The high cost of fuel means independent petrol stations have been disappearing at a rapid pace, but what's happening to all the abandoned forecourts? If American firm Evoasis gets its way, they'll all be transformed into charging stations for electric vehicles.
According to the Evening Standard, the first of these, located on Grosvenor Road, in London's swanky Pimlico, will have 12 three-phase outlets capable of recharging some vehicles in as little as 20 minutes, plus airport-style 'waiting lounges' where users can chill and sip coffee while their cars are topped up.
Currently, high-speed charging is only possible on electric vehicles that use lithium-ion battery packs. These include the latest G-Wiz, the Tesla Roadster and the Nice e500 Electric, which is based on the awesome Fiat 500. A full charge will cost around £2, but high-speed charging won't be possible with cars such as the Nice Mega City, Ze-O, or anything that uses lead-acid or nickel-metal hydride batteries.
Evoasis claims it's in talks with supermarkets such as Tesco, as well as Westminster council, to open five additional sites by the end of the year. This number could rise exponentially if London Mayor Boris Johnson gets his way and unleashes an electric car rental scheme modelled on the Paris Velo bicycle rental system.
More as we get it.