The fuel station concept, expected to be presented later this year, will aim to “demonstrate the host of benefits brought by a smart EV ecosystem”.

These benefits include include cheaper mobility and the potential for harnessing the power of battery storage in cars and vehicle-to-grid systems.

Nissan said the concept will also incorporate elements from autonomous driving and the Internet of things. 

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, the director of electric vehicles at Nissan, said: “Our current refuelling infrastructure model is out-dated and faces an uncertain future unless it rapidly adapts to support the changing needs of consumers.

“By 2020, there will be almost one million EVs on the road, so it is imperative that there is an infrastructure in place to support this growth.

“This initiative will take the first steps along that road to examine the wider transportation landscape and reimagine the future of mobility, preparing our cities for a more sustainable future.”

Driving change

In many developed countries, transport is the only sector where emissions are still rising, thanks to ever more cars being piled onto the road. 

While the uptake of electric cars is picking up momentum, many motorists say the lack of refuelling infrastructure is what’s stopping them from making the leap to a plug-in vehicle.

Foster + Partners head of design David Nelson said the new project would highlight the magnitude of the challenge of upgrading transport infrastructure.

“New technologies, alternative forms of fuel and changing trends within our society are all having a huge impact on the way we get around,” he said.

“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; a new approach to design will create a more integrated and communal role within our towns and cities.

“As the leaders in the electric vehicle market, Nissan has been critical in providing insight on how the motorists of the future will interact with the built environment.”

In a similar project, flooring manufacturer Interface recently launched its Mission Zero Corridor initiative, which aims to trial new infrastructure innovations to create a zero impact road.

Their early pilots will include wireless charging roads, wildlife bridges and algae-powered refuelling stations.

Brad Allen

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie