Feb 09

Ford Unveils Transit Connect Electric Cargo Van, Will Enter Production This Year

 

[ad#post_ad]The Ford Motor company has just unveiled its first commercial electric vehicle.  The Transit Connect Electric Cargo van will go into production in late 2010.

It is a small van weighing in at 3948 pounds with a wheelbase of 114.6 inches and a length of 1806. inches.  It can hold from two to five passengers and a 1000 pound payload.

It is a pure electric vehicle utilizing a Siemens 3 phase AC induction motor and single speed transmission that offers 235 Nm of torque and a top speed of 75 mph on flat ground and 60 mph up 3 percent grade.  It will do 0 to 60 in 12 seconds based on curb weight and 15 seconds based on gross vehicle weight rating.

Power comes from a liquid-cooled 28 kwh Johnson Controls-Saft lithium-ion pack that can be recharged in 6 to 8 hours at 240 volts using the industry standard J1772 SAE coupler. It has an 80 mile target driving range.

The vehicle is intended for commercial fleet use and is “well-suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban environments and a central location for daily recharging,” said Ford in a press release.

The “Force Drive” electric powertrain is manufactured and integrated by specialty upfitter Azure Dynamics.

“We’re excited about the potential for our electrified vehicles,” said Praveen Cherian, program manager for the Transit Connect Electric, who added that today’s electric vehicle buyers are similar to early adopters of hybrid vehicles. “People were a little hesitant about hybrids at first, but now they accept it and embrace it. We expect the same will be true of electric vehicles.”

Ford says the vehicle will offer lower cost of operation than a comparable gas vehicle due to the low cost of electricity versus gas  fuel and low cost of maintenance.

The vehicle including the battery pack is designed for a lifetime of 10 years/120,000 miles.

The current gasoline powered Transit Connect van won the 2010 North American Truck of the Year.

According to Ford spokesperson Jennifer Moore pricing has not been announced and will be “primarily for commercial use.”  Ford  ”would not exclude retail sales,” she added.

Ford has not yet determined whether the vans will be leased or sold.

“Volumes will be low to begin with to determine how the emerging market shapes up,” says Moore.  ”Up to a thousand will be produced in the first full year of production.”

Ford also plans to bring out a pure electric Ford Focus in late 2011, and in 2012 they will produce their next generation C-class hybrid and plugin hybrid.

Source (Ford)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 at 7:13 am and is filed under BEV, Competitors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 143


  1. 1
    VOLTinME

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (7:15 am)

    This is cool. I live in Portland, Maine and up until about 6 years ago we used to have about 3 or 4 electric buses in addition to the natural gas buses throughout the city. They were very quiet, fast and suddenly they were gone. I had asked the local METRO company as to why and was told the expense for repairs was too significant. I think we need more fleet vehicles like this to get the presence of electrics out there. It is good to see Ford taking a leap like this.


  2. 2
    pdt

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (7:23 am)

    Great application for a pure BEV. Minimizes maintenance costs, maximizes battery use, and with much less range anxiety issues that for a general purpose vehicle.


  3. 3
    Dave K.

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (7:27 am)

    Good to see Ford working on several EV models.

    Nice delivery van. Not quite enough range and power for ambulance/rescue applications. 2012 is going to be huge for EV.

    =D~


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    NZDavid

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (7:35 am)

    I feel sure, that with he success of the Volt GM will too, work on pure EV models as well. The Voltec drive train remains the same.

    As Lutz puts it: “Once you have done the Volt, anything else is easy.”

    292 days to go according to the countdown clock today, I am getting really excited now.

    Cheers


  5. 5
    Jim I

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (7:50 am)

    GM’s E-REV design can own this market for several years.

    But to own the market, you have to have available product for people to buy!!! And 10K units in only three markets for the 2011 model year hardly shows that GM believes in this technology, IMHO.

    Sorry if it sounds like I am harping on this point, but I really do feel this strongly about it!

    NPNS


  6. 6
    ziv

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    Excellent application for an early BEV. No real range anxiety due to known route length, SOP will call for overnight charging, size of battery pack not really an issue on a commercial vehicle of this size. 80 mile AER under ideal conditions means around 60 miles real world using AC or heat, maybe a bit less in really cold weather. But if they are using a 28 kWh battery to get this kind of range, they will be dipping pretty deep into it. BEV cars get around 4-5 miles per kWh, if memory serves. If this van get 3.5, that means they will be drawing on around 23 out of 28 kWh available. And 3.5 miles per kWh with a partially loaded vehicle may be slightly optimistic. 3 miles per kWh means they would be using nearly the entire capacity, which would degrade the pack in short order.
    I guess the question is, just how deep can you cycle the batteries and still get a decent useable life out of them.


  7. 7
    Shock Me

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    I will be interested to see how the brakes and suspension hold up in comparison the the vehicles they replace.

    Very nice EV fleet application.


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    Tagamet

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:01 am)

    Neat times!
    I was especially interested that Ford will *also* have a temperature control system for the battery. I wonder if they went with the van to allow more room for their (possibly more bulky) cooling system. Won’t be long for them to move something similar to the Volt system into a car.
    Also the vans coming out in a small batch mirrors GM’s (I think wise) test run. GM will still have a jump on the competition, so let’s hope all goes relatively smoothly and they can really start to pump those puppies out with confidence!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS ‘ * * * Wheels On The Road!!**********No “Stay Tuned”!


  9. 9
    Nelson

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:08 am)

    I predict we’ll see a plug-in Ford Hybrid sooner than 2012.

    NPNS!


  10. 10
    tom w

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:08 am)

    Ford also plans a version for non commerical use w/5seats.

    I think soccer moms really need a comfortable minivan & suv all electric option.

    I keep arguing that 2 car families can have a BEV for running around town, and an EREV for the out of town trips


  11. 11
    Dan Petit

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:08 am)

    I think it has an excellent purpose where, in very polluted inner cities, this would really go far for any delivery company to “get a halo effect”, using some of thier advertising budget to do this practical thing of helping reduce inner-city air pollution.

    I’d *very* *definitely* prefer to choose that company for all my shipping needs!

    I’d be impressed if UPS bought a lot of those. If it had a fast charge capability, then, the possibility of double charging may increase usefulness, (say, to charge it some more at lunchtime to extend range), the battery for these might only need to go 8 or so years instead.

    Very impressive, Ford Motor Company!

    Very Impressive indeed.


  12. 12
    tom w

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:15 am)

    tom w: keep arguing that 2 car families can have a BEV for running around town, and an EREV for the out of town trips

    As mentioned in article, cost of operations is less with a BEV than with ICE or EREV. Even though you are paying more for the battery (need a bigger battery), you save by only using cheap overnight electricity for fuel and very low maintenance costs without ICE, tranny, Exhaust etc.

    The problem with BEVs until battery costs come down is the upfront cost of the battery even if you save in the long run. Thats why I like the idea of buying the car and leasing the battery.

    You save money at time of vehicle purchase, and you spend comparable or less money over life time of car (Battery lease price + Electricity) <= (ICE maintenance + gasoline).


  13. 13
    tom w

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:18 am)

    Dan Petit: I’d be impressed if UPS bought a lot of those. If it had a fast charge capability, then, the possibility of double charging may increase usefulness, (say, to charge it some more at lunchtime to extend range), the battery for these might only need to go 8 or so years instead.

    Post office already has done a study showing EVs can replace their entire delivery fleet. Almost all of their neighborhood delivery vehicles drive less than 40 miles of stop and go driving per day.

    That would be a good step government could do to help drive battery development is put in an order to start buying electric mail trucks to start replacing their current fleet over the next 20 years (replace 5% a year with EVs).


  14. 14
    Dave K.

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:18 am)

    Dan Petit: possibility of double charging (say, at lunchtime to extend range)

    Good point. Charge when the truck is backed into the loading bay. And also a lunchtime.

    The first ambulance application will have some sort of undercarriage/ground grate contact charging system. Similar to dodge-em cars or cable cars. Park the ambulance at the hospital E.R. for a ten minute jolt at 240v and keep going.

    U.S. Postal Service?

    =D~


  15. 15
    Herm

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    ziv: But if they are using a 28 kWh battery to get this kind of range, they will be dipping pretty deep into it. BEV cars get around 4-5 miles per kWh, if memory serves. If this van get 3.5, that means they will be drawing on around 23 out of 28 kWh available. And 3.5 miles per kWh with a partially loaded vehicle may be slightly optimistic. 3 miles per kWh means they would be using nearly the entire capacity, which would degrade the pack in short order.
    I guess the question is, just how deep can you cycle the batteries and still get a decent useable life out of them.  

    I dont know about the batteries they are using, but there are some brands that allow 80% DOD and A123 even offers 1000 cycles at 100% DOD, more if treated gently:

    http://www.a123systems.com/a123/products

    Regarding range and weight with electric vehicles.. these modern BEV are not affected by weight as much as ICE powered vehicles.. it may easily achieve the promised range even at full load. Speed and air drag are the range killers.


  16. 16
    Dan Petit

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    Dave K.:
    Good point. Charge when the truck is backed into the loading bay. And also a lunchtime.
    The first ambulance application will have some sort of undercarriage/ground grate contact charging system. Similar to dodge-em cars or cable cars. Park the ambulance at the hospital E.R. for a ten minute jolt at 240v and keep going.U.S. Postal Service?=D~  

    UPS could also set up thier electric delivery vehicles in
    “right turn triangles”, whereupon, the delivery vehicles are dropped off at subsequent end of charge distance locations (standardizing the depletions), and, the
    *****************
    Driver
    ****************
    is switched over to a fully charged unit, kind of like the old
    **********************
    pony express.
    **********************
    so the drivers are kept moving in thier famous
    “right turn clockwork” method at, say, the various UPS Stores, for rotating the charging needs, for instance. A clockwise usage spiral, whereupon the recharge intervals can be charge and usage spiralled according to how many electric delivery vans they have.


  17. 17
    Right Lane Cruiser

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:31 am)

    The weight is actually quite remarkable considering the Ford Escape Hybrid weighs in at 3669lbs and the Ford Fusion Hybrid tips the scales at 3720. Neither of those vehicles has nearly the capacity and AER is not much more than 1mi.

    Personally, I’d love to have one of these for a family hauler but I’m quite sure the price will be way out of range for what I can afford.


  18. 18
    kdawg

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:38 am)

    Tagamet: I wonder if they went with the van to allow more room for their (possibly more bulky) cooling system.

    I think they went w/a van because this vehicle will be used to haul people/product short distances w/mutliple stops. I’m thinking like a delivery service, which would need the cargo space.


  19. 19
    Nick D

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:39 am)

    Shock Me: I will be interested to see how the brakes and suspension hold up in comparison the the vehicles they replace. Very nice EV fleet application.  (Quote)

    If it uses regenerative brakes (which it would be dumb not too) the brakes should last as long as the life of the car. The suspension will be no different then any other 4000lb vehicle on the road.


  20. 20
    Dan Petit

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:41 am)

    This site is
    **************************
    * Lyle’s ‘think tank’. * (LOL/g.)
    **************************

    (7:45am local time. off to work)


  21. 21
    DJ Hipster

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    (click to show comment)


  22. 22
    kdawg

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    “The current gasoline powered Transit Connect van won the 2010 North American Truck of the Year.”

    How does a van win truck of the year?


  23. 23
    EV FTW

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:47 am)

    Now all we need are special inductive charging lanes on the city/urban streets. Nothing beats sitting at your favorite intersection and charging your energy pack at the same time.


  24. 24
    michigan guy

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    And speaking of electric vehicles, here’s an article about the Tesla in today’s New York Times. The Volt gets a mention:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/automobiles/autoreviews/07tesla.html?pagewanted=1


  25. 25
    ziv

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:51 am)

    Interesting stuff, Herm. I thought that 60% was as deep as most batteries would let you go without shortening the life significantly. Going from 50-55% of 16 kWh to 80% would do interesting things to the AER of a Volt. It would probably take it from 35-36 miles real world AER to 52+ miles real world AER. Or you could keep the
    AER the same and shave 2 kWh off the pack and save $1000 off the MSRP.
    I have the feeling that GM is gaming how to most profitably use the improvements in battery life expectancy (i.e. increased allowable depth of discharge), reductions in pack price and improvements in pack volume and mass.
    The next few years will definitely be interesting!

    Herm:
    I dont know about the batteries they are using, but there are some brands that allow 80% DOD and A123 even offers 1000 cycles at 100% DOD, more if treated gently.


  26. 26
    Tagamet

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:55 am)

    ziv: I guess the question is, just how deep can you cycle the batteries and still get a decent useable life out of them.

    I agree and they are shooting for 10 year battery life, so maybe the Volt will last significantly longer due to the more gentle treatment?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  27. 27
    Randy

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:55 am)

    (click to show comment)


  28. 28
    Tagamet

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Nelson: I predict we’ll see a plug-in Ford Hybrid sooner than 2012.NPNS!  

    I hope you’re right!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  29. 29
    tom w

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Comparing apples to apples (not this truck per se):

    Using 5 miles per kwh for apples to apples.

    Volt is using 50% of their battery (8 kwh of possible 16kwh), this means 120,000 miles at 40 miles AER/charge takes 3000 cycles.

    A pure BEV that is using 20kwh of possible 28 kwh to achieve 100 miles AER/charge only takes 1200 cycles to achieve 120,000 miles.

    Obviously thats not how it would work, just trying to demonstrate that with a BEV you are paying more for the battery to achieve more AER range, but that also means fewer charing cycles per mile so you should be able to use more of the battery in a BEV.

    Same tradeoffs though, cost of operation cheaper with a BEV, especially in 5 years when battery costs come down, but you will have to deal with limited daily range and what happens when theres a power failure, hurricane etc.

    2 car familes will be best served with both an EREV and BEV.

    1 car families need to examine what they can afford, and their driving needs.

    We need both EREV and BEVs to drive the market for EVs which will lower the costs of batteries and other components and make these cars have cheaper total costs of operation by the time the government credits run out


  30. 30
    CDAVIS

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:00 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Good job Ford Motor Company; +1 for you!
    ______________________________________________________


  31. 31
    Van

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    If we assume the software uses 68% of the initial battery capacity (i.e 19 kwh out of the 28 kwh initially available) and they use the “up to 80 miles” claim based on getting 4.2 miles per kwh, then a real world expectation of around 60 miles of AER seems likely to me, i.e about 3.2 miles per kwh.

    I really liked the “performance on flat, performance on grade” stats, it would be so nice to have those numbers for the Volt.

    I bet there is room in the back to place and “connect” a portable Honda generator. :)


  32. 32
    Tagamet

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:06 am)

    kdawg:
    I think they went w/a van because this vehicle will be used to haul people/product short distances w/mutliple stops.I’m thinking like a delivery service, which would need the .  

    I think we’re saying the same thing. I’m saying they may have a large battery system that couldn’t fit a passenger vehicle, so they’d say “this would make a great cargo van”. Otherwise I think they’d have gone with something more aerodynamic. Function following form in this case. Shrug.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  33. 33
    Tagamet

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:09 am)

    kdawg: “The current gasoline powered Transit Connect van won the 2010 North American Truck of the Year.”How does a van win truck of the year?  

    Aren’t vans considered “light trucks?”
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  34. 34
    Tagamet

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:12 am)

    ziv: Interesting stuff, Herm. I thought that 60% was as deep as most batteries would let you go without shortening the life significantly. Going from 50-55% of 16 kWh to 80% would do interesting things to the AER of a Volt. It would probably take it from 35-36 miles real world AER to 52+ miles real world AER. Or you could keep the
    AER the same and shave 2 kWh off the pack and save $1000 off the MSRP.
    I have the feeling that GM is gaming how to most profitably use the improvements in battery life expectancy (i.e. increased allowable depth of discharge), reductions in pack price and improvements in pack volume and mass.The next few years will definitely be interesting!
      

    I think you’re spot on about GM looking at how the options play out and exciting times!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  35. 35
    Jim in PA

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:13 am)

    The numbers that Ford gives are simply too optimistic if one believes in the Chevy Volt numbers. Ford is either painting too rosy a picture, or they are using a larger amount of their battery which may shorten battery life.

    The Ford van gets 2.9 miles/KWH of battery, assuming an 80 mile range and a 28 KWH battery. This is an inexplicably higher efficiency than the Chevy Volt, which gets 2.5 miles/KWH, assuming a 40 mile range with a 16 KWH battery. The higher efficiency of the Ford is difficult to believe for two reasons. First, the Volt is 500 pounds lighter than the Ford. Second, the Volt is infinitely more aerodynamic than the Ford. So the Volt will be more efficient at both high and low speeds. I think Ford is either fudging their numbers or is willing to sacrifice the battery sooner knowing that many business vehicles (like delivery vans) are leased rather than bought, and therefore you don’t need a 10 year battery life.


  36. 36
    Tagamet

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    Jim in PA: The numbers that Ford gives are simply too optimistic if one believes in the numbers.Ford is either painting too rosy a picture, or they are using a larger amount of their battery which may shorten battery life.The Ford van gets 2.9 miles/KWH of battery, assuming an 80 mile range and a 28 KWH battery.This is an inexplicably higher efficiency than the Chevy Volt, which gets 2.5 miles/KWH, assuming a 40 mile range with a 16 KWH battery.The higher efficiency of the Ford is difficult to believe for two reasons.First, the Volt is 500 pounds lighter than the Ford. Second, the Volt is infinitely more aerodynamic than the Ford. So the Volt will be more efficient at both high and low speeds.I think Ford is either fudging their numbers or is willing to sacrifice the battery sooner knowing that many business vehicles (like delivery vans) are leased rather than bought, and therefore you don’t need a 10 year battery life.  

    Since the Volt only *uses* 8 KWh, isn’t it more like 5 per mile?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  37. 37
    kdawg

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    Tagamet: I think we’re saying the same thing. I’m saying they may have a large battery system that couldn’t fit a passenger vehicle, so they’d say “this would make a great cargo van”. Otherwise I think they’d have gone with something more aerodynamic. Function following form in this case. Shrug.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    I’m thinking the opposite, form following function.


  38. 38
    Neil Chapman

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:23 am)

    We purchased a Transit Connect last August. Fantastic little truck. We used it for a couple of service technicians. Much too small for an ambulance. Ford’s version of the Sprinter (Ford’s Transit) is not available in the US. The larger Transit could be an Ambulance.

    The payload on gas version of the Transit Connect is 1600 pounds. I see payload on battery version is 1000 pounds. That’s a pretty significant difference but it wouldn’t affect the way we use it.

    This BEV version is obviously meant for city routes. The range might be too low for us to use it in North Carolina. Our cities are too spread out and our service area for a day would be too large. I could see one in the fleet though. It would be the truck you take if you have to make a short trip.

    I also noted that the recharge time is 6-8 hours at 240 volts. I guess that’s because it’s a 28 KwH battery instead of the Volt’s 16.

    Question… If you can charge it at 240, does that mean you can charge it at 480 volts automatically or do you have to have different batteries for that voltage? This truck would make more sense for us if we could recharge it quicker during the day (if necessary).

    I realize the savings of recharging it overnight. I’d hate to have to leave it sitting there because it took 4-8 hours to get enough charge to make a quick trip.

    What would be cool is to have some capacity at work to store cheap power from overnight grid capacity to “pump” into these vehicles during the day. Hmmm. Business opportunity.


  39. 39
    prowler

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:23 am)

    is Ford’s statement that they will never produce a plug-in serial hybrid (which includes EREV) still current?


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    prowler

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:30 am)

    as far as charge depletion with lithium ion, the different manufacturers have taken different approaches.

    In order for GM to guarantee the 40 mile AER throughout the vehicle life, they need to oversize the battery.

    Tesla has chosen to give the owners the choice of range vs. performance vs. battery life. For maximum battery life, standard charging mode is used which is the middle 80% – the car will charge the battery to 90% of capacity and shows “empty” at 10% (which is actually a “hidden” 10% reserve). As such, Tesla infers that the bottom limit of 10% will not degrade the battery life. FWIW.

    -SPARKZZ


  41. 41
    CorvetteGuy

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Don’t laugh. Your daughter might be in there. ;)


  42. 42
    Blind Guy

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (9:56 am)

    So I would like to know if Ford is partnering with Smith eletric or going in direct competition with Smith? Smith electric builds the Ampere and Newton cargo vans. I read that Coke, AT&T, Frito Lay, PGE and possible others have contracts for all electric delivery vans. The part thats not clear with me is if Ford and Smith are still in partnership or not. I did read that Smith’s production is ramping up recently. Sorry I’m not posting links, but I’m not sure if you simply cut and paste or if you need to do more than that. It is more difficult using my adaptive software.


  43. 43
    Dave G

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:19 am)

    Jim in PA: … Chevy Volt, which gets 2.5 miles/KWH, assuming a 40 mile range with a 16 KWH battery.

    Tagamet: Since the Volt only *uses* 8 KWh, isn’t it more like 5 per mile?

    The Volt has a 16kWh battery, but it only uses 8kWh to achieve 40 miles AER.

    So Tag is right, the efficiency of a Volt is 5 miles per kWh.


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    MuddyRoverRob

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:22 am)

    I’m confused.

    As long as I’ve been on this site people have been ‘complaining’ that there are no trucks.

    Now it looks like there WILL be one and people are complaining that it’s ugly! Jeez!
    Get over it folks, vans are ugly… wow there is a news flash!

    Old Chevy Astro vans still sell at a premium on lots and auctions because they are the right size for most tradesmen.

    The Transit connect is the right size for many tradesmen and delivery operations.

    GM you can trump Ford by building an EREV Astro van and small/mid-size pickup.


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    Dave G

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    prowler: is Ford’s statement that they will never produce a plug-in serial hybrid (which includes EREV) still current?

    They certainly haven’t announced anything to show otherwise.

    All they have are pure electrics and PHEVs with an anemic 10 mile range.


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    MuddyRoverRob

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Don’t laugh. Your daughter might be in there.   

    +1! That’s funny!


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:26 am)

    Neil Chapman: Question… If you can charge it at 240, does that mean you can charge it at 480 volts automatically or do you have to have different batteries for that voltage?

    The AC charging voltage has little to do with the DC battery voltage. The chrager thats built in to the vehilce converts the voltage.

    So the real question is: Will the charger support 480 volts AC? I suspect the answer is no.


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    Dave G

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:40 am)

    tom w: Post office already has done a study showing EVs can replace their entire delivery fleet. Almost all of their neighborhood delivery vehicles drive less than 40 miles of stop and go driving per day.

    That would be a good step government could do to help drive battery development is put in an order to start buying electric mail trucks to start replacing their current fleet over the next 20 years (replace 5% a year with EVs).

    Excellent point!

    Small mail carrier trucks in populated areas is a perfect application for a pure BEV.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:46 am)

    Off Topic…

    Interesting article, Volt shown in Vancouver for the Olympics.

    http://autos.sympatico.ca/automotive-news/2893/chevrolet-volt-unveiled-at-winter-games


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:51 am)

    Dave G: The Volt has a 16kWh battery, but it only uses 8kWh to achieve 40 miles AER.So Tag is right, the efficiency of a Volt is 5 miles per kWh.  

    Thanks for the tie-breaker, Dave G.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (10:51 am)

    tom w: As mentioned in article, cost of operations is less with a BEV than with ICE or EREV.

    I disagree.

    The cost of operating an EREV is about the same as a pure BEV, provided you stay within the EREV AER most of the time.

    Most people that talk about buying a pure BEV say they would use another car for longer trips, so that has to be figured into the cost of fuel.

    And the ICE in an EREV will typically see only 20,000 miles of use over the life of the car. How much servicing does an ICE car require at 20,000 miles? We should just be talking talking about oil changes here.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:05 am)

    MuddyRoverRob: Now it looks like there WILL be one and people are complaining that it’s ugly! Jeez!
    Get over it folks, vans are ugly… wow there is a news flash!

    What do you mean vans are ugly? ;-)

    Midtown_Madness_3_40_500.jpg


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:05 am)

    Dan Petit:
    UPS could also set up thier electric delivery vehicles in
    “right turn triangles”, whereupon, the delivery vehicles are dropped off at subsequent end of charge distance locations (standardizing the depletions),and,the
    *****************
    Driver
    ****************is switched over to a fully charged unit,kind of like the old
    **********************
    pony express.
    **********************
    so the drivers are kept moving in thier famous
    “right turn clockwork” method at, say, the various UPS Stores, for rotating the charging needs, for instance.A clockwise usage spiral, whereupon the recharge intervals can be charge and usage spiralled according to how many electric delivery vans they have.  

    This would require two trucks per driver, I think.
    That is a very expensive fleet.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:07 am)

    Dave G: Neil Chapman: Question… If you can charge it at 240, does that mean you can charge it at 480 volts automatically or do you have to have different batteries for that voltage?
    The AC charging voltage has little to do with the DC battery voltage. The chrager thats built in to the vehilce converts the voltage.
    So the real question is: Will the charger support 480 volts AC? I suspect the answer is no.

    480VAC is 3phase vs 240VAC 2phase.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:10 am)

    Dave G: And the ICE in an EREV will typically see only 20,000 miles of use over the life of the car. How much servicing does an ICE car require at 20,000 miles? We should just be talking talking about oil changes here.

    Will the standard recommendation of oil changes every 3months or 3000miles be used on the Volt? Let’s say the oil doesn’t degrade, and it takes 1 year for me to put 3000 miles on my ICE, does that mean 1 oil change per year? Will the Volt have an odometer for my ICE as well as for the entire car itself?


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:16 am)

    Van: I bet there is room in the back to place and “connect” a portable Honda generator.

    I doubt I could lift a 43kW generator. Anything less would be useless.


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    Tagamet

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    kdawg:
    Will the standard recommendation of oil changes every 3months or 3000miles be used on the Volt?Let’s say the oil doesn’t degrade, and it takes 1 year for me to put 3000 miles on my ICE, does that mean 1 oil change per year?Will the Volt have an odometer for my ICE as well as for the entire car itself?  

    I haven’t seen anything re a separate ICE odometer, but I’m guessing that the computer onboard would keep track of the *running time* of the ICE. It seems like the ICE’s “needs” for service would be covered in the manual and probably will be more related to the time it has actually been running, as opposed to the distance traveled while it ran. It’d need to be done by the computer, because it’ll be run at different RPMs. At least that’s my guess.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:26 am)

    kdawg:
    What do you mean vans are ugly?
      

    LOL! I stand corrected!


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:31 am)

    kdawg:
    Will the standard recommendation of oil changes every 3months or 3000miles be used on the Volt?Let’s say the oil doesn’t degrade, and it takes 1 year for me to put 3000 miles on my ICE, does that mean 1 oil change per year?Will the Volt have an odometer for my ICE as well as for the entire car itself?  

    I will use pure synthetic and change it once a year. Provided GM’s oil change interval allows this to support the warranty.

    Generators are usually measured in hours-of-operation not miles-of-operation. GM engineers are pretty smart. I’m sure there is a way to make sure that an indicator comes on when the oil needs changing. It might even bug you verbally.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    hi kdawg #55 …

    kdawg: standard recommendation of oil changes every 3months or 3000miles

    Premium gold cap synthetic oil with very low engine use all under 4000 rpm. We’ll see what GM recommends. I’m thinking 3.5 quarts every two years. This should offset the maintenance cost of the dual cooling ICE/battery systems.

    With the future of NGMCO Voltec on the balance. I expect premium cores in the radiator system.

    =D~


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    Jaime

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:38 am)

    Ford has been making all the right moves lately. With the bankruptcies and bailouts of GM, Chrysler, and Toyota recent troubles, Ford has really positioned themselves well. Their stock is up about 1,000% from the low to show for it!


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:42 am)

    Tagamet:
    I haven’t seen anything re a separate ICE odometer, but I’m guessing that the computer onboard would keep track of the *running time* of the ICE.It seems like the ICE’s “needs” for service would be covered in the manual and probably will be more related to the time it has actually been running, as opposed to the distance traveled while it ran. It’d need to be done by the computer, because it’ll be run at different RPMs. At least that’s my guess.
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   

    I think you have it Tag.

    Stationary engines have an hour meter which measures total running time. (So do aircraft engines.) It makes sense that Volt will do the same with it’s genset.

    I figure that the Volts engine will have synthetic engine oil which is tolerant of longer sit times between changes.

    As for engine maintenance issues, our 2002 Subaru Impreza bought new has roughly 226000km on it. I’m using this car as an example since I ‘know’ it’s complete story. In all that driving it has only required normal oil/fluid changes and a set of spark plug wires. We added a K&N air filter, and a few sets of tires.
    Maintenance is NOT an overwhelming issue with a modern car.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:51 am)

    kdawg: Will the standard recommendation of oil changes every 3months or 3000miles be used on the Volt? Let’s say the oil doesn’t degrade, and it takes 1 year for me to put 3000 miles on my ICE, does that mean 1 oil change per year? Will the Volt have an odometer for my ICE as well as for the entire car itself?

    All good questions.

    3000 miles is not necessarily the recommended interval. It all depends on the type of driving. For highway driving, its more like 7500 miles.

    But besides miles, oil tends to degrade with time. The type of oil makes a huge difference here. Synthetic oil takes much longer to degrade.

    So I would say 1 synthetic oil change per year is about right. The place by me does this for $60, and they throw in a free car wash.


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    CapJackSparrow

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    It looks like an electric “Popemobile”.
    :-P


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    JohnK

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    kdawg: What do you mean vans are ugly? (Quote)

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:53 am)

    MuddyRoverRob: GM you can trump Ford by building an EREV Astro van and small/mid-size pickup.

    #44

    Amen! We look to the day! +1

    Astro vans are also some of the most bulletproof vehicles on the road. My neighbor uses one to tow a 22 ft daycruiser with a 454 Chevy/jet over the Tejon Pass. He has been doing it for years. I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:54 am)

    Neil Chapman: Question… If you can charge it at 240, does that mean you can charge it at 480 volts automatically or do you have to have different batteries for that voltage? This truck would make more sense for us if we could recharge it quicker during the day (if necessary).

    The charger built into the van determines if it can handle a connection to 480VAC.

    I bet they will have that capability in Europe, and hopefully (if a fleet buyer demands it) it should be available special order. The batteries should have no problems with quick charges of around 1hr to about 80%, a bit longer to top it off.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:56 am)

    MuddyRoverRob: As long as I’ve been on this site people have been ‘complaining’ that there are no trucks.

    Now it looks like there WILL be one and people are complaining that it’s ugly! Jeez!

    I don’t see no stinkin truck. All I see is a covered “Popemobile”.
    Where’s the truck?


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    Tagamet

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:57 am)

    MuddyRoverRob: Maintenance is NOT an overwhelming issue with a modern car.

    Yeah, we drive our vehicles until they peacefully expire, but we don’t do much life support once they are failing. We know that they’d want it that way (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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    Larry

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    MuddyRoverRob: The Transit connect is the right size for many tradesmen and delivery operations.

    GM you can trump Ford by building an EREV Astro van and small/mid-size pickup.

    I’m really excited about the electric delivery van. Replacing a low-mileage ICE vehicle w/ electric will save ~2x as much foreign oil as replacing a ICE passenger vehicle.
    Who makes Post Office delivery trucks? Maybe GM will push to make new fleet vehicles for the Post Office, UPS, FedEx…


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:02 pm)

    Loboc: I’m sure there is a way to make sure that an indicator comes on when the oil needs changing. It might even bug you verbally.

    #59

    Newer GM cars actually have that. The car’s computer somehow processes information including hours, miles, how many cold starts, average oil temperature, and so on. From what I have read, it’s pretty accurate. It tells us to change oil in our 3500 pickup about every 7K miles. And I believe that’s based on conventional oil. We use synthetic, so that’s a safety margin, IMHO. It’s totally contrary to the way I was raised – 3K miles and no exceptions – but it seems to work. Our Impala has 127K on it, runs perfect, and uses about 1/2 qt. per change – mostly due to minor leaks, LOL.


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    Jim in PA

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:03 pm)

    Dave G: The Volt has a 16kWh battery, but it only uses 8kWh to achieve 40 miles AER.
    So Tag is right, the efficiency of a Volt is 5 miles per kWh.

    I still stand by my assessment, because I was making a direct comparison between entire battery packs. One cannot compare the Volt’s usable battery capacity (8 KWH) against the Ford’s entire battery capacity (24 KWH). That’s apples-to-oranges. Now… if we knew the Ford’s usable capacity we’d be able to compare that to the Volt’s 8 KWH value. But we don’t. Which is why I made the statement that Ford is either fudging its numbers or using a larger percent of its battery as usable capacity. Does that make sense to anyone besides me?


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:06 pm)

    Tagamet: Yeah, we drive our vehicles until they peacefully expire, but we don’t do much life support once they are failing. We know that they’d want it that way (g).

    #69

    DNR, LOL.

    LJGTVWOTR!! NMST!


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    Ziv

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Muddyroverbob, CaptJack, what we have here, is a failure, to communicate! Imagine an appropriate southern accent, ala Cool Hand Luke.
    Anyway, I think most of us are hoping for a truck, but meaning a pickup, vs. a van type of truck. Funny how the meaning of truck means different things to different people, but I am hoping for an EREV Chevy S-10 type pickup with at least a 30 miles AER, tho I have to admit that I would like to see an EREV Orlando in substantial numbers first.

    CaptJackSparrow: I don’t see no stinkin truck. All I see is a covered “Popemobile”.Where’s the truck?  (Quote)


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:22 pm)

    Jim in PA: Ford’s entire battery capacity (24 KWH)… Now… if we knew the Ford’s usable capacity we’d be able to compare that to the Volt’s 8 KWH value. But we don’t. Which is why I made the statement that Ford is either fudging its numbers or using a larger percent of its battery as usable capacity. Does that make sense to anyone besides me?

    Pure BEVs tend to use around 80% of battery capacity.

    The Volt uses only 50% for 2 reasons:
    1) to have some battery energy buffer for charge sustaining mode
    2) to make sure there’s 8kWh for the whole life of the vehicle

    Pure BEVs don’t seem to mind battery degradation over time. They say it’s part of the package. And there’s no buffer required for charge sustaining mode.

    I’m sure BEVs would go for 100% battery usage if they could, but this would wear out the battery in 2-3 years.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    Dave G: with an anemic 10 mile range

    10 mile range is not necesarily anemic. Lot of people don’t drive more than 10 miles a day. A mom with kid and the schools and stores are close. come home and plug in and go back out.

    It also gives some security against gasoline price spikes. I think that all cars should have a minimum 12 miles AER in the near future.

    Government mandates seat belts and air bags to save lives. Why not mandate 12 mile AER on all non commercial vehicles to save our economy.

    A regulation like this would speed up BEV/EREV and battery development, and it wouldn’t be too long that the car companies make 40 mile AER the standard minimum.

    The more cars with Electric range the faster the batteries and components will become cheaper and more affordable.

    So I don’t call 10 miles AER Anemic, I call it one more small step towards the elimination of imported oil, and the resulting increase in money that stays in our economy and creates jobs here.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:24 pm)

    Noel Park: Tagamet: Yeah, we drive our vehicles until they peacefully expire, but we don’t do much life support once they are failing. We know that they’d want it that way (g).

    #69

    DNR, LOL.

    LJGTVWOTR!! NMST!

    Yes, we always have a Living Will drawn up. And yes, I’m projecting myself and my values onto our vehicles, but cars are people too!
    Nice that you picked up on the NMST (lol).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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    tom w

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    Dave G: Pure BEVs don’t seem to mind battery degradation over time. They say it’s part of the package. And there’s no buffer required for charge sustaining mode

    As has been pointed out before, BEVs can use higher percentage of their overall capacity because the larger batteries need fewer cycles to achieve same amount of AER.


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    Streetlight

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:30 pm)

    No surprise here. The Johnson Controls-Saft venture refurbished a shuttered Holland Mich plant last Spring for this project. Still, 300 mile range… if that. For GM may be in a better position – where in another year or so it’ll be able to build a GM version Transit with in-house EV assemblies. I don’t think Dodge Sprinter could make a EV retrofit like Transit.

    Most of us know ‘pure’ EV vans were around 100 years ago. As a kid in WWII Philadelphia, there were two fleets downtown. The Curtis Publication paper carriers (these lumbering flatbeds then were 30 years old) and legendary Horn & Hardart’s bakery plant at 10th & Locust. Both fleets used solid tires. The Curtis fleet – believe or not – puttered along at 5 mph. The bakery-clean H&H fleet made I think about 30 mph. Both fleets were attended to 7/24 around the clock.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:32 pm)

    Dave G: So I would say 1 synthetic oil change per year is about right. The place by me does this for $60, and they throw in a free car wash

    So in 10 years thats $600 for just one maintenance item that a BEV owner need not worry about.


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    MuddyRoverRob

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    Ziv: Muddyroverbob, CaptJack, what we have here, is a failure, to communicate! Imagine an appropriate southern accent, ala Cool Hand Luke.
    Anyway, I think most of us are hoping for a truck, but meaning a pickup, vs. a van type of truck. Funny how the meaning of truck means different things to different people, but I am hoping for an EREV Chevy S-10 type pickup with at least a 30 miles AER, tho I have to admit that I would like to see an EREV Orlando in substantial numbers first.
      

    Fair enough, but I notice most electricians and plumbers and the like use VANS because tools are expensive and don’t like to be rained and snowed upon and the tradesman doesn’t want them stolen.

    I DID call for a small pickup although without a ‘doghouse/topper/cap’ (which really turns them into a van anyway) I don’t think they have as much use in the working world.

    I have owned both and the van was better most of the time.
    Although there WERE times when the open pickup bed was very handy, there is no doubt about that.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    tom w: Dave G: So I would say 1 synthetic oil change per year is about right. The place by me does this for $60, and they throw in a free car wash

    So in 10 years thats $600 for just one maintenance item that a BEV owner need not worry about.

    You don’t drive an ICE vehicle now?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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    Dave B

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:43 pm)

    Good deal, BUT WHAT DOES IT COST THE CONSUMER?


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    Blind Guy

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:44 pm)

    #42 Blind Guy Is Ford partnering with Smith electric? Yes, according to the article I just read and the possibility of other light duty trucks is definately a possibility. I googled Smith electric + Newton and found the article. My adaptive software wouldn’t allow me to copy the address. Smith electric has had all electric delivery vehicles in Europe for 3 years according to the article I read. With this recent partnership, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch for Ford and Smith electric to come out with “trucks” that many of you might want.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:48 pm)

    kdawg: Will the standard recommendation of oil changes every 3months or 3000miles be used on the Volt? Let’s say the oil doesn’t degrade, and it takes 1 year for me to put 3000 miles on my ICE, does that mean 1 oil change per year? Will the Volt have an odometer for my ICE as well as for the entire car itself?  (Quote)

    The Volt will have an odometer for battery power miles no doubt.

    I think oil choice will be especially… difficult. The Volt might use a very special non-degrading oil. You might even get 2 years out of a change… but then Oil will be very expensive.

    Or, the Volt could use a standard type synth. oil and go for 1 year interval. I think I would prefer the 1 year with Synth. Oil. Thats around 50 dollar oil change 1 time a year. Better than my current 3 times a year (5,000 mile/1 year 5-40 Synth) at 50 dollars.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    tom w:
    So in 10 years thats $600 for just one maintenance item that a BEV owner need not worry about.  

    Pretty cheap insurance for when you need to drive 41 miles!


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:51 pm)


    Jim in PA
    : The Ford van gets 2.9 miles/KWH of battery, assuming an 80 mile range and a 28 KWH battery. This is an inexplicably higher efficiency than the Chevy Volt, which gets 2.5 miles/KWH,

    You’re right to question this. IF the pack is actually 28KWh, then at worst case DOD of 80% you have 22.4KWh usable plug that in and see what you get. Don’t know what chem the cells are to determine a cycle count for longevity.

    Jim in PA: the Chevy Volt, which gets 2.5 miles/KWH, assuming a 40 mile range with a 16 KWH battery.

    I would say if you’re going to compare useable energy to use 8KWh for the Volt, not the 16KWh. Then start punching numbers. But use the full actual weight of each for your computation.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (12:55 pm)

    Ziv: Muddyroverbob, CaptJack, what we have here, is a failure, to communicate! Imagine an appropriate southern accent, ala Cool Hand Luke.
    Anyway, I think most of us are hoping for a truck, but meaning a pickup, vs. a van type of truck. Funny how the meaning of truck means different things to different people, but I am hoping for an EREV Chevy S-10 type pickup with at least a 30 miles AER, tho I have to admit that I would like to see an EREV Orlando in substantial numbers first.

    I just need a good ol pickemup truck. A Colorado.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:00 pm)

    ziv: Excellent application for an early BEV. No real range anxiety due to known route length,

    Are you sure about this? The point about fixed routes being well suited for EV trucks is a great one, but aren’t fixed routes more likely for larger trucks like those being made by Smith Electric? Vans seem more likely to be used for things like plumbing and other repair or construction jobs where the job sites change from day to day and can be located anywhere is a wide geographic area.

    For larger trucks with fixed routes, the perfect example being delivery trucks, EVs also make good sense because for a considerable amount of time the truck is idling while the delivery is being made. An EV truck will use zero energy in that situation.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Dave G: Pure BEVs tend to use around 80% of battery capacity.

    One of the reasons pure EVs can use a deeper DOD is that they have larger battery packs, which means they use fewer charging cycles. But a 24 kWh pack seems too small a pack for this factor to come into play. With small a pack you’d think you’d need to fully cycle it almost every day.

    I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy with this product. I think Bright Automotive has better ideas.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:19 pm)

    kdawg: Will the standard recommendation of oil changes every 3months or 3000miles be used on the Volt?

    That general rule is very dated. Time doesn’t seem to matter any more. And distance is way longer than 3000 miles. Our newer car senses when the oil needs changing. You can monitor it and when the car needs the oil changed the car itself starts telling you, at first with gentle reminders and then with increasing urgency. I think the oil needs changing is needed maybe once every 10K to 12K miles. This is BTW one of the reasons why EVs do not have a huge advantage over conventional ICE cars — conventional cars have gotten so good at not requiring much preventative maintenance that there isn’t a lot of savings to be had.

    In any event, for generators I think the oil changes are based on hours of operation not miles. No doubt GM will have this all figured out.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    Does anyone know how long the electric motors will work in the Volt? is 100K miles still a good benchmark or can we expect more?


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    I don’t see no stinkin truck. All I see is a covered “Popemobile”.
    Where’s the truck?  

    A non car based panel van is just a pickup truck with a covered load area. Witness the ‘Chevy Van’ (chevy pickup bits underneath… I had one), Ford Econoline (F-150 underneath) Chevy Astro (S10 underneath), Ford Aerostar (Ranger pickup)
    They are trucks that can work, haul and tow like other trucks.

    The “mini-van” has muddied the waters, most of them are tall cars, NOT trucks.

    An EREV Astro/Volterado AWD/4WD (rear drive is acceptable but FWD is not since the load is placed in the back) with a truck frame able to stand up to heavy duty working/towing/hauling will sell. I call heavy duty for a mid-size truck/van to be 6 to 7 thousand pound towing loads or 1500 lb internal loads consistently without breaking them. A car based mini-van cannot stand up to that sort of abuse long term.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: A non car based panel van is just a pickup truck with a covered load area.

    Hmmm…
    Looking closer atthe popmobile EV above, you can kindof make out the Ford Ranger if chop off the back half.
    Good point there DirtyDawgRob.
    +1


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    DonC: In any event, for generators I think the oil changes are based on hours of operation not miles. No doubt GM will have this all figured out.

    Yeah, i know. I just like to ask the questions and see how everyone responds. Also gives Lyle some more ammo for his next interview w/an engineer at GM. (I want the intricate details) Maybe we can have a dedicated post on “Volt Maintenance”?


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (1:57 pm)

    tom w:
    Post office already has done a study showing EVs can replace their entire delivery fleet.Almost all of their neighborhood delivery vehicles drive less than 40 miles of stop and go driving per day.That would be a good step government could do to help drive battery development is put in an order to start buying electric mail trucks to start replacing their current fleet over the next 20 years (replace 5% a year with EVs).  

    I completely agree.

    This was my first thought too. The USPS delivery trucks are a perfect candidate for EV, lots of regen potential, less brake replacement, no city emissions and a good government led example.

    50 cent postage stamps? :)


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    hi brian #92,

    Brian: Does anyone know how long the electric motors will work in the Volt? is 100K miles still a good benchmark or can we expect more?

    I have run 3 phase 50hp electric motors in the plastics industry for years. I recall replacing just three. This wasn’t a motor issue. It was a controller issue. In one case a brown-out caused a motor to fail.

    When a 50hp gets up to speed. It makes a wum wum wum wum sound. Real smooth and strong.

    =D~


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:16 pm)

    kdawg: dedicated post on “Volt Maintenance”?

    A production owners manual would be handy as well. Surely they have their instructional stuff built for the in-dash video system. Posting it on the web would be a good thing.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Hmmm…
    Looking closer atthe popmobile EV above, you can kindof make out the Ford Ranger if chop off the back half.
    Good point there DirtyDawgRob.
    +1  

    Thanks CJS!

    Just to be clear what I’m getting at is that the engineering is the same, the Van and the Pickup use the same base and you get both models on a single platform. The body style is personal choice.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    First Impression:

    Ford seems to be going in the same general direction as GM, but much more cautiously (after all, they aren’t getting government help to get there).

    Second Impression:

    (after tom w’s excellent observation concerning the requirements of the Post Office):

    Ford is bucking for that very sale. It’s no doubt a better way to get government money for EV research …

    … if it doesn’t work out, maybe some companies will bite, but I doubt very many (“that’s not how we do things / wasn’t invented” here).

    Then again, the F-150 is the “biggest seller” primarily due to fleet sales, so maybe they have a better shot at this than it might appear.

    As to battery longevity, Ford is in the same situation as Nissan; if batteries are enough better / cheaper in five years, it may not matter as much if they have to make replacements — also, likely a fleet deal will have some kind of amortized schedule associated with it.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: WERE times when the open pickup bed was very handy, there is no doubt about that.

    Try carrying a refrigerator in a Van. lol. My p/u has a removable/lockable lid. It’s much handier than say an SUV or Van.

    Last week I needed to haul a washer and dryer. Just popped the lid off and voila! A van might have worked, but, much more difficult to load/unload.

    An electric Colorado would be great! Agreed, Capt’n.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Jim in PA: The Ford van gets 2.9 miles/KWH of battery, assuming an 80 mile range and a 28 KWH battery. This is an inexplicably higher efficiency than the Chevy Volt, which gets 2.5 miles/KWH,

    You’re right to question this. IF the pack is actually 28KWh, then at worst case DOD of 80% you have 22.4KWh usable plug that in and see what you get. Don’t know what chem the cells are to determine a cycle count for longevity.

    Jim in PA: the Chevy Volt, which gets 2.5 miles/KWH, assuming a 40 mile range with a 16 KWH battery.

    I would say if you’re going to compare useable energy to use 8KWh for the Volt, not the 16KWh. Then start punching numbers. But use the full actual weight of each for your computation.

    Well-reasoned. +1 Thanks.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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    n00b

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    Great electric P/U !
    It about time you America car companies start think about alternative vehicles. Too bad it took a little company in Kalifornia (Tesla) to wake you clowns up. The Big Three have much more resources but lack brain power and innovation. The Volt is a step in the right direction. THANK YOU TESLA . Special thanks to Elon Musk who is the main reason that the Volt will finally exist this year, better late than never GM !


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    Starcast

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    Loboc: Try carrying a refrigerator in a Van. lol. My p/u has a removable/lockable lid. It’s much handier than say an SUV or Van.Last week I needed to haul a washer and dryer. Just popped the lid off and voila! A van might have worked, but, much more difficult to load/unload.An electric Colorado would be great! Agreed, Capt’n.  (Quote)

    Try an Avalanche the best of both worlds. I have 2002 w 150K miles great vehicle. Wish it was a plug in 2 mode. When they add a plug to the 2 mode I will buy one just give me 10 miles all electric.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:38 pm)

    Starcast:
    Try an Avalanche the best of both worlds. I have 2002 w 150K miles great vehicle. Wish it was a plug in 2 mode. When they add a plug to the 2 mode I will buy one just give me 10 miles all electric.  

    … but it gets bad mileage even for a full size pickup. I thought it was a great idea when it first came out, but would have appreciated a smaller model with similar flexibility.

    Maybe the smaller full-EREV pickup can take a hint from the Avalanche … hint! hint!

    :-)


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    Loboc: A production owners manual would be handy as well. Surely they have their instructional stuff built for the in-dash video system. Posting it on the web would be a good thing.

    Would there be good business reasons why they shouldn’t post it on the Net now? I think it’d be a great read! Even if it’s not in print yet, we could provide a LOT of proof-reading. They could watch here (or post an email address) for anything that remained unclear. If GM doesn’t want to post it and just wants a proof-reader, I volunteer. I could also run the readability levels formulas (what reading comprehension level is necessary to understand the verbiage).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    Jackson: … but it gets bad mileage even for a full size pickup. I thought it was a great idea when it first came out, but would have appreciated a smaller model with similar flexibility. Maybe the smaller full-EREV pickup can take a hint from the Avalanche … hint! hint!   (Quote)

    I get 17 to 19 MPG on mine at 70+ mph. The newer ones get 20+ mpg. Not bad for a full size 4X4. 2 wheel would get better.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:10 pm)

    Starcast:

    I’m glad they improved it. First year, it was around 10 (EPA figures). Guess I’m guilty of not looking again after the initial impression. Also, I’m much more impressed by in town verses highway numbers (and yes, the current “may the best car win” campaign grates on my nerves, a little).

    The mileage you’re getting with the Avalanche would still be too low for me (having no real reason other than very occasional homeowner hauling to justify a truck), and I think I have lots of company in this. If researched, we might find that most pickup drivers haul actual heavy loads less than 10 – 15% of the time, and use the truck doing a < 40 mile commute for the rest. Sound familiar?

    GM: Please bring out a smaller EREV-based pickup just as soon as technology and economics allow. Only if these factors will delay such a pickup > 5 years, consider a plug-in that gets > 45 mpg in “unloaded, commuting mode” for at least 40 miles (or until the truck is heavily loaded).

    Starcast, maybe your plug-in two-mode could achieve that.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:15 pm)

    Loboc:
    Try carrying a refrigerator in a Van. lol. My p/u has a removable/lockable lid. It’s much handier than say an SUV or Van.Last week I needed to haul a washer and dryer. Just popped the lid off and voila! A van might have worked, but, much more difficult to load/unload.An electric Colorado would be great! Agreed, Capt’n.  

    Absolutely no argument.

    My point is that while a pickup style is likely preferable as personal transport, every electrician or plumber I know uses a van.

    If you really are serious about getting off oil then you need proper service vans to get the work of society done.

    The Ford Transit connect is a very good affordable small service truck option in the real world. My only concern is the FWD, but for lighter duty it’ll be fine.


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    Herto

     

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:18 pm)

    Why use this so complex J1772 japanese plug instead of the simpler but as useful IEC62196 plug?
    It’s paving the way for another stupid standard war….


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:24 pm)

    Herto: Why use this so complex J1772 japanese plug instead of the simpler but as useful IEC62196 plug?
    It’s paving the way for another stupid standard war….  

    The 1772 is rapidly becoming the standard.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    #42 Blind Guy Is Ford partnering with Smith electric? Yes, according to the article I just read and the possibility of other light duty trucks is definately
    a possibility. I googled Smith electric + Newton and found the article. My adaptive software wouldn’t allow me to copy the address. Smith electric has
    had all electric delivery vehicles in Europe for 3 years according to the article I read. With this recent partnership, I don’t think it’s too much of
    a stretch for Ford and Smith electric to come out with “trucks” that many of you might want.  

    I found an up to date article that stated that Ford and Smith electric decided not to partner on the Transit connect ev. after all. My apologies for the miss leading info. The up to date article as of Febb. 9 2010 Stated that Ford was doing business with Azure Dynamics for the Transit connect ev.. Smith electric was stated to be developing a vehicle with Am General for the USPS. That information I found with Green Congress. Again, I’m sorry about the incorrect info in my earlier post.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    Jackson: Ford seems to be going in the same general direction as GM, but much more cautiously (after all, they aren’t getting government help to get there).

    Ford took 6billion from the DOE to do things like this.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:30 pm)

    A standard needs to be established, as soon as possible, with fast-charging in mind. It would require connecting to the battery pack’s native voltage, from a conversion device (“charger”) mounted externally. There would also likely need to be some communication with the car’s computer (for temperature monitoring, if nothing else).

    A fast-charger would, by definition, be a commercial device; which would allow for investment into the kind of equipment necessary to provide high amperage DC at several voltages (for different makes of cars). Certainly, it would only be possible to “plug in” such a charger under industrial-duty conditions (480V?).

    Fleet-service vehicles such as Ford’s might provide an initial market for such chargers, which might then expand to the public “quick charge” opportunities many of us imagine.

    But none of it can happen without a connection standard.

    J1772 would continue to be the car-owner, on-board-charger standard (at much lower voltages and currents).


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:32 pm)

    kdawg:
    Ford took 6billion from the DOE to do things like this.  

    Well, I’m batting below .200 today, it seems.

    How does Ford’s DOE grant compare to GM’s Gov’t sponsored bankruptcy (in addition to a similar grant)?


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (3:42 pm)

    Jackson: I’m glad they improved it. First year, it was around 10 (EPA figures). Guess I’m guilty of not looking again after the initial impression. Also, I’m much more impressed by in town verses highway numbers (and yes, the current “may the best car win” campaign grates on my nerves, a little).The mileage you’re getting with the Avalanche would still be too low for me (having no real reason other than very occasional homeowner hauling to justify a truck), and I think I have lots of company in this. If researched, we might find that most pickup drivers haul actual heavy loads less than 10 – 15% of the time, and use the truck doing a < 40 mile commute for the rest. Sound familiar? GM: Please bring out a smaller EREV-based pickup just as soon as technology and economics allow. Only if these factors will delay such a pickup > 5 years, consider a plug-in that gets > 45 mpg in “unloaded, commuting mode” for at least 40 miles (or until the truck is heavily loaded). Starcast, maybe your plug-in two-mode could achieve that.  (Quote)

    I drive my s10 during the week. The Avalanche sets exciept on weekends and bad roads (like today) and long trips. I am a active hunter and fisherman, I travel a lot thats why it has so many miles. It is a very easy vehicle to drive it tows my 22′ boat very well it tows my 4 place inclosed snowmobile trailer very well. It is a very easy car to drive and can hall more then any veh I know. A few weeks ago I drove it from Milford Mi to Hudson Fl. in 18 Hours no problem. I love my Avalanche not just because of what it can tow and hall but because it is easy to drive. My avalanche would be perfect if it had a plug and 10 miles electric. Thats about what I drive one way (I could charge) I could get rid of the S10 and just have one veh and be mostly electric exciept on weekends and trips. Then I would not need a volt to replace the s10.

    Funny I don’t even l don’t even look at city MPG. For me it means nothing. But thats why there are different cars and trucks.


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    Speedy

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    Feb 9th, 2010 (4:06 pm)

    These Chevrolet Orland MPV will have Voltec system.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    Speedy: TheseChevroletOrland MPV willhaveVoltecsystem.  

    This is assuming that the Orlando see’s the light of day.

    Even then it will be a tall Volt, not a work van.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (4:24 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: This is assuming that the Orlando see’s the light of day. Even then it will be a tall Volt, not a work van.  (Quote)

    It will be here. It has been testing in the winter for the longest.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (4:37 pm)

    Yup, looks like a field day for the USPS. That’s one good BEV market, along with other local delivery applications, but I can’t think of much else. And yes, I do think GM should get in on it.


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    That’s cool. But whenever I see a new Transit van, what I really want to know is how fast can Sabine Schmitz drive it around Nürburgring Nordschleife? :)

    part 1 (which has a nice history of the transit van, the challenge to Jeremy and the first lap):
    http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/sabine-in-a-van

    Part 2 (which is the fastest lap in a Transit van, probably ever)
    http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/3d9faede-57d0-42ea-a493-c218fbcf91be


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    Feb 9th, 2010 (5:53 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: Get over it folks, vans are ugly

    Somewhere, B.A. Baracus is getting a little upset…
    ateamvan.jpg
    :D


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    Feb 10th, 2010 (12:52 am)

    Come on people we can’t just say that a vehicle is ugly and we must proceed on to cleaner alternatives as the old saying goes. Never judge a book by its cover.


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    Feb 10th, 2010 (7:05 am)

    Jackson: Fleet-service vehicles such as Ford’s might provide an initial market for such chargers, which might then expand to the public “quick charge” opportunities many of us imagine.
    But none of it can happen without a connection standard.

    A connector standard is the least of the worries, first you need demand for such a device. Since each battery chemistry is different only the car being charged can control the charging process. This is how it would go:

    1. You connect a cable to a receptacle on the car.. both the cable and receptacle are inert to prevent sparks or accidents.

    2. the car tells the charger how many volts, amps and for how long it needs, a purchase price is negotiated, payment is arranged. The charger energizes the cable, it continuously checks for current leakage and integrity (armored cable).. it informs the car the connection is stable and ready.

    3. the moment power is available in the cable it self-locks in place, with a fail safe solenoid driven pin. The charger in the car already disabled all the motors, so that you dont drive away while charging.

    4. the car starts the charging process, it keeps the batteries cool, monitors charge levels and keeps the cells balanced.. it tapers the current up and down as needed. Eventually it stops the charging process and the current flow stops.. it informs the charger.

    5. the charger shuts itself down, the cable senses the zero voltage and the safety locking pin retrieves.

    Since the charger in the car is fairly sophisticated, you might as well feed it with VAC power.. hopefully that will keep the size of the charging cable manageable. A 200kw charger cable is probably the upper level of what is manageable by a woman.. it would use 4/0 gage cable, each wire is about 1/2″ diameter stranded copper and fairly expensive.


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    Naos

     

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    Feb 10th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    Nice done! I would love to see it available in Poland. Our company uses VW Caddy for predictable routes which are about 50 miles long (per day). Such an EV Ford Transit would be cool to have, and cheap to drive.


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    Feb 10th, 2010 (10:58 am)

    “It is a small van weighing in at 3948 pounds with a wheelbase of 114.6 inches and a length of 1806. inches.” Hum? That makes the car over 150 feet long.

    But on the real side. I’ll take it. I’m not buying another Internal Combustion Engine! The Volt has one so it’s off my list.


  127. 127
    Jerome

     

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     Says

     

    Feb 10th, 2010 (8:57 pm)

    ProfessorGordon: I completely agree.This was my first thought too. The USPS delivery trucks are a perfect candidate for EV, lots of regen potential, less brake replacement, no city emissions and a good government led example.50 cent postage stamps?   (Quote)

    I would assume that USPS does not keep their vehicles for 20 years and thus the fleet turnover would be much higher than 5%/year. I just might have to go try and see if I can find out that data.


  128. 128
    Jerome

     

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    Feb 10th, 2010 (9:04 pm)

    Found this as part of a study that USPS did a couple of years ago

    An “average” LLV
    – Is driven 16 miles/day,
    about 5,000 miles annually.
    – Is in service 5 – 6 hours a
    day, 302 days a year
    – Gets 10.4 MPG
    – Is 16 -17 years old
    (oldest – 20, newest – 13)
    – Is probably on its second
    engine, and 3rd or 4th
    transmission

    so 5%/year was a decent estimate. Depending on the lifetime cost of the BEV vs. the current truck (and it’s fuel and 4 transmissions) maybe that payback would justify a faster adoption…even w/o incentives from DOE, etc.

    Link to study….
    http://www.govenergy.com/2007/pdfs/strategy/Rios_Strategy_track_S8.pdf


  129. 129
    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Feb 10th, 2010 (9:39 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic:
    Somewhere, B.A. Baracus is getting a little upset…
      

    I thought of that particular van, I had the same model, but without the spoiler!


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