UNUSUAL EV PATENTS REVEAL WHAT THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES COULD LOOK LIKE
From ever-increasing range to more powerful engines, electric vehicle
(EV) technology has already developed rapidly in recent years. What once
seemed like the tech of the future is here on our roads today – but
Vauxhall has researched some of the most unusual EV patents, imagining how they could look in real life. From the weird to the wonderful, which of the following can you see becoming the norm – and which should stay at concept stage?
A vending machine for backup electric car batteries
Patent number: US10839451B2
Inventor: Angel A. Penilla & Albert S. Penilla
Date Filed: 06.01.2016
We have them for chocolate bars and fizzy drinks, so why not have a vending machine for EV batteries? The first patent in our list is designed to tackle ‘range anxiety’, the fear that some drivers have that they will run out of charge before they reach their destination.
This invention offers drivers additional batteries to support the main car battery. Drivers can visit the battery ‘vending machine’ to choose a small, extra battery to provide their car with a boost of charge.
The battery carrier features charging sockets for each battery, so they’re always charged and ready to go. The carrier can be portable too, so drivers can take an array of backup batteries on their journeys with them – although that could considerably reduce their car’s available storage space!
Flying EV chargers for charging as you drive
Patent number: US20170136887A1
Inventor: Christopher P. Ricci
Date Filed: 29.01.2016
You wouldn’t worry about range if you had an electric vehicle charger flying above you as you drive, would you? This next space-age invention is designed to reassure drivers that they’ll never run out of charge.
A portable, aerial charger hovers above your car as you drive, which hooks up to a dedicated charging panel on your car whenever it needs a boost. The device is designed to sync with your speed and driving direction, so there’s no risk of you outrunning the charger.
Should it catch on, it remains to be seen how multiple devices will avoid in-air collisions when used at the same time.
An on-car wind turbine to charge on-the-go
Patent number: DE102018130609A1
Inventor: Anmelder Gleich
Date Filed: 01.12.2018
Another EV patent designed to extend the range of electric cars is the compact wind turbine. Most commonly seen on high hills and coastal locations, this inventor proposes attaching wind turbines to cars in order to generate renewable energy.
The turbine has a conical shape to capture the airstream and wind as you drive. This air then turns the rotor, which powers the electrical generator. This current can then be fed to the car’s battery to power the car for longer. How’s that for multitasking?
A robotic charging arm to convert friction to power
Patent number: US20170106761A1
Inventor: Takamitsu Tajima
Date Filed: 19.02.2015
This patent takes futuristic EVs to the next level, which would see a robotic arm attached to the side of a car to charge the battery as you drive.
As you drive, the arm would come into contact with power terminals either located on the road or stationed by the roadside, providing you with a boost of charge as you drive. Providing there were enough power terminals on your route, you mightn’t need to stop to charge your vehicle at a charging point.
The ultimate party EV sound system
Patent number: US20190090059A1
Inventor: Philip Roland Graham
Date Filed: 15.09.2017
While many of the patents we’ve covered so far have centred around charging electric vehicles, this one focuses solely on the joy of driving them. Designed for music lovers, this patent allows drivers to add as many in-car speakers as they like. Switching out door panels and trims, drivers can transform their EV into the ultimate party ride!
The tech won’t weigh down your EV and impact its range, as the speakers and subwoofers are lightweight. Simplistic wiring makes them easily interchangeable too, so you can adjust your sound system whenever you like, making your favourite driving tracks sound even better!
An anti-theft battery vice for preventing EV theft
Patent number: EP2527214B1
Inventor: Ryan Marc Lafrance
Date Filed: 25.05.2012
The final patent in our rundown addresses an important concern for all drivers: security. This invention is designed to prevent thieves from disconnecting the electric car from its charger and stealing it while the owner is elsewhere.
When the car is disconnected from the charging station unexpectedly, a clamp-like device essentially locks the battery wirelessly, making the car immovable to potential thieves. To release the clamp, the authorised user would need to input their password.
Some of the inventions above may seem completely space-age now, but as electric technology continues to advance, perhaps these innovations will become the norm in EVs of the future.
At Vauxhall, all our electric cars already feature cutting-edge technology, from extended ranges to e-remote charging and wireless temperature pre-conditioning before you jump in.