Infrastructure for Personal Electric Vehicles (non-autonomous) in Boston

bigpicture7

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Could this charge-while-driving technology be a game-changer here?


EDIT: here's another (non-paywall) source on this topic:
 
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bakgwailo

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I... just don't see that as scalable or feasible. Always thought the hot-swap battery concept a while back was a good answer - basically drive up to the charge station, and it would simply swap out your existing battery pack for a fully charged one in minutes. Also seemed to solve the problem/risk of having your battery pack go bad in a few years, as they are pretty expensive to replace. No need to worry about that if they are basically a commodity you are constantly swapping.
 

shmessy

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I... just don't see that as scalable or feasible. Always thought the hot-swap battery concept a while back was a good answer - basically drive up to the charge station, and it would simply swap out your existing battery pack for a fully charged one in minutes. Also seemed to solve the problem/risk of having your battery pack go bad in a few years, as they are pretty expensive to replace. No need to worry about that if they are basically a commodity you are constantly swapping.
Shai Agassi's late, lamented Project Better Place. I thought he really was onto something. It would have been thousands of drive up stations with sunken floors where robots would swap out the batteries from underneath within 5 minutes. IIRC, Carlos Ghosn at Nissan was big supporter.


A decade later, it now looks like a company called "Ample" is taking the idea again:

 
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Tallguy

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Wasnt there a plan to implement battery swap out in.....Denmark?
 

bigpicture7

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Battery swaps have been very popular in SE Asia, and anywhere where 2-wheel transportation is the norm. Check out Gogoro if you're interested https://www.wsj.com/articles/taiwan...goro-to-go-public-in-spac-merger-11631786636?
This raises a good point. I think, up till now, society has been conceptualizing personal vehicles in a similar manner for suburbanites and car-owning city dwellers. Given the shift to electric, however, we might see vehicle types diverge substantially. City dwellers (who for some reason must have a car) might gravitate toward much smaller vehicles with swappable batteries, while suburbanites stick with their beloved large SUVs plugged-in in their garages/driveways. This, sadly or otherwise, might further amplify the divide between these types of people.

As a side note: all of the enticing <4-wheeled vehicles that are popular in cities in other parts of the world perhaps don't catch on in Boston because of the winter weather. I'd still imagine that a small-scale/winter-weather-compatible vehicle for cities with swappable batteries is possible though, just perhaps not in a format we've seen much of yet.
 

shmessy

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This raises a good point. I think, up till now, society has been conceptualizing personal vehicles in a similar manner for suburbanites and car-owning city dwellers. Given the shift to electric, however, we might see vehicle types diverge substantially. City dwellers (who for some reason must have a car) might gravitate toward much smaller vehicles with swappable batteries, while suburbanites stick with their beloved large SUVs plugged-in in their garages/driveways. This, sadly or otherwise, might further amplify the divide between these types of people.

As a side note: all of the enticing <4-wheeled vehicles that are popular in cities in other parts of the world perhaps don't catch on in Boston because of the winter weather. I'd still imagine that a small-scale/winter-weather-compatible vehicle for cities with swappable batteries is possible though, just perhaps not in a format we've seen much of yet.

Or just ban individually owned and stored vehicles within cities. On-demand only. Car storage depots around beltways. Think of the trillions in real estate dollars that opens up. Think of the trillions of dollars of human hours saved from traffic jams. Money talks. This is coming. 2035 perhaps.
 

bigpicture7

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Stlin

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Well, looks like National Grid is going for the EV market by deploying pole mounted chargers for EVs up in Melrose, which it's marketing bumpf claims to be the "first deployment of elevated, pole-mounted EV chargers by an investor-owned utility in the United States." Now, hopefully that deployment goes well bc I can't wait for them to show up across Boston and Camberville.

Admittedly, NG announced this in April 2021, when the chargers were physically installed and it took until 2 days ago for the press to catch it...
 

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