BMW lends battery packs to power diesel-generator-killing technology: ‘Make resilient backup power systems a reality’

A company called Dannar is using electric vehicle batteries to create new clean energy storage systems in the hopes of replacing gas-powered diesel generators and other off-road equipment.

The company is getting a big assist from German automaker BMW, which has lent its i3 EV battery technology for Dannar’s self-described Mobile Power Stations. According to CleanTechnica, the partnership started when Dannar began developing the product in 2015.

The odd-looking vehicle is a “first-of-its-kind electric heavy-duty vehicle for infrastructure maintenance and disaster response,” as reported by the outlet. The multi-purpose EV can carry multiple BMW i3 battery packs, providing clean energy for days.

Diesel generators cause an immense amount of air pollution and contribute to the overheating of our planet, as they run on gasoline — and quite a lot of gasoline at that.


“Operating a new, average portable gasoline generator (~3.5 hp) at an average load of 1.8 kW for 1 hour emits as much smog-forming pollution as driving an average passenger vehicle for about 150 miles,” according to the California Air Resources Board. And further, “Diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions from an average industrial diesel generator (~800 hp), operating at an average load of ~300 kW for 1 hour, is equivalent to driving nearly 660 miles in an average heavy duty diesel truck (about the distance from Sacramento to Salt Lake City).”

While diesel generators may seem like an unfortunate necessity in many cases, Dannar and companies like it are working to ensure that cleaner options are available to the public.

So far, Dannar has at least one major customer: the U.S. Air Force, which has turned to the company for its “Extended Duration for Storage Installations” as part of the “Defense Innovation Unit,” CleanTechnica reported. Dannar is contributing four different configurations of its i3 EV battery solution to the project.

The Air Force also said it will use the technology to power its eVTOLs, known as electric flying vehicles.

“The Extended Duration for Storage Installations (EDSI) project will make resilient backup power systems a reality for (Department of Defense) installations,” the Defense Innovation Unit explained in a press release.

“[The storage technology] will enable us to fill gaps in existing electrical infrastructure and manage energy resiliency and charging limitations related to eVTOLs while also increasing the number of eVTOL flights possible per day and utilizing more renewable energy sources,” a spokesperson said, according to CleanTechnica.

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