Pulling in to recharge an Audi e-tron electric car may be a rejuvenating experience for both man (or woman) and machine if charging stations like the Audi commissioned 'e-den' concept ever become the norm.
One of the highlights of this month's Design Miami exhibition, the Audi 'e-den' installation is the work of Munich-based design studio Mirko Borsche, and is intended to highlight the fact that, initially at least, drivers of electric vehicles will not simply be able to pull in to a garage for a 'splash and dash' as their fossil fuel-reliant counterparts currently can. They will need to allow a little longer for 'refuelling', and may well need a place in which to work, eat or generally just recharge their own batteries while they wait.
The mirror-walled exterior of the Audi 'e-den' installation is a futuristic reinterpretation of a 1950s American 'gas station', and the classic fuel pump enshrined in glass like a museum piece bears testament to this fact. Inside, the scene is dramatically more warm and homely, with calm-inducing plants and warm wood furniture from sustainable, fair-trade sources creating the perfect ambiance in which to enjoy the organic food, magazines and books also on offer.
"Our aim in creating this installation is to heighten the public's awareness of the wide range of challenges electromobility presents. And we provide food for thought - not just about electric vehicles themselves, but also about the infrastructure that will have to be created to support electric mobility", says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Marketing and Sales.
The other focal point taking centre stage within the Audi 'e-den' installation is the stunning e-tron Spyder sports car design study from this year's Paris Motor Show. The fourth and latest member of the acclaimed Audi e-tron electric vehicle family will, however, not be the first to take to the road as a series production model - that honour belongs to the Audi R8 e-tron, which is scheduled for market introduction in 2012.
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