BMW To Display Solar Charging System and Home Battery Tech At CES Photo:

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Tony O'Kane | Jan, 07 2015 | 2 Comments

It's not just an autonomous parking system on show at the BMW stand at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, with the German automaker also announcing a solar car charging system and a home battery storage concept.

For owners of BMW i3s and i8s, BMW has announced its updated i Wallbox Pro charger at the show. The new charger can take the voltage output from a solar panel array and feed it into a car, allowing batteries to be topped up using clean, low-cost energy.

When the sun sets, the i Wallpox Pro will automatically draw power during off-peak periods to take advantage of cheaper electricity rates.

While the i Wallbox Pro isn't capable of storing solar-generated energy to charge a car at a later time, BMW's concept home battery system will demonstrate that such technology need not be far away.

Whether storing energy from solar panels or charging up using cheaper off-peak power and releasing it during the day when electricity is more expensive, home energy storage has the potential to lower power bills in a meaningful way.

BMW's concept system will use repurposed battery packs from i3s and i8s in a "stationary" enclosure, and is primarily geared towards capturing solar energy. There's no word yet on when BMW intends to commercialise the technology.

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