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On: Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 9:59AM | By: Karen Cook


If we gave an award for the Most Ridiculous Idea Ever, I would like to nominate Jean-Baptiste Segard's invention, the EP Tender.

What does it do? It provides a way to produce extra electricity during long trips where it may not be possible to recharge your battery. Sort of like those trucks with two gas tanks, the EP Tender is a little like an extra tank, only for electricity. Doesn’t sound too crazy yet, right? Read on.

How does it do what it does? Well, the EP Tender is a small tow-behind unit which is essentially a power generator. It’s not truly an extra battery; it is a power source to charge the battery in your electric vehicle. And it runs on… wait for it… gasoline! What this means is that someone buys an all-electric car, because they care about the environment and the effects of auto emissions; when they want to drive across the country to spend Christmas with relatives, say, they fill up a generator with gas to make sure they get there.

Not only does this defeat the purpose of an all-electric vehicle, but it requires an inconvenient extension of the vehicle. Monsieur Segard has tried to make this as un-cumbersome as possible by making it small, and has fitted it with extra wheels to prevent the unit from jackknifing when backing out of parking spaces.

Also, if using gasoline for long trips is acceptable, then why not just get a hybrid? You don’t have to fill the gas tank if you don’t want to but it’s there if you need it, and in a much more accessible and reasonable form.

The creator of the EP Tender plans to attempt to sell it to Volkswagen, BMW, and Ford with others possibly on the list later. I just don’t see it. We already have a gas-powered back-up system for EVs, and I doubt buyers will want to pay for an extra piece of equipment just for longer trips when the availability of charging stations is ever increasing. He can try, but I don’t think this idea will ever be successful.


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