BMW Develops Solar-Powered Carport Concept

2014 BMW i8 solar carport

The automaker boasts that the carport integrates an innovative design that “perfectly complements the BMW i models.” Designers used specific materials and colors that take inspiration from the i models including carbon fiber elements used on the sides of the carport and struts made out of bamboo. These structures support translucent glass-on-glass solar modules that BMW says are very durable (they’re even offered with a 30-year warranty) and capable of generating a high energy yield, meaning the carport itself can be used for domestic purposes in an effort to reduce the electric bill.

2014 BMW carport

Although Tesla was the first to introduce solar-powered drive-in charging stations, BMW one-ups it by offering such carports in the privacy of one’s home.However, since this is still a concept, certain details like pricing information aren’t available yet. The 2014 BMW i8 gets its motivation from a mid-mounted 231-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter I-3 powering the rear wheels (via a six-speed automatic) and a 131-hp electric motor powering the front wheels (via a two-speed transmission). Combined system output is 362 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, and in E-mode, the i8 can travel up to 22 miles on electric power or up to 75 mph. The i3, on the other hand, is powered by an electric motor mounted over the rear axle that drives the rear wheels with 170 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. The i3 will also be offered with a two-cylinder engine that joins the electric motor as a generator.

Source: Motor Trend