Concept Trailer with Electric Motors in the Axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2018, 11:26 AM   #1
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Concept Trailer with Electric Motors in the Axle

I ran across an article last night that is awfully intriguing in terms of where things might be headed; trailers with electric motors in the axles.

It reminds me of when we would see a Popular Science magazine with some outlandish and futuristic concept splashed on the cover decades ago. Many of those concepts fell by the wayside, but others became the future.

With all of the advancements in electric vehicles and particularly battery capacities, could this be part of the future?

https://newatlas.com/dethleffs-elect...caravan/56056/

German automaker Dethleffs introduced the E.Home last year, an all-electric motorhome wrapped in solar panels. The company recently gave its cozy Coco camper-trailer the EV treatment as part of a new concept, adding an electric drive to reduce towing demands. This is powered by an 80-kWh battery in the caravan's floor, which is recharged by rooftop solar panels, effectively turning the trailer into a mobile -- and quiet -- power station once it's set up at camp.

Obviously, having a trailer take on some of the towing burden sounds like a positive, sustainable step. But the E.Home Coco doesn't just put in token effort. Each of its dual motors can produce 347 foot-pounds of torque. According to Dethleffs' example, the towing vehicle isn't hauling 2,000 pounds of trailer, it's pulling perhaps 220 pounds.

<snip>

Each of the E.Home Coco's motors is capable of producing up to 347 lb-ft of torque, and the trailer is equipped with a torque vectoring system that can independently vary the torque delivery at each wheel for improved performance and stability.

The E.Home Coco has a 40-kW electric motor on each end of its axle
The electric powertrain also helps out upon arrival at camp, and the E.Home Coco can maneuver under its own power, rather than requiring the vehicle to tow it into place. Using a smartphone app, the driver can easily park it into the designated camping space.


https://www.dethleffs.de/reiseziel-z...eisemobil.html
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:47 AM   #2
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Mike,

That does seem like a practical invention.

On downgrades, or during any braking, regenerative braking would hold back while charging the batteries. Sway control could also be done with regenerative braking and a controller. Very high amp-hour storage for boondocking to run an electric fridge, etc. And you could even re-charge the batteries while towing it, in addition to the solar, by using the wheel motors. This might be useful for a quicker re-charge between campsites. On upgrades a bit of boost from the trailer might really help a low powered tow. Even getting un-stuck on a dirt road. No more lead-acid batteries! Yikes, that's a plus.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:57 AM   #3
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Mike,

That does seem like a practical invention.

On downgrades, or during any braking, regenerative braking would hold back while charging the batteries. Sway control could also be done with regenerative braking and a controller. Very high amp-hour storage for boondocking to run an electric fridge, etc. And you could even re-charge the batteries while towing it, in addition to the solar, by using the wheel motors. This might be useful for a quicker re-charge between campsites. On upgrades a bit of boost from the trailer might really help a low powered tow. Even getting un-stuck on a dirt road. No more lead-acid batteries! Yikes, that's a plus.
And just think of the tire debates this will spawn.....
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:07 PM   #4
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Other than the fact that this will be very very very expensive. I was thinking of what would happen when people use an under rated TV to tow this trailer, and then on a long road trip the batteries run out while they are going over a high mountain pass. Its an interesting idea, but not sure its practical just yet.

On a side note the mild hybrid systems used by Dodge and Ford and GM in their new cars are something that is much more practical imho.
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Old 08-28-2018, 02:53 PM   #5
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I got too many other things to worry about, what's for dinner.

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Old 08-28-2018, 06:09 PM   #6
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And just think of the tire debates this will spawn.....
Jim, that's almost evil to even say it! We're going to go beyond "proper" inflation pressures and start to talk traction and treadwear and who-knows-what-all here!
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:15 PM   #7
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Also coming in two years, just like the Popular Science issue said then. What year was that front cover from?
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:19 PM   #8
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Also coming in two years, just like the Popular Science issue said then. What year was that front cover from?
Er, Popular Science Monthly, Volume 136, No 6, June 1940
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:33 PM   #9
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80KWH of batteries with 80KW of motors, yeah, right, ok. so 1 hour of travel, then wait for enough sun to recharge it? uh huh.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
80KWH of batteries with 80KW of motors, yeah, right, ok. so 1 hour of travel, then wait for enough sun to recharge it? uh huh.
No offense John, but quit using math and logic! (just kidding)

I had two objections to the internet that turned out to be a trifle off base. The computers and modems weren't near fast enough, and there was no real content out there to download in any event...

It's a concept. Give it a little time to develop!
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:58 AM   #11
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Powered trailer...

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Originally Posted by Gompka View Post
Other than the fact that this will be very very very expensive. I was thinking of what would happen when people use an under rated TV to tow this trailer, and then on a long road trip the batteries run out while they are going over a high mountain pass. Its an interesting idea, but not sure its practical just yet.

On a side note the mild hybrid systems used by Dodge and Ford and GM in their new cars are something that is much more practical imho.



A similar unit is being developed for trucks : it is claimed it can be added for $30,000,not too much for a Big Rig. It would capitalize on the heavy weight of the truck going downhill, supposedly gaining enough power to go up hill and also power the refrigeration unit. Truck developers are willing to invest more in the concept than travel trailer companies because of the millions of miles involved. Can you imagine adding the unit to a Scamp or Casita and have it sit at home for weeks or months at a time.? Besides, we wouldn't WANT our travel trailers to be on the road 10 -12 hr per day, day after day. I used to go on a sugar hopper run to Spreckels Sugar in El Centro, CA that was exactly 12 hrs long, the the next driver jumped in for 12 more. 24 hr per day, this could be a cash cow. A travel trailer, a waste of resources.
And speaking of powered trailers, Gas or diesel engined semi trailers were tested on the 'Grapevine' section of CA Hwy 99 in the 60s or so. UP the steep mt pass the difficulty of co ordinating the 'tractor' engine and the trailer engine resulted in quickly worn-out tires on the trailer . Tests with an engine with an automatic transmission in a 'jeep' or converter (con gear) in a Set of Doubles was also unsuccessful.

This idea has some merit, especially if developed for trucks first. But in my mind I see a 16' Scamp with the 13'' tires 'burning rubber' as it pushes a Prius uphill . And someone WOULD try that !! (LOL) Happy Trails ! ( but not electric assisted trails ! ) David in Fresno and Sonora
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:05 AM   #12
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...
And speaking of powered trailers, Gas or diesel engined semi trailers were tested on the 'Grapevine' section of CA Hwy 99 in the 60s or so. UP the steep mt pass the difficulty of co ordinating the 'tractor' engine and the trailer engine resulted in quickly worn-out tires on the trailer . Tests with an engine with an automatic transmission in a 'jeep' or converter (con gear) in a Set of Doubles was also unsuccessful. ...
You brought up something interesting. How do they regulate the traction on those mile long (140 cars) coal trains that have three engines up front, two in the back? I am intrigued. Of course, it is a different system, with a diesel engine generator and electric traction motors. Does our trainman happen to know?
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:53 PM   #13
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It would capitalize on the heavy weight of the truck going downhill, supposedly gaining enough power to go up hill and also power the refrigeration unit.
This sounds dangerously close to a claim of perpetual motion. The losses encountered by making heat while changing kinetic energy to actual stored power, and then using the energy through a relatively inefficient motor, means a practical limit of re-gained energy of somewhere between 10% to 30%. So, at best, it will push you back up a hill that is only about 1/3 the height of the hill you went down while re-generating.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:31 PM   #14
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So, since in many states a trailer is considered a "vehicle" and requires registration/license plate, wonder if this rig - which is motorized - qualifies for the combo Oregon/Federal rebate of $12,500 for a new all electric vehicle?


Sure would cut the out-of-pocket cost!
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