wanted to incorporate signage that matched the technical innovation and sleek aesthetic of their electric vehicle charging stations.

Further, they needed a solution that could withstand the outdoor elements and offer advertising opportunities and revenue, free electric car charging to customers, and free installation and maintenance to retail centers.

The custom solution presented was a combination of many different components – a Peerless-AV 47” Xtreme™ Outdoor Daylight Readable Display inside an Xtreme™ Outdoor Portrait Kiosk, with a 6′ tall backlit poster box, a Chromebox media player, a EKM power meter, and a cellular modem.

To meet Volta’s needs, Peerless-AV’s solutions offered:

Weather Resistance: The IP68 rated Xtreme™ Outdoor Display and Kiosk’s fully-sealed weatherproof design completely seals all inside components providing the utmost protection against outdoor conditions. The operating temperature ranges from -40°F to 140°F, ideal for the temperatures in Illinois. Plus, the patented Dynamic Thermal Transfer™ system passively cools and thermally heats the display, eliminating the need for filters, vents, or fans. Corrosion was also a non-issue for the stations as the kiosks were designed to be all stainless steel with aluminum construction.

Volta_5Visibility: Peerless-AV’s optically bonded display is equipped with ambient light sensors to automatically and gradually adjust the screen’s brightness based on the surrounding conditions, providing a clear, crisp picture, even in direct sunlight.

Security: The Xtreme™ displays are equipped with anti-reflective, impact-resistant safety glass that protects the screen against damages. And, the stations were equipped with highly secure barrel locks that prevent unintended access to the inside.

Installation & Maintenance: Peerless-AV kiosks were designed to arrive pre-assembled to simplify installation. Secure, removable doors on both sides of the unit allowed for convenient access to the display, media player, and other internal components for ease of maintenance. Once inside the unit, there is a fold out tray that can be used to place tools on while working on repairs.

Customizable: The specially-designed stations are two-sided allowing for digital advertising on one side and static advertising on the other. An illuminating blue light located at the top of the kiosk allows electric vehicle drivers to easily identify where a charging station is located within a crowded parking lot. Also, the stations are equipped with an EKM power meter for charging and a cellular modem that allows for real time content updates and power consumption records.

volta1The first installation took place inside a parking garage at Oakbrook Center, located in Oak Brook, IL. Two digital hybrid units were installed, creating new spaces for hybrid charging and advertising opportunities. The parking garage was the ideal location for the installation as it is a high traffic area that provides protection for customers from the inclement weather Illinois is known for, making it a perfect spot for advertising. After Oakbrook was complete, two units were installed in the parking lot of Northbrook Court, located in Northbrook, IL.

By fall 2015, 10 Volta charging stations had been set up across 3 locations in Illinois.

“Working with Peerless-AV to create our custom charging stations was an excellent choice for Volta,” said Michael Menendez, CTO, Volta Industries. “They offered us not only a long track record of success, but a full custom kiosk team and state-of-the-art outdoor solutions that fully met our needs.”

Today, electric vehicle owners are able to charge their vehicles for free while shopping at Oakbrook Center and Northbrook Court, and the stores within the retail centers are able to continually promote their products and create new and lasting customer relationships, without the worry surrounding the costs of maintaining the units. With four more free charging stations installed in the Midwest, Volta is that much closer to making communities better by using technology as a force for social change.

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