Volvo showcases next-gen EV charging

Turns out ”pure tension” is not what you experience when your plug-in vehicle is running out of juice and there’s not a charging station to be found.  (Ba-dum-tish.)

Pure Tension is the name of a new wavy and willowy-appearing solar-power-imbued pavilion – “a free-standing tensioned membrane structure” – that serves as a charging station. Specifically, a charging station for the Volvo V60 Diesel Plug-In Hybrid, which Volvo is unleashing upon the world (although apparently not the U.S.,yet, at least).

image via Volvo

The pavilion, unveiled this week in Milan, is the work of Alvin Huang’s Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), which was selected from among 150 entries in the Volvo  Car Italia-commissioned design competition.

The Illinois company Fabric Images, meanwhile, said it was responsible for the “fabrication and design collaboration of the aluminum perimeter framework and mesh scrim textile covering and leaflets, along with the application and wiring of the 178 photovoltaic panels.”

image via Volvo

Now, diligent journalists that we are, we were nearly moved to track down how much charging power those solar panels – from FTL solar and Ascent Solar Technologies – add up to, as well as other technical details, but detailing that information might convey the impression that this is meant as a prototype for similarly designed charging stations. It is not. (For some of those, check go here.)

As Volvo Car Italia’s Michael Crisci explained in a statement, this one-off project is intended to “convey what is fundamentally Volvo Cars,which in addition to safety, means quality, environmental sustainability, functionality and making technology available to everyone.”

According to Volvo, the Pure Tension charging station together with the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will now be part of a road-show through Italy’s biggest cities.

* Pete Danko, EarthTechling