Why don't electric cars have batteries that are swapped, rather than recharged in the vehicle?

Thinking of applying what's done with radio controlled model cars for full size cars. Standardise on the battery form factor, and how batteries are removed (say from underneath a vehicle, or from a side) and electric filling stations could be built with a "robot" to swap from flat to charged batteries in 5 minutes. Deposit model on batteries [akin to propane tanks, but as part of purchase price of vehicle] then pay for what's used. Batteries charged over night when electricity is cheaper, due to there being less load, and only a little less production=easier on power grid.Profit for operators of such stations is due to the convenience. A new better battery technology comes along, simply get the new type of battery next time car is filled up.


Thanks for answers so far,

OK instead of having monolithic battery blocks, use modular "cubes" of say 2ft wide. change them from under the vehicle and hang them underneath the car. Plates, to keep them in will form a cover for the battery compartments. Few people look at the undersides of cars so it shouldn't spoil the lines. If dimensions chosen carefully then it SHOULD be possible to fit them in a wide range of vehicles. pick up trucks can of course have more.

Weight to lift. something like a lifting pallet truck+ some air tools to undo bolts.

Quantity required. Why would so many be needed? Only need sufficient batteries to deal with 1 full days resupply. Thought electric cars did about 800 miles. if average use is 80 miles a day, that would work out at average of 1 complete battery recharge every 8 days. 1/8 th of the total number of batteries installed in vehicles should cover that.

New battery technology does cause changes to the voltage of an individual cell. But as batter

13 Answers

  • Joe
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Some do.

    Swappable battery packs and robotic swap stations are exactly what Shai Agassi of "Better Place" has in mind.

    The consumer may purchase the car, but only leases the battery pack, as a container for the "fuel" (electricity).

    It's a very nice engineering and business model.

  • Alex
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Besides the issues with size and lack of standardization between cars that others have noted, part of the allure of electric cars is that you can recharge them at home and only have to pay for the electricity, and maybe a small initial investment for a fast charger. If you have to start paying service stations, then some of that benefit goes away.

    It also makes it harder to develop new battery technologies. You might be able to swap out different types of batteries, but what if the new technology operates at a different voltage, needs additional cooling, or something else that makes it incompatible with existing cars?

  • ?
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Instead of swpping batteries, just swap the whole car, except the filthy seats. In other words, to swap batteries, swap just the seats and the people sitting in them.

    By the way, SmartAZ your figure sounds plausible:

    The area of the US is 9.8E12 m^2. At an average of 250 watts per square meter insolation (6 (kW·h/m^2·day), that comes to 2.45E12 kW (5.88E13 kW·h/day) gross energy from the sun.

    The US consumes around 20 million barrels of oil a day (all consumption, not just vehicles), each of which provides roughly 1.7 MWh of energy, which gives a total energy use from oil of 8.16E11 kWh/day, roughly 1.5% of the gross insolation energy. But if we take into account cloud cover (say 50%) and the inefficiency of solar cells (10%) the result is down to insolation energy of roughly 3 times the oil consumption energy. But that figure is for the ENTIRE area of the US covered by solar cells. The usable area would be much smaller.

    We have to get consumption down. The only possible solution as I see it is reducing the population. Drastically. And if we don't do it soon it will be done for us, which is not a pleasant prospect.

  • 3 years ago

    back in the Nineteen Seventies, one theory became to apply moist cells which comprise lead acid batteries such which you will possibly have the skill to pump out the electrolyte and pump in new electrolyte at a "top off" station in a jiffy to have a speedy recharge. of direction, finally some unfavourable "gasoline" station attendant will spill all that sulfuric acid over himself or over somebody else. notice that for the duration of spite of Lithium Ion batteries, the battery %. is extensive so it is not an ordinary drop off and pickup. What may well be greater effective may well be to have the electrical powered autos as element of a twin mode PRT device so they'd enter pc controlled guideways the place they does not in basic terms be pushed by potential of pc yet may well be recharged from the guideway's skill rails the two by potential of touch brushes or inductively. The battery skill might in basic terms be required for puttering around the community.

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  • 8 years ago

    It is being done, as some other commentators have pointed out, in Israel by Better Place.


    However, this idea is already obsolete - fast-charge is a better solution. The Nissan Leaf can fast-charge in just 30 minutes. The Tesla Model S can fast-charge in 45 minutes. And 10-minute fast charge is already on the market for electric buses, using the lithium-titanate battery chemistry.


    These 10-minute fast charge batteries are also being used in electric vehicle racing, and will appear in mainstream electric cars soon.


    Source(s): Electric cars: * http://www.squidoo.com/cheap-electric-car * Electric car versus gas car calculator: * http://www.squidoo.com/a-free-calculator-for-econo...
  • 8 years ago

    Because the batteries a fairly heavy and fairly bulky and are fitted into odd profiles in the cars.

    To make them removable you would have to dedicate a volume of the car to not only the batteries but the access doors, connections, etc. And as soon as you standardize those, you are fixing features of the vehicle - do you expect the large slab of capacity for a pickup to work in a low slung sports car design?

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    There is not enough metal in the world to make one battery for every car, so there never will be a large market and certainly no spare batteries.

    A similar problem for solar powered cars is that covering an entire nation with solar collectors would not power all the cars presently operating in the nation, even if the collectors were 100% efficient.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Sounds like it could work, but there's a few VERY big if's.

    If you can get the batteries to double or triple their range.

    If you can get the manufacturer's to standardize the batteries they use (The Japanese, Koreans, Americans, Germans) on the electric cars they're NOT building because they're not what we're buying.

    If you can sell enough electric cars to make it worth their while.

    If you can build enough of these stations to make it a feasible form of full time transportation.


    You got a few billion dollars for a startup?

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Say you buy the car with the battery;whats the chance you will get a battery of equal value in swaps.You would need to be more trusting than I am to risk that scam every time the vehicle is re-powered.

  • Dave M
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    The idea of electric cars is to help the environment, not screw it up further by disposing of huge big batteries everywhere. Apparently they are looking at making the charge point something that will be built with every house in the future.

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