BMW i Solar Carport Concept.
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car media launch in Los Angeles included the presentation of a solar carport concept developed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA for the use of renewable energy.
The BMW i Solar Carport Concept combines high-grade technology for generating electricity from solar power to complement BMW’s electric models.
In addition to the carbon elements on the side of the solar carport, the principal material used is bamboo in the form of struts. Thanks to its rapid growth, bamboo is considered a particularly sustainable raw material. For the generation of electricity, high-grade glass-on-glass solar modules are used. These are translucent and very durable, as well as generating a high energy yield. For the panels used in Europe, the manufacturer offers a 30-year guarantee.
The solar carport not only guarantees the supply of green power but furthermore allows for energy self-sufficiency, so that customers remain independent of electricity prices. In conjunction with the BMW i Wallbox Pro, the car can be specifically charged with solar electricity from the carport. The Wallbox also indicates the amount of solar energy that goes into the car and provides an analysis of recent charging processes which shows the respective proportions of solar
and grid power. If the solar panels provide energy beyond the requirements of the vehicle, this surplus solar power can be put to domestic 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, who is responsible for the carport design at BMW Group DesignworksUSA. “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.”
With a fully charged high-voltage battery, the plug-in hybrid sports car has a range of around 37 kilometres (22 miles) in all-electric mode.