EVBox upscales EV charge port rollout with Covestro solutions

How do Covestro Makrolon® polycarbonate solutions meet the needs of EV charging station operators?
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An estimated one million public electric car charging stations will be needed to service the 13 million zero- and low-emission vehicles on European roads by 2025. Electric vehicle (EV) charging will become routine at home, at work, at service stops and at fueling stations. Drivers will also expect to be able to charge their cars at public parking facilities in cities, and outside retailers.

The market for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) is expected to be worth $29.7 billion by 2027, as charger infrastructure is driven by the EU Green Deal emission targets and by a range of government and car manufacturer initiatives.

We had a conversation with Wijnand Diemer, Director of Product Management at EVBox Group, a leading provider of flexible and scalable charging solutions for electric vehicles. He gave insights about the future of e-mobility, the rapid and widespread rollout of electric car charging stations, the circular economy, material requirements for EVBox chargers and the advantages he sees in working closely with Covestro, a leading manufacturer in polycarbonate material solutions for the EV market.

We are quickly expanding our network of electric car charging stations, and durability is criterion number one when we are selecting materials. Makrolon® combines exceptional outdoor durability for housings with aesthetics and design flexibility.

Wijnand Diemer

Director Product Management, EVBox

Can you tell us about the origins of EVBox and how your business model works?

EVBox was founded in 2010 when the EVSE market was still in its early days. We’re accelerating the adoption of electric mobility by bringing convenient, flexible and scalable EV charging to businesses and drivers worldwide. Our full-service charging solutions include hardware, software, training and on-site field services. The EVBox charging station offer covers residential, commercial, public, and fast-charge solutions, from 3.7 kW all the way up to 350 kW.

From 2010 to 2020, EVBox installed 200,000 EV charge ports, and we’re committed to placing one million charge ports worldwide by 2023.

What is the EVBox vision for the future of mobility? How do you see EV charging stations evolving?

E-mobility is expanding rapidly. Today just 1% of vehicles sold globally have an electric-only battery, but this share is set to reach 6% in just five years. In 20 years, half of all cars sold worldwide will be electric. As the European market matures, the real growth will come in the US and particularly from China, which will outstrip the US and European markets combined.

The overall pace of EV adoption will be influenced by four key trends. First, there is an increasing shift from home to public and semi-public charging, which will make EV charging accessible to a broader public. Next, DC (fast) charging is ramping up as AC charging commoditizes. Third, there is an increasing demand for integrated charge solutions that include hardware, software and services in a single package. And finally, new charging technologies such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G), charging hubs and smarter charging solutions will all expand significantly.

How do you view the interplay between mobility and a circular economy?

Traditionally, mobility meant depleting valuable fossil fuel resources while also causing CO2 emissions. This is both an inherently non-circular and an environmentally harmful approach. Now, with electricity we can decouple mobility from resource depletion for the first time since the industrial revolution. Electricity means we can build our mobility on renewable power sources, enabling a fully circular solution for EV batteries.

At EVBox, the circularity concept undoubtedly starts with a circular design approach. Keeping the entire lifecycle of the charging station in mind during the design process is the only way to ensure that it is reparable, reusable and offers end-of-life recyclability. Using circular materials as a basis for our plastic parts, making sure products are easily reparable via modularity, reusing individual components from the end-of-life of the station, and refurbishing of electric car charging stations are factors we take in consideration when designing our products.

As EVBox has geared up our volumes and product quality to meet automotive industry requirements, Covestro is a trustworthy partner, providing a dedicated team to support us.

Wijnand Diemer

Director Product Management, EVBox

Which material attributes do you think are most important for the mobility market of the future?

Durability is our most important criterion. EV charging stations need to be able to withstand harsh outdoor conditions for years, in settings that range from deserts with high temperatures, UV intensity and sand exposure, to coastal Arctic locations with subzero temperatures and prolonged saltwater exposure. Retaining key properties such as impact strength, color fastness and surface quality throughout this wide range of extreme conditions is vital.

Aesthetic flexibility is another major consideration. The materials we use should accommodate a variety of colors, shapes and finishes suited to different use cases, ranging from public to private installations of EV charging stations.

Why does EVBox choose Covestro for material solutions in electric car charging stations?

Ten years ago, our founder Bram van de Leur called Covestro with a great idea: his new company EVBox needed to develop a housing for an EV charging station. He had already worked with Covestro in the CD industry, and knew the company could produce plastics that meet durability requirements while also offering color options, transparent parts, and design flexibility. That’s how the first steps were taken.

Today, Covestro Makrolon® makes up the majority of materials used for housing parts in EVBox electric car charging stations. With Makrolon® we can combine hardware protection with aesthetics and design flexibility. Covestro’s expertise in polymers also shows in their support with our technical feasibility studies on long term durability. This helps minimize our risk during the development stage. We also value the injection molding support that Covestro provides during the A, B and C sample phases we go through in product development.

In recent years, our partnership has intensified as EVBox has scaled up to meet the high volumes and quality standards of the automotive industry. In multiple large-scale and complex industrialization projects, Covestro is a trustworthy partner providing material solutions, testing and validation support. Their dedicated team is reliable and truly understands what we need to achieve to be successful.

Why Makrolon® offer the right material solutions for an EV-ready future

  • Weatherproof: Makrolon® housing parts resist moisture, rust, UV, and wide temperature changes.
  • Safe and robust: Casings are electrically insulated, tough, impact safe and flame retardant.
  • Flexible design: EV charging brands can express their identity with forms, colors and textures.
  • Cost-effective: Durable Makrolon® components can be mass-produced easily.
  • Reliable partnership: Covestro supports you from material validation through full-scale production.

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