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Old 03-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Larger Hybrid

I would like to build a larger Hybrid. Every since I first found out about the Vixen 21TD I have wanted one. It gets 25-30 MPG in a 21 ft RV:
(How do you post images?) Has a .294 Cd, and sleeps 4(?) comfortably. I think this would be my regular driver as it already gets better FE than my 01 Montana. However, they are rare (I have gotten to ride in one, only about 350 made) And expensive (A cheap one runs $16,000US). I had heard that the dealer that originally bought the remaining parts after the company went under had several shells left but I could not find them.
So I have been considering starting with a Sprinter van. It gets 20-25 MPG and could be set up to sleep my family in comfort.

Why do I need a van? I live 100 miles from shopping. I would like to make a vehicle that is Electric but it would either have to go a minimum 200 miles per charge, or have a 100 mile per charge and get a charge while my family slept in the van. I would also like it to be able to go on longer trips as required by my business, so it must have the ability to extend its trip capacity.

Therefore, I feel that a van set up for electric operation capable of reaching 50 mph and a range of 20-30 Miles, with a diesel to achieve highway speeds would be best.
I would appreciate any help/suggestions for areo mods (full boattail starting just behind driver on hinge system so it can have full van capabilities when needed, chop and drop...), Also pros and cons of the different platforms and any other considerations.

My wife has already made evident that I have to do the mods on a different car than her Montana. However I could still get another similar vehicle to start with.
As this will probably be the only HEV I will ever have the opportunity to design I prefer to do it right the first time.

I have Pictures of all basic platforms, and have already used the HP estimator in the AreoMods thread to guesstimate Cd.

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
...beats walking...
 
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...I've gotten get my glasses checked!

...I swear I initially read the title here as "Lager Hybrid" and wondered how "beer" was gonna produce electricity?!?

...duh!
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you do this, you'll be driving around much more car than you need, which is wasteful. Sure, a Sprinter gets great gas mileage (but those are not EPA numbers, because the EPA doesn't gather that data on medium-duty vehicles), but a Prius gets much, much better fuel economy and costs less.

Toyota has been talking about a family of Prius-branded vehicles, such as the Prius coupe (small hybrid) and Prius van. Eventually, those will be interesting vehicles in their segments. Until then, the best midsized car on the market gets 50 EPA MPG, and the best large minivan gets 20 EPA MPG.

Since you already own a minivan, I recommend you use it for trips with the family. Sleep outside the vehicle, in tents when it's warm, or a cabin when it's cold. That frees you up to get a smaller vehicle for commuting. You could even haul a few weeks supplies in a compact hatchback, as long as you don't need to bring the whole family shopping.

Size is the enemy of good aerodynamics. 0.294 Cd is one thing, but remember that Cd is always multiplied by frontal area to give CdA. Also, crosswinds are a much bigger drag on a longer vehicle than a shorter one.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
...beats walking...
 
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...size & weight!

...in a mid-sized (3,000 lb class vehicle), every 100 lbs of weight reduces FE by 1-2 mpg.

...here's a GM-based (and EPA) equation(*) to estimate the mpg-change versus weight-change:

(mpg2 / mpg1) = (wt1 / wt2)^(0.72)

...where:
mpg1 = original mpg
mpg2 = new mpg
wt1 = original weight
wt2 = new weight

...(*) source: equation #1 (top of 3rd page, pg.226) of article by H.Maclean & L.Lave:
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es9905290

Last edited by gone-ot; 03-09-2010 at 09:45 AM.. Reason: added EPA equation & link to source document
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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on average, for a street-type mid-class vehicle, each 100lbs is approx .1 in the 1/4 mile, which (I believe) is equivalent to something like 10HP less that is needed to perform the same work.

keep in mind, that this is only under full-on acceleration.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
If you do this, you'll be driving around much more car than you need, which is wasteful. Sure, a Sprinter gets great gas mileage (but those are not EPA numbers, because the EPA doesn't gather that data on medium-duty vehicles), but a Prius gets much, much better fuel economy and costs less.
Ok, lets work through this. I admit that when I first read through your reply I thought "Who are you to tell me that it is too much car?" However since I have had time to think it through maybe you have a point.
I do not feel that the EPA numbers are accurate reflections of most drivers MPG. and the numbers I quoted for the Sprinter is 'real world' figures, the 'real world' figures that I find for the Prius is 40-45MPG combined. Yes this would be doubling my current FE. Yes it would be 'easier' than doing my own mod. Yes, it would make the trip without needing to be recharged. No, it would not carry all that I currently need to carry and would need to pull a trailer of some sort about 1/2 the time. No, it is not a vehicle that I am qualified/able to repair. No, it is not a vehicle that could be upgraded to full electric in the future as batteries improve. No, it would not operate long term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Toyota has been talking about a family of Prius-branded vehicles, such as the Prius coupe (small hybrid) and Prius van. Eventually, those will be interesting vehicles in their segments. Until then, the best midsized car on the market gets 50 EPA MPG, and the best large minivan gets 20 EPA MPG.
I agree a Prius van would probably fit the bill. I am not looking at 6 years down the road but now. If I were able to look at cars I would like the 1984 Lincoln Mark 6(?) with the Turbo Diesel it got 50 MPG EPA (about 45 RW) and do a hybrid conversion on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Since you already own a minivan, I recommend you use it for trips with the family. Sleep outside the vehicle, in tents when it's warm, or a cabin when it's cold. That frees you up to get a smaller vehicle for commuting. You could even haul a few weeks supplies in a compact hatchback, as long as you don't need to bring the whole family shopping.
I would like to replace the mini van completely. I do not need 2 cars (except maybe a golf cart for in town driving). Where I live it is below 0F at least 6 months of the year, and paying for a motel/cabin would not be economically feasible. I do usually take the whole family because it is usually the only time we get out of the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Size is the enemy of good aerodynamics. 0.294 Cd is one thing, but remember that Cd is always multiplied by frontal area to give CdA. Also, crosswinds are a much bigger drag on a longer vehicle than a shorter one.
Understood. Thankyou for the input, please think about this and see if there are any other solutions you might see that I do not. I am sorry for my initial reaction and hope that you would continue to point out flaws in my logic.

A point in thought, If I took the dimensions of the Vixon and scaled it to a Mini van size as a base, could that be a good start?

PS Here are the pics

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