Power Electronics

Battery Vehicle Now Viable for Very Long Distances

Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx says the Tesla 3 gets nearly double the range of the Nissan Leaf by using nearly double the amount of battery but engineers are using a multitude of work-arounds to do better: aerodynamics, lightweighting, even including structural electronics where structure is replaced by supercapacitors or solid state batteries.

Fuel cell hybrids retain the cachet of most expensive solution with a long on-road charging time if you factor in the time to find that rarity, the hydrogen charger. Very long distance with large hydrogen tanks is impracticable.

However, IDTechEx believes that there is an excellent solution being proved for the long distance battery vehicle, starting with trucks. The battery does not expand to an unwieldy 400kWh. A new dynamic charging approach was presented at EVS29 Canada by Patrik Akerman of Siemens.

Dynamic charging is a term most often applied to coils in the road that charge the vehicle as it goes along but, as he pointed out, this has severe difficulties with roads wearing out early, safety and damage from vehicles and roadworks. Height variations, snow, dirt, cost and other problems have been cited by others.

Following a study, Siemens has decided not to work on this. Akerman favors the elegant, affordable solution of intermittent overhead catenary at a mere Euros 2.2 million per kilometer for charging trucks on the move which means that they can still overtake (the old trolley buses could not). 

Source: IDTechEx.

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