BMW’s California-based design consultancy DesignWorksUSA, the company which will be designing the trains for the Kuala Lumpur Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, has come up with a solar carport concept, which as its name suggests harnesses the power of the sun to generate electricity to charge the automaker’s i3 and i8 electric cars.
Form is as important as function, in this case. The choice of materials, design and colour of the solar carport concept takes its cue from the styling of the BMW i models to form a harmonious counterpart.
The sustainability bit is also 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.
As for the generation of electricity, high-energy yield glass-on-glass solar modules are used, though no specific mention is made as to the power generation characteristics of the system.
Working in conjunction with the BMW i Wallbox Pro, an i vehicle can be specifically charged with solar electricity from the carport – the Wallbox 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 generated can be put to domestic use, the company says.