The rise of electric scooter fleets in cities around the globe happened almost overnight. By making transportation fun, they quickly took over a new market share and provided not only an easy way to travel but one that also prides itself in being sustainable. First becoming popular on the West Coast of the United States, scooters migrated eastward, eventually sweeping across Europe as well. Easy to maneuver and a convenient solution to get from place to place, we have to ask- can cities handle the accelerating rise of scooters and other forms of micromobility?
Electric Vehicles: The Latest Architecture and News
In theory, parking spaces serve only one function: park a car safely until it is used again, and in terms of design, car garages are flexible and straightforward, requiring minimal design interventions. However, parking spaces nowadays are no longer considered one-function buildings. The emptier the space, the more potential it has to integrate additional functions. Architects and urban planners have redefined traditional parking lots, adding recreational and commercial facilities to the structure. Instead of a typical structured grid plan with yellow and white markings on the floor, we are now seeing inviting structures that incorporate green facades and rooftop playgrounds, car washes, cafeterias, and work/study zones.
Designed by 3LHD Architects, the new campus for the Croatian electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac brings together a wide array of programs and spaces, from production plant and offices to kindergarten, dormitory and even a sheep meadow. Located in the outskirts of Zagreb, within a natural landscape, the Rimac Campus is organized around two main volumes that follow the site’s natural topography, with several accompanying facilities tucked underneath a green roof that stretches out, meeting the surrounding landscape.
In recent years, solar energy has become a very popular method to power electric vehicles. This emerging technology has motivated the development of new architectural typologies. An evident evolution of traditional gas stations, it could be foreseen that solar-powered charging stations will begin to significantly grow in numbers in our cities in both public and private spaces.
In our modern day society where every minute counts, Danish architecture firm COBE, in collaboration with Danish automotive technology company, CLEVER, has designed a new modular ultra-fast charging station for electric vehicles. These stations will not only aim to reduce the typical 45-minute charging time but also serve as a place where drivers can relax.
At last night’s keynote address, Tesla unveiled the company’s first electric-powered large cargo vehicle, the Tesla Semi, providing a first look at how the shipping industry of the future could operate.
Employing the same sleek forms that define their roadster and sedan models, the Tesla Semi is designed “specifically around the driver,” with ergonomically-designed stairs for easier entry and exit, full standing height interior, and a centrally-position driver’s seat for optimal visibility. Touchscreen displays will provide the driver with heads-up navigation and data monitoring, while a blind spot protection will increase driver awareness on the road.
By 2020, almost one million electric vehicles are expected on the road. "It seems to be clear," says David Nelson, head of design at Foster + Partners, "that electric vehicles will be a major feature of the urban landscape." Thus, Foster + Partners has teamed up with Nissan to develop the Fuel Station of the Future.
Imagining how zero emissions technology will influence our cities, the innovative brands are centering their design on the understanding that "connected communities, autonomous drive and the Internet of things" are drastically changing our infrastructure models. Their concept is expected to showcase the benefits of a "smart electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem," harnessing the potential of battery storage and vehicle-to-grid systems.