[Photos] Solar Carport Concept for BMW i3, i8
The creation of BMW Group DesignworksUSA emphasizes the function and aesthetic of the i brand.
The first BMW i3 in the United States has been delivered at last, and Americans everywhere are hotly anticipating the impending launch of the highly futuristic/powerful/desirable i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. For an official event to be held in Los Angeles in order to properly welcome us to the future, BMW Group DesignworksUSA has developed a unique solar carport concept that emphasizes the i brand vehicles’ combination of functionality and aesthetic.
The solar carport concept harnesses the sun’s natural energy to generate electricity for BMW i models, allowing customers to keep their electricity prices low in the process. The carport works in conjunction with the BMW i Wallbox Pro, which indicates the amount of solar energy that is being fed into the vehicle and allows users to see the ratio of solar energy to grid energy being used in the charging process.
Because it is BMW, and because the i brand vehicles are as eye-catching as they are environmentally-friendly, DesignworksUSA spared no efforts to ensure that their solar carport concept is every bit as beautiful as the vehicles they will house. Carbon panels are held in place bamboo struts, emphasizing the progressive and eco-considerate approach to product design. Bamboo is considered among the most sustainable raw materials for its rapid growth process, making it a friendlier alternative to wood.
High-grade glass-on-glass solar modules line the roof and draw in the sun’s natural energy. Extremely durable and highly effective, solar modules used in Europe will be backed by a 30-year guarantee.
“With the solar carport concept we opted for a holistic approach: not only is the vehicle itself sustainable, but so is its energy supply,” said Tom Allemann, designer of the solar carport concept, 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.”
The BMW i8 will be launched in Los Angeles sometime this month, and deliveries are expected to begin across the United States in early June.