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BMW Solar Charging Carport Concept Is Stunning Functional Art

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So you have a new BMW i3 or i8 in your driveway, and you’re loving the freedom the electric-drive capability gives you—but you’d like to be even greener? BMW DesignworksUSA has the answer with its stunningly simple, high-tech solar carport.

MUST SEE: 2015 BMW i8 Production Mega Gallery

It’s still a concept design at this stage, but the bamboo and carbon fiber structure just begs to be built. Supported atop the structure is an array of solar panels that harvest the sun’s energy and store it in you BMW i-vehicle.

In addition to being greener than charging from the grid, the solar energy carport allows the BMW i owner to be more self-sufficient in their energy supply. To harness the energy from the solar panels, a BMW i Wallbox Pro is needed. Once integrated, the carport and Wallbox Pro can then directly charge either the i3 or i8. With the Wallbox Pro’s features, excess solar energy not needed to charge the car can be used by the connected house.

“With the solar carport concept we opted for a holistic approach: not only is the vehicle itself sustainable, but so is its energy supply,” explained Tom Allemann of BMW 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.”

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BMW’s beautiful, functional solar carport certainly complements the ethos behind the company’s i brand. Here’s hoping BMW decides to offer it as an optional upgrade to i owners in the near future.

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