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A new portable charging pavilion due to launch before the end of the year has debuted alongside the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid.

Commissioned by Volvo Italy, the Pure Tension Volvo V60 Pavilion is a lightweight, “rapidly deployable”, freestanding charging shade comprising a tensioned high-density polyethylene (HDPE) mesh membrane and transparent photovoltaic (PV) panels.

The PV panels are able to absorb energy from both sunlight and artificial lighting, making portable charging possible, via a direct connection to the V60’s regular charging port.

Pure Tension Volvo V60 Pavilion - 2

Developed by Synthesis Design + Architecture with structural engineering help from Buro Happold Los Angeles, the shade has been fabricated by Fabric Images and is supported by a perimeter ring made of carbonfibre rods.

Further touting its flexibility, the charging pavilion is claimed to compactly fit in the diesel-electric wagon’s boot once disassembled.

Taking out first place in the 2013 Switch to Pure Volvo Pavilion Design Competition, the unit is due to be officially launched in Italy in September.

Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid

The Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid, first seen at the 2012 Geneva motor show, teams a 158kW/440Nm 2.4-litre five-cylinder diesel engine with a rear-mounted 50kW/200Nm electric motor and an 11.2kWh lithium-ion battery.

Combined, the all-wheel-drive wagon produces 208kW and 640Nm, can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds and has a range of 900km. Able to sip as little as 1.8 litres of fuel per 100km, the hybrid V60 also has a pure-electric range of 50km.