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BMW offering solar powered charging option for BMW i3 and i8

BMW is teaming up with SOLARWATT to offer a solar carport option for BMW i3 and i8 purchasers, to provide solar powered electric car charging, and power for the home.

The dream combination for many is electric cars and solar panels. BMW announced on Thursday a collaboration with SOLARWATT GmbH to supply solar power carports to BMW i3 and BMW i8 owners.

The solar carport system is attractively designed and will provide a solar-based electric vehicle charging plus household microgeneration system. This means that the carport will both power the car and the house.

In BMW's 360° ELECTRIC project, the automaker is working to offer solutions for all aspects of electric mobility. For that purpose they have entered into partnerships with Naturstrom, Schneider Electric and The Mobility House. The overall goal is that, on the BMW i3/i8 launch date, that a full range of customer-friendly, sustainable and convenient solutions for home garage charging will be available.

The BMW i3 is an all electric sedan, while the i8 is a plug-in hybrid sport car.

The SOLARWATT system can be ordered at the time of purchase, or later via the Internet.

Marcus Krieg, head of the 360° ELECTRIC project, explains: “This is the next step in the BMW i 360-degree package for customer-friendly electric mobility. With SOLARWATT, we are delighted to be working with a premium partner for customised solar solutions who will cater to our customers’ high standards of quality and style.”

Detlef Neuhaus, CEO of SOLARWATT GmbH, sees this approach as confirming SOLARWATT’s own strategy: “Cooperating with the leading carmaker and visionary supplier of electric vehicles and EV-related mobility services shows that our new systems offer practical solutions which will play an important role in future energy supply.”

In Jan 2012, BMW began the ActiveE program as a way for BMW to test deploy electric cars with customers ahead of the BMW i3 launch at the end of 2013. A year ago, BMW began a worldwide tour of the i3 and i8. In January we learned that the BMW i3 will have an optional small gas engine to serve as a range extender.