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We are promoting an OPEN standard for removable traction pack design
Swappable Traction Packs
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Swappable traction packs face that same dilemma now. Currently there are no production motor vehicles that have removable traction packs available. Because there are no vehicles with removable traction packs, the means to swap the traction packs are not widely available. In order to have swappable EV traction packs (the main battery pack that propels the EV), there need to be three major components available. An easily removable traction pack is required. The EV themselves need to be designed and modified to enable the removal of their traction pack. Lastly, there needs to be a method or process that enables the exchange of spent traction packs with replenished traction packs.
When the subject of swappable traction packs is discussed in a public forum, people have strong beliefs about the possibility of actually being able to do so. Since there is already information about the pros and cons of traction pack swapping already on the web, we will not spend time here discussion feasibility. If you are at this website, we will assume that you are one of those people that believes it is possible and that it has merit in some applications. We understand that swappable traction packs will not meet the needs of all users. In fact, unless removable traction pack form factors are standardized across the automobile industry, there will be limited real applications for them.
Since the likelihood of all the automobile manufacturers agreeing on a traction pack form factor standard is slim, we at Winfordtek have stepped up to the task of establishing open standards for traction packs. Some people have already accepted Project Better Place as the de facto standard for traction packs. Before you hop on that bandwagon think about two things. Has PBP made their removable traction pack design available to the public so as to present an open standard? Is the PBP traction pack, as shown in their swap station video, a simple universal design or a highly customized design to serve one application?
The first traction pack we designed was driven by application of desirable features into a simple form factor. A rectangular frame of 42” X 42” X 8” was selected as shown above. The traction pack frame contained 30 sealed lead acid batteries rated at 50A hrs each and weighed close to 1100 lbs. The lead acid battery size dictated the 8” height. To us, the optimal position for a heavy traction pack was as low in the vehicle as possible. The traction pack frame was located between the wheels under the vehicle passenger compartment.
This website is intended to provide people interested in what we are doing information on how we are approaching the traction pack swapping issue. We believe that we can provide solutions that fit the needs of several specific applications and that will enable the users of our products to save on the expenses associated with operating motor vehicles. If your business is delivering goods or customers in a local area, we can help. If you want to reduce your carbon foot print or live off the grid and still have an EV for transportation, we have a possible solution for you. Let us suggest that you start looking through this website with the applications page to see if there is a scenario that fits your needs.
Current traction pack removal processes can be broken down into two major categories. The first category in the fully automated service station like facilities that require large amounts of space and capital to implement. This is the approach that Project Better Place is pursuing. The second category is the small manually operated swapping station similar to what Mercedes Benz experimented with in the 70’s that is shown in the picture below. Mercedes concluded that it was dangerous to perform manual traction pack swaps because of the chance of electrocution. We are defining a third category of small, self contained swapping stations that are safe and fully automated. If after looking over this website you have questions, feel free to contact us.
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