Thanks for a great magazine, especially the technical articles.
Pure electric vehicles [EV] have range issues, as we all know, and you cannot drive from Pretoria to Cape Town on a single charge of the batteries – well, not yet, anyway.
Years ago, when I started reading up on EV technology, it came to me that perhaps the best way to tackle the range problem would be the following: vehicle manufacturers should get together and standardise battery packs to a certain degree, in order for them to be removed and replaced with ease.
Let’s say a typical electric car is driven and the batteries run low on charge, the driver could stop at a lling station and, while having a cup of coffee, the battery is removed and a fully charged equivalent pack is inserted into their vehicle. This should take less than 15 minutes and the driver is charged a nominal fee. The electric vehicle is then ready to do another 500 km, equivalent to a petrol vehicle, or whatever range it can do on this charge, until the next lling station is reached to repeat the process. This will work only if all manufacturers reach an agreement to standardise battery packs.
This also creates job opportunities. Charging battery packs can be done overnight at lling stations, which will always have enough battery packs fully charged and ready to insert when needed. Most manufacturers have already reached global consensus on the plugs and sockets that are needed to charge EV (IEC 621961/IEC 62196-2), so why not the battery-pack design in order for bene ts can be tapped? PETER W Pretoria [This is a good idea in principle, Peter, and was also the aim of an Israeli company called Better Place that was founded in 2007. It was at the forefront of battery swapping and had actual stations in place for electric taxis as a demonstration of the technology. However, it failed and went bankrupt in 2013. Standardisation of battery packs was one issue, but the main reason for the idea not taking off was cost. A lithium-ion battery pack is by far