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Old 03-09-2013, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Interchangable battery packs

As we all know, EVs have one big problem, refueling time. Even the most high tech chargers out there take hours to deliver a full charge on a low battery.

Maybe this will eventually change, but, if it doesn't, what about coming up with a way to swap packs at centralized charge stations. Highway rest stops would be a great location for them.

You could have a fairly good sized pack that hung underneath the car. Changing it would be done by stopping over a changing bay where the old old pack drops onto a conveyor and a new one is lifted into place.

The trouble would be that you'd have to establish a rather large number of them simultaneously to make it practical. This would be an expensive project. It would be the type of project that even a libertarian like my self might see a government role in. They sure as hell have no business giving away my tax dollars to hybrid drivers.

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Which electric car is the battery pack going to fit? or is there going to be a selection of battery packs, so you just have to make sure that it's up to date and has a pack that fits your vehicle?
Better Place had the same idea and after pumping lots of money in and having a system that worked with one make and model of car, I hear they are going under, or have gone under.

My electric car has plenty of range to make it to the air port shuttle and plenty of range to get me to the bus stop that takes me to the train station, I use it as my main vehicle most of the year, my parents electric car only has a 20 mile range and their electric car is also their main vehicle.

Plugging my car in takes just a few seconds and I wake up with it fully charged, I leave work with it fully charged, what takes a lot of time is when I use my gas car (collector plates, can't drive my electric car in the winter) and I have to stop at the gas station, I end up spending 10 minutes or more at the gas station just waiting! not like the 25 seconds it takes to walk around my electric car and plug it in, I read a while back that the average person spends 11 hours per year at the gas station and average EV owner spend less then 2 hours per year plugging and unplugging their EV.

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, EVs are already very practical for short commutes/running errands. I am talking about a way to make them practical for longer range drives. And yes, it would require EV makers to settle on a standardized pack.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete c View Post
As we all know, EVs have one big problem, refueling time. Even the most high tech chargers out there take hours to deliver a full charge on a low battery.
If we removed the reference to "the most high tech" , then yes that is a common problem of what is commonly in use today ... but not because the most high tech can't do it... more like because the tech being used can't do it.

Ultra-Fast charge system , To recharge to about ~80% in about 1 minute is old tech ... about ~8 years old now... link

Even Lab prototypes of pushing that down to ~10 seconds ... are no longer cutting edge at ~4 years old ... Link

There are of course good reasons why most common battery systems are not built to do this ... but if you want to talk about "most high tech" ... well with the door that open all kinds of possibilities are available ... even if not being used for various reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete c View Post
Maybe this will eventually change, but, if it doesn't, what about coming up with a way to swap packs at centralized charge stations. Highway rest stops would be a great location for them.
Better Place is already trying to deploy that very things ... progress is slow.
Link
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I was at the Nissan leaf demo a few years ago in NC they had a fast charger that was going to be installed at best buy so you can shop and get a 80% charge at the same time. They could install these at rest stops or fast food places and you can fill both tanks at the same time.

I guess plan B could be a retro fit kit to go to a fuel cell and offer hydrogen fueling stations or something?

Maybe to make it more universale the hot swappable pack for extended trips could be trailer mounted? Seems any car can get a hitch and has some towing ability. Then all you would need to is wire up a plug to your original pack and match up a towable one of the same voltage.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete c View Post
Yes, EVs are already very practical for short commutes/running errands. I am talking about a way to make them practical for longer range drives. And yes, it would require EV makers to settle on a standardized pack.
That would be like asking auto makers to settle on a standardized engine, it took them long enough to agree to a single diagnostic plug language!
They can't even settle on a single quick charge plug, then Tesla comes along and designs their very own charging plug and quick charge plug, so in the US there are 6... 7... 8 charging plugs that vehicles have come with from the factory that I can think of off the top of my head and you want a standardized battery size, shape, voltage, amp hour rating, BMS interface, cooling interface and make it all quick connect to the underside of the car? I don't see that ever happening any sooner then I see every gas car on the road getting the exact same gas engine to make repairs easier and cheaper "just swap the engine for one that works! it will make repairs fast and cheap!"

over 90% of the population doesn't drive over 100 miles in a single day more then a few times per year and those few odd times per year they choose the vehicle that they are taking based off of things like how much cargo it can carry, how many people it can carry, if it has A/C, if it has a good radio, if it's reliable enough to drive 100 miles and make it back without braking down.

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Old 03-09-2013, 08:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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VA maybe different. We are some what rural and the Beltway has a lot of traffic. I traveled 3 miles in an hour once. I am sure blasting the ac or heat in that situation would of taken a quarter of the range of any ev. In VA Beach you can spend 15 minutes at a stop light and easily epleat the prius battery and have it start idling on gas with the ac on.

The young women where i use to work woudl drive from Richmond to Norfolk after work on Friday to attend partoes int he wee hours. Thats a 300 mile round trip.

I dont know, I drove a leaf 60 miles and plugged it in for an hour half way. Watching the meter and est range go down faster than I could drive wasnt a pleasant site. It was luke warm out and I had the ac on its lowest setting and blower speed.

Not sure I understand the different plugs for evs. I thought electric codes have already been established? Wouldnt you just carry YOUR charger with you and plug it into a standard or 220/440 outlet?
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Most EVs (Volt, Leaf, Prius Plug In, etc) have a J1772 plug which is 220V only and certified to 30A (level 2), although I think it can do up to 80A if I am not mistaken. It cannot do 110V (level 1) because it does not have the neutral wire.

The level 3 fast charger requires a separate CHAdeMo plug on the Leaf, and provides the car with 400VDC+ so no rectification is necessary.

Tesla came up with their own plug because even the CHAdeMo plug doesn't even come close to the 90kW (!!!) that their superchargers are capable of.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nearly all EV's have an on board charger so the charging station is more or less a heavy duty cord with a fancy plug on it, they also tend to have a GFI and the new charging stations don't power up the cord unless it's got a solid connection to the vehicle it can then communicate with the vehicle to see how much current the charging station is designed to handle and there is some info that can flow back to the charging station but I can't remember what it is.
So we have the new, modern J1772 plug, the J1772 Combo (SAE quick charge) the CHAdeMo quick charge that is more common on EV's made in Japan and sold here, the Tesla standard charge plug, the Tesla quick charge plug, the Magne-Charge (J1773) paddle charger and of those there was a large paddle and a small paddle.
And of course there are the vehicles like the WheeGo that use a 220v twist lock plug, I think the Jet Electric used twist lock plugs as well and my car that used a standard Nema 2-15 plug (household extension cord).

J1772 connections are what all EV's made in the last 2 years have other then Tesla vehicles and I think the WheeGo, and I'm pretty sure that all of them can handle 110v or 220v input.
But if you look, you will see that Tesla for example sells a pile of adapter options for charging their vehicles from anything from a 110v outlet to a dryer plug.

My point tho was that these were all charging options that were used in the last 10-15 years because everyone has their own idea on how to make their product and even tho there is a standard for quick charging in the United States the Japanese standard is more common.
To get back to battery packs, some electric cars have sealed air cooled battery packs, some have vented battery packs, some have water cooled battery packs and each has it's advantage, so if you want to make a standard what is it going to be?

Also when people are stuck in traffic for 3 hours is when they tend to run out of gasoline, traffic like that also puts the least amount of load on an EV's battery, sure you have heat, a/c, lights and radio, but chances are you could sit there all day and still get to where you are going with charge left over, I could leave my EV's lights on for 36 hours before the battery pack went dead, or I could leave the heat on full blast for 6 hours... it would turn in to a sauna inside but I could do it if I wanted!

Most people get their oil changed every 3,000 miles because if you are driving short trips that is how often you should get it changed, if you do highway driving your owners manual most likely says to change it every 7,500 miles, if you do the kind of driving where you can change your oil every 7,500 miles then an EV might not be for you, they are not the right vehicle for everyone, just like pickup trucks are not the right vehicle for everyone, bicycles are not the right vehicle for everyone.

Last edited by Ryland; 03-10-2013 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Pete,
This is actually an old idea. Renault and Better Place are doing it presently although I'm not sure how well it is working. My biggest problem with this scenario would be swapping my brand new pack out with one of unknown quality or condition. Certainly there could be standards and regulations, but the unscrupulous can always find ways around those.

JJ

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