In the idea of the future and common progress, we tend to fantasize about the concept of "smart city". A world where everything will be connected via the internet, where cars will fly and buildings will have particularly slender and sci-fi shapes.
However, it is more difficult to imagine how the specific environments of our daily life will evolve. For example, petrol stations, so neglected but also so necessary, given their function within our everyday life.
In recent years there has been the launch of electric cars on the market. Also seen the complicated environmental situation in terms of pollution, it seems almost obvious that service and refueling stations will be able to evolve into enormous electric charging stations.
Different times, different spaces
As you will imagine, some reflections need to be made. Unlike the classic refueling with a petrol pump typical of the combustion engine, in the case of an electric motor the recharging process is not immediate (at least not yet). Charging the car battery, under certain conditions, can take up to an entire night.
This is why engineers and architects of the sector have thought of a revolution in service stations. In their ideas they must first of all be places of sociality and offer a great variety of services. In summary, they will allow those who go there to invest their time in various activities while waiting for the vehicle to be recharged.
A sort of technological oasis
The gas stations of the future could become facilities with much more comfort. Huge green spaces, gyms, hotels, restaurants, areas dedicated to work and relaxation.
Furthermore, service stations will need to be able to serve even new technologies that have not yet seen a large-scale deployment. The most striking example is that of self-driving cars: maintenance and cleaning services will be essential to ensure ad hoc treatment of these vehicles.
Petrol stations: on the ground and in the sky?
The same goes for aerial vehicles such as drones, which must have, in addition to the services already mentioned, dedicated landing platforms.
Finally, from the point of view of environmental impact, the service stations of the future must be as ecological as possible.
The idea is to make consumption self-sustainable by using renewable energy generators, photovoltaic systems and wind turbines, and perhaps to sell the excess energy produced as a service to the users of the station.
Another example of sustainability will be given by the car washing service, which will be able to make use of a rainwater collection system rather than use drinking water.
The German vanguard in petrol stations
From these points of view, Germany is one of the states from which to take the most example, given the presence in its territory, already today, of some eco-sustainable service stations, such as PM filling station in Geilenkirchen. It produces the energy for lighting and heating by itself, and is completely free of waste water (it collects rainwater and recycles / purifies that of washing).
Considering also the new generation projects related to the installation, in large motorways, of induction charging lines for electric cars below the road surface, we can therefore imagine, in the not too distant future, that service stations will take on a totally different value in people's daily lives.
They will go from a simple necessary step before setting off to be a 360 ° living and social environment, in which vehicle recharging is just one of the many services offered to the consumer.