Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner
  • Hey Guest, welcome to We encourage you to register to engage in conversations about your Bolt.

Range extender

20733 Views 25 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  RichardC
Most of us contemplating buying a Bolt would not often find range to be a problem, but occasionally it would be. Why not make rental range extender trailers available for the occasional long trip?

The range extender trailer could consist of a gasoline generator of perhaps 30 HP which would be sufficient and still be small and light. Before starting on a long trip, one could rent it from a Chevy dealer, attach it to the car, and plug it into the car. It could increase the number of people buying Chevy Bolts.
1 - 2 of 26 Posts
Bolt owner's manual states plugging into generator power is a no-no. Page 246:
"Do not use portable or stationary
backup generating equipment to
charge the vehicle. This may
cause damage to the vehicle's
charging system. Only charge the
vehicle from utility supplied

So much for plugging the trickle cord into a generator or an inverter, in an emergency ?

I think plugging the Bolt into a modern inverter style generator such that Honda makes would be absolutely fine. The power coming out of those is more stable than line power. The main thing GM is worried about is a fluctuation in hertz and the inverter generators take care of that with a rock solid 60hz.

Older and cheaper portable generators use a centrifugal flywheel connected to a calibrated spring to control the throttle and thus the RPM and in theory the voltage and hertz. This system works OK for light bulbs and power tools, but it's terrible for computers and electronics. The modern generators let the engine do it's thing and run in an approximate RPM and the inverter electronics regulates the voltage and hertz to amazing accuracy.
I think the battery trailer idea has some merit. Imagine a network of rental battery trailers located at location on the countries interstates. Drive your bolt out to the interstate and pick up a fully charged trailer, hook it to the car and plug it in. This trailer would give you say 250 miles or so and the car would run only on trailer power when plugged in. Then when either the trailer is depleted, or you near your destination, you drop it off at another station located on the interstate and it gets recharged for the next guy going the other way.

For this to work it would have to be either to an agreed upon industry standard, or in co-operation with a manufacturer. It would require a special power connector at the back of the car that could handle the power as well as signal the brains of the car to switch from the main battery pack to the trailer pack.

The reason I think such a scheme will never happen is that advancements in battery technology will likely make this obsolete and pointless in the next ten years.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.