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Last month, we reported on Ford’s patent to come up ways of charging electric vehicles: by flat-towing them. While being towed by another vehicle, an electric automobile can be charged. Vehicles could be charged at any time, including while the towing vehicle is braking or moving downhill, reducing engine stress and enabling regenerative braking.
Now a new name has entered the EV market, The Boulder Teardrop Camper Trailer. It has been designed particularly for electric vehicle owners to provide a backup power source.
Imagine taking your new EV truck or SUV and you want to get the family out of town for a weekend of camping and you hitch up your trailer only to find that it diminishes your EV’s driving range.
Well, now The Boulder is supposed to solve this problem. By building a trailer with an EV battery pack, you can rest assured you will get to where you are going and be able to use the trailer's stored electricity that has a minimal impact on your EV’s range.
The Boulder’s teardrop camping trailer comes with a 75-kWh battery pack built into it.
It has a dry weight of 1,950 pounds. It's hardly an Airstream, though; the inside and outside proportions, like those of most teardrop campers, are modest. Inside the Boulder, you'll find a queen-size bed and two bunk beds that sleep four people in total. For a small indoor dining or recreation area, the mattresses fold up into a lounge arrangement, and a table emerges from the floor.
To satisfy campers, an ergonomically constructed galley allows you to cook like you do in your own kitchen – without bending over. Yes, it's outside, so the odours of cooking don't get into the cabin. There’s space for a refrigerator, stovetop, and, in certain situations, an oven for baking bread! Even so, it all locks up tight to keep the bears out!
Like some of CTC's other trailers, optional improvements can make the Boulder more off-road competent.
Charging is a straightforward process. On the road, the towing EV and trailer can be charged at any CCS charger, including DC fast chargers, at any charging station. It won't charge your tow vehicle while you're driving for a variety of reasons, but it can be used at a stop if the tow rig doesn't make it to the next charging station. CTC created an algorithm that calculates the range loss when towing a Boulder and optimises the battery pack size to meet the customer's needs, which was tested with a Tesla Model X and a stand-in trailer of similar shape and weight.
While the 75-kWh pack should suit most individuals, CTC is investigating different pack sizes in the future. CTC's objective is to be able to give 100 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes in ideal conditions, albeit this is a lofty goal that will be dependent on a slew of factors.
Prices for pre-production Boulders begin at $55,000, with early reservation holders receiving a discount that decreases as more Boulders are ordered. Plus, because the first 25 customers have the option of trading in their Boulders for a brand new one after a year, recognising that some issues are likely to need to be sorted out during the initial run.
Until someone comes up with a reasonable answer to the range decrease problem for EV tow cars, trailer-mounted batteries like those found on the CTC Boulder appear to be a viable option, though if Ford gets its idea right, it would be pretty cool if trailers could charge the tow vehicle while in motion...