By 2030, an estimated 20% of all cars sold will be electric vehicles. And by 2035, states like California will ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles. Soon, the gas station, as we know it, could be extinct, replaced by an exponential demand for electric vehicle charging stations. And that will change the way we go on road trips forever.
So we asked the San Francisco design firm NewDealDesign (known for creating products ranging from the original FitBit to the Postmates delivery robot) to imagine how all of our signage will have to change in this new era. Would the blue gas station signs we have on the side of highways still make sense in this new world?
Instead of being color-printed metal, the sign itself is an e-ink display—something like a big Kindle on a stick. That means the sign can be continuously updated, reads well in sunlight, and uses so little power that it could run on solar energy alone.
[Image: courtesy NewDealDesign]Rather than display a gasoline or energy icon, the sign displays a local tourist attraction and the distance to it. If your car has a self-driving vision system, it could even be programmed to recognize a code on this sign and route your GPS right to the sight. Meanwhile, a ring of LEDs around the display could glow red, green, or any other color to indicate if the attraction is open or closed.