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model x battery trailer idea

Discussion in 'Future Cars' started by boofagle, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. boofagle

    boofagle Member

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    I don't think this will ever come to be but yesterday I was thinking about what it would be like if Tesla made a trailer that basically had a battery as the floor, much like the cars. It could connect to the charge port of the X and double the range. Now, getting someone to fork over tens of thousands of dollars for it might be a tough sell but if you can get around 500 miles out of your car and have some more room for supplies it would make it the ultimate road trip suv. Needless to say, it would be a lot easier to build than an X.
     
  2. Oba

    Oba Member

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    Why do I want to pay tens of thousands of dollars to drive past perfectly good Superchargers?
     
  3. felixtb

    felixtb RsEU502,Sp+14274,XpEUSig4

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    Because simply, as good as super-chargers are, they are far from being everywhere....... And for the forseeable future this will sadly continue to be the case
     
  4. MacroP

    MacroP Member

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    I guess it would be feasible if money was no object. I don't think a 500 range would be doable if using a standard 85/90kWh sized battery. The range would be diminished inherently by towing a trailer so you're probably left with closer to 400miles of range. Considering you'll need to stop to charge the X battery from the trailer - the trailer will also need a DC-DC converter and DC charger on board. If you expect to charge at supercharger levels (to minimize your waiting time) then you'll need a lot of room for the charging hardware to charge the X. Plus the AC charger/s to actually recharge the trailer battery too when it's flat. Then there's also the issue of heating and cooling of the battery if you want to get the capacity out of it especially in cold weather. The HVAC unit heatpump is not in the battery normally so it will need to be added to the trailer somewhere and coupled to the battery via some coolant lines.

    Certainly doable but certainly not cheap. $50k? Would there be a market for this?
     
  5. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    I think the idea might work for a limited battery just to supply energy lost to using a tow. But it would require charging capability and limited market for those doing long distance travel with tow
     
  6. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    Why not make it a cargo trailer with a battery in the floor. Give it a basic cooling system so it can be supercharged, perhaps conservatively. Finally, tesla should rent the trailer. Great concept, OP
     
  7. boofagle

    boofagle Member

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    That's actually an interesting idea. Yeah not many, if any would fork out $30-50k for a cargo trailer they'd use a few times a year on a long trip but if you wanted to do a big family trip you could contact your local service center and rent a trailer to get around double the range and then supercharge effectively twice as fast since you'd be charging two batteries at the same time. Might not make sense to sell, but I could see a market for renting.
     
  8. Cyberax

    Cyberax Member

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    I'm actually scoping such a project.

    We've checked that it's possible to inject electricity into the Tesla's HVDC bus with a suitable charging controller. An old S40 with resale value of a brick was used as a testbed and we drove just about 100 meters with external power injection, using a very long extension cord. From the Tesla's side it looks like suddenly the consumption of the motors and AC drops to negative values.

    So it should be possible to create a trailer that works in a charge-sustain mode. A portable 16kWh air-cooled generator can be bought for $15000 new and the charging controller needed to upconvert voltage to Tesla's HVDC level costs about $3000. So a $25k bespoke trailer is definitely feasible. Mass-production can bring this price down to $10k easily.

    This 16kWh trailer will be able to sustain the speed of about 40mph, so the total range on a fully charged battery can easily be 400-500 miles. And best of all, you can stop any time and the generator will just keep charging the car's battery.
     
  9. pmadflyer

    pmadflyer Member

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    That is very interesting. Now I wonder if perhaps power walls could be torn down for the modules to make a nice trailer. It could be a flat bed trailer with a box welded on the bottom, to carry toys hundreds of miles.
     
  10. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    With clever aerodynamic consideration, its conceivable that one could reduce overall drag of a vehicle-trailer system.

    A gas generator certainly defeats the purpose of a BEV, but I suppose the prospect of innovation sometimes warrants idealogical compromise.
     
  11. Cyberax

    Cyberax Member

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    Batteries have the problem of poor energy density. You'd be well into the rocket equation territory (i.e. you need batteries to carry batteries to carry batteries...). Oh, and the total price will be unrealistically high.

    A small 16kW generator-trailer seems much more realistic.
     
  12. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    Just tow a BMW i3 Rex. That's a 25 kW genset in a nice light towable package, plus 22 kWh of battery.
     
  13. ThrillNYC

    ThrillNYC New Member

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    I like this idea, definately has potential.
     
  14. Oba

    Oba Member

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    Mixing a simple battery hauling trailer and hooking into the Tesla high voltage is easy. Making this affordable and SAFE is not as easy.

    Of course, the concept has been done many times already. Tesla isn't going to do it, so that leaves private enterprise.

    Since VERY VERY few people have a need for such a product, and the times those few would both need it and want to pay the exorbitant cost are few, the tiny market with an obscure and expensive product is a business LOSER. That means that no logical for-profit business will do it. Cheap gasoline makes it even more or a loser business plan (people will just rent a Suburban for those few times they need a huge car and longer range).

    But, I think it's cool, so perhaps it could be a hobbyist thing. The cost is nutty, so a rich hobbyist!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, tow the BMW i3 !!! Or remove the 650cc gasoline generator and put it on a trailer or bumper mount. Cheap and simple.
     
  15. Cyberax

    Cyberax Member

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    Yeah, there's no business case right now. Not that people don't want to try something similar: Next level electric mobility | Star-Engines

    Once there are more electric cars on the road, it might make sense, especially if it's rented and not sold.
     
  16. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    Sounds like someone's been paying attention to this thread:
    http://www.teslarati.com/wont-see-500-mile-tesla-battery-anytime-soon/
     
  17. constraint

    constraint Member

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    There is a guy on youtube that build a battery trailer and hooked it up to his converted VW Samba. Seemed to work out for him since the trailer was so low profile it didn't add a lot of wind resistance. Complete Tesla Battery Range Extender Trailer Project - YouTube

    Difference being though is his EV has a much smaller onboard pack then an S/X. Would have to be a very big trailer to have any difference in range for an X. If you are going a generator route though... makes more sense to just downsize it so it fits on the 500 lbs of your receiver hitch.
     
  18. Monkey

    Monkey Member

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    +1 to the rocket equation comment above. Towing capacities are already limited and we don't need over-heavy trailers, but would be better served with lighter trailers that can actually allow us to carry a load. Since most trailers over 1500lbs loaded really should be equipped with brakes, I'd like to see a trailer with regenerative braking ability and power feedback to the main vehicle.
     

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