A novel solution to range anxiety
Friday 05 November 2010
An American company is offering early adopters of electric vehicles a solution to "range anxiety" in the form of a generator on a trailer.
The rather unorthodox solution to range problems associated with EVs may seem obvious, but it's taken some time to get it looking anything like a seemingly-viable model such as the one introduced November 1 by the Electric Motors and Vehicles Company (EMAV) in the US state of Indiana.
The Pru (Power regeneration unit) trailer is designed to be towed behind electric cars and acts as a mobile power unit, providing energy to extend the range without the need for a charger connected to the grid.
Details are still sketchy, but it looks like the trailer will be self-propelled to reduce the load of the vehicle and will be made to work with any EVs, although as most EVs won't charge while driving (as the Chevrolet Volt does), it still appears to require a pitstop somewhere.
Reports also suggest that the Pru will be able to carry cargo like a conventional trailer, while still increasing the range by some 700 miles, albeit at an expected cost of $15,000 (€10,680).
EMAV says that a prototype should be on show by the first quarter of next year and the trailer could hit the market only months after that, but not everyone is keen on the idea of electric cars towing a generator.
All Cars Electric points out that the trailer is "hardly efficient" and could void a warranty if the car doesn't have a hitch as standard (and most EVs don't).
Autoblog Green, meanwhile, balks at the price, adding "if you're toting around $15,000 on wheels, you don't want it cruising away while you're taking a break somewhere".
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