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The Volvo V60 Solar Pavilion: Electric Vehicle Charging on the Go

Volvo Solar Pavilion Offers Shade and SOlar Electric Vehicle Charging
Volvo Solar Pavilion Offers Shade and SOlar Electric Vehicle Charging

Charging an electric vehicle [EV], or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle [PHEV], is typically associated with being tied to a charging station in your garage, at your business, or on the road somewhere.

You have to plan trips carefully so that you’ll be near one of these the next time you’re in need of a charge. What if you could take an electric vehicle charging station with you? Depending on how much sun is in your area, a new innovation from Volvo could on the right track to enable mobile charging.

How would you put a solar panel on a vehicle? Some might immediately point to that expanse on the roof, perhaps even the hood and trunk, to install solar panels that could be used for charging an electric vehicle. Actually, this is a good idea, but what if you needed more power?

Depending on how you look at it, the Volvo Solar Pavilion could be an interesting way to charge your electric vehicle via solar power or just another strange innovation. The Pavilion doesn’t look like it would be very practical from a mobile charging standpoint, but it does have a couple of key features that make the idea compelling.

First, the shape and size offer a little bit of shelter from the sun, reducing solar load on the vehicle’s interior, reducing air conditioning requirements, thus reducing power expenditure. It could also provide a little bit of shelter for the occupants, perhaps for a picnic in the park? Second, the entire structure, carbon-fiber poles and solar-panel-embedded skin, which can charge your electric vehicle, fits in the trunk of the Volvo V60 PHEV.

All in all, it’s a very interesting looking design, but I don’t see this as a very practical thing for every day use. On the other hand, we do need solar electric vehicle charging to really get electric vehicles of the grid, so it could be a step in the right direction. I wonder how much room is left over in the trunk after folding this up?

Image © Synthesis Design + Architecture

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