Electric vehicle platform maker TREXA has just unveiled a new production prototype in conjunction with filing for a patent for the company’s unique Enertube energy storage system. TREXA’s Enertube is a tubular chassis frame that serves as both the backbone of the vehicle platform and a housing for a scalable battery pack. The coolest thing about this new design is its flexibility: the Enertube can be sized up or down along with the chassis size to create a whole range of electric vehicles, from 7kWh of storage capacity for a small buzz-around-town EV to 100 kWh for a tractor trailer. And is that a hotrod-happy pushrod suspension you see in the photo?
Indeed it is, which ought to mean good things for both on and off-road applications of this design, which can be mated to 2-wheel drives or 4-wheel drives as needed. In fact, everything about this design is flexible: The TREXA platform uses interchangeable parts on all four suspension corners to keep maintenance simple and reduce expense. And the Enertube can be removed after a vehicle body has been mounted to the frame’s suspension subframe, so there’s no need to disassemble your whole car to upgrade the battery pack.
TREXA initially will be working with established automotive suppliers, a specialty vehicle manfacturer and the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute to bring this platform to market in various forms–everything from agricultural vehicles to electric racing. But keep an eye out for TREXA on the kit and custom scene: “The DIY market has incredible potential, and there is no question that the re-emergence of electric drive is a result of grassroots efforts,” TREXA CEO Seth Seaberg said. “So we are exploring how and when we might offer platforms, development guidelines, and support to the general public.”