AltDrive Frequestly Asked Questions
The timeline for market adoption for new battery technology in industry applications typically lags far behind its adoption in consumer goods and electronics. Before Li-Ion Batteries were ever considered in an automobile they were first implemented in Cell phones and computers in high volumes. The up and coming battery technologies such as Lithium Air are still at the Lab & testing stage and have yet to be adapted to consumer electronics. The AKASOL batteries are the most advanced current technology and we believe it will be 5-10 years before they begin to be replaced by something new.
The answer to this is Yes, however, we believe there are too many drawbacks to this on large equipment to seriously consider this approach for extending the range of a vehicle. Firstly batteries are typically the most expensive part of the system so adding additional sets is difficult to justify. Secondly, a properly planned charging schedule and the ability to scale up the charging capacity as required to meet your daily work requirement at a significantly reduced cost makes it impossible to consider swapping.
Both E-Axles and Electric Wheel Drives are very interesting technologies. Both are attempts at increasing the efficiency of the system overall. Any geared mechanism between the motor and the road is a potential for lost energy as heat. We are seriously looking at Electric Wheel Drives but are waiting for the technology to be more broadly adapted so the pricing becomes more acceptable (at least 4X the price of a single larger motor). E-Axles, on the other hand, we believe to be only a bridge technology until wheel drives are available so our strategy is to skip this step.