BMW i, Malibu (Solar Carport Demo)

Solar carport charging BMW i8 PHEV sports car with World Team Now’s Founder Suzanne Maxx

BMW chose Malibu to be their back drop venue to showcase the BMW i series replete with solar carport, charging hardware and software for their press day’s ride and drive; see full photo story through album  here. I happened upon the festivities yesterday at Nikita Restaurant’s parking lot, and met up with lead BMW team members. The new BMW i8 PHEV sports cars and the all electric BMW i3 are vehicles being marketed with the big picture in mind of climate action with support for the gestalt of a completely green conscientious life style.

Representatives from BMW Corporate: Wieland Bruch, Corporate Communications Manager BMWGroup Nadine Alice Carl, Product Management Automobiles and Aftersales Project e-Mobility

BMW manufactured with a supply chain consideration of a “cradle to cradle” intent to reduce carbon emissions, and ideally, optimize the choice to source “the charge” from all renewable energy.

Simultaneously creating carport shade and electricity from the solar glass roof supported by a steel frame, DesignWorks’ savvy approach to BMW’s solar carport uses sustainable bamboo-sourced carbon fiber, and the placement of SolarWatts’ high yielding solar panels in a grid with space between the panels allowing some light to shine though, while the rest of the light is captured by the solar panels.

BMW has put a lot of thought to handle many of the obstacles like range anxiety in the all electric vehicle, which comes with options such as a trade-in for other BMW’s on long trips and a charging infrastructure tapping into all charger locations, with software that organizes and allows for a universal payment scheme through BMW.

The hardware and software connected to the charger allow for intelligent communication with one’s home as soon as the vehicle is plugged in to charge.  Programs to support these initiatives showcase the BMW’s  service package 360° ELECTRIC electrically integrated concept and BMW’s various opportunities that came from partnerships with Schneider Electric and the Mobility House MyGekko provides the home automation platform that makes it all seamless. This integration supports what World Team Now refers to this as, “consciousness of energy usage systemically”— which is more than just the vehicle sales. BMW’s programs include i Wallbox Charging, maintenance and other services, with the customizable intelligence to potentially turn on lights and other electrical devices, as soon as the vehicle plugs in the charge at your home or office.

There are many pluses, beside the vehicles themselves in the BMW i series, that could take advantage of the vehicle to grid connection with battery energy storage where the battery could be a back up for home/office energy. Ideally, based on time of day and peak load, you might have the option to charge entirely from solar or a mix with the energy (ideally renewable) coming from the grid.  In CA there is the option to arbitrage energy, and sell energy back to the grid from the vehicle’s storage during peak hours, gaining the charge off peak, and saving money by making energy from sunshine.

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