Automated electric car-to-car power trading on highways
Image credit: Tesla
Darko SavicJul 14, 2022
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Automated power trading between moving self-driving electric cars so that those in need can recharge their batteries without stopping.
In the future, a driver will have a choice whether to take a break at a charging station or have a charger follow them for a while (but pay a higher price for the electricity).
Recharge without stopping.
Never run out of power, regardless of where you are going.
How it works
Self-driving battery-powered electric cars are the future. Pretty much the only downside they have is slow battery recharging.
A self-driving car knows which route it's taking to the desired destination and when it's going to be at any point along the way. This prediction will get even more accurate when all the cars are self-driving and share the traffic data in the cloud.
Imagine person A with a full battery, going to work and driving for 20 minutes on a highway. At the same time, person B passes by with an almost empty battery because they've been driving for hours. They still have a long way to go and need to recharge. So car B (buyer) seamlessly negotiates with car A (supplier) to buy the power that car A won't need until recharging on a parking lot later on.
Buying car gets behind the supplying car and a charging cable automatically connects them. They drive like that for 20 minutes while power gets pushed into the buying car's battery. When car A's offramp approaches, they unhook and go on their separate ways. Car B pays for the power into car A's account.
Demonstration of an automated charger:
Seamless linking/unlinking from various cars can be done in quick succession without the passengers even notice. They get to their destination glued to their phone screens anyway. The cars don't slow down while linking/unlinking. So the cars that won't be driven for long can discharge their batteries into those that need the power.
While two cars are linked, they drive as one. If they need to slow down, they do it in sync. The front car's computer is controlling both for the duration of charging.
Long distance trucks could buy power from multiple cars/trucks on the way to their destination without stopping to recharge.
Taking J. Nikola's idea a little further: charging stations that are near highways could have mobile van units that can be summoned to intercept a car that needs charging. From the buyer's car perspective, a charging van just "magically" appears in front of them. They link with it and have their battery topped up. Then the van returns to its station to top it's battery bank up.
People who need charging on the go pay a premium above the usual price.