One of the issues with electric vehicles is that they take a while to recharge, even if they are recharged with a new fast-charge setup—about 20 minutes. So depending on the range of your vehicle, you could be spending a considerable amount of time cooling your heels during a long trip.
A German company, ebuggy GmbH, has a different approach to providing the means to go long distances with an EV: Instead of recharging your vehicle (or swapping out a battery, as Better Place suggests), you’d go to a station where you’d hook up a trailer chock full of batteries to your car and continue your journey.
The company says that a trailer is good for 200 km of travel and that a swap takes a minute. It estimates the cost per station is €50,000, which is what it says a fast-charge station would require.
What’s more, the trailer approach, according to ebuggy, would allow EVs to be built with smaller batteries.
A prototype system was built in Germany with support from the Ministry of Economics and Technology, and partners including Fraunhofer Institute IPA and Stuttgart University.