Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2012: Rinspeed Dock+Go
Swiss firm offers novel solution to range anxiety problems associated with electric cars

Swiss firm Rinspeed is addressing the range anxiety issue associated with electric city cars with its innovative new Rinspeed Dock+Go concept at today's Geneva motor show.

The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive-based concept features a detachable trailer axle – which Rinspeed calls a ‘backpack on wheels’ – that can house a combustion engine or range extender, be packed with batteries or powered by a fuel cell. This ‘backpack’ powers the rear wheels of the Fortwo, thus increasing the otherwise limited range of the electric Fortwo.

See official pics of the Rinspeed Dock+Go

If a driver is only going to undertake a short journey, then the ‘backpack’ can be removed and the car’s standard all-electric range remains. Rinspeed’s creator Frank M Rinderknecht calls this charging range-extending system a ‘vario-hybrid’.

When the pack with auxiliary batteries is docked and the vehicle is not in use, the pack can be used to provide electricity to the driver's home.

The trailer comes in various sizes and styles to meet a variety of different potential uses. Those outlined by Rinspeed include a heated box for pizza delivery drivers or a mobile toolbox for craftsman. It can also be adapted for storing golf clubs or equipment for camping trips. Any battery packs can be recharged using solar panels on the roof.

Although the concept is based around the Smart Fortwo ED, the Dock+Go system could conceivably be attached to other vehicles.

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sportwagon 22 February 2012

Re: Rinspeed 'solves range anxiety'

This may be a workable idea, so I wouldn't just dismiss it out of hand. My only concern is the talk of it being used for other purposes; I would hate anyone to think that I had a set of golf clubs in the back when I was merely going on a long journey!

curious_insider 22 February 2012

Re: Rinspeed 'solves range anxiety'

This is going to do some very strange things to the handling of a Smart extra set of driven wheels (non-steering), with a big lump of mass over said wheels...

Peter Cavellini 21 February 2012

Re: Rinspeed 'solves range anxiety'

TegTypeR wrote:

I see what they are trying to do surely the Chevy Volt which runs on electric until the batteries are flat, when the ICE cuts in, without the faff of having to hook up a trailer, is a far more elegant solution?

Yes of course it is, but this is typical Rinspeed, i like it, it makes me smile a lot,just a bit of fun,they even did an under water car, how cool was that? (sorry,no pun intended)