SWAP­PING BET­TER THAN RECHARG­ING

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

AT Amer­ica’s fifth an­nual Na­tional Drive Elec­tric Week, shifts into high gear, a group of stu­dents showed their take on cre­at­ing swap­pable bat­tery sys­tem to ex­tend elec­tric drives.

The group en­vis­age “ex­change sta­tions” at con­ve­nience or auto parts stores where driv­ers can sim­ply swap any num­ber of por­ta­ble bat­tery mod­ules for fully-charged ones, elim­i­nat­ing the range anx­i­ety many EV driv­ers ex­pe­ri­ence when trav­el­ing too far from home or run­ning low on charge.

In­ven­tor Lou Shrin­kle, UCSD en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents and univer­sity ad­vis­ers be­hind the en­deav­our launched a fundrais­ing ef­fort chal­leng­ing the world to help take their con­cept main­stream while sup­port­ing their mile­stone jour­ney, cur­rently slated for Novem­ber 2015.

To prove their con­cept, the team have retro­fit­ted a 2002 Volk­swa­gen Golf and will next month drive east to west across the U.S. with 16 10 kilo­gram brief­case-size mod­u­lar bat­tery sys­tems de­liv­er­ing about 26 kWh per charge. Their goal is to raise $15 000 on In­diegogo.

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