Car Arc Concept - a Cool Solar-Powered Carport for Electric Vehicles


Image via bike arc

The Car Arc seems to be a great solution for new EV owners looking for a carport that not only protects their vehicle, but charges it too. The curvaceous structure is covered in a thin solar skin that soaks up sunlight and converts it to energy for recharging low batteries. Plus, it's a smart way to store bikes. And this is only one of several clever arc designs by the company. Bike Arc writes, "The Car Arc provides covered shelter for vehicles including electric cars and electric bicycles. The structure is formed from the same curved 1"x3" tubes as the rest of the Arc family, but further extruded to provide enough protection for the entire length of a car. On top of the polycarbonate roof is a layer of solar film, which captures solar energy and converts it into power for the vehicles. The Car Arc is an affordable solution that has the potential to be used in commercial, public, and residential applications and can also be added to an existing car park to provide shelter due to its light load."

While the concept is admirable, it would take some mighty powerful solar cells to collect enough energy to charge a vehicle. It's even hard to say if this could provide enough energy from a day's worth of light to fully charge an electric bike battery. This idea won't be ready for the market until solar film technology comes a lot (a LOT) farther. Still, we love the shape and the functionality of using it as not only a carport but a bike barn too.

This is just one of several cool ideas for the structure dreamed up by the design team. There is also the House Arc (a prototype of which has already been built on the Big Island in Hawaii):

...the much more practical Bus Arc that could provide a charge for the iPods and cell phones of waiting passengers:

...and the Tube Arc, which looks great for college campuses and offices. This one can actually be purchased, though it lacks the cool solar-power feature of the concept Car Arc.


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Tags: Alternative Energy | Concepts & Prototypes | Solar Power

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