There are a little over 6,200 operational electric vehicle charging stations across America, so if you have an electric hybrid car in some parts of the country, getting juice is a little trickier than popping into the nearest gas station.
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.
The membrane, made of recyclable high-density polyethylene mesh fabric, is stretched over a lightweight, tubular carbon fiber frame that can be packed down to fit into the trunk of the Volvo V60 hybrid electric-diesel car. 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.
(Source: CNET Australia)