• Are Automotive Range Extenders The Ultimate Solution To Range Anxiety?

A Paris-based startup has come up with a unique solution that will make long trips in EVs a lot more stress-free

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If you happen to own an internal combustion car, you can always carry a jerrycan of fuel with you for emergencies. But what do you do when your EV’s battery is low and there’s not charger in sight? Some companies offer portable chargers, but they aren’t feasible yet due to slow charging.

To sort this problem, a French startup has come up with a solution. A company known as EP Tender is currently developing a range extending trailer to haul behind your vehicle. To begin with, the company will roll out a fleet of 60-kWh battery trailers along traditional holiday travel routes in Europe where they can be rented and hitched to your EV. Does that solve your range anxiety issues?

How Does A Range Extender Work?

A Tender is essentially a power bank that is mounted on a small trailer. They can be hitched to the rear of the car easily and carry about 60 kWh of energy.

According to Jalopnik, they can be rented on demand and attached to EVs for long-distance trips. The French startup called EP Tender has come up with this unique solution to the fact that urban-focused entry-level EVs come with small battery packs with a limited range.

For instance, the Renault Zoe, an electric city car, offers 120 miles of range on a full charge. While this is enough to potter around the city, it is not feasible to go on long trips with this car. But with this range extending trailer attached to it, you can get an additional 350 miles over the standard 120 miles offered by the Zoe. That’s 470 miles available at your disposal, which no other EV today offers in real-world conditions.

How Much Does It Cost?

Are Automotive Range Extenders The Ultimate Solution To Range Anxiety?
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Customers can rent a light trailer on demand. You can get one for as low as €34 ($37), according to Autonews.

What Are The Other Types Of Range Extenders?

Are Automotive Range Extenders The Ultimate Solution To Range Anxiety?
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There are different types of range extender trailers available in the market today. They are powered by battery, hydrogen, or gasoline. EP Tender started off by introducing the gasoline-type range extenders and even rolled out 20 trailers for experimental purposes. However, the company quickly moved on to battery-based range extenders, thanks to the falling prices of battery packs.

Final Thoughts

This is just the beginning. There will be a lot of players offering such rental services in a couple of years. These extenders solve the range anxiety issues to a large extent since you won’t have to park your car at a charging station and sit for hours for the battery to replenish. It will be interesting if such startups collaborate with automakers to keep the extenders in their charging stations. Instead of having to plug in your charger, you can simply rent an extender and continue with your journey.

This will be immensely helpful in developing countries where the current infrastructure setup is the biggest reason for the delay in electrification.

Do you think range extenders will be able to solve range anxiety issues? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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