Nissan has joined forces with British architecture firm Foster + Partners to design a new generation of fuel station that takes into account the continued growth of electric vehicles. At the moment it's all very mysterious, and both firms remain tight-lipped as to what they have planned.
While one could be forgiven for taking the view that future fuel stations will look a lot like those of the present and past, a continued increase in EV use may result in the opportunity to radically overhaul our existing road and fuel station infrastructure.
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Tesla is blazing a trail with its supercharger stations, but these are still relatively niche and designed only for Elon Musk's cars. Stations which cater to all EV's will need to be able to take various types of vehicle in their stride, not to mention catering for technology like battery swapping, for example.
Given the relatively long charge times for EV's at present, perhaps Foster + Partners' vision will include an increased focus on retail opportunities or meeting points – it's not much fun hanging around your average gas station for a few hours, after all. The firms could do worse than looking to France's Aire de Services rest areas for inspiration in this regard. At this point we can only guess.
"It seems to be clear that electric vehicles will be a major feature of the urban landscape and, as a result, this presents an exciting opportunity to rethink the fuel station for future generations; a new approach to design will create a more integrated and communal role within our towns and cities," says David Nelson, Head of Design at Foster + Partners.
The two companies aim to unveil their Fuel Station of the Future concept later this year, and this will be used to promote discussion concerning the evolution of motoring infrastructure. Naturally, we'll report back with more concrete information as soon as this happens.