Considering how ugly parking lots are and the negative impact that they have on our environment, the idea of sprucing them up with solar coverings and so-called "solar trees" seems to have merit. Robert Noble is taking the idea and running with it in a parking lot in San Diego for Kyocera.
The solar tree concept has a single "trunk" and, like a tree, has a canopy of solar cells on top. Two electric cars can park next to and plug into a single solar tree. In addition, canopies covered by solar cells can provide shade to the cars parked below in addition to giving off electricity for the building or the cars below. Truly sounding like a win-win scenario for the consumer parked below and the owner of the building, parking lots featuring solar power could increase in number if and when plug-in hybrids and pure electrics become widely available. At least, we hope so!
[Source: ZDNet blogs, thanks Domenick]