We may have seen almost all kinds of cars, hybrid cars running on both petrol and ethanol or electric cars that rely on chargeable batteries, but I bet you haven’t seen this one: solar charging car.
Volvo launched a solar charging car known as V60 Plug-in Hybrid. The new technology was presented as the winner of the 2013 Switch to Pure Volvo Pavilion Design competition held by Volvo in Italy last fall. The creation was designed by Alvin Huang’s Synthesis Design + Architecture and serves as a portable solar charging station for the first-ever diesel plug-in hybrid.
How does it work? The car is charged over the course of a day when parked beneath a mesh structure made of photovoltaic cell, which generates energy from the sun or indoor lighting. Once charging is complete, the structure is able to collapse and fit into the V60’s trunk.
“The creation of ‘Pure Tension’ is proof of how modern and innovative Volvo Cars’ mindset is. The Pure Tension pavilion demonstrates performance, form and technology, just like the new Volvo cars.”, says Mr. Huang. Volvo added by describing the new creation as a vision of the future where cars can simply charge themselves by deploying structures such as this.
Practicality, however, may say otherwise. The current design, certainly interesting to look at, may be a little tricky when charging your car, let’s say in a parking lot. But even if you wanted to purchase the plug-in right away, according to Volvo, the structure is currently for demonstration only, with no plans for production in the near future. However, the V60 Plug-In Hybrid will be available in Europe, while a gasoline-only version of the V60 can be seen in the United States already.
More interestingly, I’d say, is the fact that the new technology provided by the V60 addresses the issue of sustainability in the form of combination of EV and solar; a tensioned and perforated HDPE Mesh skin with embedded PV transparent panels and a perimeter ring made of carbon fiber rods. Environment-friendly, continuous and sensual, the design of V60 offers an organic sense to the spectators, as well as invites them on a visual interaction.
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Source: cleantechnica.com, nydailynews.com, synthesis-dna.com, theverge.com
Pictures: latebrakingnews.com, tecyy.blogspot.com, fastcodesign.com
Camilla G.//SMC Editor