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  • Car driver charges her electric car using a charging device back in 1912. Image: Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis

    From Battery Rooms to Plug & Play: We’ve Come A Long Way

    We all know about charging stations, but few know their historical origin.

    We reveal all, free of charge. So come with us on a short journey through the history of the charging station.


    Image: Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis

  • Charging stations were invented in the 19th century

    Historical charging hall: an electric car from the 19th century is charged. Image: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/plus-ca-charge-electric-touring/#jp-carousel-477865 Pit stop: an electric car from the 19th century is charged.

    Image: www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/plus-ca-charge-electric-touring/#jp-carousel-477865

    Did you know that the development of the charging station didn’t start with Tesla, but in the mid-19th century?

    Electric cars were in demand back then – they were even more popular than petrol cars. But the charging station’s predecessor wasn’t a station, it was a room. Massive battery blocks were stacked in the battery room. These blocks replaced depleted disposable batteries.
    Only once French physicist Gaston Planté invented the rechargeable lead-acid battery in 1859 could the same batteries be reused.

    Unlike today, very few households had electricity back then. So there were lots of public spaces, such as halls, dedicated to recharging batteries. The electric cars would be driven in and connected via a hefty cable to one of the recharging modules, which were lined up along a wall.

  • The Electrant milestone and combustion-engine breakthrough

    In 1899, General Electric launched the Electrant charging station. It was installed in large US cities and looked like a telephone pillar.

    However, the success of the electric car was suddenly thwarted (for the time being) by a rather unremarkable invention: the starter motor. Drivers of petrol cars now no longer needed to go through the inconvenience and major effort of cranking the engine manually – they could simply switch it on. Cheap fuel prices and the better range gave the combustion engine its big break.

    Charging hall: electric cars are recharged in a charging hall from 1909. Image: Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis Electric filling stations from 1909: electric cars are powered up in this hall.

    Image: Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis
  • The electric car makes a slow comeback

    Electric car from 1910 is charged in the garage using a mercury-arc rectifier charging set. Image: Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis Ready to recharge: a 1910 mercury-arc rectifier charging set in Cleveland, Ohio.

    Image: Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis

    Until the 1950s, the charging technology for electric cars remained largely unchanged. It was only through advances in space exploration that batteries and charging options improved.

    The topic gained impetus in 1997 with the Toyota Prius, which combined a petrol engine with an electric drive system and was the first car in the world to be mass produced with a hybrid drive.

    In 2006, Tesla accelerated development when it launched its all-electric Roadster. Tesla promised a range of up to 400 km (just under 250 miles) back then, a quantum leap that sparked demand for private charging stations at home.

  • Webasto’s solution: the new Webasto Pure charging station

    Electric cars are now making a comeback, so demand for public and private charging stations is high.

    Webasto's latest home charging solution is the second-generation Webasto Pure wallbox, which makes charging at home convenient and easy. The central LED display, for example, depicts the charging process in a flowing, gently pulsing colour transition. Another new feature is the integrated DC residual current protection – you now no longer need to have a type B RCD circuit breaker fitted during installation.

    The new Webasto Pure charging station How we charge today: easily at home. 
  • User-friendly and safe

    There are also more amp settings available when setting up the wallbox, so the installer can better adjust the charging current to the local infrastructure.

    The Webasto Pure charging station also impresses users with its ease of use (Plug & Play) and its practical cable suspension for tidy storage of the connector and charging cable. Webasto is so convinced of the quality of the new generation of wallboxes that, alongside the 2-year statutory warranty, it provides a further 3-year guarantee.

    We’re sure the electric car drivers of the 19th century would have loved a solution like this.

    Another chapter was recently added to the charging station’s history book: Tesla has developed public Supercharger stations that can add up to 120 km (75 miles) of charge to a Tesla Model 3 in five minutes.

    By contrast, a capacity of up to 22 kW is enough for a home charging station, as the electric car is parked overnight, leaving plenty of time for it to be fully charged by morning.

  • Our Products

    Webasto Pure 

    Now new! With the new Webasto Pure, you can recharge your electric car at home quickly, conveniently and safely. Find out more about the new product highlights. 

    » Learn more

    Webasto Mode 3 Type 2 Charging Cable

    Webasto Charging Cable

    Our "to go" charging cable allows charging at public charging stations. The Mode 3 type 2 charging cable is suitable for electric cars with type 2 connector. 

    » Learn more

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