Despite their elevated price, electric vehicles are slowly infiltrating the mainstream automotive market, even in the gas-loving United States. Still, there are design flaws to be worked out. For most people, EVs and the spotty charging station infrastructure just aren’t reliable enough to be trusted with a long-distance road trip. However, a German company has unveiled a prototype EV battery trailer that could boost driver confidence and eliminate range-anxiety.

Called ebuggy, this battery concept looks and works very much like the RideKick bike trailer featured on Revmodo a few months ago. The ebuggy is designed to be towed behind electric cars, like the RideKick is towed behind bikes. Designers envision a series of ebuggy stations located on the outskirts of major cities. EV drivers would pick up and connect the trailer on their way out of town, connecting it to their car’s existing electrical power system in a matter of minutes. When they arrive at their destination, the ebuggy trailer could be returned for recharging at another conveniently located station.

EV drivers could join this battery exchange program and pay a certain fee via an ebuggy card each time they utilize a trailer. An ebuggy kit would have to be installed on the car, including a standard trailer hitch, a power socket and a dashboard user interface. Fees would be automatically calculated and billed, and according to the company, would “always be lower than driving a gas or diesel car.”

Although it sounds unique, the battery swap concept proposed by ebuggy isn’t that groundbreaking. Silicon Valley-based Better Place has been developing a network of battery exchange and recharging stations for a number of years, with operational networks in Israel and Denmark, and Australia and China slated to come on board soon. Still, the Better Place concept requires the use of a specific EV: the Renault Fluence Z.E. With the ebuggy, just about any car could be retrofitted with the equipment necessary to use the backup battery service.

“ebuggy allows the automotive industry to build reasonably priced electric vehicles with a smaller battery, because ebuggy is available for longer distances,” said ebuggy Managing Director Dr. Manfred Baumgärtner. “As a result, electric cars will become cheaper than vehicles with a combustion engine and e-mobility will be able to assert itself rapidly and dynamically.”

Main photo credit: ebuggy