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Electrical Mobility 3

Filling station as a battery-swapping-point

Of course, motor technology has, among other things, given some thought to how one could solve the problem. On the surface, the simplest solution seems to be the replacement of the complete battery-set. By the way, in one of the first ideas, a trailer was constructed, which of course, considering our expectations as far as the manoeuvrability of a vehicle is concerned, had to be rejected.

Manufacturer-independent standards for battery-sets necessary

In Israel, e.g., one is working feverishly on the introduction of a system whereby all battery-sets are centralised under the vehicle flooring and are replaceable from below. At the moment, the method is called 'Quickdrop'. Up to 2011, more than 100 stations are being planned, Renault is planning to deliver the suitable vehicles.

Europe-wide network of battery-swapping-points?

Indeed, the replacing of the battery-sets, with 20kWh and 250 kg, should not have to take place very often. In 80% of trips, the conventional charging method (public or in ones own garage) remains possible. What is important is, the battery replacement for transporters, which often operate in zones where zero emission is permitted and of course, also for longer trips. Therefore, the problem of the blanket-coverage of the 'Quickdrop' stations remains.

Under-floor swapping of batteries is not without problems

Is it possible, that all the vehicle manufacturers could agree one system for the housing of the electric 'tanks'? This is probably doubtful. Other important points are the accident prevention and the training of the staff. One question is, e.g., whether the passengers can remain seated in the vehicle during the replacement.

Quick charging or during driving?

It's hard to believe, what the human brain is capable of cooking up. Which is the reason why no reliable predictions can be made about the development of these new technologies. Here are a few examples of what's being discussed:

- Liquid electrolytes in the batteries, which could be exchanged in 'filling stations' where they would then be serviced and recharged.
- Several types of cables or electric conductors, whose magnetic fields would able them to take on energy, either when stationary or even when driving.
- Solid or flexible solar collection surfaces on the bodywork or even on the windscreens, which can generate current (although not very much).

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