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Old 10-11-2017, 08:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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They could pull the old bodies off and put a new powertrain and frame under them, like what Glacier National Park did with their famous red busses. The Grumman aluminum bodies are not in bad shape still. The new design calls for a bunch more space because of today's parcel volume though, If you look at the picture of the prototype it at first looks like similar proportions but look at the driver, the new van you can stand up inside and walk around. I'm not convinced the heavy parcel volume will be around for 20-30 years they probably expect these new vans to last. Amazon is already starting their own Uber like parcel delivery, and they are the biggest source. Also we can't afford to take them out of service to rebuild, we are short trucks every single day as it is.

The Wiki number for maintenance is right. It has got to the point where the engine and transmission rebuilders are having to use cores that are way out of re-buildable specs. Every one of our LLVs is on at least it's 2nd motor and 3rd or 4th transmission even with only around 100,000 miles total use. They sound like a diesel even with a fresh rebuild, and fires from fuel leaks and electrical shorts are too common.

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Old 10-12-2017, 05:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Toyota didn't even submit a proposal. If I remeber right the final product has to be under $30,000. Probably not much profit in that, Grumman who made the last crop probably did it more as a kickback for making billions off the F14 Tomcat.
Considering the advertised price for the hybrid versions of the RAV4 and the Prius v, one could easily guess a version with simpler interior trim could cater to this market segment. Eliminating the rear seat rows, and eventually lowering the rear section of the floor like it's done in the JDM Welcab series of wheelchair-accessible vehicles from toyota itself, would be likely to turn a Prius v into a reasonable option for a small parcel-delivery vehicle.


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I can almost guarantee when they say 50% hybrid or alternate fuels they will count E85 capable as an "alternate fuel". At least that is how they are counting the current Dodge Grand Caravans we are getting.
Ethanol is not bad at all, but in a hybrid I'd be concerned about the cold-start issues. Unless it resorts to direct injection (which now the RAV4 and Camry hybrid versions feature).


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They could pull the old bodies off and put a new powertrain and frame under them, like what Glacier National Park did with their famous red busses. The Grumman aluminum bodies are not in bad shape still.
In the end, such retrofit does seem like the most reasonable option.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The problem with using an E85 capable van as an example of having a fleet that uses alternate fuel insinuates that you might actually fill them with E85. They don't. My guess is the electric trucks with the generator range extender will run those generators all day even if the battery alone would get them through the day. All It will take his one time out of the many times it happens when the day goes crazy long because of delivery volume and the trucks go dead and then the generator isn't enough to finish the route and get you home. Imagine some of those times where it's 15 degrees out with a foot of fresh snow in the black of night.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've seen this thing in the flesh testing, can't say where but its damn quick off the mark! Actually looks rather cool for a postal truck.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The problem with using an E85 capable van as an example of having a fleet that uses alternate fuel insinuates that you might actually fill them with E85. They don't.
Indeed. Actually I can relate to that, since in my country nowadays almost every brand-new spark-ignited car and even most motorcycles are flexfuel, but most won't ever get a single drop of ethanol other than the mandatory blend in the gasoline. A different scenario would be CNG or biomethane for which the added weight of the fuel system would become a waste in case of not using the alternate fuel.


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My guess is the electric trucks with the generator range extender will run those generators all day even if the battery alone would get them through the day. All It will take his one time out of the many times it happens when the day goes crazy long because of delivery volume and the trucks go dead and then the generator isn't enough to finish the route and get you home. Imagine some of those times where it's 15 degrees out with a foot of fresh snow in the black of night.
I have no clue on how the usage of the range-extender is going to be managed in a hybrid, but I'd rather bet it would have some feature to prevent the usage of it while it won't be needed. Anyway, the need for a small genset, to be eventually compatible with alternate fuels, might turn out as a good excuse to try either that LiquidPiston rotary engine or some multifuel-capable microturbine.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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My guess is the electric trucks with the generator range extender will run those generators all day even if the battery alone would get them through the day.
Probably, I've seen government Volts that were always parked in regular parking spots with nowhere to charge them. They're probably doing better on gas than any of the alternatives, but it seems like such a waste.
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The LLV was up-sized from its predecessor. Now they are doing that again. Didn't the USPS have Vespa/Piaggio sized 3-wheelers?

The thing I miss most in this example is the Grumman 3-piece windshield. I'd make the center piece a hexagon, with simple-curved glass. I do like those forward-reaching mirrors.

There are more (more or less interesting) proposals here: https://www.trucks.com/2016/10/21/ne...truck-visions/. The Tesla X (with tentacle) and Mercedes Vision Van.

They could cryonically temper those old aluminum bodies, or they could make new ones out of carbon fiber like they do whole airplane wings for (probably) less.
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well, I can't blame 'em for wanting something slightly more modern, and the riveted aluminum unibody might be too spendy to build today.
Aluminum, riveted, like the 60 year old airplanes in which we still fly, correct? And not subjected to the extremes of stress and temperature. So let's say halfway through their practical lives, at most.

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They could pull the old bodies off and put a new powertrain and frame under them, like what Glacier National Park did with their famous red busses.
Oh my heavens yes. Hire someone to design a new chassis; lift, replace, repeat.

But it sounds entirely too practical for a bureaucracy with the depth and breadth of the US federal miasma.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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There's STILL quite a few Douglas DC-3's STILL plying the skies.
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Work hardening, stress fractures. They'd want to gut the bodies, then put them through an annealing/tempering cycle or two. Else hydroform body panels to glue and rivet together. OTOH Walmart is showing 53ft van bodies in carbon fiber.

I'd like to see proposals from Del Blanchard, of Myrtle Creek, Oregon and/or Local Motors. Stainless steel jeep bodies with sliding doors and an EV conversion; or LM's Olli autonomous bus reconfigured to an automous mail van, that would carry or follow the postman.

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