This Electric Delivery Scooter’s base-mounted batteries can be automatically changed by robots

Electric vehicles are increasingly becoming preferred over gas-driven vehicles, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that EVs still have two psychological barriers they need to overcome – range anxiety, and long charging periods. Even with supercharging networks, you still need to wait multiple minutes to boost your batteries as compared to a gas station where you’ve filled your tank in probably under a minute. Electric cars and bikes are still working around trying to find a more tenable solution, but Hanoi-based Carota Design has a clever alternative. The D05 Electric Delivery Scooter concept comes with batteries located in the bottom, but what’s interesting is that they’re only detachable from the bottom too (you can’t lift them out through the top). As a result, the D05 also comes with a unique servicing platform that automatically detaches and replaces battery packs. All you need to do is drive onto the platform and park your electric scooter and an automated setup in the platform takes over the rest, detaching your old battery and inputting a new one, quite like a factory line. The process takes under a minute, is much safer than having humans remove and replace batteries, and is virtually theft and tamper-proof too, since you’d have to tip the entire scooter over onto its side if you wanted to manually take the battery out yourself. Sure, it’s just a concept for the time-being, but even on paper, it completely checks out.

Designer: Carota Design

The e-scooter has a rather utilitarian design, given its function. Made for last-mile commutes for deliveries, the scooter adopts a blockish form factor, highlighting its inner components and the two storage areas (one on the front, and one on the side). The D05 seats just one, has a low-hanging form factor that’s made further stable by the base-mounted heavy Li-ion batteries, and even though it’s fairly utilitarian, comes with a rather slick design featuring an interplay between silver and black parts, a clever use of lime green giving the e-scooter a splash of color, and hubless wheels that contribute to the D05’s future-forward design.

The battery-changing platform is pretty simple schematically, but does require a fair bit of technical expertise. The scooter needs to be parked perfectly on the platform for the arm to extend outwards, grab the old battery, disengage it, and replace it with a new battery. It’s rather similar to Tesla’s self-plugging charging snake from nearly a decade ago (2015 to be precise) but doesn’t require to be that calibrated. The battery modules move upwards and downwards, and one single platform can store as many as 7 battery packs (as per the schematic shown above), or even more if you detail it further. The process takes roughly a minute, quite like changing batteries on a TV remote, and once your new batteries are in, the scooter is ready to go.

That being said, having a replaceable battery system, no matter how convenient, does have its concerns. For starters, you need to produce MANY more batteries than EVs, since your battery network will have to account for availability, shortages, etc. That itself is a strain on the environment, but more so, the consumer faces a unique problem too – you don’t know whether the new, charged battery being put in your EV has 100% battery health. The freshly charged battery being added to your e-scooter at the charging platform could be 5-10 years old and therefore offer less range than a brand-new one. Moreover, older batteries could offer vulnerabilities, making the overall system slightly unsafe if they’re not monitored and taken out of circulation. In the broader scheme of things, having a charging network makes more sense because you can simply plug your e-scooter into any power outlet to be on the safe side instead of swapping out your batteries. Hopefully, EV companies could design a hybrid system of charging and battery replacement, making the adoption of EVs much smoother. Older batteries could eventually be recycled too, reducing strain on the environment in the longer run.