Awesome Mobility ReCharge: Fast Charging Solution for Electric Vehicles?By Cuong Huynh • Feb 24th, 2009 • Category: Clean Car Talk Posts, Videos
It’s all about buzz, so here’s another interesting one. A Youtube video has surfaced for a week now, describing a fast charge concept by Awesome Mobility to allow electric vehicles (EVs) to recharge quickly and affordably.
Awesome Mobility claims to have designed a recharging system that can charge your EV in the time it takes to do your shopping. According to the video, which has no source nor a referenced website, Awesome Mobility “has developed a specially constructed fast charging module that is optimized for public scale application of fast charging and electric driving. The basic module is designed to withstand the harsh environments it will be exposed due to the weather, vandalism and heavy duty of every day life. The simple exterior look modular design allows for future interior technical hardware and software improvements. Combined with the increase in use of electric vehicles, the need for fast charging units will increase hence production will get cheaper from economies of scale. The time of charging using Awesome Mobility Recharge Unit is much quicker than regular charging.”
The recharging system claims to have solved a major problem of consumer adoption of EVs by allowing trips beyond typical current EV range of about 150 miles. With fast charging, drivers merely have to pull in to recharging stations much like refueling your internal combustion-engined cars, charge up the batteries, pay for the charge, and continue on their trips.
Below is the video by Awesome Mobility for the faculty Industrial Design at the TUDelft, Holland, showing the fast charging concept.
The video claims, “all the freedom that you’re accustomed to from your petrol vehicle is now easily achievable in an electric one.” It’s possible that we’ll get there eventually but the near-term scenario and technology may be more limiting at best. At the most basic level, fast charging of battery packs requires reliable battery heat management system, large cables and reliable contacts. Heat is always a serious enemy of fast charging. Additionally electromagnetic interference will need to be understood and designed for.
But assuming heat and other technical issues have been worked out for all components (batteries, cabling, hardware, software, management system design, etc.), the solution offered here is still too complex to implement with any reliability and operational confidence. Sometime I wonder why they don’t keep it simple. Why add all the bells and whistles and try to sell on the wow factor, when more reliable solutions will do?
Here’s what I mean. Again assuming the technical issues of fast charging have been solved, the cool looking and interesting sounding under-vehicle recharging mechanism is just too complex! Why not just make a free-standing charging station, much like a gasoline refueling station, and recharging the car from the side like a petrol car? A driver just plugs in to charge.
The system as described not only requires a complicated charging station, but also a completely different design of car battery system that all manufacturers must follow. The complexity level increases even more when such car must provide a receptacle on the side somewhere for the owner to recharge at home, while recharging will be done from underneath during trips.
I’m a skeptic on this one. Interesting idea, but I just wish they spend their time and effort on something more realistic and worthwhile. All we want is a working and reliable infrastructure to support our new EVs. Is that too much to ask?
What’s your view on the Awesome Mobility recharging concept? Have you seen another concept that has better and more sensible design and operational considerations? Share your views and comments below.
Cuong Huynh is a marketing communications consultant working in the San Diego area. Cuong is dedicated to helping individuals and companies maximize their presence on the Internet and efficiently take products and services to market through SEO and network marketing. Cuong also maintains a blog on Marketing at marketingautopsyblog.com. You can also find Cuong Huynh's profile on LinkedIn. For fun he maintains a blog on Vietnamese pho, soccer and do storyboards for movie and film projects. Follow Cuong on Twitter @CuongHuynh, @LovingPho, @CleanCarTalk, @BlockbusterFilm, @SoccerUSA.
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