The first of the BMW i3 electric cars recently arrived in the United States, and the company marked the occasion by debuting a concept for a solar-panel carport to charge the luxury vehicle. This eco-friendly structure provides their electric cars with a 100% renewable source of energy, and it allows for drivers to power their vehicle independent of the current electricity grid.
The beautifully-crafted carport takes its designs cues from BMW's i3 and i8 electric models. It's built using carbon fiber and renewable bamboo with a roof that's covered in high-grade glass-on-glass solar modules. These panels send electricity to the car via BMW's i Wallbox Pro, which also indicates the amount of solar energy generated. Once a vehicle is fully charged, its surplus power can be connected to the owner's house and put to use.
“With the solar carport concept we opted for a holistic approach: not only is the vehicle itself sustainable, but so is its energy supply,” explains Tom Allemann of BMW Group Designworks USA. “This is therefore an entirely new generation of carports that allows energy to be produced in a simple and transparent way. It renders the overarching theme of lightweight design both visible and palpable.”