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EV Battery trailers - so obvious eh?

24 February 2020

Electric vehicles are the future (have I mentioned that before?).

It seems that every new EV comes out with higher performance and longer range then the one before and now they really are becoming practical, even for those who need to travel long distances.

But what if you've got an older EV with less range -- or perhaps you need to travel beyond the stated range of your car without stopping to recharge? What do you do then?

Range anxiety could still be a thing that puts people off making the jump from ICE to EV and although there is this ongoing incremental improvement in range, we're still not able to match the best of ICE range -- yet

However, what some folk see as a problem, innovative lateral thinkers consider to be an opportunity, and so it is with the issue of limited EV range.

Enter the battery-filled trailer you can hook up to your EV to significantly extend its range.

Go on, admit it... it's a super simple but incredibly practical solution to this problem.

In fact, Rod Young, a regular Aardvark reader actually suggested this solution to me quite a long time ago and I have to admit that I dismissed it at the time. However, on reflection, I think he was dead right and this is a superbly elegant solution to the problem of providing extended range for EVs.

After thinking about it for a while, I think this concept may actually be extended further than just a simple battery trailer. Perhaps it won't be long before we see all sorts of towed devices having their own battery load to provide extra range.

Want to tow a caravan on your next holiday? Always thought that EVs were no good for towing and that their range would be shot to hell when pulling such an extra burden?

Well it probably won't belong before we get e-Vans -- the caravan which has a fist-full of lithium-ion cells in its floor. These cells will not only allow the e-Van to be fully energy self-contained for a week or more at a time but they'll also provide the extra KWH needed to ensure that your EVs range will actually be extended, not reduced when towing.

Maybe that battery trailer can also be used as a parked-up electricity buffer for your house, just like the Tesla PowerWall but in mobile form.

Instead of buying all your electricity at the most expensive rate, the battery trailer can be charged using off-peak, low-tariff overnight rates and then, at peak hours, it can pour that energy back into your house. The cost savings could be significant.

It gets even better if you have a decent PVA on the roof. During the day, all that sunlight will fill up your EV trailer and it can then be used to recharge your EV overnight. That means *free* motoring for most of the urban commute in summer!

It's most likely however, that the average EV user would simply hire a battery trailer as/when required -- for those long-distance holiday trips perhaps. They could also "swappa trailer" at appointed agents, thus eliminating the need to even wait for a recharge. Motoring up and down the length of NZ would be as quick and easy as it is with an ICE.

What do readers think?

Might these battery trailers be a great interim solution to the range issue that may still be a hurdle for some EV users?

Or is already a solution looking for a problem?

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