The idea of putting some extra energy into a trailer that attaches to your all-electric vehicle when you need it is not a new one. Electric vehicle (EV) drivers have been designing their own for years, for example the EV Pusher, made by R. Sparks Scott, which took the front half of a 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit running on biodiesel and then pushed a 1981 VW Rabbit modified to be a pure electric vehicle. If you don't think the DIY method is for you, take a look at the PRU from new company Electric Motors and Vehicles Company (EMAV). PRU stands for Power Regeneration Unit, and it's a, "self-propelled electric vehicle power regeneration system that substantially extends the range of any electric vehicle." How this will work is not exactly spelled out in EMAV's press materials (or very odd website) but Wired provides the details.
The trailer connects to your EV through something called the Smart Hitch, a connector that can send, "a signal to the speed controller based on the pulling, tugging or tension that's delivered to the hitch when the host vehicle moves," EMAV founder and president Wil Cashen told Wired. The trailer has a 240V DC motor to propel itself, "so that the electric car never has to tow anything." The trailer holds some lithium-ion batteries and a four-cylinder, 750-cc diesel generator that, Cashen said, can provide 700 miles of range using six gallons of gas. The six-foot trailer can also hold some gear and is expected to cost $15,000. Ouch. A prototype PRU should be coming in early 2011 and production versions could be available in the second half of the year. The PRU is an expansion of the partnership EMAV has with Mopar to make and sell the Mopar - Jeep Off Road Camper/Trailer.
The PRU is not like having a Chevrolet Volt where you can take the range extender out when you don't need it. From what we can understand, the trailer doesn't charge an EV while driving – since today's EVs can't charge while driving anyway. The Nissan Leaf, for example, will not move if the charging cord is plugged in. Instead, the trailer is simply a way to recharge your EV when you're nowhere near an outlet. We think that Smart Hitch better lock the trailer to your car, because if you're toting around $15,000 on wheels, you don't want it cruising away while you're taking a break somewhere. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
[Source: EMAV, Wired, | Images: EMAV via Wired]
Electric Motors and Vehicles Company (EMAV) Launches with EV Range Extender
Automotive Technology Company Initiates Development of Proprietary Vehicle that Significantly Extends Current Range of Electric Vehicles
WAKARUSA, Ind., Nov 01, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Electric Motors and Vehicles Company (EMAV), a global technology, product development and production company focused on rugged electric vehicles and electric vehicle technologies, today announced the expansion of its relationship with Mopar. EMAV will provide investigative R&D, design, and engineering for the EMAV PRU trailer, a patent-pending self-propelled electric vehicle power regeneration system that substantially extends the range of any electric vehicle. The introduction of the PRU follows the Mopar - Jeep Off Road Camper/Trailer series, the first vehicle line engineered, tested, and assembled by EMAV as a tier two supplier to Mopar; it is currently being sold through the Chrysler network of over 2,500 dealers in North America. EMAV intends to deliver further rugged tech products to the market in 2011.
The PRU ("Power Regeneration Unit") is an evolution of the Jeep Off Road Camper/Trailers, integrated with electric control technologies developed by EMAV. This new electric car range extender is expected to hit the market in the second half of 2011, with a running prototype scheduled for Q1 2011. The PRU will benefit owners of electric vehicles sold globally by making it possible to take an already capable electric vehicle on much longer trips, and enabling consumers to charge their electric vehicle where infrastructure does not yet exist. The PRU is intended to supply electric energy to any electric vehicle over the next ten years while the government and the transportation industry establish the necessary national electric vehicle charging station infrastructure.
"For electric cars to be truly viable for a mass consumer audience, we need to bridge the gap between low-range electric vehicles that can travel moderate distances to electric vehicles which can truly become the sole family vehicle," said Wil Cashen, founder and President, EMAV. "JD Power says that sales of electric vehicles will hit only two million in 2020 -- that is slow adoption, much due to the current range of these vehicles. Our goal is to move the marketplace beyond the first generation of electric vehicles to more powerful and rugged cars that also have endurance. This will evolve the electric car paradigm from a supplemental to a primary car for consumers."
Internally tasked with activating the lifestyle segment for Jeep as a tier two supplier, EMAV's Tech Camper/Trailers offer the rugged design elements popular with off-road vehicles such as Jeep. The EMAV Tech Camper/Trailers have been engineered and trail-tested over 300,000 miles, becoming the first camper/trailer to win the coveted Jeep "Trail Rated" badge. EMAV's Tech Camper/Trailers can be purchased in a number of designs to fit active lifestyles, such as camping, extreme off-roading, hunting, or fishing.
EMAV currently has patents pending for numerous electric vehicle power regeneration systems, vehicle electronics, and electric drive systems technologies, many of which are expected to be introduced to the global markets in late 2011. In the coming year EMAV will continue its strategic, incremental approach to product development with Mopar and through other new markets to introduce practical, common sense ideas that work. For more information, visit www.emavco.com.
ELECTRIC MOTORS AND VEHICLES COMPANY (EMAV) is a global technology and product development and production company focused on rugged electric vehicles and electric vehicle technologies. The company offers rugged camper sport trailers, electric power systems, and all-terrain vehicles of various models with power system options that include electric, hybrid electric, alternative fuel, gasoline, and diesel drive systems. EMAV provides essential research and development, engineering, design, production, warranty, and customer support for various automobile partners. EMAV is currently in development with numerous patent-pending electric vehicle technologies, including its proprietary Pru(TM): a power regeneration unit which extends the range of electric vehicles, expected to be available for sale in 2011. The company will continue to bring to market practical, common sense ideas that work.
Founded in 2010, EMAV is based in Wakarusa, Indiana, where its electric vehicles technology will benefit from the rich automotive tradition and skilled labor of the area. For more information, visit www.emavco.com.