External battery trailers review

External battery trailer solves the problem of the pour range of EVs and adds up to amazing 1,000 miles (1600kms) of range to electric cars.

4/22/15 5:00 am chumakdenis 1

Electric vehicles are terrific. They’re much more powerful than petrol-powered vehicles, don’t demand fuel, feature a bunch of really useful functions and overall – they’re just awesome.

But, alas, nothing is perfect. EVs Achilles’ heel is the pour range. Of course, there are Tesla superchargers and modern batteries like solid-state batteries that were developed to solve this problem, but let’s be realistic:  charging station infrastructure is not developed as good as we were expecting it to be and modern batteries that surpass ordinary Li-ion batteries are on the development stage and no one knows when they’ll hit the market.

So, let’s come up with what we already have.

Pru trailer

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The Pru trailer offers a 700-mile boost in range (1,150 kms), extra storage space, and sweet details like topographical analysis via Google Earth.

The Pru trailer (it stands for Power Regeneration Unit) from Electric Motors and Vehicles is more than a simple extra battery on wheels attached by trailer hitch. Powered by software called the Smart Hitch, the Pru actually measures its own speed and powers itself along at the same speed as the car, thereby making sure it doesn't slow the EV down with its weight. It's even equipped with a GPS sensor that syncs with Google Earth, measuring topographical details that might affect its charge cycle.

It's actually a hybrid itself, boasting both a 750cc diesel motor and a substantial amount of lithium-ion batteries that combine to give about an extra 700 miles (1,150 kilometers) to an electric vehicle's range. It can also be used as a standalone charging unit, just in case. It's still a legitimate trailer, too - only about a quarter of the Pru's six-foot length is taken up by its batteries, leaving room for storage.

Rinspeed's modular "Dock +Go"

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Rinspeed's modular "Dock+Go" comprises a vehicular backpack that docks to the rear of an electric vehicle.

Awesome thing is that the modular packs could be attached and detached from an EV

The modular Dock+Go mobility system from the fertile mind of Rinspeed founder and CEO Frank M. Rinderknecht sees single axel packs that can be attached or detached from an electric vehicle depending on the demands of the day.

In addition to an "energy pack" that could extend the range of an electric vehicle by adding a combustion engine, range extender, or batteries powered by a fuel cell to the rear of a vehicle, Rinderknecht also envisions other packs to extend the capabilities of the host vehicle in other ways - a toolbox pack with customized spaces for a tradesperson's tools, for example.

The modular system also allows work packs to be swapped out at the end of the working day for recreational packs customized for various activities, such as camping, golfing, skiing, or going to the beach.

Ebuggy

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The group of scientists in Germany has developed a little range-extending battery trailers that are towed behind electric vehicles, providing power to the vehicles on longer trips. When a user’s trailer started getting low on juice, they just pull over at a roadside exchange station and swap it for one that was fully charged.

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In more detail, the idea is that users start by hitching an ebuggy to their car when leaving their home city. They just pick that trailer up at an exchange station, on their way out of town. It takes only about two minutes to hitch up and plug into their vehicle’s electrical system. They can then swap it out if needed while en route, depositing the final ebuggy at a station outside of their destination city. For driving within either city they just need to use their car’s existing battery.

Users pay for the trailers on a per-use basis, via an ebuggy card which they receive when signing up for the service. Fees are automatically calculated and billed, and are reportedly lower in comparison to driving a gas or diesel car (quite obvious, isn’t it?).

Those users also initially have to get an ebuggy kit installed on their vehicle, which includes a standard trailer hitch, a power socket, and a dashboard user interface.

 

EP Tender range-extender system

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The EP Tender range-extender system is reported to increase vehicle range to 372 miles (600 kilometers)

The EP Tender portable charging system is essentially a mobile commercial generator that's been pared down for consumer use. The 200 kg (440 lb) system utilizes a trailer mounted 600 cc engine that resides in standby mode until a low charge signal is received from the vehicle. While the vehicle is being driven, the tethered trailer activates the generator, which in turn recharges the EV battery. The idea is that this charge on the go system could negate the need for lengthy charging stops.

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The system can generate up to 22 kW of power during a cycle at speeds up to 80 mph (130km/h). The company is also working on developing a 35 kW system using a 900 cc engine. Depending on the vehicle EP Tender reports a range of 360 miles (600 kms) could be achieved using the charge to go system. But there is a hitch. Mainstream EVs aren't designed to be charged while in motion, which adds an extra level of complexity to the equation.

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