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Electric vehicle charging station opts for polycarbonate; with flame retardance, impact resistance, and style

Electric mobility is gaining traction globally and public charging stations are being installed in increasing numbers to support the growing number of electric vehicles on the road. Polycarbonates from Bayer MaterialScience (Leverkusen, Germany) are reportedly playing a role in protecting these charging stations from the elements.

Electric mobility is gaining traction globally and public charging stations are being installed in increasing numbers to support the growing number of electric vehicles on the road. Polycarbonates from Bayer MaterialScience (Leverkusen, Germany) are reportedly playing a role in protecting these charging stations from the elements.

ChargePoint, the world's largest network of EV charging stations with over 15,000 charging locations and a 70 percent market share, sought an impact-resistant material that met stringent flame retardance ratings to stylishly protect its chargers. ChargePoint engineers wanted to collaborate with a materials supplier that provided material technology expertise, as well as the ability to assist with part prototyping. After a careful evaluation, the company selected Bayer MaterialScience and its Makrolon polycarbonate (PC).

ChargePoint's CT4021 Bollard Dual Charging Station uses flame retardant and impact-resistant polycarbonate grades from Bayer MaterialScience.
"Many of our 15,000+ charging locations are outside and in unattended public locations," said Dimitrios Papadogonas, ChargePoint vice president of marketing. "We chose Makrolon polycarbonate because it is strong, rugged and can withstand the elements."

The Bollard Dual Charging Station CT4021, which utilizes Makrolon 6487 PC for the top cap and plug holsters, as well as Makrolon 6557 clear PC for the front-facing panels, gives station owners a more affordable, customizable, and intuitive way to help drivers charge up. The charger doubles the number of parking spaces served by allowing for two charging ports to share one single circuit. It also reduces installation and incremental costs by allowing for greater charge spot capacity. Additionally, its Clean Cord Technology features maintenance-free, light-weight, self-retracting cords.

The Makrolon 6487 polycarbonate used to form the top cap and plug holsters was selected for its flame retardant UL 94V-0/1.5 mm and 5VA/3.0 mm ratings, according to ChargePoint. The Makrolon 6557 clear polycarbonate that forms the front-facing panels is impact-resistant as well as flame retardant and has a UL 94V-0/3.0 mm rating.

"Working closely to complement the design expertise of ChargePoint's engineers, we provided several design iterations to virtually optimize the part," said Ignacio Osio, key growth program manager, Polycarbonates, Bayer MaterialScience LLC (Pittsburgh, PA). "Optimizing the part before production helped shorten the time to market as well as provided savings on molding and tooling costs."

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