2013-07-18

A Portable Car Charger Shaped Like An Amazing Futuristic Flower

Fill up your car’s battery with one of these, and you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.

You can buy a portable charger for your phone, so why not for your electric vehicle? That’s the concept here: an elegant, collapsible car charger that’s as lightweight as a small tent, and as pretty as a butterfly.

Volvo’s V60 Plug-in Hybrid isn’t available in the United States until 2014. But the car-maker is already gearing up the marketing push. It recently organized the "Switch to Pure Volvo" competition, and this was the winner. It was designed by a Los Angeles-based group called SDA.

The charger is constructed from carbon fiber tubes, and covered in a mixture of high-density plastic and flexible solar panels from FTL Global, a specialist supplier. Volvo and SDA plan to have the device ready by September, though there are a few kinks to work out yet.

"The current target we are working towards is the minimum electrical current required to charge the car, which is six amps at 110 volts," says SDA’s principal, Alvin Huang, via email. "At that level it will take 12 hours to fully recover the 8kWh needed to fill a fully depleted battery."

Though the companies want to develop a functional product, there are no plans at the moment to release it to the public--which is a shame. Rather, as the press release says, the point is to represent "the same vision of energy efficiency and sustainability as the V60." In other words, it’s an elaborate form of publicity.

The car itself, which is the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, does have impressive credentials. In European tests, it’s gone 31 miles on its lithium-ion battery pack, and another 560 miles using its diesel tank. That works out at 155 miles per gallon. If it had a charger to go with that, it might be even better.

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6 Comments

  • Kelfin Planck

    Mark Goldes' "Aesop Institute" has engaged for many years in the very dishonest and unscrupulous practice of soliciting loans and donations under an endless series of false pretenses, that it is developing and even "prototyping" various "revolutionary breakthroughs," such as "NO FUEL ENGINES" that run on ambient heat alone - or run on "Virtual Photon Flux" - or on "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbitals" - or even on the acoustic energy of sound from a horn.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe strictly ambient heat engine is ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This has been understood by physicists for at least 180 years. There is no "new science" that has ever determined such an engine to be possible.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe "Virtual Photon Flux" engine is based on the idea that accessible electric power "is everywhere present in unlimited quantities" - which we know to be false.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe "Collapsing Hydrogen Orbital" engine is based on Randell Mills' theory of "hydrino" hydrogen, which every scientist knows to be false.

    Aesop Institute's make-believe horn-powered engine is based on the pretense that a magnetized tuning rod could somehow "multiply energy" - a ludicrous notion, which is obviously ruled out by the law of conservation of energy.

    Aesop Institute has never offered the slightest shadow of evidence that it is actually developing or "prototyping" any of these make-believe physics-defying "revolutionary breakthroughs." All it has ever offered are mere declarations that it is doing so - unsupported by any proof whatever, of any kind whatever.

  • Mark Goldes

    Electric cars on the horizon will have unlimited range.

    These mobile power plants will incorporate revolutionary new
    technologies. They will be able to sell power to utilities when suitably
    parked. No wires needed. Such cars and trucks may pay for themselves.

    See the AESOP Institute website for a few surprising examples.

    Most future vehicles will be electric once one or more of these systems is in mass production.

    Since that event will accelerate the superseding of the need to burn
    fossil and radioactive fuels it should be a very high priority.

    Making that happen fast is the present challenge. Sufficient adventure capital is the missing key.

  • Mark Goldes

    Electric cars on the horizon will have unlimited range.

    These mobile power plants will incorporate revolutionary new
    technologies. They will be able to sell power to utilities when suitably
    parked. No wires needed. Such cars and trucks may pay for themselves.

    See www.aesopinstitute.org for a few surprising examples.

    Most future vehicles will be electric once one or more of these systems is in mass production.

    Since that event will accelerate the superseding of the need to burn
    fossil and radioactive fuels it should be a very high priority.

    Making that happen fast is the present challenge. Sufficient adventure capital is the missing key.

  • tim

    when will a car be able to charge while it runs? kinetic energy with the wheels, solar panels on the roof?

  • Meadia55

    Why not have solar cells on the roof, trunk and hood to re-charge the battery? In Texas where I live I could drive forever on solar energy. There must be some good reason this will not work as I am surely not the only one to consider this.

  • Ghung

    Because even today's most efficient PV cells would need several times the area available on even the largest cars to actually provide much useful power. You would need to park the car for many days to recharge the battery. That's the reason for the giant unfolding butterfly, which, of course, is going to require a giant parking space with light or no winds.

    The laws of physics are quite stubborn.