Why choose plastic shells for charging piles?

The plastic shell has excellent design freedom, is lightweight, has dimensional stability, and has low-cost mass production advantages. It is the best choice for the product design of all charging pile manufacturers. At present, AC charging pile shells are generally made of modified PC, PC/ABS, etc. It is generally required to be flame retardant, weather-resistant, heat-resistant, and low-temperature resistant, to meet the stringent requirements for outdoor use; it is convenient for color matching and environmentally friendly.

Charging pile manufacturers are using plastic to make charging piles, which must have its uniqueness.

Let’s take a look at a few classic examples at home and abroad:

Tesla (USA)

Tesla (USA)

As the leader in electric vehicles, Tesla uses high flame retardant PC/ABS (FR3030). For high-current fast-charging piles, flame retardancy is an essential condition.

BMW i3 (Europe)

BMW i3 (Europe)

BMW, which has recently been active in the field of electric vehicles, launched the i-series electric vehicle charging piles produced by Schneider Electric. They use PC/ABS (T65XF) with high mobility performance, which provides excellent support for its streamlined shell design. Processability.

Chargepoint (USA)

Chargepoint (USA)

It has >70% of the charging pile market share in North America, and the shell material they choose is PC material (6487) with outstanding weather resistance. It is beautiful and elegant and can achieve the effect of long-term outdoor use without fading or aging even without spraying.

According to feedback from a well-known domestic charging pile company, in the field of private charging piles, the sales volume of charging piles using beautiful non-metallic material shells is 10,000 units/month, while the sales volume of charging piles using traditional sheet metal shells is only 30 units/month.

Seeing so many successful examples, what are the advantages of plastic casings?

1. Appearance

Although the metal shell is practical, the appearance is usually boxy, and difficult to achieve a unique shape. However, the conventional design cannot meet consumer customization needs.

Unlike traditional metal enclosures, plastic can be shaped, curved, and transparent to the surface.

Plastics provide industrial designers with a degree of freedom that metal materials cannot match. This is why Tesla and BMW choose plastic shells to ensure that charging piles remain fashionable and consistent with their streamlined models.

Plastic shell charging pile

2. Consistency

Many processes are involved in processing metal casings, and many factors are involved in manual operations. Product quality has a lot to do with the operator’s experience. Poor assembly due to dimensional errors and welding defects caused by structural problems occur many times.

For example, the overall size of household charging piles is small, and the internal space is relatively small. If the error is large, it will affect the internal layout.

But the plastic shell is different. It is made of injection molds, and the dimensional error is very small, almost 0.

3. In terms of safety

The metal shell must be well insulated. Over time, it will rust, etc., and there is a risk of leakage. However the plastic shell is an insulating material, and there will be no problems such as corrosion and rust. A shell equivalent to metal will have a higher safety factor.

4. Weight comparison

With the same appearance design, the weight of a charging pile made of polycarbonate is only one-seventh that of a charging pile made of steel and half that of aluminum.

Although lighter, it still achieves the same mechanical properties. Its impact resistance is 20 times that of acrylic (PMMA) and 2 times that of polystyrene (PS).

5. Cost comparison

The production cost of metal shells is high, which is related to the price of steel. There are many processes and high labor costs. On the other hand, plastic casings only need to be molded and mass-produced, saving labor costs.

As shown in the figure below, when the quantity of plastic casings reaches more than 2000pc, the cost per piece has a clear cost advantage compared to metal casings.

Cost comparison

6. Environmentally friendly

The energy consumed in the production and molding process of plastics is much less than that of metals, and it contributes more to energy conservation and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions than metals.

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