Concept Range Extender Trailer for Tesla Cars

Concept Range Extender Trailer for Tesla Cars

I drew up this crude concept drawing showing a tow behind generator that can be rented for long distance trips. The idea is that the trailer has a high efficiency gas or diesel engine with a generator that is used to sustain highway speeds for long distance trips. Even a 20 or 30kW generator would be enough to maintain highway speeds considering the giant battery built in to the car.

I think that this would be a rental item so that owners don't have to pay for a generator that may only be used a few times per year. To me, this seems like the perfect solution to range anxiety until batteries increase in capacity.

Any comments on this?

oisiaa | 25 ottobre 2012

The inline image didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, here is a direct link to the image:

Brian H | 25 ottobre 2012

Some S owner is missing the nose and front wheels of his car!

Tesluthian | 26 ottobre 2012

Is that an electrical storage or a gas generator your thinking of towing ?

oisiaa | 26 ottobre 2012

A gasoline or diesel generator. It will allow unlimited range. I personally think that this would be the perfect solution for cross country driving with an EV.

Tesluthian | 27 ottobre 2012

I believe it has possibilities. Let's do a little CR Brainstorming here:

1) Can you make that generator compressed natural gas ? It's 25% cleaner. CR: incremental continuous
quality green improvement.

2) Let's create some other uses for the "Tow Behind Generator, e.g. where do carowners go and what do they
do on long trips- beach, hiking/camping, tailgate cooking at NASCAR/football, kayaking.--Always good to
have extra plugs, hookups for stoves for camping etc. CR: break stovepipe thinking / anticipate random
opportunities for enjoyment.

3). Big storm coming up, be good to have a backup generator for the house, bet they sell out generators in the
northeast.CR: unintended benefits.

4). How about solving some other problems with the glass top Model S & Falcon Wing Model X, with the "Tow
Behind Generator" e.g. I read comments there's no ability to put kayaks, ski's, bikes, or luggage racks on
the roof.

So let's design some extra space for all the stuff in the "Tow Behind Generator", something like a smallish

Compressed natural gas or propane tanks in the roof. That will make roof round and the interior floor
nice and flat. Now make the tow box big enough to carry some of that stuff & a cng compressor inside., but
not too big to keep the weight down.
CR: maximize desirability by fullfilling a customer need.

5). Now we can expand the the market by a factor of at least 100 or more,have great advertising by putting the
tesla name etc on the outside, and sell to BOTH gas car owners as well as EV's. Sell on website, Amazon,
EBay etc.--Now that's the cheap version, say keep it to $5,000 plus tax. CR: maximize the market &
possible profitability/margin.

Now for the expensive version of the TBG...why not make a hybrid TBG version, a Tow Behind Generator that has both a CNG compressor & electric battery storage? CR: reinvent the product/converge two products.

1). Make the system even cleaner by adding lithium storage batteries to serve also as the floor, have various
capacity sizes, the biggest size able to haul a motorcycle or ATV and handle a supercharcher or charge
both the car & charger at home or on the road with regular EV plugs on the road. Save the CNG generator
for when the TBG charge is low. CR: creatively merging two previously unrelated items.

2). Add Solar City designed solar panels on the roof. Great advertising for Elon's solar company. Plus it adds
electric charge while driving. CR: create synergy with partner company.

3). Add electricity producing regenerative braking to the wheels. CR design efficiency.

4). Here's a farout idea, ever see an electric hand operated forklift or pallet jack ? Don't just have regen wheels,
but wheels that turn backwards with control buttons on the front of the hitch connection, designed to act like
an electric hand pallet jack after it is disconnected from the car. Now you can move your cargo around,
have a stove, cords, stuff where you need it powered by the wheels. CR: add surprise/cool value.

Have the roof removable and now you essentially have a pallet jack for moving bulky stuff around, great for
around the house. CR: add surprise/cool value.

5) Have several small parts of the battery detachable and easy to carry for places like the beach when you
want just a relatively small amount of power for a small TV or keep gadgets charged. CR: unintended uses.

6). Hire Industrial ecologist to write articles & a peer reviewed paper to make sure the whole manufacturing
process is clean, green & not mean to the environment, include in manufactures of all the different
components. CR: anticipate problems...

7). Design whole system for fast manufacturing. CR: design out problems through continuous manufacturing
efficiency improvement.

8) Finally make as many items optional as possible, mix and match, even have electric only, if that's what you
want, sell to the masses, get free advertising, list everywhere, plus jazz up the company website store.
CR: Total Quality Experience.

The more expensive version, about $ 15,000. more or less depending on which options you choose.

oisiaa | 27 ottobre 2012

Just some comments:

Natural gas is much harder to come by than gasoline or Diesel. The purpose of this is to make traveling cross country no harder than in a normal car.

I like the idea of it serving as a backup electricity generator in case of a power outage or as a camping generator. That would help Tesla sell it as an addon since it has extra uses.

DHrivnak | 27 ottobre 2012

I for one would love the idea BUT we have to get past the firmware that will not allow you to even start the car if charging. If someone can work out that detail I can complete the rest of the trailer.

Brian H | 27 ottobre 2012

Charging while driving is not distinguishable from the charger carrying part or all of the load. This in effect means driving from the charger using the battery as backup. If the charger is fossil fuel powered this is no different from having a 2-part hybrid.

If you secretly want to transform TM's BEV into a hybrid, this is one way to do it.

Tesluthian | 28 ottobre 2012

"The purpose of this is to make traveling cross country no harder than in a normal car."

Not sure how clean propane is, but how about Blue Rhino propane as an option ? They already have a tank exchange program, even available at Walmart. See the Blue Rhino phone app here:

In addition , there are tri-fuel generators, that way the consumer can choose their fuel based on how green their desire is. See generators here & options for tri-fuel generators.

Now with a little planning, you can be greener. Or not be and pull into any gas station.

I think it's important to keep the car as green as possible because of anti-green critics and politics.