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ELECTRIC VEHICLES, ALONG WITH DECENTRALIZED ENERGY, WHICH BOTH RELY ON THE SAME BATTERIES, ARE HERE AND WILL HAVE A HUGE IMPACT IN THE REDUCTION AND ELIMINATION OF FOSSIL FUEL USE.
The philosophy of the M-BEAM project is simple. The use of fossil fuel is unsustainable, unhealthy, and is damaging our planet. Electric vehicles and renewable energy take us most of the way to solving this, and battery storage is essential to this solution. A robust, safe, and configurable battery module standard is essential to low cost, widespread battery usage and M-BEAM technology is necessary for this standard battery to be possible.
The goal of the M-BEAM project is to build and drive a converted electric vehicle with modular batteries across the country in record time in order to demonstrate, develop, inspire, provoke, promote, and educate.
The Reasons and Benefit
The reasons for M-BEAM are two-fold. Firstly, present fast charge refueling strategies are not scalable and have not convinced the typical car buyer that EVs are or could be a mainstream general transportation solution. Secondly, battery degradation and cost form another consumer deterrent to widespread EV adoption. M-BEAM technology solves both of these problems.
The benefits of modular battery technology include a lower entry cost into the EV market, zero charge times, increased safety, and improved longevity of battery systems. Also, approximately 50% of drivers have no access to a garage or 240V outlet. Those drivers would be best served by a modular exchangeable system where they where they could refuel quickly and even change a fraction of the modules in the home or apartment.
These modules will also help solve a huge problem in the shift to renewable energy. The modules can be re-purposed as grid storage and backup much easier than the large, cumbersome batteries that are in electric cars today. As batteries age, they may not be usable any longer in cars, but still have many more useful years as storage for the grid, and these modules can be easily shifted out of the car into large or small racks at homes and businesses where they will be the most effective.
The Cross Country EV Challenge
The cross country EV challenge will give us a chance to prove our design, replacing depleted modules with fully charged modules along the way, simulating exchange stations.
The total length of the trip will be 2,482 miles of driving. With an estimated 120 miles per charge, we will stop approximately 21-22 times across the nation. Assuming about 5 min per stop, the total drive time will be around 45 hours, shattering any existing records for driving an EV across the country.
How You Can Help
Right now we have converted the VW Golf and have it running flawlessly on a small number of batteries. However, we still need to complete the remaining modules, which will take about $14,000. Money we raise will go towards the fabrication of durable housings for our modules, so that they can survive a cross country trip in one piece!
Each level of donation comes with different perks, whether it's your name on the car or even a module dedicated to you with your name on it!
The crowdfunding for this trip will be done in several phases:
- Phase One: $14,000. This will pay for the tooling and build of each battery module housing.
- Phase Two: $34,000 cumulative raised. The additional $20,000 will fund the purchase of battery cells and material to finish building the remaing battery modules.
- Phase Three: $50,000 cumulative raised. The additional $16,000 will fund the chargers, generators, and other electrical equipment needed to simulate the exchange of battery modules.
- Phase Four: $75,000 cumulative raised. The additional $25,000 will fund the logistics of the cross country trip. This is our final goal for the fundraising effort.
As we go into each different phase of funding, different donor levels and perks will be available.
Your support will help us complete this trip safely and contribute to a new technology which could fundamentally change the way we adopt electric vehicles. Help spread the word about the M-BEAM Cross Country Challenge by visiting our webpage, modularexchange.com/, liking our Facebook page, and following us on Twitter (@mbeamxc). Share this project using the hashtags #mbeamxc and #crowdsurf!