Audi is developing an Amsterdam charging station in collaboration with designer Sabine Marcelis and the start-up Revolt

  • Design charging station inspired by the character of Amsterdam
  • The well-known designer Sabine Marcelis provides a vision of the charging station of the future

Amsterdam Municipality expects to need 82,000 charging stations in 2030 to meet the growing demand for electric cars and charging stations (Amsterdam Municipality*). This would mean that in more than seven years there will be a charging station for every 21 meters in Amsterdam. This development has a positive effect on the environment, but at the same time also affects the streetscape. Audi likes to think about how the urban character can be preserved in this energy transition and therefore designed a special charging station for Amsterdam in collaboration with designer Sabine Marcelis and start-up in charging solutions Revolt.

The charging station was unveiled in Amsterdam during the Audi event ‘Design for an Electric City’. Futurist Jacintha Schouder, urban designer Jeroen de Willigen and Rutger Bosch, co-founder of, among others, Revolt, talked about how the city of the future should be designed.

Challenges in energy transition

Dutch cities are facing a big challenge now, where they have to implement changes at a fast pace and in different areas to become more sustainable in the current energy transition. Such as real estate, water management, the heating network and the city’s infrastructure. One of these developments is the transition to electric driving, an environmentally friendly and necessary change that also affects the structure and living environment of cities. The increase in the number of charging stations may mean that they will partly determine the streetscape. The Netherlands currently has the most charging stations in Europe per square meter. In 2030, Amsterdam expects to need 82,000* charging stations – in theory one per 21 meters along the public road – which will radically change the capital’s streetscape.

Design for an electric city

The European Parliament has banned the sale of fuel-powered cars from 2035. Audi is encouraging the energy transition and has set itself the goal of introducing only fully electric cars from 2026. At the same time, the car brand wants to ensure that the unique cityscape of Amsterdam is enriched rather than impoverished by the arrival of ​​thousands of charging stations. Audi considers design to be paramount and has therefore been designed in collaboration with recognized designers Sabine Marcelis and start-up in charging solutions Revolt Revolt a special charging station for Amsterdam. This pole shows how new technology, a necessary good, can beautify the city’s spatial environment and offer a solution now that energy is becoming scarce. For example, the design of the charging station in Amsterdam – inspired by the character and history of the city – incorporates solar panels that can also be used to charge electric bicycles. In order to use energy even more efficiently in the future, Uprising currently fully engaged in the development of two-way charging stands. In this way, a car can ‘charge in both directions’ and thus also function as an energy source.

Rutger Bosch, co-founder of Revolt: “We have the technology and the plans to accelerate the energy transition in major cities like Amsterdam. We not only take into account sustainability and functionality, but also what fits best into the future streetscape.”

Design from the city

Sabine Marcelis is a Rotterdam designer who with Studio Sabine Marcelis now enjoys national and international fame. Characteristic of Marcelis’ work is that she experiments and innovates with materials and makes a lot of use of glass. In the design of the Amsterdam charging station, she combines glass with solar panels, with which the station really gives something back to the city. Not only visually, but also in terms of electricity.

Designer Sabine Marcelis: “Amsterdam is a city with a rich history and many faces. In my design I therefore went back to the foundation it is built on, which is literally on stilts. I have translated the sand under the city streets into the design using a unique 3D printing technique with sand. The reflection of the glass symbolizes the sky and what happens there with the sun and the generation of solar energy. In this way, the soil and air are collected in the charging station. Finally, the three well-known Amsterdam Andreas crosses have also been incorporated.

* City of Amsterdam: Amsterdam charging vision: Forecasts for charging needs for the years 2025 and 2030 (https://www.amsterdam.nl/wonen-leefmilieu/duurzaam-amsterdam/publicaties-duurzaam-groen/laad-strategisch-plan-charging-infrastructure/)

In 2020, the municipal council of Amsterdam indicated that the city will need a total of 82,000 charging points by 2030. To give an impression of how many there are, this number of charging points was spread over the entire public road of Amsterdam in the calculation; if 82,000 charging stations were to be distributed on 1,773 kilometers (in 2021) of public road, this would mean that a station would have to be used for every 21 metres.

Image credits: Rachel Ecclestone & Joshua Statie

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