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GENEVA — The future gas station will be very different than what is seen today if auto manufacturer Nissan's vision comes to fruition.
Nissan is testing a vehicle-to-grid system in Europe, which when coupled with advances in second-life batteries, will allow drivers to operate as individual “energy hubs” able to store, use or return clean energy to the grid.
In fact, Nissan, along with its partner in the project, architect Foster + Partners, believes almost all global energy needs can be met with renewable energy sources by 2050. If this holds true, cars would be able to interact with their environment as populations adopt zero-emission technologies.
The test, involving a Nissan Leaf, was on display recently at the 86th International Motor Show in Geneva. This plan is intended to meet infrastructure needs in major cities. By 2050, more than half of the world’s population (54 percent) is expected to live in cities, and seven out of 10 people will live in urban areas.
“We’ve been at the forefront of zero-emission technology since 2010, but our vision does not stop there,” said Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe. “We believe that the future of transportation is reliant on both infrastructure and the environment. We’re looking for real, workable solutions that go beyond the product.”
Nissan and Foster + Partners believe vehicle-to-grid, battery storage, wireless charging, autonomous drive technology and over-the-air connectivity could combine to revolutionize how energy is used and distributed.
“Integrating zero-emission technologies into the environment is vital in creating smarter, more sustainable cities,” said David Nelson, co-head of design for Foster + Partners. “That commitment must extend far beyond the car; it must sit at the heart of everything we do.”