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I'm waiting to see someone come up with replaceable battery packs, so's you drive in to the station, swap over the pack, pay for the full charge of electric and hire of pack and off on your way.

Course you can still recharge, but it gets over the 2 hours driving, 16 hours waiting to recharge syndrome.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 10:51:40 AM EST
This would be a lot easier if the packs were modular. Easier to swap out a module than a full-size battery.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 11:26:33 AM EST
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People have considered this, but we are talking 500 kg packs worth many thousands of euros, at this moment. That also means that engineers need to able to put that weight at a good point for driving characteristics, not necessarily the most accessible point for changing. With smaller and cheaper packs it might become a possibility, but that is going to take some serious time.
by GreatZamfir on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 12:30:34 PM EST
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Why can't you have a couple dozen packs the size of an ordinary car battery?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 12:45:30 PM EST
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I suppse you can, but swapping a couple of dozen of batteries all over the car is not exactly the easy way of recharging, and swapping just a few will not increase your travel distance by a lot. And not that with two dozen batteries, we are still talking 20 kg batteries. That's not a weight everybody can lift with ease, think old ladies.

Form factor is another challenge. You could probably design a car where a large battery pack can taken out of the car by a special machine. But can you expect that every model by other car builders will use that same priciple? Especially as there is still a lot of progress in this area, so if you build an infrastructure of charging stations specialized for a particular design and technology, it might be obsolete in 5 years or so.

by GreatZamfir on Sun Dec 21st, 2008 at 04:14:28 AM EST
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... being looked at for Israel, somewhere in Europe (Denmark?), and smaller trials in NSW, Australia and the Bay area of California.

This was diaried here in the recent past.

Since the batteries are on a loop in the battery replacement station, they don't need fast chargers or special high amperage, high voltage grid connections ... regular chargers are built into the box that hold the batteries in the loop. Relying on charging at regular household voltage and amperage also simplifies the charging at home.

The main innovation in that system was in the commercial side, in selling miles/month like a mobile phone company sells minutes per month.

I don't know if this Chinese company has special fast charging technology, but in many batteries, heavy reliance on fast charging reduces battery life.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 02:20:19 PM EST
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by gmoke on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 06:59:29 PM EST
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