A guy that lives down the street from me has a three-wheeler electric motorcycle, looks like it came out of Mad Max The Road Warrior, and it has a canopy that has solar panels. He charges it anywhere just by parking in the sun. He's also built a trailer with more solar panels that can make for a higher charge rate.
Problems are: $$$'s to set up, and it's got horrible aerodynamics ..
Has me thinking - my Karmann Ghia conversion - could conceivably tow a small trailer - has a 50 mile range
What's the best way to get longer total driving range, and maybe do a long range trip with the car? The immediate question is I have a couple weekends coming up soon where I'll be driving to Laguna Seca Raceway, 88 miles from the house, goes through several mountain ranges to get there, and the location is remote enough that charging stations are few and far between. However, FWIW, I just heard of a charging station opening up in Watsonville, which will help.
Could be solar panels on a trailer, but more $$'s than I can afford, and bad aerodynamics.
Next thought - a generator. Apparently the Honda EU3000 as a high enough output to handle the charger on my car. It would mean burning gasoline to drive an electric car.
Over on the Nissan Leaf forum someone calculated that for a Honda EU2000i, 2000watts @ 120 volts, runs 4 hours on 1.1 gallons of gasoline, and figured this is good for 27 miles, or 24 miles/gallon efficiency.
Someone else noted that if you want to trade gasoline for miles on an electric vehicle, GM already has this neatly packaged in a car - the Chevy Volt - gives 37MPG on gasoline.
One option I'm considering is to skip the conversion to AC and the charger, and do a direct DC connection to the battery pack. This would be more efficient. The trick is to ensure the DC voltage on output is in the correct range for your battery pack, but I'm not certain of how to calculate this. I suspect that it would be best for the DC voltage to be slightly less than the fully charged pack voltage. On my car that's 166 volts or so, and therefore a 158 volt DC output would bring the pack up pretty high without risking overcharging. The question would be, how to find a gasoline or diesel(biodiesel) charger that outputs DC?