Until now, one of the big downsides of battery electric vehicles (EVs) was the risk of running out of energy before getting back to a charging station. When an internal combustion vehicle runs dry, a driver can always call roadside assistance to bring some fuel or just hike to a station and bring back a can of gas or diesel. Under the same circumstances, an EV would require a tow to an outlet somewhere.

A research team led by Zafer Sahinoglu at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in Cambridge, MA is developing a system of portable chargers that could be deployed to locations where EVs run low. The plan would be to equip electric vehicles with live telemetry that transmits battery state of charge and location information to a central server. The portable charging stations would likely be a giant battery pack on wheels that would be charged at a central depot and then sent to wherever EVs need replenishment. Supposedly, five mobile units could cover 100 EVs on a 60-mile stretch of highway. Sahinoglu is presenting his concept at the Vehicular Technology Conference in Ottawa, Canada, this week.

[Source: New Scientist]