ENEL OPEN INNOVABILITY CHALLENGE | Designing cost-effective curbside electric vehicle charging stations

02/04/2019 - Enel

Challenge Expiration Date: May 17, 2019

Reward: $30,000


Enel X is Enel’s global business line dedicated to developing innovative products and digital solutions in sectors in which energy is showing the greatest potential for transformation: cities, homes, industries, and electric mobility. Enel X is interested in technical designs of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that are easily accessible with minimal visual and physical impact within an urban environment.

This is a Reduction to Practice Challenge that requires written documentation including electrical and mechanical design of the solution.


Electric cars are rising in popularity as consumers look for more sustainable ways to travel. With electric vehicles, the total driving distance is limited by battery capacity. For people who don’t have a driveway at home or a charging station at work, the logistics of owning and operating an electric vehicle (EV) becomes more complicated. Readily available public charging stations would increase the demand for EVs, but cities have been slow to install them due in part to the cost as well as limited curbside space. Therefore, Enel X is looking for innovative solutions to deploy a large number of EV charging stations that is economical, technically feasible, and aesthetically pleasing.


This Challenge provides contribution to the following SDGs:

  • SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  • SDG 9: Invest in infrastructures that promote sustainability.
  • SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  • SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.



On-street urban parking is regarded as a challenging market segment to address for charging operators due to relatively high costs and time of deploying infrastructure, complexities of installation, and significant amount of up-front capital required. The installation of thousands of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the curbsides could solve an issue for the EV market – which is how owners can charge their cars if they don’t have a dedicated driveway. Through the provision of on-street charging facilities, EV charging becomes more accessible to those without off-street parking, increasing the uptake of EVs, and reducing the emission of local and global pollutants from the transport sector.

The deployment of innovative and low cost charging solutions such as telescopic units or underground/ground-emerging charging posts that rise when requested can be considered, as well as entirely overground units; regardless of the specific implementation, the aim has to be focused on reducing the visual impact of EV charging stations and limiting the congestion on public walkways. Furthermore, accessibility must be addressed, both in physical accessibility to all users and accessibility in the sense of compliance to EV international charging standards. Furthermore, the solution shall comply with the European Accessibility Act.



Enel X is searching for cost competitive and technical designs that improve the functionality and appearance of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in an urban environment. Ideally, the solution can be scaled not only for on-street residential parking, but is also fully integrated to support the EV mass market.

NOTE: Typically, consumers provide their own charging cable, therefore approaches that incorporate this accessory will be considered, but this functionality is not necessary. On the other hand, solutions that involve modifications to light poles or other objects that typically appear on city streets are not desired and should be avoided. Furthermore, software solutions are specifically excluded.

Submissions must have the following qualities:

  1. Work with a power source ranging from 3 to 22 kW
  2. Must have an estimated cost below 500€ per unit for production above 1000 units
  3. Comply with European regulations concerning public AC charging (i.e. presence of an IEC 62196 Type 2 socket)
  4. Must be easy to be installed, possibly in serial installations (e.g. different unites below one electricity meter)
  5. Accessible for all drivers and conform to the  European Accessibility Act
  6. Allow for installation in series
  7. Maximize curbside space when not in use
  8. Offer the Seeker “freedom to practice” and there should be no third party patent art preventing the use of specific materials and technology for their commercial application

Support Enel’s commitment on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) with specific emphasis on 7911and 13.

In addition, the following qualities are highly desired but not required:

  1. Minimize vandalism and maintenance (e.g. insect infestation, dog waste)
  2. Design should be original, containing an inventive step that might lead to a patent filing (Seeker will make this evaluation, but Solvers are asked to provide their thoughts and interpretation regarding this Requirement)



The submitted proposal should include the following:

  1. A detailed description of the proposed solution addressing specific Solution Requirements
  2. Well-substantiated rationale and pertinent data to support why the EV charging station works as described
  3. Schematics that illustrate important aspects of the design (e.g. electrical, mechanical, visual, functional)
  4. A bibliography of relevant literature (e.g. journal articles, patents, trade materials) that support the proposed solution
  5. An assessment of initial installation and continued maintenance costs
  6. Estimate of cost level for different volumes, prototyping timeline, and go-to-market strategy

Meet our challenge!

Tipologia: Challenge prize

Fonte: https://openinnovability.enel.com/projects/Designing-Cost-Effective-Curbside-Electric-Vehicle-Charging-Stations

Paese: Italia, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgio, Brasile, Canada, Cile, Cina, Corea del Sud, Danimarca, Egitto, Finlandia, Francia, Germania, Giappone, Gran Bretagna, India, Israele, Lituania, Messico, Norvegia, Paesi Bassi, Repubblica Ceca, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spagna, Sudafrica, Svezia, Svizzera, Stati Uniti d′America, Vietnam

SSD: Tutti i settori