Road transport is recognized as having a negative impact on the environment. Policy has focused on replacement of the internal combustion engine (ICE) with less polluting forms of technology, including battery electric and fuel cell electric powertrains. However, progress is slow and both battery and fuel cell based vehicles face considerable commercialization challenges. To understand these challenges, a review of current electric battery and fuel cell electric technologies is presented. Based on this review, this paper proposes a battery electric vehicle (BEV) where components are sized to take into account the majority of user requirements, with the remainder catered for by a trailer-based demountable intelligent fuel cell range extender. The proposed design can extend the range by more than 50% for small BEVs and 25% for large BEVs (the extended range of vehicles over 250 miles), reducing cost and increasing efficiency for the BEV. It enables BEV manufacturers to design their vehicle battery for the most common journeys, decreases charging time to provide convenience and flexibility to the drivers. Adopting a rent and drop business model reduces the demand on the raw materials, bridging the gap in the amount of charging (refueling) stations, and extending the lifespan for the battery pack.
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