One of the most popular attractions each year at the Geneva car show is the Rinspeed stand. Rinspeed, founded in 1979 by Swiss visionary Frank Rinderknecht, has turned out fantastic contraptions such as the underwater sQuba car and the amphibious Splash.
This year’s concept is just as innovative, but much more practical. Called the Dock+Go, it addresses key concerns about electric cars: the range anxiety surrounding battery-powered vehicles, and their limited utility.
Rinspeed’s display in Geneva is based on a Smart two-seater, but any electric-powered car could be adapted to the Dock+Go system. It provides attachments or extensions on a third axle to offer more storage space, for instance, or more battery power. “Neither unnecessary space nor superfluous weight is being transported,” Rinspeed says.
One of the system’s most intriguing innovations is an extension that can be fitted with a supplemental battery pack, fuel cell stack or even a small internal combustion range-extender engine. It uses the third axle to drive the electric car’s rear axle and deliver a recharge to its primary on-board battery pack. At home, the batteries may be recharged by energy drawn from solar panels mounted on the garage roof. No word if an amphibious version is in the works.