Rinspeed adds axle, battery pack to Smart Electric Drive

Wacky automotive modifier Rinspeed comes up with a way of giving electric cars more range, with an extra battery pack supported by its own axle.

Rinspeed Dock+Go
The Rinspeed Dock+Go adds range, carrying capacity, and a third axle to a small electric car. Rinspeed

The Rinspeed Dock+Go debuts at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show in March.

The biggest problem with current electric car technology is limited range. People want more than the 80 miles most electric cars can realistically achieve. Rinspeed, a Swiss automotive modifier that previously showed off such concepts as the submersible sQuba and the polymorphic iChange , offers a solution.

Rinspeed Dock+Go
The Dock+Go has a cover, so it doesn't have to be an open bed. Rinspeed

Its Dock+Go concept starts as a simple Smart Electric Drive , the electric version of the Smart car, and adds what Rinspeed calls a Backpack. This second piece, supported by its own axle, attaches to the rear of the Smart. Frank M. Rinderknecht, founder of Rinspeed, must have taken a tour of the U.S., and seen the many pick-up truck beds used as trailers behind actual pick-up trucks.

Rinspeed suggests that drivers can use the Smart Electric Drive by itself for short range trips around town, then hook up the Dock+Go when they need to drive further. The Dock+Go could carry either an extra battery pack or a range extender in the form of a fuel cell stack or gas engine generator.

Rinspeed also notes the extra carrying capacity the Dock+Go would provide, something any owner of a Smart car must appreciate. The company suggests that a single car could use multiple Dock+Gos, with one configured for work and another configured for trips to the beach. According to the press material, these multiple Dock+Go configurations "turn the electric-powered mini car into the dream car of any pizza delivery driver - complete with an integrated heated box." We are happy that Rinspeed recognizes the important, but unsung, pizza delivery driver demographic.

We will definitely look forward to seeing the Dock+Go at next year's Geneva Auto Show.

Rinspeed Dock+Go
Here's what happens when an electric car and the Dock+Go love each other very much. Rinspeed

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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