What is Range Extender (REx)?


A Range Extender (REx) is an additional power source incorporated into an EV to extend its range. It produces electricity to charge the electric car’s battery, thereby increasing the EV’s range beyond the limitations of the battery’s charging capabilities. The feature also serves as a backup power source, which makes sure the car continues its operation even when the charging levels are low.

A range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) is a battery-operated EV that comes with a range extender generator called an APU or auxiliary power unit. When the battery’s charge starts to deplete, the range extender automatically activates to recharge it. Unlike plug-in hybrids and self-charging techniques, the range extender doesn’t power the wheels directly, it only re-charges and tops up the battery.

How Does a Range Extender (REx) Work?

A Range Extender operates using an internal combustion engine (ICE) or a fuel cell, paired up with a generator. When the battery runs low and reaches a certain level, the Range Extender activates, and the internal combustion engine kicks in to recharge it, thus extending the range of an EV. The driving experience is similar to other electric vehicles, though the engine might produce a faint humming sound when active. However, if the car has sufficient charge in the battery, the range extender car operates silently without making any noise.

Also Read: Do Electric Cars Lose Range Over Time?

What are the Advantages of Range Extenders (REx)?

The primary idea behind range extenders in electric vehicles is to eliminate the fear of running out of power, ensuring the battery is always charged up and thus acts as a safety net for EV owners. The advantages of Range Extenders (REx) are as follows:

1. Extended Range: REx reduces concerns regarding range and eliminates range anxiety, providing an extended driving range beyond the battery’s capacity.

2. Flexibility: RExs allow EV owners to have the flexibility to take longer trips without worrying about finding nearby charging stations in areas with limited charging infrastructure.

3. Lower Total Cost of Ownership: REx can significantly alleviate the requirement for larger and more costly battery packs, leading to a lower upfront cost for electric cars.

Recommended: What are EREVs (Extended-Range Electric Vehicles)?

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