Even though electric vehicle charging networks continue to evolve and expand, the range anxiety still lingers. People just cannot live without having enough fuel/energy onboard their vehicle to go 300 miles or more. Fortunately engineers have been coming up with clever solutions to ease that anxiety and attract people to the electric side of driving (at least until electric vehicle infrastructure is widespread and high capacity battery technology is perfected). The EP Tender is one of those clever solutions. It consists of a trailer-mounted generator system that allows the driver of an electric vehicle to take the charger with them wherever they go. If one’s car is running low on battery, just start the generator and keep driving.
The EP Tender portable charging system is essentially a mobile commercial generator that’s been pared down for consumer use. The 200 kg (440 lb) system utilizes a trailer mounted 600 cc engine that resides in standby mode until a low charge signal is received from the vehicle. While the vehicle is being driven, the tethered trailer activates the generator, which in turn recharges the EV battery. The idea is that this charge on the go system could negate the need for lengthy charging stops.
Currently under development in France, the system can generate up to 22 kW of power during a cycle at speeds up to 130 km/h (80 mph). The company is also working on developing a 35 kW system using a 900 cc engine. Depending on the electric vehicle that the trailer is attached to, a range of 600 km (360 miles) could be achieved using the charge to go system. That is more than enough range to eliminate the range anxiety.
EP Tender’s portable charging system is still in its early testing stages, with similar systems for electric motorcycles and hybrids reported to be in the works.