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Old 10-13-2017, 01:41 PM   #11 (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   #12 (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   #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.
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   #14 (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   #15 (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   #16 (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, 10:43 PM   #17 (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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Old 10-16-2017, 11:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There's STILL quite a few Douglas DC-3's STILL plying the skies.
Since they're not pressurized, they can still last longer than pressurized airframes. No wonder most commercial jets are scrapped at a lower age than many of those older non-pressurized aircraft.

BTW too bad this DC-3 that flown by Varig was not restored to airworthy condition:
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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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.

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.
this^^^^

The Federal government is absolutely incapable of doing anything with any sort of financial responsibility. I work for a company who's largest customer is the federal government (TSA) and the way they burn through cash is astonishing. I suppose I shouldn't complain as it keeps me in a well paid job, but as a tax payer it does bother me.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm as libertarian, small government as they come, but in defense of the post office... they at least operate completely on taxes paid only by those who freely choose to utilize the service. They also are specifically enumerated in the US constitution as one of the few roles the federal government is supposed to fulfill. Some will say there are some government payments but they are a trade for some of the "free" services the PO provides for the blind and handicapped, the armed forces, and congressional mailings. They are a tiny piece of the budget. They do get special tax status because they are of course the federal government. The same kind of things enjoyed by say the military or forest service. On top of that they are by far the most efficient and lowest cost postal service in the world. If even 1/2 of the rest of the federal government worked as well we would be much better off. Of couse I might be a bit biased with 20 years with them now LOL!

As far as the trucks go, if they get as many as planned for the price they are talking they will be spending the money well, about $25,000 a piece and warrantied. You can hardly buy an off the shelf Promaster van for what they are talking about spending per unit on fully customized, purposely built trucks some of them like the hybrid in this thread.

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