Page-Roberts is a London-based start-up that claims it can improve EV range by 30 percent with a very unconventional design.
The company’s patented design relocates the battery pack. Instead of mounting the battery pack in the floor like it's currently done, Page-Roberts mounts the battery vertically in the cabin of the electric car between the two rows of opposite-facing seats.
Gallery: Page-Roberts EV Design Rendering
The start-up says the conventional skateboard layout adds height, wheelbase, and “structural complexities.” The vertical orientation of the battery pack could improve “the design, user experience, and manufacturing costs of electric cars.”
The company also states that an EV with a vertically-mounted battery pack allows passengers to sit lower in the car (instead of on top of the battery pack), would weigh less, and would be more aerodynamically efficient.
According to the Autocar report:
“As a result, the firm claims, the car has the potential to travel 30% further on a charge, or use a smaller battery to maintain a similar range to existing levels. It also estimates that manufacturing costs could be slashed by up to 36%.”
Although the design isn’t for any EV, it works best with small electric cars, more specifically “sleek and sporty four-seat vehicles” because of the design’s low height and short wheelbase.
"Our design concept reduces costs, increases efficiency, enhances agility and offers design freedom. The efficiency translates to less time charging from either longer range or smaller batteries, so pressure on charging points – another key pain point for the industry – will also be reduced,” said Page-Roberts chief technology officer Mark Simon.
Since battery packs are in the floor, interior height tends to be more restricted, and passengers have a higher, non-sporty seating position. In some cases, the floor-mounted battery pack makes an EV a little taller, which isn’t good for aerodynamics.
In addition, since EVs lack a drive shaft, and exhaust and fuel systems, passengers can sit extra low with the Page-Roberts design. That and the short wheelbase would be a great platform for a sports car or for a small, affordable EV.
One disadvantage would be the raised centre of gravity, but the company says it would be similar or better as long as the battery pack doesn't exceed 75 kWh. If used in EV mass production, this design could help spur EV adoption rates thanks to increased driving ranges and reduced manufacturing costs.