Electric Vehicle Schadenfreude.

Not The Onion:

It is not a cute little ultralight trailer for electric vehicles. It is a frigging towed generator.

The EP Tender is an interesting solution to this problem, albeit not a permanent one. It’s essentially a little trailer that you tow behind your EV. If your battery starts running low, the EP Tender kicks into action, turning on the generator inside the trailer. It feeds electricity into the car to keep it going further than would be possible with just the car’s battery.

For frock’s sake. If this is enough to make the smug idiot owners of inefficient electric vehicles recoil in shame and go buy a Dodge Diesel Ram Pick Up, there is simply no cure for them.

Now that I think about it, we did not see many Teslas (if at all) stuck in the evacuation traffic escaping from Irma’s wrath.


15 Replies to “Electric Vehicle Schadenfreude.”

  1. This is a poor man’s “plug-in hybrid”. Of course, it assumes your electric car can be recharged while driving; that’s not the case for Tesla.
    I’m very happy with my Tesla. It is a great commuting car, and its range has never been a problem for what I needed. Long range driving is handled by on-the-way recharging points. But you’re quite right that you would *not* want to rely on that during an emergency. And most other electric cars have far more limited range and as a result are far harder to take seriously.
    By the way, judging by the website, this isn’t an actual product — rather, it’s a scheme to extract subsidies from the EU and French governments.

  2. If Tesla makes a vehicle that costs below $30K, can go 4-500 miles on a single charge, and is durable, they’ll conquer the world. Right now they are pricey proofs-of-concept.

    I’m a fan only so we can get off of fossil fuels and decrease our dependency on foreign oil. I don’t care if Tesla does it or someone else, we have to get off the imported petroleum teat.

    1. In addition to the above criteria, it needs to be able to be fully recharged in five to ten minutes. Before I retired I made several cross country trips for work assignments. Drop of the interstate, fill the tank, make a bio-stop, and back on the road. If I had to wait for the battery to recharge, it would have added one to two days to the trip.

      Also, purchase and electricity prices need to reflect actual costs, not taxpayer subsidized prices.

      1. An idea that would suit your fancy is a battery swap. The whole idea is instead of superchargers is to have stations which just have racks of charged battery modules. You drive up, a robot arm swaps the batteries, and you pull away. Kind of like when you do a propane exchange.

        1. Pod,

          And how much does it cost? You have to pay for storage space for the spare batteries (much higher per useful kilowatt than gasoline or Diesel). You need to amortize the robots. You somehow need to account for the depreciation in value for battery packs that are near the end of their useful life vs. brand new battery packs. And of course you need to have standardized battery packs, thus freezing the design and precluding innovations in battery design. It may happen eventually, but if it does it will be many years to get the infrastructure and financial processes in place.

    2. There is electric and electric. While we do cars that need huge batteries to run, gas will be a more efficient fuel.
      Fuel cells are supposed to be the future eventually. No need for batteries but direct production of energy.

      1. A couple of points there. In terms of source energy (fossil fuel) consumed, electric cars are somewhat more efficient. The reason is that power plants have much higher thermal efficiency than internal combustion engines do, and the transmission system and battery charging machinery is pretty efficient. Some years ago when I converted electric cost (in high cost NH) to equivalent gasoline cost, it translated to 65 mpg for the Tesla model S.
        It’s absolutely true that space and weight per unit of energy is far greater for a battery than for a gas tank. It is also true that recharge rate is currently somewhat slower (30 minutes vs. 5-10 minutes for a gas tank).
        As for fuel cells, I think of those as complicated batteries. You use electricity or fossil fuel to make hydrogen, a pile more energy to compress it to high pressure (or liquify it — does anyone do that for cars?) and then you put it into the tank of the car and convert back to electricity. It’s not at all clear to me that this is better than batteries, either from the point of view of weight, or of efficiency, or of time to recharge. Remember that filling large very high pressure tanks has to be done slowly because of the heat generated.

    3. The US has a hell of allot more oil that you would believe It is just that the progressive left has been feeding you bullshit for all these years.

  3. Uh – we pretty much ARE off the imported petroleum teat, as a matter of fact; no thanks to the Obama administration, who put every roadblock in the way they could muster. The US is now a net energy exporter.

    As Prof. Reynolds puts it: Have you hugged a fracker today?

  4. My favorite comment to make on seeing an electric vehicle is, “Oh, look. A coal-powered car.” I grant that this is less true as power generation shifts from coal to natural gas, but it’s still true enough that it should give us pause when considering options and trade-offs. I don’t think swapping petroleum for coal is really an environmental improvement. It comes down to an electric vehicle not being a zero-emissions vehicle, but, rather, an emissions-elsewhere vehicle. And, as it turns out, electricity is a lousy option for other-than-stationary energy needs, in significant part because battery technology really hasn’t improved dramatically in the past century and a quarter.

    1. Ivan, if we were to start using liquid sodium reactors, this country would have much more power than they know what to do with and would have a safer alternative to the current reactor technology that we use. It is a proven system, that was blocked by the powers that be and Westinghouse/GE for the boiled water reactor technology that we have today.

      1. mavidal1,

        +1 on Liquid Sodium Reactors. It wasn’t exactly WEC/GE that blocked the liquid metal technology, in fact both WEC and GE did development for on liquid metal fast breeder reactors (LMFBR).

        In the early days, Rickover tested a pressurized water water reactor (PWR) and a liquid metal reactor for submarine power plants. The liquid metal reactor submarine (USS Seawolf) had numerous operational problems and Rickover decreed that all future naval reactors would be PWRs. For sub service this was probably the correct decision. WEC and GE jumped on the light water reactor bandwagon both to meet the Navy’s requirements and because former sailors made ideal operator candidates.

        However, as technology improved, use of LMFBRs for commercial power generation became much more viable, especially with on site fuel recycling. In the Late ’70s, the Carter Administration cut research and development funding for fast breeder reactors for commercial use, primarily because the plutonium produced was considered “evil” by the Democrat base. Subsequent effort to build a demonstration plant at Clinch River in Tennessee was effectively blocked by an NRC that was unfamiliar with liquid metal reactor technology, and unwilling to spend the money to develop the needed expertise.

    2. One can also argue the true environmental cost of an electric vehicle. All those elements in the battery have to come from somewhere. And the power comes from somewhere, and it could be a “dirty” source. By some calculations, that Tesla actually pollutes more than a gas-powered vehicle.

      In Kurt Schlicter’s novel, ‘People’s Repubic’, blue states that have seceded shift their power generation to remote areas (conveniently near red states) so they can ‘hide’ the pollution from their people. Since travel is restricted in those states, the average slave can’t wander out to the hinterlands and see the power plants.

  5. I’ve always thought that a power trailer made a lot of sense as an add-on for an EV if you’re not going to buy a hybrid. It would allow you to use just electricity for in-town trips, commuting, etc while having the range extender for long trips. If it is set up right, it could also be a backup generator for your house.

    It would likely cost less than a second car, and would also have the advantage of not putting wear on the generator when not using it. Of course, the downside is storing it when not in use.

    This may be a good opportunity for a rental company. People that own EVs could rent a power trailer for long trips when needed and not have to deal with storage and maintenance. The rental company could upgrade the trailer as new generating technologies emerge, since the motor doesn’t care where the electricity comes from as long as the voltage and current are correct.

  6. Having a gasoline engine under the hood directly driving the wheels is far more efficient than using a gas engine to turn a generator to charge a battery that powers an electric motor that spins the wheels. Leftists are ignorant of the simple laws of physics. Or perhaps it’s better said that they reject such laws and choose fantasy instead.

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