Design By Many, a challenge-based design community, recently announced the winners of its Electric Vehicle Charging Station competition. First prize was awarded to the HMMY team for its Plug + Play concept. The smart-looking electric vehicle charging station attempts to stimulate awareness of the gap between production and consumption of energy. The design "generates a renewed consciousness of energy use in our modern lives," according to HMMY.

The exterior surface of the Plug + Play concept features a series of LED lights that act like a battery reader. The lights illuminate in a range of different colors to indicate when the station is ready for use or when the car battery is fully charged. Fitted with photovoltaic cells, the station is at full charging capacity after 8 hours of sunlight and it takes 30 minutes to charge an electric vehicle. Any excess or unused solar energy is then redirected back to the local power grid. The model's curves are designed to optimize absorption of the sun's rays whilst remaining compact enough to fit neatly into two standard parking bays.

The Plug + Play concept also includes the possibility to plug-in and watch a film, with a screen being mounted at one end of the unit. The concepts also allows the car to charge while the owner completes regular daily activities such as grocery shopping or going to the gym.

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