The design aims to compliment the electric focused BMWi sub-brand.
With greater numbers of electric cars making their way from showrooms to the road, the expansion of charging infrastructure has to keep up. BMW is looking to make sure that potential owners of their premium i3 all-electric and i8 plug-in hybrid vehicles have a charging station option that looks and works as good as their BMWi cars.
Developed by DesignworksUSA, BMW’s California-based design studio, the Solar Carport Concept provides electric vehicle recharging through the use of renewable solar energy. The flat roof design incorporates 24 thin glass-on-glass solar collector panels. A modular support structure mimics lines and surface sculpting from the BMWi range. White connector pieces are made from lightweight carbon fiber and the supporting wood struts are bamboo, a sustainable raw material.
The Solar Carport Concept aims to be an option for electric vehicle owners to supply power to their cars independent of electricity prices. Obviously getting good efficiency out of it requires living in a sunshine rich location. The carport combined with the BMW i Wallbox Pro, which regulates and monitors vehicle charging can also divert surplus power to use in the home.
BMW hasn’t said whether the Solar Carport will see production, but the growth of the electric car market obviously leaves space for a new generation of energy providing garages.