Design Concept of the Day: Nissan/Foster + Partners Fuel Station of the Future

August 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

nissan foster fuel stationNissan is working with architects Foster + Partners on a design concept for ‘Fuel Station of the Future’, the idea being to rethink the petrol station for the age of electromobility. The concept will be revealed later this year. Some interesting thinking behind this, perhaps hinting that this could be about more than just substituting plugs for petrol pumps, as Nissan says it “recognises that the refuelling infrastructure of the future represents the perfect opportunity to integrate and engage with local environments in an innovative way – potentially providing an energy and societal hub for modern communities.” Are we talking local/community renewable energy initiatives here?

Nissan goes on to mention “a zero-emissions society, connected communities, autonomous drive and the internet of things” in a “smart EV ecosystem – not just in terms of mobility, but in harnessing the potential of battery storage and vehicle-to-grid systems.” Look forward to seeing this – but let’s not forget the parallel system of people charging vehicles at home/work from their own (renewably-generated) electricity, arguably a potentially more disruptive development. Full blurb from Nissan here. (But will this fuel station’s equipment be as pretty as the Pininfarina Antares EV chargers?)

  • Comment at Forbes on how Tesla has eaten into sales of premium-brand German models, quoting Professor Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer of the University of Duisberg-Essen’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR: of course) on “the blind alley of plug-in hybrids”. Prof Dudenhoeffer says that PHEVs are mostly run on their ICE power, and that the must-have luxury vehicle even in markets with no EV subsidies is the Tesla Model S, its 280-mile-plus battery range rendering the PHEV tech (expensive, heavy, not really eco-friendly) redundant.
  • Vehicle mileage travelled (VMT) in the US hit a record high of 1.54trillion miles in the first half of 2015: lowdown at Green Car Congress, which notes that “this is more than double the amount driven during the same period in 1981, continuing a trend of America’s driving mileage doubling nearly every generation.” Per-capita VMT is still below the peak of June 2005, albeit still trending upward over the last year, with total VMT (incl. commercial traffic) hitting record levels in June and total US driving increasing for 16 months in a row. Full release from US Department of Transportation has links to the Federal Highway administration (FHWA) data.
  • However… the example of “mobility fees” in Florida shows a different approach in US city development: restricting new road-building, concentrating development in areas with existing infrastructure, and attention to vehicle mileage, reports Citylab.

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