Nissan and the firm Foster Partners have unveiled a concept of “gas station of the future“. Designed for the electric car, it transforms the city into a permanent supply network by combining different battery charging technologies in buildings, parking spaces and roads. The car could itself turn into a power source by integrating into the electrical network.
What could a city look like with only electric vehicles on the road? It is this future that Nissan wants to give us an overview of. Last year, the Japanese automaker sealed a partnership with the architecture and design firm Foster Partners to think of the “gas station of the future”. The fruit of this reflection has just been revealed by Nissan at the Geneva Motor Show. In fact, the gas station of the future will no longer be a point of sale as we know it today. It will be everywhere: in the street, buildings, roads and the car itself.
The idea is to coordinate all the renewable energy recovery systems present in an agglomeration to build an extremely optimized system. The concept makes the car the central link in this virtuous chain in which renewable energies are never lost but constantly reused. “Cars, buildings, the road and the energy network communicate,” says Nissan. Recharged by the sun, the wind or the force of the oceans, the cars will also make it possible to store renewable energy and to redistribute it.
At night, electric cars equipped with autonomous systems will go to stand alone on the induction charging areas scattered in the streets. Once recharged, they will return to their parking space to make room for another car, and so on. An idea also studied by Volkswagen with its V-Charge project. When not in use, the cars will be connected to the network to help feed it. Then, at the end of their life, the batteries could be recycled in household energy storage systems.
Tomorrow, your office could be powered by an electric car
The switch to 100% electric cars could lead to another revolution. As the vehicle no longer emits polluting emissions, it could be parked inside buildings and used as an energy source. For example, you would go to the office directly without going to park your car, which would be supported by an autonomous parking system. Once in place, it would power the building or take charge.
Pushed to completion, the idea of Nissan and the Foster firm is to ensure that the renewable energies thus combined are so abundant that they can become a free “common good”. Existing service stations and certain car parks would no longer be necessary and could be converted into green spaces.
An ideal vision from which we are unfortunately still very far removed. First of all, the investments to create such infrastructures are colossal and require a very proactive urban policy which is today in its infancy. The battery charging systems will also have to be not only very fast to ensure the rotation of the cars, but also compatible with any model. However, one thing is certain: the electric car will be one of the centerpieces of the city of tomorrow and Nissan shows us a rather relevant possible path.