Carport Concept Offers Solar Charge

It’s a fact: tail-pipe emissions aside, all those fancy new electric Leafs and Volts set to hit the market are only as eco as the power used to charge them. A forward-looking concept for off-grid charging at home, the Car Arc structure not only shelters your electric ride from the elements, but it’s covered also in a thin solar skin that soaks up sunlight and converts it to energy for recharging those lithium-ion batteries.

The company behind the concept is Bike Arc, and this is just one of many “arc” designs it’s developed–including the Bus Arc (a bus shelter) and the Transit Arc (an elevated, covered bike lane)–all of which make use of a signature curvaceous polycarbonate structure. As you might expect, the Car Arc provides shelter not just for cars, but for bikes as well.

Car Arc Solar Carport

image via Treehugger

Treehugger notes that thin film solar tech will have to come a long way before a day of sunshine can provide much more than a sip of electricity for a fully depleted electric car, and we concur. But the solar-equipped bus shelter design looks promising in terms of providing on-the-go, off-grid power for commuters–a feature that would come in handy, say, while trying to access bus-schedules from a smartphone with a flagging battery.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.