As individuals and groups switch to electric vehicles a range of ‘add ons’ will start to become commonplace. One we’ve written about before will be wireless charging – just pull in to your parking space and the car will automatically start to charge up without the need to plug in (see our blog Wireless Charging for EVs). Another pretty obvious add on will be the solar powered garage or carport. Run your electric car on the sun’s energy and your fuel is free forever. Of course Tesla are already doing this with their Supercharger Network now deployed in the US and Europe – the intention is to run these on renewables such as solar PV.
Now BMW have unveiled a stunning solar carport design concept complete with solar panels and charge station – made from carbon fibre and bamboo. “With the solar carport concept we opted for a holistic approach: not only is the vehicle itself sustainable, but so is its energy supply. 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,” explained Tom Allemann from BMW Designworks in the US. With the fully electric i3 production on ramp up due to increasing demand the carport design will also serve the futuristic i8 hybrid. Read more here.
The concept lends itself to copying. We can see DIY EV enthusiasts building their own free fuel station carports on their front yards.