WO2012160557A2 - Latching mechanism for a vehicle's battery pack - Google Patents

Latching mechanism for a vehicle's battery pack

Info

Publication number
WO2012160557A2
WO2012160557A2 PCT/IL2012/050106 IL2012050106W WO2012160557A2 WO 2012160557 A2 WO2012160557 A2 WO 2012160557A2 IL 2012050106 W IL2012050106 W IL 2012050106W WO 2012160557 A2 WO2012160557 A2 WO 2012160557A2
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
latch
configured
arrangement according
attachment arrangement
battery
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IL2012/050106
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2012160557A3 (en )
Inventor
Yoav Heichal
Barak Hershkovitz
Original Assignee
Better Place GmbH
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L11/00Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle
    • B60L11/18Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle using power supply from primary cells, secondary cells, or fuel cells
    • B60L11/1809Charging electric vehicles
    • B60L11/1822Charging electric vehicles by exchange of energy storage elements, e.g. removable batteries
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L11/00Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle
    • B60L11/18Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle using power supply from primary cells, secondary cells, or fuel cells
    • B60L11/1809Charging electric vehicles
    • B60L11/1824Details of charging stations, e.g. vehicle recognition or billing
    • B60L11/1838Methods for the transfer of electrical energy or data between charging station and vehicle
    • B60L11/1846Identification of the vehicle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L11/00Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle
    • B60L11/18Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle using power supply from primary cells, secondary cells, or fuel cells
    • B60L11/1851Battery monitoring or controlling; Arrangements of batteries, structures or switching circuits therefore
    • B60L11/1877Arrangements of batteries
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L11/00Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle
    • B60L11/18Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle using power supply from primary cells, secondary cells, or fuel cells
    • B60L11/1851Battery monitoring or controlling; Arrangements of batteries, structures or switching circuits therefore
    • B60L11/1879Adaptation of battery structures for electric vehicles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L2270/00Problem solutions or means not otherwise provided for
    • B60L2270/30Preventing theft during charging
    • B60L2270/34Preventing theft during charging of parts
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage for electromobility
    • Y02T10/7005Batteries
    • Y02T10/7011Lithium ion battery
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage for electromobility
    • Y02T10/7005Batteries
    • Y02T10/7016Lead acid battery
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage for electromobility
    • Y02T10/7038Energy storage management
    • Y02T10/705Controlling vehicles with one battery or one capacitor only
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage for electromobility
    • Y02T10/7072Electromobility specific charging systems or methods for batteries, ultracapacitors, supercapacitors or double-layer capacitors
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/12Electric charging stations
    • Y02T90/121Electric charging stations by conductive energy transmission
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/12Electric charging stations
    • Y02T90/124Electric charging stations by exchange of energy storage elements
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/12Electric charging stations
    • Y02T90/128Energy exchange control or determination
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/14Plug-in electric vehicles
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/163Information or communication technologies related to charging of electric vehicle
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/167Systems integrating technologies related to power network operation and communication or information technologies for supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles, i.e. smartgrids as interface for battery charging of electric vehicles [EV] or hybrid vehicles [HEV]
    • Y02T90/169Aspects supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles, e.g. recognition, authentication, identification or billing
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y04INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES HAVING AN IMPACT ON OTHER TECHNOLOGY AREAS
    • Y04SSYSTEMS INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO POWER NETWORK OPERATION, COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING THE ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION, MANAGEMENT OR USAGE, i.e. SMART GRIDS
    • Y04S30/00Systems supporting specific end-user applications in the sector of transportation
    • Y04S30/10Systems supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles
    • Y04S30/14Details associated with the interoperability, e.g. vehicle recognition, authentication, identification or billing

Abstract

An attachment arrangement for attaching a battery pack to a battery bay of a vehicle. The arrangement comprises an array of latch units associated with either of the battery pack and battery bay. The latch units are configured for engagement with a corresponding array of grip portions associated with the other of the battery pack and battery bay. Two or more of the latch units are configured for being individually and mechanically switchable between an engaged and disengaged states by a designated tool external to both the battery pack and the vehicle.

Description

LATCHING MECHANISM FOR A VEHICLE'S BATTERY PACK

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

The disclosure herein concerns electric vehicles with Switchable battery packs. In particular, the disclosed subject matter concerns a mechanism for attaching and detaching the battery pack to and from the vehicle's battery bay. BACKGROUND

An electric vehicle with a battery that can be quickly switched is disclosed in WO 2009/039454, assigned to the assignee of this application. Disclosed there is also a battery switch station (BSS) where a spent or partially spent battery may be quickly exchanged with a fresh one.

WO 2010/033881 and WO 2010/033883, also assigned to the assignee of this application, disclose an electric vehicle where the battery is held within a battery bay located at the underbody of the vehicle. Disclosed there also is a battery switch station permitting switch of such a battery. Where the battery is held in a battery bay situated at the vehicle underbody, the insertion of the battery and its removal is done vertically, i.e., into and out of the battery bay at the bottom of the vehicle. There are typically a plurality of latches which are linked to one another and operate together for locking and unlocking the battery pack to secure it in position or permit its replacement.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

In accordance with the subject matter of the present application, it has been realized that one of the major concerns for switchable batteries stored in a battery bay at the vehicle underbody is safety. A battery latching and release mechanism needs to provide for quick unlatching, on the one hand, and safety from accidental release (e.g. upon impact, in an accident, etc.), on the other hand. It has been realized, in accordance with the subject matter of the present application, that these challenges can be met by a latching mechanism comprising a plurality of latching members that are configured to be mechanically and separately actuated by an external tool, the latching members accordingly having an external port for engagement with such a tool. The latching and unlatching according to one example is through rotational actuation.

The battery pack typically includes or is held on a substantially flat plate, which, once in position in the battery bay, forms part of the vehicle sill. There is a predetermined number of latching arrangements (typically, although not exclusively, four), for example, one at each corner of a substantially rectangular or trapezoid plate. Such latches may cooperate with a specific tool system designed to engage with and operate all latches simultaneously. Such a tool is disclosed in a co-pending application to the applicant, titled: Battery Switch Module.

The disclosed subject matter of the present application brings forth an arrangement for the secure attachment and detachment of a battery to and from a vehicle, the arrangement comprising a system of latches, each being configured for individual mechanical actuation by a designated tool external to both the battery and the vehicle.

Thus, according to one aspect of the disclosed subject matter of the present application there is provided an attachment arrangement for attaching a battery pack to a battery bay of a vehicle, said arrangement comprising an array of latch units associated with either of said battery pack and battery bay and configured for engagement with a corresponding array of grip portions associated with the other of the battery pack and battery bay, two or more of said latch units being configured for being individually and mechanically switchable between an engaged and disengaged states by a designated tool external to both the battery pack and the vehicle.

Each of the latch units can assume a first, engaged position in which it is configured for being mechanically engaged with its corresponding grip portion, and a second, disengaged position, in which it configured for being disengaged from its corresponding grip portion. In the disengaged position, the latch unit is configured for being so disengaged as to allow the battery pack to be removed from the battery bay. In addition, each of the latch units is configured for assuming a plurality of intermediary positions between the engaged position and the disengaged position. Since each latch unit is independent and is configured for being individually operated, it is appreciated that the latch array can assume various positions in which some of the latch units are in their engaged position while the remainder of the latch units are at their disengaged position, or at any other intermediary position.

Specifically, when all the latch units of the array are in their respective first, engaged position, the latch array is considered to be in a 'secured' state, in which the battery is firmly secured within the battery bay of the vehicle. Similarly, when all the latch units of the latch array are in their respective second, disengaged position, the latch array is considered to be in a 'switch' state, in which the battery is disengaged from the bay, allowing its removal/extraction from the battery bay and corresponding replacement/exchange thereof.

It is also noted that using a mechanically operated array of individually operated latches provides, inter alia, the following advantages:

the mechanical nature of the latches prevents spontaneous unlatching (and subsequently disengagement of the battery from the battery bay) at an undesired location and/or time, e.g. while driving or in the event of an accident. In particular, compared to electric-based latch operating mechanisms, the present arrangement excludes the possibility, for example, of a short-circuit in the electric system erroneously actuating the latch mechanism;

individual operation of the latches yields that any single latch is unaffected by a possible malfunction in another latch. This arrangement allows more convenient control, maintenance and repair of the latch array,

when using such a latch arrangement, alignment between the battery pack, which is installed to the car and the car body, is easily achieved since the latch hook picks the battery from the BSS reference system and translate it to the vehicle reference system. By this, a quick and reliable battery switch is achieved.

According to a specific example, the battery bay of the vehicle can be provided with the array of latch units while the battery is provided with the array of grip portions. It is appreciated that the latch array, comprising a plurality of moving mechanical components, is of a more complicated design than that of the grip portions. Thus, in the context of the disclosed subject matter, in which the battery is the component being periodically replaced (i.e. periodically being installed onto and removed from the battery bay of the vehicle), the above arrangement also provides the advantage of a considerably simpler and lighter design of the battery.

The attachment arrangement can also comprise a control system configured for monitoring operation of the latch units and providing the user/operator with an indication regarding the position of each latch unit as well as an indication regarding possible malfunction of any of the latch units.

The latches may, by an embodiment, be linked to an electrical or computerized state-monitoring system for monitoring whether the latch array is in a secured state prior to leaving a battery replace station or in an exchange state prior to batter exchange. Such indication may be visually displayed to the driver and/or to an operator at a battery switch station and/or may be linked (typically wirelessly) to a robotic battery switch tool in such a station, etc.

The monitoring system can be assisted by a synchronization arrangement configured for assuring that during operation, when the latches are operated by the external tool, all latch units are at the same respective position (i.e. all engaged or all disengaged). In particular, the arrangement can be such that given an initial position of the latches (not necessarily all in the same position), the synchronization arrangement allows controlling operation of each of the latch units so as to bring them into the same position.

The synchronization arrangement can either be a mechanical arrangement associated with each of the latch units, or, alternatively, an electronic arrangement controlling the operation of the external designated tool.

In particular, the arrangement can be such that when a latch comes in contact with its corresponding grip portion, indication is provided to the controller that the latch unit is in its closed position. For example, contact between the latch and grip portion can facilitate the closing of an electric circuit providing the desired indication. For this purpose, a latch portion of each unit can be provided with a latch contact surface and each grip portion can be provided with a corresponding grip contact surface, wherein contact between the surfaces entails closing the electric circuit.

It is appreciated that the above arrangement is capable for indicating a closed/non-closed position of the latch unit, the term 'non-closed' referring to any intermediary position of the latch in which it is out of contact with the grip portion. In order to provide the operator/driver of the vehicle an indication that the latch unit is in its fully open position, the controller can also be configured for monitoring operation of the tool. It is noted that since the operation of the latch is mechanical, monitoring of the number of revolutions performed by the external tool provides a clear indication as to the displacement of the latch.

With reference to the above, the controller and synchronization arrangement can be configured for assuring that all latch units are in the same position during latching and unlatching. It is appreciated that at least one of the advantages provided by the above is that the weight of the battery pack being supported by the latch array is evenly distributed between the latch units.

Each latch unit can comprise a latch and a drive assembly configured for operating the latch for displacing it between its respective first, engaged position and second, disengaged position. Specifically, the drive assembly of the latch unit is configured for translating the displacement/rotation provided by the external designated tool into the appropriate (linear/rotational) movement of the latch.

Each latch unit can further comprise an operation port associated with the drive assembly and configured for mechanical articulation thereto of the external tool to allow operation of the drive assembly. The articulation is such that displacement and/or rotation of the external tool mechanically entails a corresponding displacement and/or rotation of the drive assembly, which is then translated to the latch.

The external tool can be responsible for latch activation synchronization in order to reduce the functions the vehicle has to do, and by that to reduce vehicle cost. By using external actuation of the latches, the actuation device is no longer in the car, thus reducing the car cost but maintaining the same functionality.

According to a specific design, the arrangement is such that while displacement and/or rotation of the drive assembly entails a corresponding displacement and/or rotation of the latch, the opposite is prevented, i.e. displacement and/or rotation of the latch does not entail displacement and/or rotation of the drive assembly. In particular, such an arrangement may also allow the latches to withstand various forces applied thereto during driving.

According to one example, the above arrangement can be achieved via the mechanical engagement between the latch and the drive assembly, e.g. a worm gear mechanism. Alternatively, according to another example, the latch can be articulated to the drive assembly so that in said first, engaged position, the latch and drive assembly are geometrically locked.

With respect to the latter example, the external designated tool can be configured for first releasing the geometric lock and only thereafter to displace the latch into its second, disengaged position.

Each latch can be formed with an engagement portion configured for engagement with the corresponding grip portion, and an articulation portion configured for association with the drive assembly.

According to one example, the latch can have a pivot point so that the engagement portion thereof is configured for performing a rotary motion about a pivot axis in its transition between the first, engaged position and the second, disengaged position. Alternatively, the latch can be configured for performing linear displacement during said transition.

According to the first of the above examples, the engagement portion of the latch can be formed with a cradle configured for accommodating a corresponding cam of the grip portion, thereby supporting at least a portion of the weight of the battery pack. In particular, the latch can be designed such that the cradle is located adjacent the pivot point, thereby reducing the torque applied to the latch about the pivot point by the weight of the battery pack.

In accordance with the disclosed subject matter, the operation port of the latch unit can be configured for revolution/rotation about an axis thereof, and being associated with the drive assembly such that the rotational movement thereof is translated into linear/rotational movement of the latch. Specifically, the operation port can be directly associated with a rotary element of the drive assembly, whereby rotation of the designated tool (when properly associated with the operational port) entails rotation of the rotary element.

The drive assembly can assume various designs configured for translating the rotational motion to the latch, for example, a bevel gear, a worm gear a screw and cam follower, a bell crank etc.

According to some examples, the latch can be directly driven by the rotary element, i.e. the articulation portion of the latch constitutes a part of the drive assembly.

According to other examples, the drive assembly can include additional transition components articulated to both the latch with the rotary element to provide mechanical connection therebetween.

The grip portion can be in the form of cams projecting from the battery pack/battery bay, or, alternatively, in the form of recesses formed in the pack/bay itself. It is appreciated, however, that a different design of the cams/recesses can be required depending on the design of the latch, e.g. for a latch configured for linear displacement the recess can be straight (similar to a strike plate of a lock mechanism), while for a latch configured for rotational movement, the recess can be curved.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1A is a schematic view of an electric vehicle network comprising an electric vehicle and a replaceable battery pack;

Fig. IB is a schematic isometric bottom view of the vehicle shown in Fig. 1A with the battery pack secured to the vehicle;

Fig. 1C is a schematic isometric exploded bottom view of the vehicle shown in Fig. IB;

Fig. 2A is a schematic isometric view of one example of a latch unit of the attachment arrangement used in the vehicle shown in Figs. 1A to 1C, shown in attachment to a battery pack of the vehicle, with the latch at its closed position;

Fig. 2B is a schematic isometric view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 2A, with the battery pack removed;

Fig. 2C is a schematic isometric view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 2B, with a housing thereof being removed;

Fig. 2D is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 2C;

Fig. 2E is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 2A to 2D, with the latch at an intermediary position;

Fig. 2F is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 2A to 2E, with the latch at its open position; Fig. 3A is a schematic isometric view of another example of a latch unit of the attachment arrangement shown in Figs. 1A to IC, with the latch at a closed position thereof;

Fig. 3B is a schematic isometric view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 3 A, with a housing thereof being removed;

Fig. 3C is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 3B;

Fig. 3D is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 3 A to 3C, with the latch at an intermediary position;

Fig. 3E is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 3 A to 3D, with the latch at its open position;

Fig. 4A is a schematic isometric view of still another example of a latch unit of the attachment arrangement shown in Figs. 1A to IC, with the latch at a closed position thereof;

Fig. 4B is a schematic isometric view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 4A, with a housing thereof being removed;

Fig. 4C is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 4B, with the latch at its closed position;

Fig. 4D is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 4A to 4C, with the latch at an intermediary position;

Fig. 4E is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 4A to 4D, with the latch at its open position;

Fig. 5A is a schematic isometric view of yet another example of a latch unit of the attachment arrangement shown in Figs. 1A to IC, with the latch at a closed position thereof;

Fig. 5B is a schematic isometric view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 5 A, with a housing thereof being removed;

Fig. 5C is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 5B;

Fig. 5D is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 5 A to 5C, with the latch at an intermediary position;

Fig. 5E is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 5 A to 5D, with the latch at its open position; Fig. 6A is a schematic isometric view of yet another example of a latch unit of the attachment arrangement shown in Figs. 1A to 1C, with the latch at a closed position thereof;

Fig. 6B is a schematic isometric view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 6 A, with a housing thereof being removed;

Fig. 6C is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Fig. 6B;

Fig. 6D is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 6 A to 6C, with the latch at an intermediary position;

Fig. 6E is a schematic front view of the latch unit shown in Figs. 6A to 6D, with the latch at its open position;

Fig. 7A is a schematic bottom isometric view of the battery pack show in Fig. 1C with the latches being in a secured state; and

Fig. 7B is a schematic bottom isometric view of the battery pack show in Fig. 1C with the latches being in a switch state. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Attention is first drawn to Figs. 1A to 1C, illustrating an electric vehicle network 10 including an electric vehicle 12 comprising a battery pack 14 configured to be removably mounted to the vehicle 12. In some embodiments, the battery pack 14 includes any device capable of storing electric energy such as batteries (e.g. , lithium ion batteries, lead-acid batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries, etc.), capacitors, reaction cells (e.g. , Zn-air cell), etc. In other embodiments, the battery pack 14 comprises a plurality of individual batteries or battery cells/chemical modules. In still other embodiments, the battery pack 14 also comprises cooling mechanisms, as well as mechanical and electrical connectors for connecting to the vehicle 12 or to the various elements of the battery exchange station (not shown).

The vehicle 12 includes an electric motor 13 that drives one or more wheels of the vehicle. The electric motor 13 receives energy from the battery pack 14 (shown separate from the vehicle for the ease of explanation). The battery pack 14 of the vehicle 12 may be charged at a home of a user or at one or more charge stations 15. For example, a charge station 15 may be located in a shopping center parking lot. Furthermore, the battery pack 14 of the vehicle 12 can be exchanged for a charged battery pack at one or more battery exchange stations 17. Thus, if a user is traveling a distance beyond the range of a single charge of the battery of the vehicle 12, the spent (or partially spent) battery can be exchanged for a charged battery so that the user can continue with his/her travels without waiting for the battery to be recharged.

The battery switch stations 17 are service stations where a user can switch discharged (or partially discharged) battery packs 14 of the vehicle 12 for charged or partially charged battery packs 14. The charge spots provide energy to charge the battery pack 14 while it is coupled to the vehicle 12. These components of the network 10 are connected to related power and data networks, as explained in more detail in U.S. Patent Application No. 12/234,591, filed September 19, 2008, entitled Electronic Vehicle Network, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Figs. IB and 1C are bottom views of an at least partially electric vehicle 12. The vehicle 12 includes a switchable battery pack 14 (sometimes herein referred to just as a battery), shown attached to the vehicle 12 at its underside in Fig. IB and detached therefrom in Fig. 1C. The battery pack 14 is substantially flat and runs along at least a portion of the length of the vehicle 12, i.e., along the longitudinal X-axis of the vehicle. In some embodiments, the battery 14 may protrude below the plane of the underside of the vehicle 12, i.e., protruding in the negative Y-axis direction. Protruding from the underside of the vehicle is helpful for air cooling the battery pack 14, as the protruding battery pack is exposed to ambient air flow. In some embodiments where the battery pack is retrofitted to a vehicle, i.e., after-market, the battery pack may protrude from the bottom of the vehicle.

The battery bay 18 of the vehicle is a structural cavity in the underbody of the car that defines the outline of a cavity 16 disposed at the underside of the vehicle 12. The cavity 16 is configured to at least partially receive the battery pack 14 therein. In some embodiments, the bay frame has a substantially rectangular shape, for at least partially receiving a substantially cuboid or rectangular parallelepiped battery pack 14 therein (battery pack can be in any shape or form). In some embodiments, the battery bay has two long structural elements along at least part of the length of the vehicle 12 (parallel to the X-axis) and two shorter sides along at least part of the width of the vehicle (parallel to the Z-axis) as shown. The long sides of the battery bay can extend along axes substantially parallel with an axis extending from the front to the back of the vehicle 12 (parallel to the X-axis). The battery bay 18 is located under the vehicle floor boards, between the rear and front axles of the vehicle 12.

In general, the battery pack 14 can be secured within the cavity/battery bay 16 using a system of latches configured for engagement with corresponding projections on the battery pack 14. In particular, the battery bay 16 can comprise an array of latch units (100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 shown in Figs. 2A to 6C) associated with either of said battery pack 14 and battery bay 16 and configured for engagement with a corresponding array of grip portions GP associated with the other of the battery pack 14 and battery bay 16, each of a majority of said latch units 100 through 500 being configured for being individually and mechanically operated by a designated tool T external to both the battery pack 14 and the vehicle 12.

With particular reference to Figs. 2A to 2F, one latch unit 100 is shown in engagement with its corresponding grip portion GP of the battery pack 14. The latch unit 100 comprises a housing 110 configured for being anchored to a battery bay 16 of the vehicle 12 (both shown in Figs. 1A to 1C), an actuation mechanism 120, and an integrated rotary element and latch 130 associated with the actuation mechanism 120 to be actuated thereby. The latch unit 100 further is connected to the vehicle structural elements 140, and a securing mechanism 150 configured for preventing spontaneous displacement, rotation and/or translation of the latch 130.

With particular reference now being drawn to Figs. 2C and 2D, the actuation mechanism 120 comprises an engagement port in the form of a socket 122 configured for receiving therein a corresponding tip 99 of an external tool T (a ball head drive shaft in the present examples), and a worm gear 126 fixedly attached to the socket 122 via a base portion 124, and configured for engagement with the integrated rotary element and latch 130. The arrangement is such that the worm gear 126 is configured for revolving together with the socket 122.

The integrated rotary element and latch 130 comprises a body 132 in the form of a portion of a circular gear, and is formed, at the circular periphery thereof with a plurality of gear teeth 133 configured for mesh engagement with the worm gear 126 of the actuation mechanism 120, in order to be driven thereby. The integrated rotary element and latch 130 is formed, at a side opposite said gear teeth 133 with a latch portion 136 having a latch hook 137 and a latch cradle 138 configured for receiving and supporting a corresponding grip portion GP of the battery pack 14. The latch portion 136 is further formed with a locking recess 139 configured for engagement with the securing mechanism 150.

The integrated rotary element and latch 130 is anchored to the support frame 140 via a pivot portion 134 thereof, allowing it to freely perform rotary motion about an auxiliary axis X2 upon proper actuation by the actuation mechanism 120.

The securing mechanism 150 comprises a shaft 152 anchored to the support frame 140 via a pivot point 153 at a top end 158 thereof. The shaft comprises a locking projection 154 extending from the middle of the shaft 152 in a direction transverse to a longitudinal direction of the shaft, and a bottom surface 156 extending at an angle to the longitudinal direction of the shaft 152. The shaft 152 is anchored via the pivot point 153, so as to allow the shaft 152 to perform a rotary motion about the pivot axis Xp upon proper actuation.

The securing mechanism 150 further comprises a biasing spring 159 having a first end associated with the top end 158 of the shaft 152, attached to the top end 158 slightly below the pivot point 153, and a second end associated with the support frame 140. The arrangement is such that the biasing spring 159 constantly urges the shaft 152 in a CCW direction about the pivot point 153 (axis XP).

In operation, the tool T is configured for engagement with the latch unit 100 via the socket 122 for latching/unlatching of the latch 136. Specifically, the socket 122 is of a hexagonal form and the tip 99 is of corresponding shape and size, whereby, after being received within the socket 122, rotation of the tool T about its central axis Xi entails rotation of the socket 122 about the same axis. Consequently, rotation of the socket 122 entails rotation of the worm gear 126, thereby allowing actuation of the integrated rotary element and latch 130.

Thereupon, with the teeth 133 of the rotary element being meshed with the worm gear 126, rotary motion of the latter about axis Xi entails rotary motion of the former about the auxiliary axis X2. As the latch portion 136 is integrally formed with the body 132 of the rotary element, the above rotary motion entails latching/unlatching of the latch 136 portion.

The association between the worm gear 126 and the integrated rotary element and latch 130 is such that while rotary motion of the former entails rotary motion of the latter, rotary motion of the latter cannot initiate rotary motion of the former as know from worm gear mechanisms per se.

It is thus appreciated that the above arrangement provides for securing the latch unit 100 from accidental or spontaneous unlatching. In particular, since the latch unit 100 is actuated by an external tool T, it is also ensured that spontaneous revolution of the worm gear 126 (and subsequent unlatching), when the external tool T is not engages therewith (e.g. while driving) is also prevented.

In the position shown in Figs. 2C and 2D, the latch unit 100 is shown in a latched position (e.g. closed position). It is observed that the locking projection 154 is received within the locking recess 139 of the latch 136, so that a top surface 155 of the locking projection 154 is mated with a bottom surface of the locking recess 139. Under this configuration, the integrated rotary element and latch 130 is restricted from performing rotational movement in a CCW direction about the auxiliary axis X2.

With particular reference to Figs. 2E and 2F, in order to perform unlatching of the latch unit 100, it is first required to retract the locking projection 154 from the locking recess 139. For this purpose, the external tool T can be provided with an auxiliary release tool R, configured for engagement with the shaft 152. The release tool R is formed with a slanted surface configured to be mated with the bottom surface 156 of the securing mechanism 150, when engaged therewith.

In operation, once the slanted surface of the release tool R is properly engaged with the slanted surface 156 as shown in Fig. 2E, upward displacement of the release tool R applies pressure on the shaft 152, entailing CW rotary motion thereof, thereby releasing the locking projection 154 from the recess 139, to the position shown in Fig. 2F. It is appreciated that the pressure exerted on the shaft 152 to perform the CW rotation operates against the biasing force applied to the shaft by the biasing spring 159 in the CCW direction. With respect to the above, although the arrangement is such that the integrated rotary element and latch 130 cannot perform rotary motion without external actuation (even without the presence of a securing mechanism), the securing mechanism 150 provides another level of security, ensuring that the battery pack 14 is properly secured within the battery bay 16.

During latching, i.e. displacement of the latch unit from the position shown in Fig. 2F to that shown in Fig. 2C, the tip 137 of the integrated rotary element and latch 130 comes in contact with the slanted surface 156 of the securing mechanism 150 in order to push the shaft 152 to allow the latch into its closed position. In this sense, during latching, the tip 137 performs an operation similar to that of the auxiliary tool R.

In addition, in most examples of the electric vehicle 12, the battery bay 16 is located at the bottom end of the vehicle 12, wherein mounting the battery 14 into the bay is performed by lifting the battery 14 upwards towards the bay 16 using a designated lifting platform (not shown). When using the latch unit 100, as well as all other latch units 200 to 500, the arrangement is such that during mounting, the lifting platform is only required to lift the battery 12 until it reaches the position shown in Fig. 2E. Thereafter, the latching also facilitates lifting of the battery 14 to its final position within the bay 16.

Reference is now made to Figs. 7 A and 7B, in which the battery pack 14 and latches 100 are shown in respective 'secured and 'switch' states. With particular reference to Fig. 7A, it is observed that all the latch units 100 are at their closed position, i.e. the lath arrangement is in the secured state, thereby fully securing the battery pack 14 to the vehicle (shown in Figs. IB and 1C). In this position, each of the gripping portions GP (represented by pins in the present example) is secured by a respective latch 100 and the battery pack 14 is prevented from downward displacement.

To the contrary, in Fig. 7B, all the latch units 100 are at their respective open position, and the latch arrangement is thus disengaged from the battery pack allowing switching thereof. It is observed that the latches 100, in their open position, do not obstruct the gripping portions GP thereby allowing the battery pack 14 to displace downwards during exchange/replacement. Attention in now drawn to Figs. 3 A to 3E, in which another example of a latch unit is shown, generally being designated as 200. The latch unit 200 comprises a housing 210, and an actuation mechanism 220, a rotary element 230, a transition member 240 and a latch 260 which are all mechanically associated with one another to form a drive chain.

The actuation mechanism is similar to actuation mechanism 120 previously described, and comprises a socket 222 and a worm gear 226, the actuation mechanism being designed such that upon being received within the socket 222, rotation of a tool T entails rotation of the worm gear 226 about the central axis Xi thereof.

The rotary element 230 comprises a circular body portion 232 formed with gear teeth 233, and is anchored to the housing 210 via a pivot portion 234 thereof, allowing it to freely perform rotary motion about an auxiliary axis X2 upon proper actuation by the actuation mechanism 220.

However, as opposed to the rotary element and latch 130 previously described, the rotary element 230 is not integrally formed with the latch 260. Instead, the rotary element 230 comprises a two extensions 236 forming a fork, having ends located at the periphery of the body 232, the ends 237 being configured for articulation to the transition element 240.

The association between the latch 260 and the rotary element 230 is provided by the transition element 240, which similarly comprises two fork extensions 242, each being hingedly articulated to an extension 236 of the actuation mechanism at an end point 244 thereof. The transition element 240 is articulated to the latch 260 at an end opposite the fork extensions 242 via a hinge point 263 of the latch 260.

The latch 260 itself is of similar construction to the latch portion 136 of the rotary element and latch 130 previously described, and is formed with a latch hook 267 and a latch cradle 268. The latch 260 is anchored to the housing 210 via a pivot portion 264, configured for allowing the latch 260 to perform a rotary motion about an axis X3 thereof.

The latch 260 also comprises a locking clasp 269 configured for engagement with a securing mechanism 250 (not shown), and fulfills a similar function to the locking recess 139 previously described with respect to latch 100. In operation, rotation of the tool T about the axis Xi (when received within the socket 222) entails rotation of the worm gear 226 about the same axis. In turn, rotation of the worm gear 226 entails rotation of the rotary element 230 about its axis X2.

Being fixed to the rotary element 230, the extensions 236 are configured to revolve together with the rotary element 230. Rotary motion of the extensions 236 is translated into displacement of the transition element 240 due to the hinged articulation between the two.

In particular, in the position shown in Fig. 3B, the extensions 242 are oriented so as to extend perpendicular to axis Xi, whereby an end point 237 thereof is at its most proximal position with respect to the latch 260. From this position, rotation of the rotary element 230 in a CW direction will entail rotation of the extensions 236 so that the ends 237 thereof are at a distal position with respect to the latch 260 ( i.e. at a distance from the latch 260 which is greater than the distance at the most proximal position).

Due to the hinged articulation between the fork like extensions 242 of the transition element 240 and the ends 237, rotation of the extensions 236 entails pulling back on the transition element, urging the latch 260 to perform a rotary motion about its axis X3, i.e. unlatching.

With respect to the above, in the current example of the latch unit 200, the rotary element 230, and specifically the location of the ends 237 on its periphery, allow the rotary element 230 to function as an eccentric or bell crank, configured for moving the transition element 240 back and forth.

When unlatching of the latch 260 is desired, rotation of the rotary element 230 will entail a corresponding return of the ends 237 of the extensions 236 to their proximal position, and a subsequent displacement of the transition element 240 and latching of the latch 260.

Turning now to Figs. 4A to 4E, another example of a latch unit is shown, being generally designated as 300. The latch unit 300 comprises a housing 310, and an actuation mechanism 320, a rotary element 330, a transition member 340 and a latch 360 which are all mechanically associated with one another to form a drive chain.

In principle, the latch unit 300 is of similar construction to that of latch unit 200 previously described, with the main difference lying in the fact that the rotary element 330 is associated to the actuation mechanism 320 via a cam arrangement rather than meshing of gear teeth.

Specifically, the actuation mechanism 320 comprises a socket 322, a sliding nut 324 mounted onto a threaded shaft 326 (also referred herein as lead screw) being revolvingly retained with a corresponding threaded hole of the housing 310, and a cam member 328 hingedly articulated to the base portion 324.

The rotary element 330 is in the form of a cam plate 332 and is formed with three openings:

a pivot hole 334 configured for pivotal anchoring of the rotary element 330 to the housing 310, in a manner allowing it to perform rotary motion about its axis X2;

an articulation hole 336 configured for hinged articulation to the transition element 340; and

a longitudinal cam slot 338 configured for receiving therein the cam member 328 in a freely sliding manner.

The transition element 340 is in the form of a push rod 342 being hingedly articulated at one end 344 thereof to the cam plate 332 and at the other end 346 thereof to the latch 360.

The latch 360 is of similar construction to the previously described latches 260 and 136, and comprises a latch hook 367 and a latch cradle 368. The latch 360 is anchored to the housing 310 via a pivot portion 364, configured for allowing the latch 360 to perform a rotary motion about an axis X3 thereof.

In operation, revolution of the tool T about the central axis Xi (when the tip 99 is received within the socket 322) entails rotation of the lead screw 326 about the same axis. Since the lead screw 326 is only allowed to revolve within the threaded bore of the housing (not shown), i.e. it is not allowed to linearly displace along axis Xi, rotation thereof entails linear displacement of the sliding nut 324 along the axis Xi, up or down depending on the direction of rotation.

Being attached to the base portion 324, the cam member 328 performs linear displacement along the axis direction together with the threaded shaft 326, and, being received within the longitudinal cam slot 338, entails rotary motion of the cam plate 332 about the auxiliary axis X2.

As in the previously described example of rotary element 230, the rotary element 330 functions as an eccentric or bell crank, whereby rotary motion thereof entails pulling/pushing of the transition element 340, via the hinge articulation at 336, causing its displacement.

Consequently, displacement of the transition element 340 entails rotary motion of the latch 360 about the pivot point 364 thereof, thereby allowing latching and unlatching of the latch 360.

Attention is now drawn to Figs. 5 A to 5E, in which yet another example of a latch unit is shown, being generally designated as 400. The latch unit comprises a housing 410, an actuation mechanism 420, an integrated rotary element and latch 430, a support frame 440 and a securing mechanism 450.

In principle, the latch unit 400 is of similar construction to that of latch unit 100 previously described, i.e. a latch unit with an integrated rotary element and latch, with the main difference lying in the fact that the rotary element 430 is associated to the actuation mechanism 420 via a cam arrangement rather than meshing of gear teeth.

In particular, the actuation mechanism 420 comprises, similarly to the actuation mechanism 320 previously described, a socket 422, a sliding nut 424, a threaded shaft 426 (also referred herein as a lead screw) and a cam roller 428 fixed to the base portion 424.

The integrated rotary element and latch 430 comprises a body 432 and is pivotally anchored to the support frame 440 via a pivot portion 434 thereof, allowing it to freely perform rotary motion about an auxiliary axis X2 upon proper actuation by the actuation mechanism 420.

The integrated rotary element and latch 430 comprises a cam arm 433 formed with a longitudinal cam slot 433s, configured for slidingly receive therein the cam roller 428 of the actuation mechanism 420.

The integrated rotary element and latch 430 is also formed, at a side opposite said cam arm 433, with a latch portion 436 having a latch hook 437 and a latch cradle 438 configured for receiving and supporting a corresponding grip portion GP of the battery pack 14. The latch portion 436 is further formed with a locking recess 439 configured for engagement with the securing mechanism 450.

In operation, revolution of the tool T about the central axis Xi (when the tip 99 5 is received within the socket 422) entails rotation of the threaded shaft 426 about the same axis. Since the lead screw 426 is only allowed to revolve within the threaded bore of the housing (not shown), i.e. it is not allowed to linearly displace along axis Xi, rotation thereof entails linear displacement of the sliding nut 424 along the axis Xi, up or down depending on the direction of rotation.

10 Being attached to the sliding nut 424, the cam roller 428 performs linear displacement along the axis direction together with the threaded shaft 426, and, being slidingly received within the longitudinal cam slot 433s, entails rotary motion of the integrated rotary element and latch 430 about the auxiliary axis X2. As the integrated rotary element and latch 430 constitute a single body, rotary motion thereof directly

15 entails latching/unlatching of the latch 436.

Finally, referring now to Figs. 6 A to 6E, yet another example of a latch unit is shown, generally being designated as 500. The latch unit comprises a housing 510, an actuation mechanism 520, a rotary element 530, a transition element 540 and a latch 560.

20 The actuation mechanism 520 comprises a socket 522, a central shaft 524 and a first bevel gear 526 configured for being meshed with a corresponding bevel gear 534 of the rotary element 530.

The rotary element 530 is in the form of a threaded rod 532 configured for being threadingly received within a corresponding threaded bore 546 of the transition element 25 540, and comprises a second bevel gear 534 configured for being meshed with the first bevel gear 526.

It is observed that the central axis X2' of the threaded shaft 532 is slightly angled to the axis X2 of the second bevel gear 534. For the purpose of allowing the bevel gear 534, turning about the axis X2 to set the threaded rod 532 in rotary motion about its own 30 axis X2', the second bevel gear 534 and the threaded shaft 532 are articulated to one another via a universal joint 538, as known per se. The transition element 540 is essentially a hollow rod 542 with a threaded cavity 546 configured for receiving via one end thereof the threaded shaft 532, and is articulated at the other end 544 thereof to the latch 560.

The latch 560 is of similar construction to the previously described latches 360 and 136, and comprises a latch hook 567 and a latch cradle 568. The latch 560 is anchored to the housing 510 via a pivot portion 564, configured for allowing the latch 360 to perform a rotary motion about an axis X3 thereof.

In operation, when the tool T is received within the socket 522, rotary motion of the former entails a corresponding rotary motion of the latter. The rotary motion is transferred via the bevel gears 526, 534 to the universal joint 538, and from there to the threaded shaft 532.

Since the transition element 540 is restricted from rotary motion, rotation of the threaded shaft 532 causes it to be threaded in/out of the cavity 546. In addition, since the position of the second bevel gear 534 is restricted (i.e. it cannot displace towards the latch 560), threading of the shaft 532 in and out entails displacement of the transition element 540, respectively towards and away from the actuation mechanism 520. The above displacement, in turn, entails rotation of the latch 560 about its axis X3, thereby allowing latching and unlatching of the latch 560.

Those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will readily appreciate that numerous changes, variations, and modification can be made without departing from the scope of the invention, mutatis mutandis.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. An attachment arrangement for attaching a battery pack to a battery bay of a vehicle, said arrangement comprising an array of latch units associated with either of said battery pack and battery bay and configured for engagement with a corresponding array of grip portions associated with the other of the battery pack and battery bay, two or more of said latch units being configured for being individually and mechanically switchable between an engaged and disengaged states by a designated tool external to both the battery pack and the vehicle.
2. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 1, wherein each of the latch units is configured for assuming a first, engaged position in which it is mechanically engaged with its corresponding grip portion, and a second, disengaged position, in which it is disengaged from its corresponding grip portion.
3. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 2, wherein, in the disengaged position, the latch unit is configured for disengaged so as to allow the battery pack to be removed from the battery bay.
4. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 2 or 3, wherein each of the latch units is configured for assuming a plurality of intermediary positions between the engaged position and the disengaged position.
5. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 2, 3 or 4, wherein the latch array is configured for assuming various positions in which some of the latch units are in their engaged position while the remainder of the latch units are at their disengaged position or at any other intermediary position.
6. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 1 to 5, wherein the battery bay of the vehicle is provided with the array of latch units while the battery is provided with the array of grip portions.
7. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 1 to 6, wherein the attachment arrangement comprises a controller configured for monitoring operation of the latch units.
8. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 7, wherein the controller is configured for providing a user/operator with an indication regarding the position of each latch unit as well as an indication regarding possible malfunction of any of the latch units.
9. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 7 or 8, wherein the arrangement further comprises a synchronization arrangement configured for operating in conjunction with the controller for assuring that all latch units are at the same respective position during operation thereof.
10. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 9, wherein the synchronization arrangement is facilitated by a pair of contact surfaces located on the grip portion and latch unit, wherein contact between the surfaces entails closing the electric circuit entailing generation of a corresponding signal.
11. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 7 to 10, wherein the controller is configured for monitoring operation of the external tool.
12. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 2 to 11, wherein each latch unit comprises a latch and a drive assembly configured for operating the latch for displacing it between its respective first, engaged position and second, disengaged position.
13. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 12, wherein the drive assembly of the latch unit is configured for translating the displacement/rotation provided by the external designated tool into the appropriate linear/rotational movement of the latch.
14. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 12 or 13, wherein each latch unit further comprises an operation port associated with the drive assembly and configured for mechanical articulation thereto of the external tool to allow actuation of the drive assembly.
15. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 14, wherein articulation of the external tool to the operation port is such that displacement and/or rotation of the external tool mechanically entails corresponding displacement and/or rotation of the drive assembly, which is then translated to the latch.
16. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 12 to 15, wherein, while displacement and/or rotation of the drive assembly entails a corresponding displacement and/or rotation of the latch, the opposite is prevented.
17. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 16, wherein the above is provided via the mechanical engagement between the latch and the drive assembly.
18. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 16, wherein in said first, engaged position, the latch and drive assembly are geometrically locked.
19. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 18, wherein, during operation, the external designated tool is configured for first releasing the geometric lock and only thereafter to displace the latch into a disengaged position.
20. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 12 to 19, wherein the latch has a pivot point and is configured for performing a rotary motion about a pivot axis in its transition between an engaged position and a disengaged position.
21. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 12 to 19, wherein the latch is configured for performing linear displacement in its transition between an engaged position and a disengaged position.
22. An attachment arrangement according to any one of Claims 12 to 21, wherein the drive assembly comprises a rotary element configured for performing rotary motion under operation of the external tool.
23. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 22, wherein the latch is configured for being directly driven by the rotary element.
24. An attachment arrangement according to Claim 22, wherein the drive assembly includes additional transition components articulated to both the latch with the rotary element to provide mechanical connection therebetween.
PCT/IL2012/050106 2011-05-20 2012-03-27 Latching mechanism for a vehicle's battery pack WO2012160557A3 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
IBPCT/IB2011/001486 2011-05-20
PCT/IB2011/001486 WO2012160407A1 (en) 2011-05-20 2011-05-20 Multi-motor latch assembly

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2012160557A2 true true WO2012160557A2 (en) 2012-11-29
WO2012160557A3 true WO2012160557A3 (en) 2013-02-28

Family

ID=46124589

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/IB2011/001486 WO2012160407A1 (en) 2011-05-20 2011-05-20 Multi-motor latch assembly
PCT/IL2012/050106 WO2012160557A3 (en) 2011-05-20 2012-03-27 Latching mechanism for a vehicle's battery pack

Family Applications Before (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/IB2011/001486 WO2012160407A1 (en) 2011-05-20 2011-05-20 Multi-motor latch assembly

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (2) WO2012160407A1 (en)

Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8798852B1 (en) 2013-03-14 2014-08-05 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, system, and method for authentication of vehicular components
US8862304B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-10-14 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing vehicle diagnostic data
US8862388B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-10-14 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing locations of power storage device collection, charging and distribution machines
US8878487B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-11-04 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing to a user device information regarding availability of portable electrical energy storage devices at a portable electrical energy storage device collection, charging and distribution machine
US8901861B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-12-02 Gogoro, Inc. Thermal management of components in electric motor drive vehicles
US9124085B2 (en) 2013-11-04 2015-09-01 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for power storage device failure safety
US9123035B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2015-09-01 Angel A. Penilla Electric vehicle (EV) range extending charge systems, distributed networks of charge kiosks, and charge locating mobile apps
US9129461B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2015-09-08 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for collection, charging and distributing power storage devices, such as batteries
US9182244B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2015-11-10 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for authentication, security and control of power storage devices, such as batteries
US9216687B2 (en) 2012-11-16 2015-12-22 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for vehicle turn signals
US9275505B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2016-03-01 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for physical security of power storage devices in vehicles
US9390566B2 (en) 2013-11-08 2016-07-12 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing vehicle event data
US9407024B2 (en) 2014-08-11 2016-08-02 Gogoro Inc. Multidirectional electrical connector, plug and system
US9424697B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2016-08-23 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for a power storage device compartment
US9437058B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2016-09-06 Gogoro Inc. Dynamically limiting vehicle operation for best effort economy
US9552682B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2017-01-24 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for redistributing power storage devices, such as batteries, between collection, charging and distribution machines
US9597973B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2017-03-21 Angel A. Penilla Carrier for exchangeable batteries for use by electric vehicles
USD789883S1 (en) 2014-09-04 2017-06-20 Gogoro Inc. Collection, charging and distribution device for portable electrical energy storage devices
US9770996B2 (en) 2013-08-06 2017-09-26 Gogoro Inc. Systems and methods for powering electric vehicles using a single or multiple power cells
US9830753B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2017-11-28 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for reserving power storage devices at reserving power storage device collection, charging and distribution machines
US9837842B2 (en) 2014-01-23 2017-12-05 Gogoro Inc. Systems and methods for utilizing an array of power storage devices, such as batteries
US9854438B2 (en) 2013-03-06 2017-12-26 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for authentication, security and control of portable charging devices and power storage devices, such as batteries

Families Citing this family (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
NL2011596C (en) 2013-10-11 2015-04-14 Hudson Bay Holding B V Electrical operation of mobile device.
CN103802798B (en) * 2014-02-27 2016-04-20 北京洁天电动汽车加电科技有限公司 A method of replacing the battery and electric vehicle power systems
CN103802797B (en) * 2014-02-27 2016-04-13 北京洁天电动汽车加电科技有限公司 A method of replacing the battery and electric vehicle power systems
DE102016119570A1 (en) * 2016-10-13 2018-04-19 ABUS August Bremicker Söhne KG Vehicle having an electrically operated drive motor

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2009039454A1 (en) 2007-09-20 2009-03-26 Shai Agassi Electric vehicle network
WO2010033881A1 (en) 2008-09-19 2010-03-25 Better Place GmbH System for electrically connecting batteries to electric vehicles

Family Cites Families (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2934927B1 (en) * 2008-08-08 2011-06-03 Renault Sas battery support stucture for a motor vehicle
US7993155B2 (en) * 2008-09-19 2011-08-09 Better Place GmbH System for electrically connecting batteries to electric vehicles
FR2943970A3 (en) * 2009-04-03 2010-10-08 Renault Sas Locking device for clamping system clamping electric energy storage unit on structure of e.g. hybrid motor vehicle, has hook cooperating with ring in mechanical connection with structure of vehicle having electric energy storage unit

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2009039454A1 (en) 2007-09-20 2009-03-26 Shai Agassi Electric vehicle network
WO2010033881A1 (en) 2008-09-19 2010-03-25 Better Place GmbH System for electrically connecting batteries to electric vehicles
WO2010033883A1 (en) 2008-09-19 2010-03-25 Better Place GmbH Battery exchange station

Cited By (34)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9123035B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2015-09-01 Angel A. Penilla Electric vehicle (EV) range extending charge systems, distributed networks of charge kiosks, and charge locating mobile apps
US9738168B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2017-08-22 Emerging Automotive, Llc Cloud access to exchangeable batteries for use by electric vehicles
US9335179B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2016-05-10 Angel A. Penilla Systems for providing electric vehicles data to enable access to charge stations
US9925882B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2018-03-27 Emerging Automotive, Llc Exchangeable batteries for use by electric vehicles
US9193277B1 (en) 2011-04-22 2015-11-24 Angel A. Penilla Systems providing electric vehicles with access to exchangeable batteries
US9177306B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2015-11-03 Angel A. Penilla Kiosks for storing, charging and exchanging batteries usable in electric vehicles and servers and applications for locating kiosks and accessing batteries
US9177305B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2015-11-03 Angel A. Penilla Electric vehicles (EVs) operable with exchangeable batteries and applications for locating kiosks of batteries and reserving batteries
US9129272B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2015-09-08 Angel A. Penilla Methods for providing electric vehicles with access to exchangeable batteries and methods for locating, accessing and reserving batteries
US9597973B2 (en) 2011-04-22 2017-03-21 Angel A. Penilla Carrier for exchangeable batteries for use by electric vehicles
US9911252B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2018-03-06 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing to a user device information regarding availability of portable electrical energy storage devices at a portable electrical energy storage device collection, charging and distribution machine
US9129461B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2015-09-08 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for collection, charging and distributing power storage devices, such as batteries
US9176680B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2015-11-03 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing vehicle diagnostic data
US8996308B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2015-03-31 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing locations of power storage device collection, charging, and distribution machines
US8996212B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2015-03-31 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing vehicle diagnostic data
US9182244B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2015-11-10 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for authentication, security and control of power storage devices, such as batteries
US8901861B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-12-02 Gogoro, Inc. Thermal management of components in electric motor drive vehicles
US9908506B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2018-03-06 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for physical security of power storage devices in vehicles
US8878487B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-11-04 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing to a user device information regarding availability of portable electrical energy storage devices at a portable electrical energy storage device collection, charging and distribution machine
US8862388B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-10-14 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing locations of power storage device collection, charging and distribution machines
US9830753B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2017-11-28 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for reserving power storage devices at reserving power storage device collection, charging and distribution machines
US8862304B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2014-10-14 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing vehicle diagnostic data
US9424697B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2016-08-23 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for a power storage device compartment
US9437058B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2016-09-06 Gogoro Inc. Dynamically limiting vehicle operation for best effort economy
US9552682B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2017-01-24 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for redistributing power storage devices, such as batteries, between collection, charging and distribution machines
US9275505B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2016-03-01 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for physical security of power storage devices in vehicles
US9216687B2 (en) 2012-11-16 2015-12-22 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for vehicle turn signals
US9854438B2 (en) 2013-03-06 2017-12-26 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for authentication, security and control of portable charging devices and power storage devices, such as batteries
US8798852B1 (en) 2013-03-14 2014-08-05 Gogoro, Inc. Apparatus, system, and method for authentication of vehicular components
US9770996B2 (en) 2013-08-06 2017-09-26 Gogoro Inc. Systems and methods for powering electric vehicles using a single or multiple power cells
US9124085B2 (en) 2013-11-04 2015-09-01 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for power storage device failure safety
US9390566B2 (en) 2013-11-08 2016-07-12 Gogoro Inc. Apparatus, method and article for providing vehicle event data
US9837842B2 (en) 2014-01-23 2017-12-05 Gogoro Inc. Systems and methods for utilizing an array of power storage devices, such as batteries
US9407024B2 (en) 2014-08-11 2016-08-02 Gogoro Inc. Multidirectional electrical connector, plug and system
USD789883S1 (en) 2014-09-04 2017-06-20 Gogoro Inc. Collection, charging and distribution device for portable electrical energy storage devices

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
WO2012160407A1 (en) 2012-11-29 application
WO2012160557A3 (en) 2013-02-28 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US7993155B2 (en) System for electrically connecting batteries to electric vehicles
US6357533B1 (en) Battery-powered hand-guided power tool
US6412572B2 (en) Battery-powered hand-guided power tool
US20040144580A1 (en) Battery module structure of electrical vehicle
US8006793B2 (en) Electric vehicle battery system
US20100136425A1 (en) Rapid exchange battery construction
US20100181129A1 (en) Swappable modulated battery packs system for electrically driven vehicle
WO2005035288A2 (en) Vehicle electric battery systems
US20060268504A1 (en) Power tool
CN101214814A (en) Vehicle mounted dynamic battery changing system
US7258184B2 (en) Battery replacement system for an industrial truck
US8616909B2 (en) Lock device
WO2012160407A1 (en) Multi-motor latch assembly
JP2011063944A (en) Mechanical parking system equipped with charging function
US8500476B2 (en) Power-feed connector
JP2002265191A (en) Frame structure for battery type industrial vehicle
WO2010004192A2 (en) Device for automatically locking and unlocking an electric motor vehicle battery tray, vehicle and battery exchange station both equipped with such a device
CN201405719Y (en) Battery pack component of electric motor car
US20110223459A1 (en) Multi-Motor Latch Assembly
US9039437B2 (en) Lock device
JP2001088563A (en) Battery box mounting structure for electric vehicle
JP2006263830A (en) Battery-type power tool
CN102248880A (en) Battery box component for electric automobile
JP2002160188A (en) Robot arm mechanism
US5488211A (en) Latching arrangement for high ampere-rated circuit breaker operating springs

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
NENP Non-entry into the national phase in:

Ref country code: DE

122 Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase

Ref document number: 12721941

Country of ref document: EP

Kind code of ref document: A2