As more and more automobile companies are making the push toward electric vehicles innovative technologies to accompany these new cars are coming to life. BMW South Africa unveiled their solar carport system in July 2016, a concept that was brought up at the BMW i8 international media launch in Los Angeles in April of 2014 (Clean Technica). The car port will be able to create an average of 3.6 kW of solar to the BMW i Wallbox that can then be used to provide charging to BMW EV and plug-in-hybrid models.
The BMW solar carport, produced by Sunworks, will be rolled out to major cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban for public EV charging. With an emphasis on moving to a “zero carbon footprint” the design employs high end bamboo and stainless steel housings for the solar modules. The solar charging solution will be an option for both homes, offices, and fleet companies in attempts to reduce fossil fuels for both direct electricity and vehicle charging. The carport is designed to work with the BMW i Wallbox that can be integrated with home energy management systems and displays solar generation stats to further inform its users of the productivity of the system.
South Africa will be the first country to implement this technology (Renewable Energy) with the hopes of spreading to others with its success. As the push towards using less fossil fuels and creating a smaller carbon footprint continues, these types of amazing technologies are surfacing. Solar continues to provide as a powerful source of energy for many of these new products and it’s incredible to see companies such as Sunworks come up with new ideas to advance our quality of life. We can’t wait to see what the future holds in the world of solar panel solutions!