Over 3,700 designers from almost a hundred countries submitted ideas to the recent Green Life Competition, and one of the top three finalists for the netizens' choice award is a retractable solar cover for cars. The Shelf is a folding sunshine blocker, car protector and solar energy collector. While a nifty concept, we don't know if "protecting" your car with expensive solar panels is feasible. Like the solar panel available as an option on the 2010 Prius, the solar device could be used to power the air conditioner, keeping the cabin cool while parked.
The designer is Leon Zhu from China, and we admit he nailed the contest's goals of coming up with "tecologically friendly solutions that were design-centric without looking completely unrealistic." Somewhat unrealistic, sure, but not completely. There's a picture of the Shelf folding into the rear wing after the jump. Thanks to Dustin G. for the tip!
[Source: Design Boom]