Saturday, April 16, 2011

PRU Trailer Charges Your EV & Carries All Your Crap | Auto-Moto

The PRU trailer (Power Regeneration Unit) from Electric Motors and Vehicles is more than a simple extra battery on wheels attached by trailer hitch. Powered by software called the Smart Hitch, the PRU actually measures its own speed and powers itself along at the same speed as the car, thereby making sure it doesn't slow the EV down with its weight. It's even equipped with a GPS sensor that syncs with Google Earth, measuring topographical details that might affect its charge cycle.

It's actually a hybrid itself, boasting both a 750cc diesel motor and a substantial amount of lithium-ion batteries that combine to give about an extra 700 miles to an electric vehicle's range. It can also be used as a standalone charging unit, just in case. It's still a legitimate trailer, too--only about a quarter of the PRUs six-foot length is taken up by its batteries, leaving room for storage.

The PRU is just a design for now, not even in the prototype stage, though a representative says it could be ready in the first half of 2011. It might be sort of prohibitively priced, at around $15,000. Hopefully they can find a way to bring costs down, via government subsidies. It enables a driver to actually use a short-range electric car as a main vehicle, even allowing weekend trips. It's definitely an interim solution, until battery efficiency and EV infrastructure is up to snuff in the States.

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