CORDIS - EU research results

An innovative range extending service for Electric Vehicles (EV), based on a modular range extender, available for on demand rental, and attached occasionally to the EV for long distance trips

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EP TENDER (An innovative range extending service for Electric Vehicles (EV), based on a modular range extender, available for on demand rental, and attached occasionally to the EV for long distance trips)

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2017-09-30

EP Tender enables mass market adoption of electric vehicles.
EP Tender is a range extending service for electric vehicles. With our modular approach, EVs can satisfy both essential constraints: be affordable and versatile, with occasional long distance trip ability and peace of mind.

Pure EV with a reasonable battery on daily usage, and plug-in hybrid for longer trips, by towing an energy module on demand.

The Tenders will be powered indifferently by gasoline, hydrogen, battery or inductive road as provided by the infrastructure and technology progress.

An effective range of 200 km covers 98% of car usage. Carrying a much larger and more expensive battery on board the car for the remaining 2% of marginal usage is counterproductive, be it economically (profitability for the car maker, sustainability of subsidies, affordability of the car) or environmentally (life cycle impact of manufacturing and carrying a very large battery).

The current version of the tender generates power with a combustion engine and a 35-litre tank – the same size as the engine of a small car. Because electric cars can recharge overnight, when the often windier weather allows 100 % recharging from renewables, an electric vehicle combined with an EP Tender would use annually at most one tenth, of the fossil fuel of a standard petrol or diesel car for typical car use.
2030 vision
We expect that in 2030, vehicles will be clean, connected, autonomous and lean. These “transport modules” will carry enough energy for daily usage. But when reaching the motorway for long distance [autonomous] trips, an energy module will automatically attach to the vehicle and deliver the add-on required energy. The Tenders will commute on motorways and deliver a large scale range extending service to many EVs.

Overall objective
The overall achievement of this project has been to develop a small fleet of pre-series Tenders and make a field test with the trial of five tenders and up to 50 electric cars. This field test which has started in France in summer 2017 with key commercial clients and private individuals. EP Tender will also look for industrial partners during 2018, for manufacturing and financial support.
Our company plans to develop a tender rental network – the Tender’Lib network – in Europe, North America, China and India.
Our market research (available on suggests the Tenders could reach 20-40 % of electric vehicle owners, which could represent up to 2 % of the overall car market by 2030 and reach a turnover of €6 million for the company in 2022.
This report is describing the work performed between July 1st 2015 and September 30 2017.
We started the project with the results of a demonstrator and the draft of a new design.
Our demonstrator had successfully proven the concept of a modular range extending solution, with a lightweight and compact design, and suitable user convenience.
But there was a number of weaknesses in this early design, and we discovered further required enhancements during the course the period 1 of our project.
This first period has successfully demonstrated that our design is proving capable of matching safety and convenience. It is simple to manufacture, easy to maintain and the components are affordable.
We faced difficulties, which caused delays, but no significant cost overruns thanks to our lean and low fixed costs structure.
During the second period, we have finalised the tuning of the Tenders, which has proved a much more difficult than we originally expected, we achieved the homologation of the tenders and the test vehicles, we manufactured the tenders, and we successfully started the field test.
Main outcomes from the field test:
• EP Tender allows to travel long distances with peace of mind
• The convenience and comfort of its usage has been verified, especially for backing maneuvers, quietness, and transparency when driving. The maneuver of connecting the tender to the car is simple.
• The life cycle impact of an electric vehicle using EP Tender occasionally is much lower than any hybrid or plug-in hybrid solution, as well as EVs carrying a large battery.
• EP Tender confirms being a strong enabler of mass market EV adoption.
The EV market is evolving in our favor with more plug-in hybrid solutions, charging infrastructure and energy density in batteries. EV are a must and have become desirable. The continuous development of the functional economy is also supportive of our business model.
Many governments and large cities have announced ambitious objectives for eliminating new sales combustion engines by 2040/2030, if not Zero Emissions city centers. At the same time, subsidies will have to fade out, and car makers will have to rebuild a viable profit margin on EV sales. The life cycle impact of hypertrophied batteries and their impact on natural resources is also becoming the subject of more debates. The combination of all these factors are a very strong long term support to our modular approach, and our plans to add a battery version of EP Tender.
The energy module concept of EP Tender is getting real, and is gaining momentum in the EV stakeholder community.
We are contributing the state of the art on the following:
• Provide long distance range to EVs at a low marginal cost
• Develop a low cost range extender
• Develop a light trailer which is safe and convenient to use
EP Tender enables a much wider adoption of soft mobility by the general public, and develops a new kind of industrial and service activity in Europe with a global market reach.
Progress during the project
a) Developing a light trailer which is safe and convenient to use:
EP Tender revolutionizes both aspects as can be seen from this video: patent WO2013132468
EP Tender has been subjected to the US FMVSS301R simulated crash test.
We have also done the Moose test on ISO and VDA conditions, with very satisfactory initial results.
b) Developing a low cost range extender, based on existing series production components
c) Providing long distance range to EVs at a low marginal cost, and in a convenient way, through the on demand renting of energy modules:
EP Tender allows an optimal EV for everyday usage, plus an on optimal (and affordable!) add-on solution for peak usage. With the ability to match closely on each trip the available infrastructure, as well as technical progress over time, without replacing the whole vehicle.
The key outcome is to travel with peace of mind and to keep the travel time at acceptable levels.
Socio-economic impact
EP Tender’s modular approach is very efficiently keeping the environmental impact at a very optimal level while providing long range capability.
The daily use of full EVs will also provide local environmental benefits in large cities, as well as noise reduction.
The expected reduction in fossil fuel consumption (and tailpipe emissions) is a factor of 1 to 20.
The EP Tender staff has increased from 5 to 6, and is planned to increase to 20 by 2020.
We target a turnover of 6 m€ in 2022, with 16 000 clients and 1 400 Tenders in operation.
European OEMs and equipment makers are at the forefront of EV technology and will benefit from EP Tender’s development.
EP Tender drawing
The range extender
Example of a long distance trip
A client travelling to Millau
The platform with the hitch system
EP Tender 3D model
Two clients meet by chance on a motorway
Suitable also for Light commercial vehicle