Volt Drone Flies To You To Charge Your Dead Electric Car

MAR 17 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 35

The Volt (trademark issue?) EV Charging Drone can bring you a few kWh of juice for your EV if you’re in a bind.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this. In fact, Amazon patented a very similar device. However, we haven’t seen an actual prototype. As we anticipated when we discovered Amazon’s plans, it’s not going to have the ability to supply you with a large amount of range (at least not with today’s tech), but this concept can deliver 3 kWh, which may get you out of a bind … maybe.

RELATED: Amazon Patents Drone That Will Recharge Your Electric Car

The Volt drone would get you some 10-20 miles of range depending on the vehicle, the weather, the terrain, and your speed and driving habits. That is if the drone hasn’t burned up some of that energy on its way to your location. There’s a pretty good chance that that’s not going to get you to the next charging station in most areas. Perhaps you’d just have to order a whole round of these drones to get enough miles to suffice.

The premise is that you can use a mobile app to summon the Volt to come to your rescue if you exhaust your battery. You pay for the service through the app with a credit card and then simply wait for your flying electrons to arrive. Unlike the Amazon concept, this unit has legs and sits stationary next to the car, at which point you will use it like any normal charger. The Amazon drone is meant to refuel your car while you’re driving.

Below are a few more photos from the Behance website:

Inside the Volt EV Charging Drone

Inside the Volt EV Charging Drone (Image Credit: Behance)

Volt EV Charging Drone services

Volt EV Charging Drone services (Image Credit: Behance)

Source: Behance

Categories: Charging

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35 Comments on "Volt Drone Flies To You To Charge Your Dead Electric Car"

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Roy_H

Excellent idea. If you are planning your trip properly you won’t get stranded, but it wouldn’t take much of a mis-calculation or circumstance to find your self a few miles away from your next planned charge point. So this would work perfectly. The suggestion that you might be stranded 50 miles away would mean that you didn’t plan your charge stops at all.

Asak
It’s a neat idea, but more fitting for a sci-fi movie than reality. As a rescue service it really isn’t very practical. First of all you’d need to be close enough to where the drones are launched so they could even make it to you. Next the drone is too small to hold much charge, especially since it has to use power getting to you, while also saving power for the return trip. Even if it could provide enough charge you’d still be sitting there for a long time at slow L2 speeds. Bottom line: it would probably be faster to just call for a tow. Now maybe as a portable destination charger it could work. Think instead of having dedicated L2 chargers, instead you just park wherever and a drone flies over to charge you. But even then either the drone needs to be able to initiate the charge itself or it has to be close enough that you don’t spend too much time waiting around for it to arrive, delaying your business. I feel like the biggest problem with the concept is that by the time batteries are dense enough that a drone can carry a significant charge,… Read more »
Nick

The picture shows a quick charging connection.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Run out because you’re stuck in a traffic jam and a drone is the only way to get stuff to you.

Could do the same for gasoline, but possibly a problem with that…

Asak

But cars break down all the time in traffic, or end up causing traffic due to being broken down/involved in an accident and they still eventually get rescued.

The other thing is EVs are just about the least likely to run out in heavy traffic, because at slow speeds they have the greatest efficiency.

Magnus H

How about a car carrying a battery? Why is the solution have to come over air?

A solution looking for a problem.

They should make modular battery packs you can add for longer trips. Tons of people would purchase one. You could leave it in the garage when not in use as a back up generator or solar system buffer. Genius! First car manufacturer that incorporates this feature into their design will generate a lot of sales. Going to a standardized cell pack format could make this possible. Think of the Ryobi One Plus batteries that can power over a dozen different tools.

TwoVolts

Exactly! Automakers should consider adding another L2 plug in the back hatch/trunk. Simply connect the portable battery to the receptacle in the back, and off you go – with another 20-50 miles of emergency back-up range added. Why should there be a need to sit and wait for the car’s main lithium battery to charge up?

I’d like to see more effort on the V2G and V2H fronts as well from EV manufacturers. These features will sell themselves.

John

Check out spcev.com They have a beta program running on what your talking about now.

John

http://www.spcev.com portable modular ultra fast charging stations that go in your trunk.

Confused

Batteries age poorly. Rental batteries would be best. Rent a spare for long trips.

Tom

Because you can’t get a bunch of VC money if you say ‘hey lets put a battery pack in the bed of a pickup’.

Magnus H

Yeay, the should have mentioned rockets and disruption also, and money would flow.

Vexar

That sounds perfectly safe: rocket-powered DC fast charging stations that launch and land where you are, ready to plug in.

How about a car that whines at you when you’re getting too far from known charging stations? Oh wait, that’s called a Tesla.

Gasbag

“How about a car carrying a battery”

Haven’t commuted much in an urban setting?
A car pulled over on the hgwy generally causes heavy traffic to slow down which often leads to gawkers which often leads to accidents which often leads to cars pulling over. Rinse repeat. Instant traffic jam. Our battery carrying car is now stuck in traffic trying to reach cause of traffic jam, said car could drive as closely as convenient and dispatch our drone for last mile.

Magnus H

So where are all the drones carrying a 5l gas tank for ICEs getting stranded? Or carrying a spare tire?

A car stuck in rush hour will be towed before the drone even gets there. If you running low on gas/electricity on the freeway, you’re supposed to leave the road and park before the cars stops completely.

Gasbag

Like BEVs they aren’t quite there yet. We’re using drones in search and rescue and they can already be a big help. As gravimetric densities improve so will their function and applications.

I wouldn’t expect tire delivery but a can of pressurized fixit flat would be doable. Generic delivery drones will likely come before specialized ones.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Traffic jam.

Will

Laziness. Call a tow truck

Spin

These could be stationed at charging stations and could be pre-arranged to meet at a designated area to enable you to get to the station, or even possibly a personal drone to be stationed at home. I think it is a great idea.

Spin

Also, if they can be folded up enough to be placed in the vehicle, they can be carried back to the charging station instead of flown.

Re-Volted

Amazon drone is meant to refuel your car while you’re driving.
What! Now it’s just getting silly. Set down and let me plug it in, almost takes 2 hands. I can see some circumstances where it could save a stranded EVer, especially along a crowded interstate where rescue vehicles struggle to get to you. Not so useful for remote areas.

David Turner

Just get up volt you have gas backup!

Re-Volted

I do have gas backup in my Volt, but don’t use it enough to justify so my next car will be an EV. Thinking ahead, kinda like Amazon is in the article.

Roy LeMeur

This thread reminds me of something….

More than 25 yrs ago went out on a 23′ sailboat with friends just outside Dana Point Harbor for some late afternoon fishing. There were no sails aboard and I asked our so-called “Captain” if there was enough fuel in the gas tank for the short trip. Without checking he repeatedly assured me there was.

Hours later and now completely dark we run out of fuel one mile outside the harbor entrance. Being as we had no cell phones, I found the marine radio in a drawer and twisted wires together to get it working with the rapidly dying battery. While the “Captain” was drunk and could hardly stand up, I arraigned for 5 gallons of fuel to be delivered.

About a half hour later a rescue boat shows up and I have to sign a release and hand over $100 in order to be handed that 5 gallon can of fuel. Always called the “Captain” Lame and Drunken Captain Randy after that.

Vexar

You could have rowed a 23′ boat. Also, even on the calmest of days near Dana Point, you should have been able to sail into the harbor. I am most concerned about the drunk captain, though. The only thing worse than a drunk captain is a young, drunk captain.

Ambulator

With no sails? How do you do that?

Philip

The practicality of this system reminds me of Ford’s concept of a solar carport (https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/transportation/systems/fords-solarpowered-hybrid-car-displays-suntracking-technology). If your carport (with car) was in full sun for the entire day, you’d have enough energy for a 21 mile drive – a fabulous idea for those who only ever drove to the corner shop and back in the dead of night!

Pretty soon our skies (apparently) are going to thick with drones delivering all manner of items. Pedestrians will be forced to wear helmets to avoid being decapitated in the event that a stray gust of wind should cause a mid-air collision.

SJC

Every light pole can be a charger, paint the curb yellow for temporary EV parking then after 20 minutes away you go.

Bill Howland

Much cheaper to just put a bit of gasoline in the VOLT instead of paying $50 or whatever for the Quadracopter to come get you.
Interestingly, just found out something interesting with the GEN 2 Volt. Apparently it is NARROWER than the old Volt and was talking to a guy who Bicycles who says the New Gen 2 can’t fit his bikes (although they WOULD fit in a Bolt ev) , so he bought a Prius Prime instead since they’re giving around $5000 off now including NY State incentive.

bjrosen

Can you guys read a calendar? April 1st is still two weeks away. A drone could never carry enough batteries to be useful, and even if they could a truck with a generator would be far more practical but even that doesn’t make any sense because it would take too long to deliver a useful amount of charge. If an EV runs out of juice the only solution is to tow it to a charger, that’s going to be true for years. Maybe sometime in the distant future it will be possible to put a supercharger on a truck but it’s doubtful that there will ever be an economic case for that because simple towing will be the cheaper solution.

Bill Howland

The army would pay for an abortion like this – especially if its to charge a VOLT which doesn’t need it in the first place.

S. Bedard

I am emergency outside of highways: a mobile charger on a pickup truck: https://www.fastcompany.com/3049018/this-mobile-charging-station-runs-on-scrapped-batteries-and-comes-right-to-your-electric-car is a possibility.

S. Bedard

In an emergency…

Goaterguy

How many/often pure EV owners get stranded during road trips?

Is this a problem or a solution to a question nobody asked like the MB projector lights?