French company EP Tender has revealed a novel way of extending the range of an electric vehicle (EV), with a tiny trailer filled with batteries.
The range-extending trailer houses 60kWh batteries that can add 350 miles (563 kilometres) of range and be charged while driving.
While the trailers are not available to purchase, they can be rented along popular holiday roads in Europe for AU$56 using an online app that allows customers to pick up and drop off the trailer at their own discretion. The app also keeps drivers up to speed with the charge state of the trailer.
EP Tender's figures are taken from use with the small Renault Zoe EV hatch, stating that its 120 miles (193kms) of range, when combined with the trailer's, will increase to a total of 470 miles (756kms).
Range-anxiety isn't such a big worry in Europe as it is in Australia, as Europeans can get a long way with little distance, so tend to buy small and affordable EVs with lesser range. For example, in Europe, you can drive from Frankfurt in Germany, travel through Switzerland, and arrive in Turin, Italy, in under 756kms. That distance in Australia will get you from the Gold Coast to Rockhampton in QLD, and you're still in the same state.
EP Tender is targeting those who have small EVs, but who would like to go on a big holiday trip. Instead of them purchasing a more expensive EV for those rare-chance trips, renting a battery trailer seems a logical choice.
Using the Renault Kangoo van and Zoe, the startup company originally began with a petrol range extender trailer for hybrids, but has now realised how quickly EVs have taken off and is putting all its efforts into the battery trailers instead.