A portable sunshade designed for the Volvo V60 hybrid electric-diesel car integrates photovoltaic panels for juicing on the go.
Michelle StarrScience editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
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.