Battery charging and transfer system

  • US 5,711,648 A
  • Filed: 11/12/1996
  • Issued: 01/27/1998
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/06/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A method of rapidly exchanging a battery of an electrically powered passenger vehicle, the vehicle having a battery compartment which extends through at least a portion of the vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:

  • providing a battery transfer and charging station comprising;

    a drive-through vehicle bay;

    a continuous battery transfer conveyor within the drive-through bay, the conveyor having a battery receiving end which receives an at least partially discharged battery from a first end of the battery compartment, and having a battery delivery end which delivers a charged battery to a second end of the battery compartment, the conveyor having multiple battery positions between the receiving and delivery ends to hold multiple batteries; and

    a computer which controls the battery transfer conveyor by advancing the conveyor in single-battery-position increments to move batteries from the battery receiving end to the battery delivery end, the computer coupled to an electronic payment system which allows an operator of the vehicle to specify payment source information for payment of a fee associated with an exchange of the discharged battery with the charged battery;

    positioning the vehicle within the drive-through bay such that the battery compartment is aligned with the battery receiving and delivery ends of the conveyor, the battery compartment containing the discharged battery;

    specifying payment source information via the payment system to enable the computer to initiate a battery exchange operation; and

    exchanging the discharged battery with the charged battery by programmably advancing the conveyor with the computer to shift the charged battery from the delivery end of the conveyor into the compartment while moving the discharged battery from the compartment to the receiving end of the conveyor.

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