Automotive

Charge to go: The EP Tender portable EV range extender

Charge to go: The EP Tender po...
EP Tender range-extender system
EP Tender range-extender system
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The EP Tender range-extender system is reported to increase vehicle range to 600 km (372 mi)
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The EP Tender range-extender system is reported to increase vehicle range to 600 km (372 mi)
EP Tender range-extender system
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EP Tender range-extender system
Charging trailer has a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) and weighs in at 200 kg (440 lb)
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Charging trailer has a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) and weighs in at 200 kg (440 lb)
EP Tender system is hooked up to the vehicle while a charging cable is tethered to the battery
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EP Tender system is hooked up to the vehicle while a charging cable is tethered to the battery
Portable charge system is designed to extend range and reduce the need for lengthy recharging stops
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Portable charge system is designed to extend range and reduce the need for lengthy recharging stops

While electric vehicle charging networks continue to evolve and expand, there is another approach to reducing range anxiety: taking the charger with you. The EP Tender range-extender system is designed to give an extra lease of life to EV batteries with the addition of a trailer mounted generator system.

Applying the same principle that we've seen in the ebuggy and Rinspeed Dock+Go concepts, 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.

Currently under development in France, the system can generate up to 22 kW of power during a cycle at speeds up to 130 km/h (80 mph). 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 600 km (360 miles) could be achieved using the charge to go system. But there is a hitch. As Autobloggreen points out, main stream EVs aren't necessarily designed to be charged while in motion, which adds an extra level of complexity to the equation.

EP Tender's portable charging system is still in its early testing stages, with similar systems for electric motorcycles and hybrids reported to be in the works.

Source: EP Tender

50 comments
Charles Hoss
those who use an electric car tend are likely to be unable to drive with a trailer . but I don't blame them . I couldn't drive this thing , as modern cars have windows the size of a quarter , and high up in the sky , so you have to get out , and push the trailer by hand or use the mirrors to guide a trailer that short (fast to turn) and low (nearly invisible) , narrow (already sideways when you can see it appear in the mirror) completely useless , stupid idea .
RaVOLT
As a DIYer this is exactly what I've planned. But a Nissan LEAF would be ideal. I even wrote to Nissan suggesting that a couple of these, hireable from their new car resellers, would alleviate any need for a car swap/ 2nd car, for a single guy like myself, for when I want to do my annual country holiday in Australia! Common Nissan, do it and demand will soar!
Max Kennedy
This is a no brainer and something I have been asking EV manufacturers about for over a year. Portable generator + charge controller +trailer = unlimited range. This should be a standard product!
BigGoofyGuy
What is neat about this is that if one is just traveling around town and have a full charge, one can just disconnect the trailer and leave it at home. One could reconnect it for longer trips. It think it would be really green if they develope a fuel cell version that would not any exhaust beside water. There are a lot of companies developing fuel cells. One in Europe is being made by Clever Trailer.
cwigley
Better yet, rent the trailer from an (Esso?) gas station just before you head onto an interstate, and drop it off when you get to your distination. You would only need one typically for occasional long distance trips, and the rest of the time just stay all electric for in town use. Rent it here, leave it there! I should have patented this approach when I played around with the concept twelve years ago!
BeWalt
This is awesome. There are so many variations one could think of! A camping version engine trailer. A flatbed version for transporting. A woodgas version. Turbines? Stirlings? Done right, this could double as emergency generator for my house. For half a dozen houses in fact. De-coupling the engine from the car will open up options like never before. Let's hope manufacturers standardize interfaces soon, couplers, hitches, connectors, voltages, and protocols. (I'm just dreaming...)
Brian Shaffer
This seems to be more of a step backwards than a step forwards. If the idea is so good and necessary for range, why not have the generator built into the car?
Rehab
Anything electric is good as this is where everything is heading. For the next decade or so I'll be sticking with a standard combustion engine car and using electric bikes. Don't need a 2nd car plus with the amazing all weather gear available can do this year round. You can put a kit on a mountain that will give you 40 mph ( more if you like ) and travel 30 miles or more. PLus you can charge the batteries from any outlet at home work or school. Have yet to see an apartment or condo complex that offers electric car chargers. The bike can be done for under $2,000. Standard and electric bikes will do more to save the planet than electric cars.
JGTinNJ
What a great idea. Use up all that energy to pull your energy needs around with you. Why not make it so big that you will never have to stop for more energy ever again.
jerryd
Koraly you are projecting your own lack of skill. Facts are most EV drivers are far better ones than others because EV driving takes skill and generally smarter. I was wondering when these would start getting built. I disagree though that a trailer is needed. There are few EV's that need larger than 10kw range extender for unlimited range., only large and fast ones and they only need 20kw. Lotus made one for 35kw in only 115lbs. These can be built under 70 lbs and go on the trailer hitch like the wheelchair carriers do. I think all EV's should have these mounts, connection standard. I drive my lightweight EV's so I only need a 4.5kw one that only weighs 45lbs. An OEM could do it in 30 lbs.