2012 Rinspeed Dock+Go Concept

The 2012 Rinspeed Dock+Go Concept provides a fascinating insight into how electric cars of the future might look. One of the biggest problems electric cars have to face is the limited distance they can travel on a single charge.

It is essential to maximize the range by keeping weight to a minimum, which, in turn, means that electric cars need to be very compact. But, the lack of cargo space reduces the usefulness of electric cars.

A Solution

Designer Frank M. Rinderknecht's solution to this problem is an electric car that is modular in construction. To prove his concept, he uses one of the best selling electric cars, the Smart car.

His idea is to attach an easily dockable extra axle to the car when additional carrying capacity is required. The axle can be used to support packs, the use of which will depend on the required task. When the extra space is no longer required, the pack is simply undocked.

Rinderknecht demonstrated his concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012, where he attached an acoustic pack to a Smart car. The pack, built on Harmon technology, is used to provide the Smart car with a top-end entertainment system.

Energy Pack

An even clever concept was to attach an energy pack to greatly extend the range of the car. The energy pack can be made of extra batteries or fuel cells or even a small combustion engine.

The energy pack drives the second axle in the host car and also recharges the host's batteries. At journey's end, any unused power in the energy pack can be used to provide power at home by undocking the pack and attaching it to the home's electrical system.

Production

Although the Rinspeed Dock+Go is still a concept, Rinderknecht has confirmed that he is in negotiations to put the car into production. Judging by the number of big-name companies who have already weighed in by providing components for the concept, it is very likely we will see a production version of the car.