Charging stations for ZE busses in ‘Rotterdamse Stijl’

Transport operator RET

Charging stations for Zero Emission (ZE) busses in Rotterdam

Public transport operator RET is the main bus operator for Rotterdam and the surrounding region. Before the end of 2030, the company aims to have replaced all diesel-powered busses with Zero Emission (ZE) busses. The batteries of ZE busses are recharged in garages overnight, and at charging stations located at the beginning and end of their timetable during the day.

RET by npk design

'Rotterdamse Stijl' designer and consultant

Our design agency plays a designing and advisory role. Our main focus in our role as consultant is on aligning our products for public areas with the ‘Rotterdamse Stijl’ (literally: ‘Style of Rotterdam’), which we achieve through constant consultation with the municipality of Rotterdam. The ‘Rotterdamse Stijl’ is the municipality’s city-wide plan, in which their design vision of public space is described and further elaborated in a toolkit.
Together with the company that gets the contract, in this case transport company RET, we work as a design agency on the design, development and realization.

RET by npk design

Design principles that fit the 'Rotterdamse Stijl'

The design guidelines for the charging stations dictate the boundaries for volume and the basis for product composition. The type of pantograph that will be used on the bus is also a deciding factor, as this determines the type of charging station that will need to be used: a robust steel construction with overhang and a ‘drive-in cover’, which will require a transformer station within a radius of 25 metres.

RET by npk design

Solid foundation and continuous lines

All stations and masts in the ‘Rotterdamse Stijl’ are built on a solid foundation from which their function ‘grows’ organically. This is illustrated by the iconic style typical to local objects, such as parking bollards and city clocks. The overhang, to which the ‘drive-in cover’ is connected, grows from the mast like a side branch and bends away above the bus.
The end result fits the city beautifully thanks to the choice of material and colour, even though the size and height of the charging stations had at first been a structural challenge.
The final, fully operational product is already being used in various locations. It perfectly complements other elements in the city and surroundings.

RET by npk design

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