Nomadic Power Presents Range Extender Trailer (w/video)

JUN 27 2014 BY MARK KANE 59

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power (often referred to as eBuggy) is a company from Germany that is developing range extender trailers for highway rental systems, which would enable electric cars to have infinite range.

The main concept is to use a high capacity battery trailer instead of a long range EV and then to find available fast charging stations along the route. When you need to do a long trip, you just rent the trailer and leave it at another station.

“Nomadic Power will offer Nomad batteries for rental at major arterial roads across the country. And, Nomadic Power enables the utilisation of clean energies: Pick up an Nomad at a highway fast charging station and exploit the electric energy of the Nomad. Return the Nomad to a station in your destination area. Drive with your own electric car battery within your destination area. It’s so easy. Let’s change the look of highway traffic.”

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

The concept egg shaped version with an 85 kWh battery pack could extend the range to over 500 km or 300 miles. On the Nomadic Power’s website, we find 40 and 60 kWh versions and this, of course, reminds us of the original Tesla Motors battery pack options.

Features of the Roadside Assistance Nomads:

  • Roadside recharging
  • AC and DC fast charging
  • For all electric car models
  • All standard plugs
  • 40 – 60 – 85 kWh.

It’s unclear if Nomadic Power can directly deliver power supply, as vehicles available on the market don’t have the option to charge them while driving, nor do they have a special connection inlet for external power sources like trailers. We believe that this is a serious obstacle for now.

Nomadic Power stated that to use the stations, first users will need to buy and install a special connection kit compatible with the trailers.

The trailer itself probably will be limited in terms of top speed. We found that an early prototype was homologated in Germany for 100 km/h or 62 mph (however, the final version could be rated at a higher speed).

How does it work?

You’re driving with your electric car in the city or for commuting. Now, you want to make a long range or a highway ride:

  • Hitch up a Nomad battery at the first highway service station and drive with the electric energy of the Nomad range extender.
  • Return the Nomad battery at a service station in your destination area.
  • Drive with your electric car battery in your destination area.

The Nomadic Power offering

Nomadic Power is currently establishing a network of locations at highway fast charging stations.

  • You can register with Nomadic Power at the purchase of your electric car or at any time later.
  • You will receive an Nomad kit for updating your electric car for Nomadic Power.
  • You will be able to pick up an Nomad battery at every Nomad station.
Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Technological Background

In technical terms, the Nomadic Power is a so-called on-demand range extender. It will be hitched up to an electric car for long-distance travel. Nomadic Power works in the following modes:

  • Working mode: the Nomad battery is hitched up. The Nomad battery enhances and recharges the traction battery of the electric car.
  • Recharge mode: The Nomad battery is recharged at the service station.
  • Smart grid mode: The Nomad fleet works as a grid-integrated virtual power plant.

Nomad will be developed as an external range extender with a powerful lithium-ion battery for energy storage – focusing on a future with a purely electrical infrastructure. Nomad is licensed in Germany for a travelling speed of 100 km/h.

Nomadic Power exchange has many advantages compared to other battery-changing concepts:

  • Low-cost exchange stations
  • No need for expensive automated robotics
  • Standard recharge systems are sufficient
  • Manual handling possible.
  • Very low capital expenditures at the exchange station.
Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Nomadic Power Range Extender Trailer

Bonus – Testdrive with very first prototype from a few years ago:

“The first lap has been completed. The Nomadic Power prototype was finished and has proved successful. Nomadic Power is starting the second lap: test series development and network trials.”

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59 Comments on "Nomadic Power Presents Range Extender Trailer (w/video)"

newest oldest most voted

Could they use Tesla patents (and possibly partner w/Tesla) to allow these to use the Supercharger network?

scottf200

Nice thought. That would let you get off the beat path once you leave the SC ‘railroad’ as well since you have 85kWh*2 or 60*2 or 60+80

They could also put some Nema plugs on it and people could use these instead of generators. Imagine how much quieter it would be, say for a picnic/outdoor party/camping. 85kWh is enough for a day of work at a construction site. Also good to rent if power goes out at your house.

Anderlan

Holy crap a 700W refrigerator?! I thought your typical modern 20ft^3 was down to 40W average running power.

Anderlan

Yes, I’m way off. Don’t know where I got that from.

lewl

Yes, average. But when running 700 sounds about right. But cycle on for 30 mins, off for 90, or whatever the fridge program is, to get that average.
Still uses 700 when *on*, which is key when sizing backup power sources.

Ocean Railroader

What Tesla could do is rent out the Supercharger Network to them. Such as Tesla could get a few dollars every time one of these Trailers plugs into their Supercharger network. Which would in turn allow Tesla to have a steady flow of cash to help build more superchargers or enlarge the existing ones with more charging stales.

I could see using this trailer system for the rural open gapes in the Midwest or on a trip to Alaska along with visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains. Or even on several long distance road trips. But I wounder would this trailer allow you to fill up while you sleep over night at a hotel room.

Mark H

Give me a 150 mile BEV and lots of these along major highway arteries and I need nothing more.

Bonaire

The 150 mile BEV is a real workable solution. With 45-50kWh on board, it is a good match for 50KW CHAdeMO to charge at a nice 1C rate. No need for more. Tesla tries to convince people that 85 kWh is necessary and then complained of battery constraints. What most people need is just over 100 mile AER to feel comfortable and also not require at work charging. Nice to have but the EV revolution should not require huge infrastructure. It should be much more like ICE utility cycles. Now, if you have a 100 mile each way commute, you need more than range. You need a psychologist.

Taser54

These trailers will be stolen. Too much value in a small trailer.

krona2k

Yeah I’m sure it’s impossible to lock a trailer to the hitch.

sven

Yeah I’m sure it’s impossible for a thief to defeat a lock on a trailer or a lock on a hitch pin. /sarc

You can’t possibly be that naive. Do you still put “The Club” on your steering wheel?

taser54

The incentive is there to breach any trailer lock on the hitch.

sven

The easiest way to defeat a locked trailer is to break the flimsy lock on the hitch pin. All you need to do is put the right-sized diameter pipe over the round lock on the hitch pin, then use a little leverage to pop it off.

Ocean Railroader

They would most likely put GPS on these trailers do to avoid them going missing or someone not paying the rent on them.

Such as say someone named T.J yanks it from the car while it’s charging. The owner would report it stolen and the company would use the GPS to track it down and turn it off. They would then send the police to T.J’s garage were they would find him and the EV trailer.

I once had some crack head steal the catalytic converters along with my emissions system off of the back of my car while it was parked. the whole system was bolted and wielded to underside of the car.

sven

Thieves can easily defeat GPS tracking with shielding to block the GPS or cellular signal. Just put the trailer in a shielded truck or van and drive away. Car thieves do it all the time.

Sam

[citation needed]

Maybe in the movies, but I’m pretty sure that real people don’t run around in faraday cage trucks stealing gps pinging cars.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

So put GPS trackers in ’em and code them to a transponder that the owner/renter carries with them.

Me, I think these would be better as cargo carriers with a flat battery pack on the bottom, so you’d get range and cargo capacity at the same time.

Jeff D

Great idea. You can never have too much storage.

BraveLilToaster

Maybe, but there is such a thing as towing too much weight. My Nissan Leaf manual says “don’t tow anything”. I would imagine that’s pretty true of a lot of 110 hp hatchbacks, too.

Noisewater: You’d also want to alarm the case of this thing, so that someone can’t defeat your GPS tracker with a pair of wire cutters. But otherwise you’re dead on there.

sven

One negative to a trailer for additional storage is that on toll roads and bridges you’ll be charged extra tolls for that third axle. Also, finding a parking spot that accommodates a trailer can be a bitch.

Jeff D

My wife reminded me of that issue when I was talking to her about this trailer. I then got to thinking that the battery portion of the trailer looks to be about the size of a roof carrier. I wonder if maybe a roof mount would be a better solution than a trailer?

Eletruk

85KWh of batteries on the Tesla weighs about 1200lbs. I don’t think you’ll be wanting lift that onto your roof.

sven

GPS trackers won’t help. Thieves would steal the trailer just like they steal motorcycles with GPS trackers: put it in a van/truck with shielding that blocks GPS and cellular signals, and drive away. Then disconnect the tracker from it’s power source in a shielded chop shop.

Bonaire

GPS trackers and rearview dash cams in the cars, mounted out of sight.

The real answer is battery density. Double today’s cell density and things change dramatically.

Sam

I can think of many ways to make it theft resistant. Locks, GPS tracking, tamper proof enclosure, immobilizer circuitry. Sure, you might be able to steal it, but once you have it, if you can’t do anything with it, what’s the point?

Once they put in the ability to remotely brick an iPhone, rendering them only useful as parts to thieves, thefts dropped considerably.

I wonder how they are able to override the safety built into the software to charge the battery while driving? All EV’s disable the ability to drive the car while a charger is plugged in.

Maybe it connects directly to the DC bus?

BraveLilToaster

Probably like this:

http://enginer.us/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Leaf+Installation+Manual

This is the manual for installing an extra battery pack into a Leaf. The way it accomplishes the feat is by providing 400v power to the 400v cables coming out of the battery. That way, you’re connecting both batteries in parallel, and both batteries drain at around the same rate. The on-board electronics can handle this just fine, and are generally ignorant of what you’ve just done. I expect that it would be no problem charging the car’s onboard battery this way, because power comes into the battery the same way every time you use regenerative braking.

However, I question why you’d do it this way, since it’s the insanely expensive way of extending your car’s range. A fossil-fuel generator (gas, propane, or CNG) would be cheaper all around, especially if you want “unlimited range”. Which is a falsehood anyway – every gas car has a limited range between fill-ups, it’s just that it takes only about 10 minutes to do them.

Unplugged

Exactly correct on the cost. These trailers would have to rent for less than $35 a day. Otherwise, just get a cheap Dollar rental car.

The question is whether they can get the cost down enough.

Millions wasted for a useless product. The entire company was only created to suck into subsidiaries.

pjwood

What a fantastic idea. Create a free-market for those wanting to select the energy they roll by, and reintroduce competition to this thing called Capitalism.

Spec9

“The entire company was only created to suck into subsidiaries.”

What does that even mean?

Phil

They say “roadside charging” for a reason. You need to pull over, drag the thing to the front of your car, plug in and fast charge. I’m not totally sure how this is more convenient than stopping at a fast charge station, except that I guess you get to choose where you charge.

Mark H

People like a traveling salesman would not be remotely interested. They need to lug the full weight of their battery all the time.

People who live in rural areas could replace the need to lug either their battery or extender with the occasional use of one of these. The rural areas do not have the quick charging infrastructure nor will they.

Ocean Railroader

There is a odd thing were several rural areas are getting DC Fast Chargers for Leafs and Mitsubishi i-mievs. In that right now the local Sheetz Gas Stations between Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Harrisburg have put in several DC faster chargers at their gas stations.

Mark C

The fact that you would need a trailer hitch installed as well as electrical connections for trailer lighting and charging functions are to be expected. How that is accomplished might be the trick, especially if the EV is a lease.

The styling is pretty slick too. I wouldn’t think the very low profile tire / rim combination would be that good of a choice theough. There’s too many potholes that could easily damage a wheel with that short of a sidewall.

They need to use the swivel-caster trailer design so people who are not good at backing up w/a trailer won’t have any issues.

Sam

I don’t see those tiny wheels doing very well at highway speeds, and the design of the trailer requires the wheels to freely turn under the deck, so if you put larger wheels on there, you’d end up with a trailer that is jacked up higher and higher. This is nice for local hauls, but not for highway.

Will these trailers have their own TMS? If yes, air cooled I assume.

Spec9

But do they have systems for tapping into the EV’s drivetrain electronics? Without violating the warranty?

I think these would be great . . . especially if available as rentals. But I don’t see this market existing until there is larger EV market penetration.

But yeah . . . these combined with supercharger network access turns any EV into an EV that can do long distances like the Tesla Model S.

Jeff D

The time that it will take for greater EV penetration should be enough time to perfect this product. There are enough concerns as it stands that make it not quite production ready.

pjwood

They won’t let me change the battery in my cell phone anymore, and this is supposed to take off?

Spec9

Stop buying from Apple.

Amon

Cute power pod on wheels…

Josephus
Creative, but I don’t see the feasibility of this. How much would you be willing to pay for this before renting an ICE+gas would look more appealing? I’m thinking no more than $75/rental. A two way trip would be $150. Any more than that we could rent a family hauler. For comparison, in a week we are spending $100 total for a three day rental with a Ford Explorer through relayrides.com. It’s older, and we have to factor in $90 gas too. Is that a sustainable business model though? Assuming a $200/kWh + trailer cost, I’d assume a $14,000 cost for the 60kWh pack. At $75 a trip that would take about 186 rentals to break even. At an optimistic 50% usage rate that would take over a year to become profitable, for a temporary problem. Other concerns: 1) any mods to my EV to allow an inlet while driving might void manufacture’s warranty. 2) Any mods to my EV will be an additional cost. 3) I believe towing is a no-no for most EVs. 4) Once we have affordable 200 mile ranges, this is obsolete. 5) We settled on a smaller Ford Focus EV with the idea that longer… Read more »
Ocean Railroader

This is battery trailer system at least makes more sense then swapping out the whole underside of the car to replace the battery. In not having to swap out a existing battery would save tens of millions in construction costs and having specially built cars to handle battery swapping.

ggpa

Having a car with 2 batteries (built-in + trailer) opens up an interesting advantage.

You can leave the trailer at a charger, then go off to do something while the trailer recharges.

This replaces the wasteful time hanging out at a charger with productive time.

BraveLilToaster

Wow, this is a really good point, actually. This is a good way around how (currently) many charging stations are in stupid places well away from anything remotely fun to do. At least, that’s how it is in my neck of the woods, for any of the chargers outside the city.

ggpa

Well I think this is true for most places, think how Steve Coram could have used The trailer battery to propel him to a charger in Port Angeles, and them visit the peak using the built-in battery and then return to a fully charged trailer.

ffbj

I think Surprise Cat meant subsidies not subsidiaries.
I think this could be useful for specific individuals, people that travel quite a bit or a least above the norm.

MDEV

This will be perfect for AAA or any road assistant. If I have to used I would rent an ICE better.

Anderlan

Alternatively, sell me a generator that puts out DC and can talk Chademo, CCS, or SC.

The only reason I don’t take a little generator on trips is because US market cars only go up to 6kW (which is sub-warp speed) AC, and the generator is AC. You might as well use a 6kW stations since the countryside is lousy with them.

Andrei

I think it will be a huge success. I thought of this idee since I realized that the range of the leaf well not be suficient for my summer treaps. And renting them is a brilliant ideea.

Spec9

Oh wait . . . this is is so you can can drive, stop, then DC fast charge, drive, stop, then DC fast charge, etc.

No, that is lame. The SAE should start working on a standardized connection to EV drivetrains that can be used while the EV is running. That is what is needed.

Djoni

Hum, but you cannot hitch anything on a Leaf.
Don’t they?

Spec9

Where there is a will, there is a way.

This concept has come up at least twice on the internet since 2000 and everybody talks but nobody finances. the problems are two: a hitch for towing a quarter to half ton weight battery and trailer, an investment of $12,000 for a leaf sized battery is $5,000 and it takes two, and the trailer with electric brakes due to weight of the battery, Then how do you electrically connect to the battery pack in the EV. And in a safe manner.(It blows the warranty.) All the high voltage battery cables are designed to be hidden and protected, (TESLA requires the removal of the battery to get to the battery connections, for example.) And then there is the problem with backing up with a trailer attached, few drivers, on the road today, are adept at that! And EV prices are coming down, Chevy Volt is down $5,000 since January.Just lease a car with a combustion engine, preferably a hybrid for that road trip or take a bus.. I drove to Las vegas from florida renting a nine passenger van for 10 days, trip was two days each wau and we were in Vegas five days and the rent was $500 and… Read more »
e-lectric

What it cost?