fallacy of pursuing what are theoretically very high efficiency transportation systems such as
conventional passenger trains which would rarely be used outside periods and locations of high demand.
This would merely result in the use of more IC engined cars and greater CO2 emissions.
Over the long term, the rail ELECAT in conjunction with a private BEV provides the combined attributes of
convenience, work utilisation, reduced door to door time, comfort, and very low environmental impact whilst
simultaneously removing vehicles from the main roads. Overall it would meet the requirements of what we
might expect of an advanced transport system for the future.
Summary: advantages of the ELECAT
the ELECAT both ferries and charges BEVs at the same time, thereby extending their range beyond that of
the ferrying service alone
the ELECAT enables BEVs to carry cheaper batteries and less of them, thereby encouraging BEV use along
with their range of environmental advantages. Hence the ELECAT indirectly reduces air pollution and
noise locally, and reduces of CO2 emissions directly at a global level
car drivers are released from the tedious task of driving along highways to engage in more useful or
entertaining activities. This is particularly important for businesses were large savings can be made by
utilising their employees more efficiently
highway space is substantially increased, both reducing highway congestion, and eliminating the need to
build more highways.
the ELECAT concept can eventually be extended to an electric rail system once zero carbon electric
generating methods have been widely developed. This would provide a complete zero carbon transport
system for cars, enabling fast personal environmentally friendly transit that will be demanded of an
advanced transportation system of the future.
Methods for extending BEV range in areas not served by highways
Whilst the ELECAT would provide the means to extend the BEV range between locations within the range of a
major highway, it is unlikely that such a system could be efficiently operated in areas of low population density
which doesnt possess a comprehensive road infrastructure. Other methods would have to be used in these areas.
Two possible solutions are discussed here.
Replaceable power modules in SWAP stations
Whilst the Plug-in hybrid could provide low carbon personal transport in areas not served by the ELECAT,
these come at a considerable cost and complexity since they effectively carry two propulsion systems, the
electric system for short journeys and an IC engine for longer ones. Hybrids, could therefore introduce
unnecessary life cycle costs, especially if longer trips are relatively infrequent and the engine is rarely needed.
One method of reducing some of the superfluous components of a hybrid or the mass of batteries necessary to
travel a given distance in a true BEV, is to use replaceable power modules that can be changed in a Module
SWAP Station. This is a strategically positioned piece of infrastructure that serves a similar purpose to a
conventional refuelling station. In this case, cars would be designed to accept a standard sized replaceable
module consisting of either a bank of fully charged batteries, or a hybrid power module consisting of an IC
engine and generator that would extend the range of the vehicle. Both types of module would power a common
electric motor permanently fixed in the vehicle to drive the wheels.
To replace a module, the car would be driven into the Module SWAP Station over a pit where a forklift
replaces one power module for another from beneath the car (see figure 25). This concept of changing modules
in the form of batteries or an IC engine generator would provide much greater flexibility than just batteries by
themselves. This allows the use of the IC engine and liquid fuel to be restricted for the longest journeys, thereby
minimising the need for Biofuels still further. This would also enable the IC engine to be used purely outside
areas with potential air quality problems