A new era has begun for drivers of electric cars. The first bk World opened today, Friday, in Endsee, Bavaria. By creating charging havens, this subsidiary of bk Group AG is revolutionising long-distance travel by electric car.
From idea to reality
For drivers of electric cars, charging time is mostly wasted time. It’s 20 to 30 minutes they have to spend consuming fast food in a remote car park, killing time on their mobile phone, enjoying the charms of service station bathrooms, writing emails on a precariously balanced laptop – and longing for the time to pass.
This is something that Gerold Wolfarth and Marc Arnold, the founders of bk World, want to change. The idea for bk World was born during a charging stop in the middle of the night, they recounted at the grand opening of the first bk World. “There had to be a better way – and we wanted it to be unique,” Wolfarth said.
Now, right at the Tesla Supercharger Park with its 20 rapid charge spots in Endsee, the first location has been opened: a lounge for drivers of electric cars that turns waiting time into quality time.
In bk World, charging time becomes quality time
“The whole idea for bk World was conceived from the user perspective,” Arnold explained. “In other words, as the driver of an electric car, what is it that I really need during a charging break?”
bk World of course offers bathroom facilities, while a comfortable lounge area invites drivers to linger. But the concept is far more extensive. For instance, it makes extremely efficient use of the small footprint. Various products are dispensed in a fully automated way. The food that drivers can purchase on site is healthy, fresh, and low in sugar. When selecting the product portfolio, the planners deliberately avoided working with large corporations and chose instead to focus on keeping things regional and sustainable. Together with entrepreneur and investor Marcell Jansen, work is even going on to develop an innovative and healthy food portfolio especially for bk World.
Small office areas for business meetings, a children’s play area to entertain the little ones, and green surroundings turn a necessary stay into a welcome break.
A unique spatial concept
bk World is made up of what are known as Qubes – modular, transportable room elements that can be combined in a number of ways to meet a wide variety of space requirements on site. When a charging facility grows, its bk World can grow with it. Qubes can be assembled, disassembled, and relocated in a very short time. This is particularly good news for property owners, but also for charging facility operators. If a lease expires, bk World offers the greatest possible flexibility. The smallest version, with a lounge area and bathroom Qube, takes up around 50 square metres – but there is no upper size limit to bk World. This reduces material waste and makes demolitions a thing of the past.
And bk World’s inherent adaptability makes it easier to find suitable locations.
“With bk World, charging park operators no longer have to rely on existing infrastructure. We simply come to wherever a charging park has been set up. All we need is a connection for water, wastewater, and electricity, which means we can put our lounges in practically any location,” Wolfarth said.
Supporting regional retailers
bk World is also committed to strengthening the regional retail trade. Its online shop hosts a platform on which regional retailers can present themselves. As the locations expand, the portfolio of regional specialities will continue to grow. In Endsee, visitors to the charging park will find delicacies including Franconian wines, award-winning chocolates, and exceptional cooking oils.
“For most retailers, bk World is a touchpoint with a new target group that would otherwise be very hard, if not impossible, for them to reach. After all, people stopping for a break right on the motorway won’t be aware of the great shops in nearby towns. The visibility that companies can now achieve through our platform is enormous,” Wolfarth said.
Each bk World location will offer a maximum of 80 selected products from the surrounding region, making every bk World unique. It is also possible to purchase regional products in the bk World online shop.
Taking sustainability a step further
bk World is climate positive over its lifetime. That means it offsets more CO2 emissions than it causes. This is thanks to the interplay of various structural considerations and construction techniques. The solid lounge elements are made of spruce wood. One property of this building material is that it naturally binds CO2. In addition, the bk World Qubes feature a sustainable insulating material that is not only ecological, but also has properties that make a positive impact on the bk World’s carbon footprint: the Qubes are designed to withstand all weather conditions. From sweltering heat in southern Europe to extreme cold in the north – all visitors to bk World will experience the same climate. Many of the electrical consumers in each bk World draw their power from the on-site PV system on the roofs of the Qubes.
The future is electric
“To make a success of the mobility revolution, we need innovative concepts like bk World. And committed players who don’t wait for government initiatives, but instead take action themselves. I’m already looking forward to discovering the Qubes at more and more charging parks soon,” praised Wolfgang Bosbach, a former member of the German Bundestag, at the opening in Endsee.
“My partnership with bk World is based primarily on shared values. Sustainability is just as important to me in the food area as it is to bk World in the overall design of the lounges. Together, we are striving for innovative solutions – and we’re already developing a comprehensive concept around the topic of healthy nutrition,” Marcell Jansen, former National Football Player promised.
The bk World in Endsee is now open and ready to welcome all visitors to the Tesla charging park. But this first location is just the beginning: in the next five years, bk World Holding GmbH plans to open 300 locations across Europe. bk World is coming soon to charging parks run by the largest charge spot operators and energy providers – to the benefit of customers, retailers, and the environment.
– Picture is available at AP Images (http://www.apimages.com) and Presseportal [ https://www.presseportal.de ] –
PR & Brand Marketing Manager
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Source: bk Group AG