Anyone who’s ever driven a fully electric car will tell you how amazing they are. Silent, smooth and brisk. The only real drawback is that pesky battery range, and while it’s steadily improving, the fact that most of these EVs can only do around 80 miles per charge is still a major hurdle in gaining public acceptance. But perhaps there’s a way to combine the best of both worlds, using a petrol motor to keep the batteries charged for longer range?
The KSPG Range Extender is a clever two cylinder petrol motor which sits in the spare tire space in the rear of the car, and keeps the battery charged to provide unlimited range out of a much smaller battery pack. It’s similar to the idea behind cars like the Chevy Volt, which uses a sort of hybrid petrol engine to keep the battery charged and more.
The two cylinder configuration appears to be impressively quiet and vibration free too, which implies that drivers will still be able to enjoy near silent motoring from their electric car, while banishing range anxiety from their mind. Of course the problem with all these new technologies is who will take the first step to offer them to the public, and whether the increasing range of Lithium battery packs will remove the problem before this solution reaches critical mass.
Already we’re seeing more electric cars come on to the market with their own built in range extenders, such as the BMW i3 and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, we may skip this sort of technology completely, or see it only as an after-market add-on for the more expensive cars. But whatever the future, it’s clear that conventional motoring coupled with some sort of electric power is inevitably going to be the norm from now on.