BMW has recently presented its solar carport concept that compliments its zero emission i models. The carport will allow the owner to be totally self-sufficient in terms of supplying green power, with BMW advertising an independence from electricity prices. Using this carport, the fully charged BMW i8 will have a range of around 22 miles using only electricity. If the carport generates more energy than the the vehicle needs there is an adapter that allows the owner to use the excess inside their own home.
As far as looks go, the carport was designed to visually support the BMW i8 and the i3, while at the same time using sustainable sources. The supports for the solar panels that provide the roof are made from purely carbon elements and bamboo. The carports in Europe are under a 30-year guarantee, as the manufacturer touts them as extremely durable and capable of providing a long term high energy yield.
The designer Tom Allemeier explains BMW’s goals regarding the carport stating, ““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.”
There is no word so far as to how much one of these carports would cost, though I imagine that they would be pretty spendy. I suppose that a person in the market for a BMW i8 or i3 would be willing to make that investment to compliment their car and get maximum usage out of it. This again however will only be useful in climates with nice enough weather. I can’t imagine anyone in the Northwest investing in such a sun needy choice.