Possible Fixes for Electric Vehicle Driving Range
Perhaps the biggest thing standing in the way of electric vehicles becoming more widespread and mainstream is its low driving range. Many people don’t want to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a vehicle they can only use 50 kilometres at a time. The technology is getting better, with some even reaching up to 200 or 300 kilometres, but that is still restricting. What about road trips? What about a cross-country move? What about people who have to spend their whole day traveling between nearby cities, like an in-home nurse? Honda recently submitted a patent in the United States for a possible fix to this issue, and there have been other rumblings as well, so let’s take a look.
[ READ MORE: Another Possible Honda Technology: Augmented Reality ]
The Honda Method
Honda’s method, while exciting and without a doubt forward-thinking, seems a bit farfetched and impractical. A long arm would emerge from the vehicle and connect with a sort of barrier alongside the road, that would then charge the vehicle on the go. While this method would fix the issue of the electric driving range, it would create a host of new issues, like maintenance for the charging system and the probability of said charging arm braking off in transit. You can see full patent’s language below.
“During travel of the electric vehicle, the charging arm is extended in the vehicle width direction, a positive electrode overhead line of the power supply device and a positive electrode power reception unit of the charging arm are brought into contact at the same time that a negative electrode overhead line of the power supply device and a negative electrode power reception unit of the charging arm are brought into contact, and a powe4r storage device for driving the electric vehicle is charged. A charging head that is the tip section of the charging arm is held within a VC-shaped groove to which the positive electrode overhead line and the negative electrode overhead line are attached, thereby minimizing the loss of contact even if the charging arm shakes in the vertical direction as a result of the condition of the road surface, brake operation, or the like.”
– Quoted directly from the Patent Application Publication on the United States Patent and Trademark Office\
The Wireless Method
A more practical, but even more farfetched idea for the widespread mainstream is the wireless method. Here, the charging method would involve entire electric roads. While it would be much easier to charge with less risk of damaging the charging equipment, either personal or public, it would require building all new roads worldwide. While certainly possible, we likely wouldn’t see the project’s completion in our lifetime.
We hope that, while these recharging methods show that people are looking in the right direction, perhaps engineers and scientists will simply find a way to better enhance electric range in the vehicle. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything, but don’t imagine we will anytime soon.