Motorists have towed gas generators behind them before, but a German startup might be the first to commercially propose the idea of having batteries towed behind an electric car.
Nomadic Power is a two-and-a-half year old company that has come up with a few ideas to help extend EV range.
One, as pictured, and which Nomadic Power is not yet pursuing, is a rental trailer with mobile battery for longer trips. The trailer could have 85 kilowatt-hours of energy to significantly increase range.
Another idea is a mobile battery that can charge an electric car’s depleted batteries on demand, with a recharge time of about 20 minutes.
If stranded, an electric car driver would be able to call for a vehicle to arrive with a trailer with fully charged batteries in order to get a quick recharge.
Full of ideas, Manfred Baumgärtner, the CEO of Nomadic Power, also told Fortune that he thinks mobile wireless charging is part of the future for electric cars, since building out wired systems can be costly.
I have not been able to keep up with says that companies could use mobile batteries to add charging capacity when all the wired parking spots are full, or possibly rented out to electric-car owners as a way to extend range.
Baumgärtner said he thinks consumers will pay about the same for a mobile battery boost as they would for a tow, and roadside assistance companies could partner with Nomadic when it comes to prices.
For the second scenario of renting out battery trailers to companies with large parking lots, Baumgärtner says Nomadic could either charge the company or the individual, the same way as gasoline supplier would.
Like many startups, Nomadic Power has yet to bring its idea fully to fruition, but it has a $2.2 million (€2 million) grant from the European Commission to build six chargers for testing.
It has also opened an office in Palo Alto, Calif., in order to be close to one of the world’s best electric-car markets, as well as close to plenty of venture capitalists.