Redesigning a Staple
For something first introduced in 1905, gas stations have remained surprisingly unchanged for more than a century: pumps, canopies, concrete, convenience stores.
The rise of electric vehicles presents a unique opportunity to reimagine — and perhaps even improve — the modern gas station.
What if gas stations weren’t just a place to stop and refuel quickly? What if they were a place where, in addition to recharging your car, fuel stations were a place where you could mentally and physically recharge yourself?
The current ratio of EVs to chargers sits at 24 to 1, according to the International Energy Agency. In other words, the US needs more charging stations to support or encourage the influx of new EV drivers — not to mention providing convenience to existing ones.
To address this issue, the Biden administration dedicated billions of dollars to support national electric vehicle infrastructure. The White House’s goal is to open 500,000 new charging stations by 2030.
With the floodgates officially opened, carmakers, architects, designers, and EV enthusiasts are all chiming in on the best way to design those stations.
Recharging an EV takes a lot longer than gassing up a car — typically, commercial chargers can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours. So many proposed EV charging station designs center on the idea of relaxation.
Some of the most popular designs include health and wellness amenities, green spaces, spas, community areas, cafés, shops, game rooms, children’s play areas, and plant-filled courtyards. Tesla (TSLA) even designed a charging station that doubles as a diner and drive-in theater.
For over 100 years, gas stations have been a necessary amenity to help travelers get from one destination to the next. But it might not be long before charging stations are a destination in and of themselves.
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