BMW Group Designworks USA

​The German marque has already unleashed its revolutionary i3 model to much applause from customers and the motoring media alike, and it is poised to impress the world again with its all-powerful, electric-hybrid i8.

To support the launch of the aforementioned electric sports car in Los Angeles, BMW Group DesignworksUSA has produced a unique charging station that not only looks like a work of art but also harnesses the sun's rays to charge its range of electric vehicles.

Taking design cues from the simple wooden interior of the i3, the Solar Carport concept is predominantly fashioned from bamboo – a material that is considered particularly sustainable thanks to it rapid growth.

High-grade glass-on-glass solar modules top off the beautiful wooden structure, which generate a high energy yield and transfer the sun's rays into charge for the vehicle's batteries, from which the i8 can run for 22 miles without the need for traditional fuel.

BMW Group Designworks USA



A BMW Group DesignworksUSA spokesperson said: "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."

When coupled with BMW's neat i Wallbox Pro charging station, the car can be specifically charged with solar power alone and can give readouts as to how much energy has been created by the sun. Any excess energy can be put to domestic use.

BMW Group Designworks USA



"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 Allemeier, 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."

As beautiful as the structure is, we're not sure how effective it would be under the grey skies of Britain. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.