This system will improve a car's electric range by 30%

It will also make it easier to crash

6w ago
1.4K

This electric car start-up based in London obviously had a thorough look at the problem of range anxiety led by battery-electric cars and thought precisely this: If manufacturers aren't putting enough batteries into their cars, why not put more in?

Of course, it isn't quite as simple as stocking in more batteries and then claiming it will give it an additional 30% more range compared to, in this case, a modern electric hatchback. The battery pack is around the same size as cars from this segment only because of how vertically it's placed, the vehicle can be lower, shorter allowing for better aerodynamics without compromising cabin space. You see, in a traditional BEV, because the batteries are mounted low-down, in order for passengers to get decent head-space, the car must be taller as well as longer and that's not what you want when you're chasing the best possible drag coefficient. The way the batteries are laid out also means less reinforcement is needed making it lighter and with that also cheaper to buy and produce. By now, this is starting to sound like a promising concept. Perhaps this is how all battery-electric cars will be built in the future.

However...

There are also a couple of issues with this solution that are worth pointing out and yes, one of them is how this car will be easier to crash. Something every motoring journalists say about any battery electric vehicle ever reviewed is this: Handling is good because of how low-down the batteries are stored, giving the car a better centre of gravity. In this case though, well...

Remember when Top Gear tested the original Tesla Roadster back more than a decade ago? And I'm not thinking of the (fake) breakdowns mentioned in the film but rather the consequences of mounting all the batteries behind the two seats? It made the car unpredictable, unenjoyable, and therefore easier to crash. Get my point? In an emergency situation, the weight balance will make knowing where the car's about to go... tricky.

It also becomes a rather odd decision when you have to deal with babies or younger children who constantly require your attention and that's difficult when you can't actually see them. Having a conversation with the rear passengers will be... interesting and what happened to luggage space?

Conclusion then?

I don't know about you but this does sound like an interesting idea, only one that won't work in the real world. There are too many compromises to be made only to enjoy 30% more range on a single charge and anyway, the range isn't the problem of electric cars but rather how quickly it takes them to charge up. There's a reason you're not anxious driving a petrol-powered car with a range of only ever 300 miles on one tank because you know you can fill it up pretty much anywhere and in only five minutes. In conclusion then, sorry London but this is a bit of a waste of time. And so is this article come to think of it. Anyway, thanks for reading.

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Comments (3)

  • Technobollox. Nobody wants to crawl into a car as low as a Lamborghini, and EV's battery packs aren't that thick anyway. They're down at floor level and lower the centre of roll as well as the centre of gravity, both of which make suspension angular differences of tyre attack angle vastly less pronounced than in fossil fuelled vehicles. To suggest you can get 30% better range from an drive system that exceeds 90% efficiency is self evident nonsense. Until we have developed less heavy battery technology, it is mass that is the limiting factor for range extension, nothing else.

      1 month ago
  • Why not just put some batteries in a trailer when you need to do a long journey. Could have battery pack swapping stations along the way.

    Oh hang on, we are now getting close to a reliable 300 mile EV range and fast charging in a few minutes.

      1 month ago
    • And Nio is constantly extending its battery swapping network

        1 month ago
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