A new era has begun for electric car drivers. The first bk World opened today, Friday, in Endsee, Bavaria. With this, the subsidiary of the bk Group AG is revolutionising long-distance travel by electric car and creating charging havens.
From idea to reality
Charging time is mostly wasted time for electric car drivers. In 20 to 30 minutes, it means consuming fast food in remote car parks, killing time on the mobile phone, using toilets with service station charm, writing emails with the laptop on the lap – and hoping that the time will pass.
The founders of bk World, Gerold Wolfarth and Marc Arnold, want to change that. The idea for bk World was born during a loading stop in the middle of the night, they tell us at the grand opening of the first bk World. «It had to be better – and unique,» says Gerold Wolfarth.
Now the first location has been opened, directly at the Tesla Supercharger Park with 20 fast charging stations in Endsee: A lounge for drivers of electric cars, where waiting time becomes quality time.
In the bk World, loading time becomes quality time
«The whole concept of bk World is thought from the user’s point of view,» Marc Arnold tells us. «So: what do I really need as a driver of an electric car during my charging break?»
Of course, sanitary facilities are available in the bk World and a comfortable lounge area invites you to linger. But the concept is far more comprehensive. For example, the small floor space is used extremely efficiently. The serving of the various products is completely automated. The food that can be purchased on site is healthy, fresh and low in sugar. When selecting the product portfolio, the planners deliberately avoided working with large corporations and instead focused on the attributes regional and sustainable. Together with entrepreneur and investor Marcell Jansen, an innovative and healthy food portfolio developed especially for bk World is even being planned.
Small office corners for business talks, a children’s play area for entertaining the little ones and a green environment turn a necessary stay into a welcome break.
A unique spatial concept
The bk World consists of so-called Qubes – modular, combinable and transportable room elements. These meet a wide range of location requirements. If a loading park grows, the bk World grows. The Qubes can be added to, dismantled or moved within a very short time. This is particularly interesting for property owners, but also for loading bay operators. If a lease expires, the bk World offers the greatest possible flexibility. The smallest version of a bk World with a lounge area and sanitary facilities covers a good 50 square metres. There are no upper limits. Demolitions become obsolete and material waste is reduced. This adaptability of the bk World makes location decisions easier.
«With bk World, operators of charging parks are no longer dependent on existing infrastructure. We can simply get to wherever a charging park is being built. All we need is a water, waste water and electricity connection and can thus place our lounges at practically any location,» reports Gerold Wolfarth.
Strengthening the regional retail trade
bk World has also taken up the cause of strengthening regional trade. In its own online shop, a platform has been created where regional retailers can present themselves. As the locations expand, the portfolio of regional specialities continues to grow. In Endsee, visitors to the shop park will find Franconian wines, award-winning chocolate products or exceptional cooking oils, among other things.
«For most traders, bk World is a touchpoint with a new target group that they would otherwise not have reached, or only with great difficulty. After all, if you stop right next to the motorway, you don’t take any notice of the great shops in neighbouring towns. The visibility that businesses can now achieve through our platform is enormous,» says Founder Gerold Wolfarth.
At each bk World location, a maximum of 80 selected products from the respective region will be available. Each bk World is therefore unique. This makes it possible to shop regionally in an online shop.
Sustainability taken a step further
The bk World is climate positive over its lifetime. This means that it compensates for more CO2 than it consumes. This is made possible by an interplay of various structural measures and conditions. The solid lounge elements are made of spruce wood. This natural building material already has the ability to bind CO2. In addition, a sustainable insulating material is used in the bk World Qubes, which is not only ecological, but also has a positive influence on the climate balance of the bk World due to its properties: the Qubes are designed for all weather conditions. From the greatest possible heat in southern Europe to extreme cold in the north – the same climate awaits all guests in the bk World. A large part of the electrical consumers of each bk World is supplied with energy by the in-house PV system on the roofs of the Qubes.
The future is electric
«If the mobility revolution is to succeed, we need innovative concepts like bk World. And committed doers who don’t wait for the state, but become active themselves. I am already looking forward to discovering the Qubes soon at more and more charging parks,» praises Wolfgang Bosbach, former member of the German Bundestag, at the opening in Endsee.
«The partnership with bk World is based above all on shared values. Sustainability is just as important for me in the food area as it is for bk World in the overall concept of the lounges. Together, we strive for innovative solutions and are already developing a holistic concept around the topic of healthy nutrition,» promises entrepreneur Marcell Jansen.
The bk World in Endsee is open immediately and is available to all guests of the Tesla charging park. But it is not to remain at just one location. The bk World Holding GmbH plans to open 300 locations across Europe in the next five years. At the charging parks of the largest charging station operators and energy providers, guests, retailers and the environment will soon benefit.