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Old 10-10-2017, 02:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New mail truck prototype called electric but more like a Volt

https://www.trucks.com/2017/10/09/sp..._medium=social

I think this is a good compromise, the current trucks spend forever idling and starting and stopping. So if it looks like range is going to be a problem on a longer driving route, they can run the hopefully more efficient generator at peak efficiency to make it through the day.

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Old 10-10-2017, 06:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Luckily our old fleet is so problematic we have the world's most experienced breakdown response people already employed in house.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From the article:
Quote:
The USPS has said that half of the prototypes “will feature hybrid and new technologies, including alternative fuel capabilities.”
Really? Only half? Mail trucks are some of the best examples of vehicles that would benefit from being hybrids or electric.
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Would be interesting to say the least if Toyota developed a prototype for that next-generation mail van project. And they could easily make hybrid ones resorting mostly to off-the-shelf components.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:37 PM   #5 (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.
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.
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Back to the Future

Last time they did this was during the Carter Administration. After a month of prototype torture-testing, the Grumman KurbWatt was appointed winner, but the contract was modified from electric to the slightly bigger and ICE'd LLV after delivery of the first 50 fleet validation vehicles (which followed 12 prototypes) I have one of the fleet validators, Chassis #000054. It's an awesome little 3/4 ton step van and gets more car show attention than any other EV.

Karmann Eclectric: Search results for Grumman
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:28 PM   #7 (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.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think now is a great time to start replacing them. Hybrid technology has more than proven itself. PHEVs are well on their way to proving themselves as well. The vehicle's use makes a HEV or PHEV or even EV quite ideal.

The cost to keep the current fleet running are insane. According to wikipedia...

Quote:
In fiscal year 2009, the USPS spent $524 million to repair its fleet of Grumman LLVs...
That is a lot of dough.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:19 PM   #9 (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, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
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.


Quote:
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).


Quote:
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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