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Cover

The British architecture firm Foster + Partners teamed up with Nissan to design a brand new generation of public fuel stations, repurposed in the spirit of times yet to come – meaning, serving the needs of electric vehicles. Which are supposed to be the norm, sooner or later.

Business partners eloquently named their project "the fuel station of the future". Judging by the numbers, in the next five years there will be over one million electric vehicles on the road, repainting the urban landscape as we know it. It's amazingly safe to say that the existing electric infrastructure to charge their batteries just won't do. "Our current refuelling infrastructure is outdated and faces an uncertain future unless it adapts," explained Jean-Pierre Diernaz, director of electric vehicles at Nissan.

Nissan, a world-renowned manufacturer of electric cars, and Foster + Partners, a creative practice with a fearless, innovative approach towards architectural design, developed a concept that will "investigate the impact of zero-emission vehicles on future infrastructure design", featuring an electric fuelling hub that could replace petrol stations of today. The existing Supercharger network is convenient for Tesla's vehicles only, so another, serving-all-purposes solution is nothing short of imminent.

"The new approach to design will create a more integrated and communal role within our towns and cities," according to David Nelson, head of design at Foster + Partners. Within their vision, the concept will be presented to a world that is rapidly becoming an eco–conscious, zero-emissions society, understanding the benefits of a smart EV ecosystem – especially when it comes to harnessing the potential of battery storage and vehicle-to-grid systems. E-vehicles are supposed to become not only 'consumers', but also potential generators of electric energy, feeding all the excess electricity they produce back into the grid.

Sept. 3, 2015 Driving photo: Foster + Partners

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