The Ripperton bike I just posted about with the hot-swap batteries (15sec for a swap-out, bitches), has me all wound up about hot-swap batteries. Tell me again, why doesn’t this make perfect sense? Why isn’t this the main focus of every EV design being made? I’m talking every, here, not just motorcycles. Is it just too perfect? Is that it?
Starting with the Ripperton bike and the racing applications, it adds the ability to have recharge pit stops, right? Halfway through the race you can stop for 30sec, slap in a new pack and beat the crap outta that baby for the rest of the race, when you’re field is working on half-spent capacity and the voltage sag that it gives you. Seems like game over, to me. Beyond just the ability to add more distance to the race.
On my personal motorcycle, for a trail bike I can throw a pack into the truck and slap it in at the gravel pit or wherever I ride. For my commuter I could have a pack with a 40-mile range and make my commute to work (30 miles), swap it out with a pack I have charging there, put it on the charger and I always have a fresh pack. Same equation on a car. Smaller pack option, make it a hot-swap. With a car, you could even carry the thing in the trunk. Want to double your range? You got your junk in the trunk. (Yes, I’m fully aware of the size and weight of a car pack, but still… even just for emergency use? How much would a 5-mile lithium pack weigh? Not all that much…)
I’ve heard the downside of this from an infrastructure standpoint, where people are proposing the idea as a gas-station option. Drive in, swap out your pack, drive away… and one that really doesn’t work, at this point, anyway. There are too many problems- different designs, the cost of the pack, etc. But on an EV, how hard is it to make a hot-swap pack as opposed to a permanent pack? I’d argue, not hard at all, since that’s exactly what I’m doing with the R5e2. Who cares that it’s not universal? I just want to be able to pull in, drop out my old pack, slap in a new pack and ride away.
The biggest single question I get is about range. The second question is about recharge time. This makes both of those questions go away.
Everybody’s an armchair designer, but Brammo, Zero, all you others? Tell me again, why aren’t you thinking in terms of a hot-swap pack? Why wasn’t this the idea from the very beginning? Zero even offered one… why isn’t it on all their bikes? Enquiring minds want to know. The past aside, though, I think it’s undeniably what we’re going to see in the future, because it truly is a game-changer.