BMW’s DesignWorksUSA team has built a simple yet advanced solar-charging carport as a concept for BMW i electric vehicles.
The carport was unveiled during a media launch for the BMW i8 in Los Angeles, and is easily integrated with power from the grid to enable ‘set-and-forget’ EV charging.
Charging with the solar carport combines energy from the grid with whatever solar power is available at the time, using the BMW i Wallbox Pro (the optional home-charging unit available with the i3 and i8).
The Wallbox displays the energy that solar power is contributing to the charging process while in use, along with data from previous charging activities.
Energy absorbed by the solar carport can even contribute to power needs for the family home when no cars are being charged, and the wooden beams used to construct the carport are made from ‘renewable’ bamboo.
BMW’s charging carport concept is reminiscent of Tesla’s solar-powered supercharging stations in the US, which use solar powered rooves to provide free energy to Tesla customers for the life of their vehicles.
The 2014 BMW i3 and i8 will both be in Australia from November. Whether BMW will offer a version of the carport on the options list by that time is unclear.
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