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Rinspeed Unveils Range-Extending 'Backpack On Wheels' For EVs

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On: Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 11:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

Rinspeed Unveils Range-Extending 'Backpack On Wheels' For EVs

It looks like more utility within the electric city car segment is going to be a theme at next year's auto shows. We've already seen a Detroit-bound Smart For-Us pickup concept, and now we have another versatile Smart: the For-Two Electric Drive equipped with Rinspeed's new Dock+Go.

Unlike the Smart For-Us concept, Rinspeed's Dock + Go is an aftermarket accessory, not a unique model. It is designed to work with the Smart For-Two and is essentially a range-extending trailer that can be outfitted with either a gas engine or fuel cell. In this way, you can have an electric city car for your daily commute and a longer-range hybrid or fuel-cell electric for longer drives.

Like Smart's For-Us, the Dock + Go also adds a little extra hauling capability to the tiny Smart. In fact, Rinspeed sees the concept as more than just a range-extender--it envisions a whole line of Docks aimed at different activities like camping, skiing and commercial applications.

The Dock + Go concept looks a little strange on the tiny For-Two, particularly with its extra set of wheels, but I like the overall concept. An electric car could be a much more attractive proposition if range-extending accessories were available.

I suppose the issue is how much something like this would cost. I could see it being a great product at a low price--a few thousand dollars, at most. However, if the price was $10,000 or more, which seems likely, you'd be better off just buying a series hybrid. Actually, with the price of the Nissan Leaf (and Ford Focus Electric) close or identical to the Chevy Volt, you're probably better off going that route either way.

Still, though, concepts are nothing but interesting ideas built into tangible form, and this definitely fits. Rinspeed will show the Dock + Go at next year's Geneva Motor Show.

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Stephy21 | 9:06AM (Tue, Dec 13, 2011)

This is a great idea, the extra add on would make a big difference to people who have these smart cars. it could give them more room to haul everyday things and its practical. Lets just hope the price isn't to high.

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