What would the filling station look like in a world of electric cars? Audi has addressed that question by commissioning the e-den concept - a futuristic charging station and rest stop.
On show at this month's Design Miami exhibition, the e-den is the work of Munich-based design studio Mirko Borsche. The concept reflects the fact that, based on current technology, electric vehicle drivers will need more time to 'refuel' than those relying on internal combustion.
The charging station has been designed to provide a space for drivers to work, eat or rest - all housed within a mirror-walled homage to the American 'gas station' from the Fifties. The exterior features an old-style fuel pump, encased in glass like a museum exhibit. Inside there are no fast-food outlets or plastic furniture; instead drivers enjoy 'calming' plants, sustainable wooden chairs and organic food. Entertainment comes not from noisy amusement arcades but from a selection of books and magazines.
Centrepiece of the e-den installation is the Audi e-tron Spyder from the 2010 Paris Motor Show. However, the company's first series production electric vehicle will be the R8 e-tron, scheduled for 2012.