On display at the AltCar expo in Santa Monica was this intriguing battery swapping concept pictured above. Though it was little more than a small scale, model mock up, the idea is at least creative and interesting.
Pictured above is the NuTech automatic battery charger and changer presented by Peter Capizzo and Glenda Dubek. The concept is simply a remote control vehicle and homemade trailer, but the idea is of more interest then the display model.
According to NuTech, the trailer is loaded full of several different batteries for various EVs. The trailer is then leased or bought by area businesses as a way to offer drivers of EVs a battery swapping station at their local hang outs. The businesses would need to provide a 440 volt 400 amp outlet to fast charge the onboard batteries used for battery swapping. The entire battery swap will take less than 60 seconds and drivers pay for fresh batteries via credit card.
In theory, the idea seems sound, but many hurdles exist. For one, batteries are not standardized which in turn would require that the trailer carries an ever increasing amount of batteries as new EVs are released. Second, NuTech proposes a $20 fee for the battery swap. $20 for 100 miles of additional range is extremely expensive and more than many drivers would be willing to pay.
Problems aside, the system shows some promise. If the Better Place battery swapping model and battery standardization become popular, branching out with additional battery swapping stations via a low cost mobile trailer could be ideal. For now, its just one more way that the range of EVs could be extended someday.