London architects Foster and Partners, are currently working with automotive giant Nissan to create a new concept in electric car charging stations. At this moment in time it is unclear what shape the project will take but with Nissan expecting in excess of 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020 it is certainly an interesting development.
As the number of electric vehicles continues to grow, national and local governments around the world will need to address this issue. We will likely see significant changes in infrastructure to accommodate electric car vehicles which will significantly reduce pollution in the atmosphere. There is a suggestion that the project between Foster and Partners and Nissan will create a modern day electric vehicle “petrol station” and we await the final result towards the end of this year with anticipation.
In reality, it will take decades for electric vehicles to become anywhere near as popular as their fossil fuel counterparts. Indeed the site of petrol stations on roadsides will be around for many years to come, although the idea that these could be converted into electric car charging stations seems to make an awful lot of sense.
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If there is perhaps one thing that the electric vehicle industry has been guilty of it is not looking far enough ahead to accommodate important factors such as electric car charging station networks. The ability to add these types of services into the traditional infrastructure of towns, cities, and villages in years to come will certainly assist growth of the industry. If this can be done in a nonintrusive manner this will increase the conversion rate from fossil fuel vehicles to their electric vehicle counterparts.
While many governments around the world have been proactive in public, offering financial incentives to those looking at electric vehicles, have they been as proactive as they could have been on issues such as charging stations?
The time is coming
Only a few years ago the jury was out with regards to whether or not electric vehicles would overtake their fossil fuel counterparts in the short, medium, or long-term. While it would be wrong to suggest the industry is there, complacency has been a big problem in years gone by, there is no doubt that the momentum is with the electric vehicle industry. The recent reduction in the cost of oil will likely make conversion from fossil fuel vehicles to their electric counterparts seem a little less attractive in the short term, but the long-term benefits are still there.
It is also highly likely that governments around the world will look to increase the tax burden on fossil fuel high pollution vehicles in favour of their electric counterparts. This particular stage of development will need careful handling because once the public feel they are being pushed towards a particular mode of transport this could undo a lot of the good work which has been done in recent times.
It is interesting to see that Nissan is looking further ahead than many electric vehicle companies with the development of future “petrol stations”, which will in effect be electric vehicle charging stations. The idea of integrating these stations into traditional city, town, and village infrastructure is also a vital element going forward and one which perhaps does not receive as much media exposure as it should. Interesting times ahead!