New York-based architecture firm Ennead Architects has devised a solution to both parking shortages and limited EV plug-ins: the charging tower.

The firm’s “power tower” design was commissioned by a client in Shanghai, but it could prove universally useful if put into use, reports Electrek.

The concept charges nine electric cars or SUVs stored above-ground in its elevator system, while “super-charging” three vehicles in its high-voltage chargers on ground level.

Multiple towers can be grouped together to increase both charging and parking availability in urban centres.

While stacked-car elevators have been around since the 1920s, the combination of a car elevator with multiple EV plug-ins is novel and indeed timely, as few curb-side parking spots are equipped with EV chargers in most modern cities.

“In order to accommodate both a small, urban, pedestrian-friendly site and to maximize the number of cars simultaneously utilizing a standard charging system, we combined existing charger technologies with existing stack-parking technologies to create a ‘Charging Tower,’” wrote Ennead Architects in a press release.

“At the ground level, ‘super charge’ stations are housed beneath a light-weight canopy. The parking towers above are clad in a reflective, perforated metal, recalling the chrome-filled aesthetic history of the automobile and creating a beacon for those searching for parking and car charging.”