During the recent America’s Cup Yacht Race in New York City, the America’s Cup Village highlighted BMW’s i Solar Carport where it converted solar energy to charge a BMW i8 and a BMW X5 xDrive40e hybrid. The BMW Designworks Solar Carport is made out of bamboo, solar panels and marine grade stainless steel to create a gorgeous, sustainable and functional structure.

For the 35th America’s Cup, BMW teamed up with Team Oracle USA as a major technical partner and sponsor. Read our article on how BMW’s ties run deep with Team Oracle as they defend the America’s Cup. In addition to the engineering expertise and technical assistance, BMW has provided the team with a fleet all electric BMW i3s to commute around the Island of Bermuda, where the teams trains and the final America’s Cup race will take place in 2017.


In 2017, the 35th America’s Cup race will be held in Bermuda and several of the racing teams, including Team Oracle, currently have set up their home base to train there. Bermuda is a gorgeous small island chain 650 miles east of the coast of North Carolina. BMW i3s are an excellent fit with the America’s Cup,” said Grant Simmer, ORACLE TEAM USA General Manager. “We are delighted that we can travel sustainable and with zero emissions on land and while racing on the ocean.”


BMW has set up two BMW i Solar Carports on Bermuda, each capable of charging eight electric vehicles, one at Team Oracle base and one in the city center of Hamilton. BMW i Solar Caports are largely made from the bamboo material, structural stainless steel and solar panels. The result is beautiful, functional and sustainable structure. Bamboo has an excellent CO2 balance as it takes in a lot of CO2 during its rapid growth cycle and an extremely positive environmental balance.


Once the solar energy is harnessed, it is routed to a BMW i Wallbox Pro EVSE, aka car charger. The BMW i Wallbox Pro has a J1772 charging plug and displays charging info via a cool 7-inch color touchscreen where the charging can be controlled and functions monitored. This monitor shows information including the amount of energy fed into the battery so far as well as stats on previous charge cycles. The BMW i Wallbox Pro also has a current status display modes and a charge output of 3.7 kW while offering integrated load management.

BMW Solar Carport and BMW i Wallbox Pro

In its on going partnership with Team Oracle, BMW highlights its commitment to sustainability with providing the team a fleet of BMW i3 BEVs and a Designworks Solar Car Ports to charge them. Considering that Team Oracle is on Bermuda with limited electrical power infrastructure and narrow roads, the combination of the all electric i3 and Solar Charging make perfect sense.


Bryan Baker, one of the teams lead design engineers, told BMWBLOG in New York City that the commutes from Team Oracle USA’s seaside headquarters to their homes about the island of Bermuda are easily handled by the 80-100 mile range all battery electric i3. They also like the fact the i3 weighs just 2,800 lbs and since they run the i3’s on solar energy. So they are not impacting the infrastructure of the island as much as they would with running traditional internal combustion cars to commute.

“The revolutionary BMW i3 cars are an excellent example of BMW’s pioneering spirit, which is a superb fit with the America’s Cup,” said Grant Simmer, ORACLE TEAM USA General Manager.