11/30/2012

Battery Trailers for Long-Distance EVs?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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