GEM Swappable Battery Pack

web surfing… found this… what a novel idea… college kids

GEM Swappable Battery Pack

As the flaws of fossil fuels become more ever-apparent, alternatives are being developed to fill the gap. There has been a large initiative to produce electric vehicles (EVs) to replace internal combustion engines (ICEs) that currently populate the roads. However, EVs are less capable of traveling greater distances and providing as much power as ICE vehicles; but when used at slow speeds and for short commutes, EVs are operationally cheaper and a more effective means of transportation. The University of Kansas (KU) Center for Sustainability currently is in possession of a Global Electric Motorcar (GEM) that will be primarily used to collect recycling from the KU campus. This vehicle was in disrepair and required replacement of the lead acid batteries. The Center for Sustainability has donated the vehicle to the KU EcoHawks so that they may recondition the vehicle. This team has upgraded the batteries in the GEM with lithium ion chemistry which will decrease vehicle weight and increase the available range. In addition, a battery drawer has been added to the vehicle providing the ability to rapidly exchange battery packs and facilitate a longer working day. The construction efforts have provided the GEM with an easy-to-use, swappable battery pack that is much lighter and better accessible than the standard GEM battery pack. The renovation is expected to increase battery and usage efficiency, ameliorating the effectiveness of the vehicle in transporting personnel and recycling while improving the campus environmental impact and outlook.

photo of back of the eS… Demonstrating the battery tray extended from the vehicle

photo of the pack… Connection location of the replaceable battery pack to the electric motor

Very neat. This is a good way to go in a commercial/industrial setting and is the norm in a round the clock operation. The industrial sector has battery charging areas and battery capacity is usually sized to a working shift or multiples there of. A typical setting is a battery in operation and one on charge for each vehicle… This concept was considered by a major manufacturer, early on, for consumer vehicles. However it was dropped as impractical. The advances in battery technology now give enough range that the average owner has more than enough to meet his daily needs…

In the future I envision widespread use by Taxi, bus, and delivery vehicles utilizing this concept. These, in fact are a reality in some locations in the world.

Like the Pony Express would exchange horses at a given interval to keep the mail moving. I guess this idea came from electric fork lifts.