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We have reached a tipping point, where the world needs to rethink the function of the gas station. While electric vehicles are currently a tiny fraction of the car market, we’re witnessing an incremental shift towards bigger and more powerful electric cars. This plan, therefore, presumes that gas stations will gradually disappear for electric stations.
By the time electric cars take over the market, most services will have become automated; retail, banking, post offices, and gas stations. As new modern technologies assume human roles in our society, they slowly will replace established communal connection among the population. Therefore, places where social interactions can occur will become paramount. The Gas Station of the Future, I propose, can transition into such a place. One may ask, why bother with electric stations? While most recharging will happen overnight at home, or during the day at some retail brand charging stations, consumers will still need a spot to charge their vehicles. These locations will need to be carefully crafted to reflect not only the customers’ preferences, but most importantly their needs. Nevertheless, why stop? Others may argue this will be unnecessary, as new technologies will allow vehicles to recharge wirelessly as they drive past “highway stations.”
People will stop for two reasons:
They forgot and need a charge before reaching their destination.
They’re traveling extended periods of time and want to take a break, walk the dog or let the kids run around for a while. Why not charge when doing that?
The station to be successful, therefore will require to:
Have charging areas where they can either park and leave the EV to charge or exit the vehicle and go inside to socialize.
Include a lounge area.
Have a roof terrace with outdoor seating where they can buy food and drink.
Be visually appealing and unique to draw attention and attract customers.
Have a kinetic solar roof and solar sculpture garden.
The latter feature will become, arguably, the most important one, as it will establish a segue into future profitability along with sustainability. The power station will be indeed profitable, as it will secure a higher return on investment by collecting energy from the sun and selling it back to the main power grid. The station will be sustainable and will provide an environmentally friendly establishment offering the public a place to rest, eat and socialize. Hence, the station not only will become a powerful symbol for green power, but also become a primary source for energy production worldwide. It will reduce the ecological stress we face nowadays and decrease the rising energy demands of the growing population. So, welcome to the Gas Station of the Future, an energy-producing epicenter where you can charge your EV and get a smoothie.
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D.I.R.T PLUS LLC
Akademia Sztuki w Szczecinie
University of Tasmania