EV Charging Stations: Wildflower Surrounds & Biodiversity

Biodiversity Drive: Creating Wildflower Surrounds for Commercial EV Charging Stations

By Amanda Winstead

Wildflower plots are increasingly being recognized as invaluable environmental resources. More people understand how plants have a tangible impact on the world around them. The good news is that these projects aren’t the only way the public is taking environmental responsibility. Many are trading out fossil fuel cars for electric vehicles (EVs).

But how are these two green measures related? Well, we’re already seeing more commercial EV charging points spring up, with many more expected to come in the future. Some of these will be in traditional-style refuelling stations, while others in public areas such as the car parks of government buildings, schools, and universities. Isn’t it worth considering how we can boost the positive environmental impact by also using these spaces to propagate wildflowers?

Why Are EV Charging Stations Appropriate Locations?

3D Render of a circle of EV charging stations on a main road, with a flowering garden around the sides, a greef roof, and a local store
Image courtesy of Be.EV

A greater number of drivers are recognizing the various benefits of investing in EVs. The technology tends to use fewer non-renewable resources and reduces the emissions released into the atmosphere. Not to mention that the long-term costs can be lower, which is particularly important during a cost of living crisis. But for all these advantages, what is it about EV charging stations that make them viable spots for wildflower patches?

  • Maximizing underused space: Whether it’s traditional-style forecourts or car parks, there’s often a lot of underused space around charging stations. Wildflowers can be grown in even relatively limited areas, such as alongside paths or along the perimeter of the station. Introducing wildflowers into these spaces maximizes the positive environmental impact EV charging stations will have.
  • Improving the biodiversity of inner-city areas: Particularly at the moment, urban areas tend to be hotspots for EV charging stations. These also tend to be areas that suffer from disrupted biodiversity. Introducing wildflowers to charging stations in these areas can be a vital step in bringing life back to inner city spaces.

It’s important to remember, too, that there are opportunities now to make wildflower growth at EV charging points a trend. For example, while EV adoption in the UK is slower than in some countries, the market still grew by 31% in the 12 months prior to July 2023. Encouraging this approach early on may help us avoid the concrete jungle that traditional fueling stations contributed to. This isn’t just more aesthetically pleasing, but it also sets the standard for how stations can positively contribute to the environment.

Designing the Space

As with any green project, it’s important to approach planting around EV charging points mindfully. After all, we need to ensure that the space is suitable for ongoing wildflower health, supports the wildlife it’s intended to attract, and functions effectively as a charging area. This means there are key design aspects to consider.

These could include:

  • Accessibility: While planting wildflowers can be great, the charging point still needs to be accessible by car, by foot, and using mobility aids. The last thing you want is for the wildflowers to be driven over or trampled when drivers are attempting to charge their vehicles. It may be wise to fence off some areas or even create stepping stones through patches to mitigate treading on flowers.
  • Animal safety: Growing wildflowers for biodiversity attracts pollinators and other animals to the space. Your patches might not just draw beetles and bees, though. You may also get hedgehogs and birds. Think about where you can place beds to minimize the risk of injury or distress to these animals. Where possible, place signs warning drivers to be vigilant of wildlife.

It’s always wise to perform a survey on the area you want to plant in. Look at the risks and opportunities of the space. Even consider how nearby buildings might impact sunlight and rainfall, which should influence the plants you choose to place. You can then develop the most effective layout for your garden.

Maintaining the Area

It’s not enough to simply plant a patch around commercial EV charging points and let it grow. Certainly, the ideal outcome is that the wildflowers start to thrive and attract pollinators throughout the area. Nevertheless, for these spaces to have the maximum benefits, it’s vital to pay attention to their ongoing maintenance, particularly in the beginning.

Some of the actions you need to consider include:

  • Checking soil and watering: You may find you don’t need to make too many adjustments to your soil. In fact, low-quality soil tends to be best for wildflowers. Nevertheless, you should occasionally examine your patch to confirm that the soil is still supporting the flowers effectively. During dry periods, you should also regularly water your wildflowers.
  • Strimming and cutting back: You’ll need to trim or cut back your wildflowers throughout the first year of planting. This helps them to establish firm roots and can even encourage more diverse cultivation in the area.

It can be wise to make maintenance a community effort. This may be particularly relevant for government departments, colleges, and schools. Community engagement helps to promote an understanding of the resources that support the environment. Depending on the space available around the charging point, keeping a well-organized shed can ensure locals have reliable access to the tools needed to responsibly tend to the patches. Use wall hangers to keep tools and hoses safely off the floor. Repurpose old boxes to keep seeds sorted and accessible.

Incorporating Additional Sustainability Initiatives

Adding charging stations with wildflower surrounds is one way to both beautify the side of the highway and provide sustainable infrastructure. However, EV charging stations can also be integrated with other types of sustainability technology to further green cities and roadways.

For instance, EV tech could be integrated with solar-powered roadways. These roads have solar panels integrated into the road surface, which allows them to both generate electricity and heat, which is a great way to de-ice the roads during winter conditions. One study indicates that 96% of the UK’s electric needs could be met by solar roadway systems.

They could also prove to be hubs for eco-tourists in the UK. EV charging stations make it easier for sustainability-minded individuals to travel farther distances, which can create eco-tourism opportunities. In addition to wildflower gardens, charging stations could also be areas to create infrastructure such as visitor centres, restaurants or other attractions that could cater to these tourists. Existing options could also be upgraded to be more eco-friendly, such as by powering the buildings through solar or wind power. However, if these hubs are to be built up around the EV charging stations themselves, it is important to secure funding for this key piece of infrastructure.

Funding EV Charging Points

There are a variety of initiatives that could be used to fund EV charging points. The UK government recently announced an initiative that will cover 75 per cent of the installation costs for EV charging points at educational institutions. The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles also offers a variety of grants for installing charging points in one’s home, in front of a business, or for local governments to install on-street locations.

Depending on the initiative, it is also possible that grants could be used for the creation of wildflower plots themselves. Some different sources include:

  • Initiatives for improving areas of natural beauty;
  • Small lottery grants;
  • Charity commissions;
  • Local supermarket grants.

Presenting cases to local governments about the importance of these stations could also increase the likelihood of funds be set aside for these specific projects.


EV charging areas with wildflower plots can boost the environmental impact of these roadside stations. It’s important to implement these projects mindfully and focus on careful design practices. Remember, though, that different locations and flowers will have nuanced needs. Commit to regular assessment of the area. This helps you ensure the most positively impactful wildflower patches for your EV charging spots.

About the Author

Amanda Winstead is a writer focusing on many topics including technology and digital marketing. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.

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