BMW i Cars Get A Solar Paneled Charging Solution

Those looking to get in on one of BMW’s forthcoming i green car brand vehicles – the i3 or i8 – will find it interesting to know that the German automaker is also looking at a more sustainable solution for charging these cars. To this end it recently teamed with Solarwatt to unveil a combined rooftop and carport solar solution.

The Solarwatt Carport System is described by BMW and Solarwatt as being “an attractively designed solar-based electric vehicle charging plus household microgeneration system using innovative glass-glass modules.” Different ordering methodologies, including getting the carport at the time of purchase, will be made available.

While these carports will likely only be available in Germany, BMW last year did partner with Colorado-based Real Goods Solar to install solar panels at a discount the home of BMW i drivers. Our guess though it isn’t as fancy as the offering being made from the Solarwatt/BMW collaboration.

image via BMW

image via BMW

From what we know of BMW’s plans for its i brand already, the i3 – previously known as “Megacity Vehicle” – will be an all-electric aimed at urban drivers, while the i8 will be a plug-in hybrid that “blends the sporting ability of a high-performance machine with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car.” Both will be manufactured at a plant in Leipzig, which the company said in late 2010 would cost it €400 million, or around $550 million, to build.

Solarwatt is just one of a number of partners BMW is teaming up with as part of something called the 360° Electric program. Including as well Naturstrom, Schneider Electric and The Mobility House, the program aims to “support the overriding goal of ensuring that, by the launch date, the charging options for the BMW i3 and BMW i8 will include customer-friendly, sustainable and convenient solutions for home garage charging.”

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.