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Archive for February 12th, 2022

I have been thinking about the future of our “fleet” (which consists of two cars, a motorcycle, and a few bicycles). The two-wheelers stay, that’s certain, but do we really need two cars now that children have left the house? And what kind of car (cars) should that then be?

There is a lot of information to be found on the internet about BEVs (battery-electric vehicles). Not all of it is up to date of, course – things change rapidly in that domain. But I think it’s safe to say that the latest generation is ready for the main stage, even for those of us who need to travel great distances – at least here in Europe and in the US.

Except when you want to tow a caravan or a big trailer, because then the electricity consumption of your car will skyrocket and make your trips rather short. So I wondered: why not add a big battery to your trailer, and use that to “extend” the battery of your car? Or even better: why not add a big battery to your caravan, and use that to power the wheels of your trailer to assist your car?

It turns out I was not the only one to have that idea: US company Airstream, well known for its “travel trailers” as they call them in the US, has built a prototype that does just that:

Click on the image of the e-Stream to get more details from an article about the machine on Ars Technica.

Well done, Airstream: the solar panels on the roof of the trailer will probably not be sufficient to make this a truly “off-grid” proposition, but it still is a very smart combination for people on the move. I can fully understand the exclamation of Jonathan Gitlin, Ars Technica editor and author of “This is Airstream’s idea of a battery-powered EV travel trailer” when he writes: “shut up and take my money“!

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