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Old 08-28-2010, 10:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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bugler - '91 Mazda 626
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I agree with weather spotter, wireless power transfer is not workable with current technology. I do remember some people doing work on wireless power transfer using microwaves however in all current technologies the losses are incredibly large therefore making it unworkable.

Since you ask about other range extending technologies there are a few out there I have heard of.
One I did a feasibility study on was a model that involves swapping out batteries packs at service stations. This means you would have a car that can do for example 100 miles using lithium batteries. It is relatively small and light but it will get you to work and back and you can charge it over night. When you go on long trips you can go to a service station part way along your trip drive onto a automatic swapping mechanism in the service station. It swaps your electrically depleted battery pack for a fully charged battery and your on your way again for another 100 or so miles.
A big problem with current EV cars is that most consumers want 400 mile capacity between fill ups / charges so the battery packs are large and heavy, this is one method that can make the technology more feasible. For more info have a look at this website Better Place | The Global Provider of EV Networks and Services. it is promoting the technology

Another method which I think is coming out in some production electric cars soon or already is a complementary onboard generator. So you get some small distance from your normal EV charge but when you run out of power the car switches on the generator and you keep going. The generator I assume runs on standard petrol.
This technology has the benefit that you aren't idling at lights ever, you get engine off coasting for free. But you do have the added losses of generator inefficiency and battery charging inefficiencies.
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