BMW i Solar Carport

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 13

BMW i Solar Carport

BMW i Solar Carport

BMW i Solar Carport

BMW i Solar Carport

The solar carport of carports?

The BMW i solar carport, developed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, is described as a premium product for private solar-powered electricity generation.

“Premium” implies expensive, which we’re certain the unit is.  However, BMW provides zero details on price, so we’re left speculating for now.

BMW points out that sustainable bamboo is the principal material used in the BMW i solar carport:

“In its choice of materials, design and colour, the DesignworksUSA carport concept takes its cue from the characteristic styling of the BMW i models to form a harmonious counterpart. The holistic sustainability concept is underlined by the materials used in the construction of the carport and by its solar modules. In addition to the carbon elements on the side of the 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.”

There’s no word on availability of this unit.  Furthermore, actual details are sparse, so we don’t even know who manufactures the solar panels or the carport itself.  Nor do we know how you’d order one of these units.  Basically, BMW seems to be in the show-it-off stage with the i solar carport.

BMW press release below:

In tune with nature – and with the BMW i design idiom: BMW Group DesignworksUSA develops a solar carport concept. Premium product for private solar-powered electricity generation – Green energy supply gives a further boost to vehicle life cycle assessment – Another building block in the holistic sustainability concept – World premiere to mark the BMW i8 presentation in Los Angeles.

Munich. With the all-electric BMW i3 already on the market and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car poised for its own launch, the BMW Group portfolio boasts the world’s first premium automobiles purpose-designed for zero-emission mobility.

The international media launch of the BMW i8 in Los Angeles will include the presentation of a solar carport concept developed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA for the use of renewable energy. It combines high-grade technology for generating electricity from solar power with an innovative design that perfectly complements the BMW i models.

In its choice of materials, design and colour, the DesignworksUSA carport concept takes its cue from the characteristic styling of the BMW i models to form a harmonious counterpart. The holistic sustainability concept is underlined by the materials used in the construction of the carport and by its solar modules. In addition to the carbon elements on the side of the 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.

Generating private electricity with the aid of solar collectors and feeding this CO2-free energy via the BMW i Wallbox into the vehicle’s high-voltage battery further optimises of the life cycle assessment of the BMW i models. Regularly hooking up the high-voltage battery to the Wallbox connected to the solar carport enables a high degree of CO2-neutral usage of the BMW i8. 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.

During development of the solar carport concept by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the spotlight was firmly on the harmonious interplay between vehicle design and architecture. The glass-on-glass solar modules of the carport are supported by exclusively designed bamboo and carbon elements that authentically reflect the hallmark lines and surface sculpting of the BMW i automobiles. “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.” The BMW Group subsidiary headquartered in California runs an international design studio network in Europe, Asia and America. As an impulse-generator in the fields of design and innovation, the company works for the BMW Group brands as well as for numerous other high-profile international clients spanning a range of industrial sectors.

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13 responses to "BMW i Solar Carport"

  1. Spec9 says:

    6*4=24 panels. That is the same size as my PV system. And my PV system generates enough electricity for BOTH my house & EV. (Then again, I do live in California.)

    The nice thing about PV is that it is pretty cheap now. It is more affordable than EVs.

    1. MDEV says:

      How much it may cost a system like that?

      1. Spec9 says:

        The parts for my system (without installation costs) were around $13K (before tax-credit). It can be done cheaper if you go with a centralized inverter and go with less expensive panels.

    2. Brian says:

      Interesting observation.

      Our good friend Mr. Cote also has 24 panels powering his house and his Volt. And that’s in cloudy Syracuse!

  2. Ocean Railroader says:

    What is a plus benefit of this system is if you park your car under it in the summer. The solar panels will take in the strong sunlight that would other wise hit your car and heat it up to 120F in the inside. So that when you get into it to drive it the inside of the car will be a lot cooler.

    One of the parking decks in my area has a roof covered in solar panels and the cars parked under it are a lot cooler then being in the direct sunlight.

    1. yoyodyn says:

      This is true of panels installed on roof tops as well, if there is an air-gap. The panels get hot, but the roof stays cooler thus lowering the AC requirements of the building.

      1. TomArt says:

        That’s one of the many advantages I look forward to when I put panels on my house in about 5 years (the roof will probably need replaced then, and in the meantime, I have just replaced the windows, siding, and added the proper amount of attic insulation). It’s already more efficient. I can’t wait to compare the next 6 months of electric bills to the same period last year!

  3. pjwood says:

    Really? I mean a few LVLs and some panels? I’m just glad the thing gives legitimacy to solar car ports. I’m on a, more or less, east/west property, but the cars are on the north side of the palace 😉

    Panels/inverters, for an array of 24 might set you back 13k (DIY). I haven’t heard of many doing their own for less than $2/watt. Averaging over 20kwh/day might not be too much to expect. Hmmm.

  4. GeorgeS says:

    Very stylish!!

    I want an i8 to park under it

  5. Big Solar says:

    Its flat?? wth?

  6. Ellison says:

    Does anyone know the location of these? Let’s get them on Plugshare!

    And Honda Smart Home in Davis has DC to DC EV charging. How simple is this, where could we get components? Thx!

  7. just-chris says:

    Imo this is a total let down, no solar tracking, no complex cooling system for the panels, no hi tech anything! Bamboo? The whole point of bmw is that it is technically better than it rivals. How is this better than volvo’s solar port? This should be designed to reflect the sun in some sort of cleaver way to mean the my car is warmed on a winters day and cooled on a summers day or some thing similar. Bamboo shacks are great but for a bmw?

  8. TomArt says:

    [quote]
    “Premium” implies expensive, which we’re certain the unit is. However, BMW provides zero details on price, so we’re left speculating for now.
    [end quote]

    If you have to ask, then you can’t afford it.