Dezeen Magazine

Foster + Partners and Nissan to redesign electric car fuel stations

London architecture firm Foster + Partners is working with car brand Nissan to develop a concept for a charging station for electric vehicles.

Foster + Partners and Nissan are drawing up plans for a Fuel Station of the Future, to cater for the one million electric vehicles they estimate will be on the road by 2020.

The concept will investigate the impact of zero-emission vehicles on future infrastructure design, and the team has drawn up plans for an electric fuelling hub it believes could replace petrol stations. The final concept will be revealed at the end of the year.

"The aim of our collaboration with Nissan is to highlight the magnitude of the challenge that we face in evolving our cities to meet change," said David Nelson, head designer at Foster + Partners. "New technologies, alternative forms of fuel and changing trends within our society are all having a huge impact on the way we get around."

"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."

Sales of the Japanese car brand's electric models grew by 33 per cent in 2014, and Nissan claims this growth pattern will accelerate. At the beginning of this year, its design for a electric version of London's infamous black cabs was approved for fare-paying passengers.

Numerous new electric and hybrid vehicles models were also launched at this year's Geneva Motor Show adding to the variety already available.

Pierre Diernaz, the director of Nissan's electric vehicle department, said that old-fashioned fuel stations must be adapted to accommodate this rising demographic.

"Our current refuelling infrastructure model is out-dated and faces an uncertain future unless it rapidly adapts to support the changing needs of consumers," he said. "By 2020, there will be almost one million electric vehicles on the road, so it is imperative that there is an infrastructure in place to support this growth."

Tesla founder Elon Musk, whose company produces only electric vehicles, recently unveiled a pair of batteries designed to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels for generating electricity for homes and businesses. Apple is also rumoured to be working on an electric car.

Foster + Partners is no stranger to designing for transport. Along with numerous airport projects, including terminals in Beijing, Kuwait and Amman, it was recently appointed to create an £8 billion transport system for the Saudi Arabian capital, Jeddah.