Like it or not, vehicles are becoming increasingly electrified. More and more plug-in models, both hybrid and fully electric, are being introduced and sold every year.
That means that more and more charging stations are required and many more will be needed as the EV population explodes.
Given the extended time required to recharge batteries relative to that to refill a gasoline-fuelled vehicle, the ratio of charging stations per vehicle will have to be many times that of gasoline pumps per vehicle. And that presents a huge problem.
It’s one that Nissan, which sells more electric vehicles globally than any other automaker, has necessarily considered.
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Nissan unveiled a fully-connected vision of the future of electric mobility, created in association with architects, Foster Partners. A key part of that vision is wireless charging capability accessed by parking an electric vehicle over a charging hot spot on the street or in a parking lot or garage.
Combining that vision with the potential for autonomous vehicles, it even envisions your car re-parking itself somewhere else when it is fully charged to make room for another vehicle to be charged.
Beyond just charging without plugging in, Nissan says it is currently experimenting with an innovative vehicle-to-grid system in Europe that will allow drivers to operate as individual ‘energy hubs’ able to store, use or return clean energy to the grid.
It’s a bold vision but it will need a buy-in from multiple partners, both public and private, not just the automaker.
“Integrating zero emission technologies into the built environment is vital in creating smarter, more sustainable cities,” said David Nelson, co-head of design at Foster Partners. “That commitment must extend far beyond the car – it must sit at the heart of everything we do.”
More information on Nissan’s vision for the fuel station of the future is available on video.