Audi e-tron at e-den – Click above for high-res image

Miss those old-fashioned, two-tone gasoline pumps? Neither do we, but if you've ever wanted to fill up your electric car from a charging station that looks like one of those pumps, Audi has got just the thing (sort of). Called e-den, Audi's idea is to make waiting for your electric vehicle to charge fun and engaging. The pump looks old-school, but e-den is looking forward. Audi calls it a "futuristic service station" that combines fair-trade products and sustainable materials into a "real paradise."

Sadly, that EVSE-looking thing that's a part of e-den won't actually charge your car the way it looks like it could in the picture above. Instead, that's an actual old gas pump that's been encased in glass, "like a museum piece." The message? Where we're going, we don't need petroleum. The e-den was unveiled today at Design Miami and will be on display through December 5th.

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Design Miami: Filling up on creativity

  • Audi exhibits futuristic "e-den" charging station at Design Miami
  • A matter of time: charging takes longer than conventional fueling
  • Audi takes an active part in discussions on electromobility
Miami/Ingolstadt, December 1, 2010 – Fill it up, pay, get on your way. It probably won't be that easy with electric cars, since charging takes longer than filling up with gasoline or diesel. At the Design Miami show (December 1 to December 5), Audi takes a playful look at this aspect: What can drivers do in the meantime? What amenities will charging stations of the future have to offer?

Wood furniture and plants, organic food, magazines and books – this futuristic service station is a wellness oasis featuring fair-trade products and sustainable materials. A real paradise, hence the title of the installation: "e-den." The "e" stands for electromobility. Munich-based graphic design studio Mirko Borsche created the vision, which is dominated by reflective glass that mirrors the resplendent Audi e-tron Spyder, a study in electric vehicle design. The architecture is also reminiscent of a 1950s American gas station, with an old gasoline pump encased in glass like a museum piece.

"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. Design Miami, the world's leading design show, is an excellent venue in this regard. And this is also Audi's fifth year as a partner and exhibitor at the show.

But the car is still the centerpiece – and will remain so – because the desire for personal mobility will continue to exist, even in the future: "I staged the Audi e-tron Spyder as a vision. What is so amazing here is the contrast between the cozy interior and the futuristic reflections of the exterior, creating a dynamic interplay that can be experienced on a personal level", says graphic designer Mirko Borsche.

Wava Carpenter, Acting Director Design Miami: "Design is the art form aimed at imagining a better, richer, more comfortable everyday life. Today we find the most compelling design work stretches farthest in imagining a better future. Audi's proposal for a gasoline-less filling station for electric cars which will be shown at Design Miami/ is a perfect example of this. "

At Audi, conventional ways of seeing and thinking are continually challenged in order to advance the company and to play an active role in shaping the mobility of the future. As part of the Audi Urban Future Award 2010 architectural competition, Audi took a close look at personal mobility in the city of the future.

Furthermore Audi presented four electric vehicle concepts with its e-tron family within just one year – and the small-series, 100% electric R8 e-tron supercar will be on the market in 2012

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