Volvo sunshade charges with solar power

A portable sunshade designed for the Volvo V60 hybrid electric-diesel car integrates photovoltaic panels for charging on the go.

(Credit: Synthesis DNA)

There are only 39 operational electric vehicle charging stations across Australia, so if you have an electric hybrid car, getting juice is a little trickier than popping into the nearest servo.

A new solution designed for Volvo Auto Italia by Synthesis Design + Architecture, Buro Happold and Fabric Images aims to let the car charge wherever it happens to find a parking spot in the sun. Called "Pure Tension", it's a portable pavilion that unfolds in a series of organic, parabolic curves embedded with photovoltaic panels for harvesting solar energy.

(Credit: Synthesis DNA)

The membrane, made of recyclable high-density polyethylene mesh fabric, is stretched over a lightweight, tubular carbon-fibre frame that can be packed down to fit into the V60's boot. The tension of the fabric is what bends the frame into its shape, and it provides a second service: shading the car from the heat of the sun's rays.

A cable connects the pavilion to the car's battery for charging, and it takes a day to fully charge the V60's battery.

All you'd have to worry about is finding somewhere to park.

The winner of Volvo's "Switch to Pure" competition, Pure Tension will be on display in Rome from 15 September as part of the car's premiere.



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