You Can Take it With You: New Volvo Charger Fits In Trunk

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The Volvo V60 is the world’s first diesel hybrid plug-in car. To celebrate this, the company held an architecture competition called “Switch to Pure Volvo.” The winners have been re-tooling their design and have finally unveiled an interesting, not to mention cool-looking, portable car charging station.

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Synthesis Design + Architecture, the winners of the competition, built what they call the ‘Pure Tension’ pavilion. It’s a beautiful awning with a shape like a warped circle and the ability to generate enough solar power to charge the car. The original goal of the minimum amount needed to charge the car was 300 watts; the current model produces 450.

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Flexible photovoltaic vinyl tiles, 252 of them to be exact, cover the surface of the mesh for optimal sun exposure. Since the flaw behind solar absorption is that it’s only as powerful as its weakest link, Pure Tension disables the parts of the pavilion that don’t receive enough energy, thus providing maximum efficiency.

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Only slightly more impressive than the design is the Pure Tension’s portability. It was built from 24 parts, and along with the CNC bent aluminum frame, the skin folds into ‘B-cases’ that are a tidy 65″ x 15″ x 15″. The membrane, which does the absorbing, comes in two sections that zip together. The pavilion weighs a totals of 150 lbs.

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See more in Cars & Trucks or under Transportation. December, 2013.