EP Tender is a hitch-mounted range extender that its developer, Jean-Baptiste Segard, says is the solution for the EV range issue.
Segard's EP Tender is an engine on a trailer. It's a simple solution for those who occasionally travel long distances, but who still wish to own only an EV.
Apparently, Segard has already pitched the EP Tender to Renault and plans to speak with BMW, Volkswagen and Ford, too.
“I'm hopeful that, at the end of the day, will say market research demonstrates we could sell more car if we allow these cars to use EP Tender."
Though we suspect OEMs will show no interest in Segard's EP Tender, there's something else in the works that perhaps makes sense.
Segard hopes to rent out EP Tenders to EV owners for use on occasional long trips. There's no word on what the daily rental rate would be though. Segard says EP Tender can extend an EVs range to up to 500 miles.
As Coexist explains:
EP Tender Guts
Segard claims his devices solve the most obvious technical problems. He patented a mechanical method that makes backing up a cinch (which you can watch him demonstrate). Electric vehicles can’t typically be charged while driving, but Segard says his devices get around this issue by essentially operating in parallel to the battery, connecting between the battery and the inverter in a way that he says is compatible with all the EVs on the market. “They would fit very nicely on a Tesla Model S or a Nissan LEAF,” he says.
We see no reason why a Model S owner would use such a device though, especially with the growing network of free Superchargers.
Segard says there's one major hurdle though: EVs don't come factory equipped with hitches. That's a problem, but of course there are aftermarket hitches that fit EVs, but then again towing with an EV voids most warranties.
Can Segard find a work-around solution?
Time will tell.