The DesignworksUSA garage concept in order to achieve a harmonious whole with BMW models took over the characteristic elements of the BMW i style, and at the same time has given special attention in the choice of materials, in terms of design and color. The materials used in the construction of the garage and its solar modules stress the holistic concept’s sustainability.
This garage was designed specifically for the BMW i3 and BMW i8 and is officially called “solar carport”. It is constructed of environmentally friendly materials such as bamboo wood, but uses avant-garde materials like carbon fiber. Bamboo is considered a highly sustainable starting material due to its fast growth. For the generation of electricity, high-grade glass-on-glass solar modules are used.
The ceiling is made up of a series of solar panels which generate electricity for the BMW i Wallbox Pro system. This system allows the monitoring of electricity used to charge the car and provides an analysis of the charging process. If the sun is hidden in the clouds, the system allows the BMW Solar Carport to connect to the classic electricity network. In addition, if the solar power is generated beyond the requirements of the load of the car, it may be directed towards domestic use. For the solar panels used in Europe, it offers a guarantee of 30 years.
The optimistic forecasts to improve the lifecycle of BMW i models are based on the private power generation by using solar collectors and using this energy without CO2 emissions into the high-voltage battery power of the vehicle through the BMW i Wallbox system. The high voltage battery of the vehicle, regularly connected to the i Wallbox system fitted on the solar garage, allows a high degree of utilizing the BMW i8 free from CO2 emissions. With the high voltage battery fully charged, the plug-in hybrid sports car has a range of about 37 km (22 miles) in all-electric mode.
During the development of the solar carport concept, the BMW Group DesignworksUSA was in the center of attention, and saw permanent interaction between vehicle design and architecture, quite harmoniously.
“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” said Tom Allemann, the one responsible for the carport design at BMW Group DesignworksUSA.
DesignworksUSA is a division of BMW Group, based in California, United States, and runs an international design studio network in Europe, Asia and America. The company makes design projects for the BMW Group brands, but also for a series of industrial customers.