A solar tree with giant square leaves that convert sunlight into electricity was unveiled in the central French town of Nevers on Monday, allowing passers-by to charge their phones, surf the internet...or just enjoy the shade.
The town of 37,000 on the Loire river is the first in Europe to experiment with the technology developed by Israeli company Sol-logic.
Inspired by the acacia tree found in the Israeli desert and African savanna, the futuristic-looking 'eTree' also supplies water and street lighting.
Since then solar trees have been planted in around 10 cities in Israel and in the US in North Carolina and California.
The mayor of Nevers, Denis Thuriot, told franceinfo that the eTree was a symbol of the town's digital engagement since 2014.
He said that the tree will be planted in twenty or so other places, including New York City.
Europe's first 'eTree' puts down roots in central France https://t.co/nsjql1vzv4 pic.twitter.com/jZy8ue5CWR— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 29, 2017
#startup The eTree takes root: Radical artificial plant could bring wifi to cities, charge your phone… https://t.co/IVh6D52m6E #entrepreneur pic.twitter.com/KCKLbRLaU0— startupcrunch (@startupcrunch) May 29, 2017