The fuel station for the future — Nissan charges ahead with new project

(August 25, 2015) LONDON — Nissan’s unwavering vision of a cleaner, safer and more user-friendly automotive environment takes another marked step forward with the announcement of a unique project to design and develop the Fuel Station of the Future in partnership with renowned international architects Foster + Partners.

The electric vehicle charging project brings together two brands famed for their innovative, bold design and desire to challenge conventions to offer a fascinating view of how fueling stations will adapt in a rapidly changing world.

As undisputed leaders and market experts in EV design, engineering and manufacturing, Nissan is perfectly placed to establish a vision for the Fuel Station of the Future. The brand recognizes that the refueling 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.

The need for a sustainable and innovative refueling network is becoming vital as the market shifts toward alternative sources like electric power.

The concept will be anchored at the heart of a world that is concerned with a zero-emissions society, connected communities, autonomous drive and the Internet of things. It will demonstrate the host of benefits brought by a smart EV ecosystem — not just in terms of mobility, but in harnessing the potential of battery storage and vehicle-to-grid systems.

Nissan will collaborate closely with Foster + Partners over the coming months to present its vision for the Fuel Station of the Future later this year.

David Nelson, head of Design at Foster + Partners, said: “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. 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; 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.”

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan, said: “Our current refueling 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.”

The collaboration to conceive a bold new vision of the fuel station comes as the popularity of electric vehicles continues to increase. Sales of Nissan EVs in Europe rose by 33% in 2014 and continue to climb, driven by the on-going battle to improve urban air quality. Adoption of EVs is reaching a tipping point, and projections suggest that current growth trends will only accelerate in pace.

Nissan has pioneered bringing ZE technology to the commercial mass-market. In 2010, the introduction of the Nissan LEAF — the first mass-market, pure EV launched globally — revolutionized the motoring world. It remains the best-selling EV in history, commanding almost a 50% share of today’s zero-emission vehicle segment.