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Old 01-28-2011, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking For Brainstorming: Two Projects

Iím looking for a little brainstorming for two projects.

First, the easy one.
Service trucks for a local university. Craftsmen use trucks as rolling tool and material storage Ė initial users will be HVAC technicians.
Terrain: Dead flat, urban
Speed: 20-35 MPH Sluggish acceleration is OK.
Weather Midwest US -10 to + 95 degrees It snows & rains (45 inches precipitation/yr)
Vehicle: One-ton Step-Vans. GVW: about 8,000 lb
Range: 25 miles a day, tops
Duty: About 5 miles per 8 hour shift One shift/day About 15 hr/day recharge time
Driver plus one passenger. Cab could be isolated from cargo compartment
I assume a propane water heater to provide cab heat/defrost.
Battery will run AC in cab only.
Stationary 120 V 15 A electric service.

What I envision is the ICE van converted to a fairly minimal battery pack. The low performance required would allow lead-acid batteries and common low-cost fork lift motors & controllers. Use the ICE automatic transmissions.

What batteries/motors/controllers do you guys recommend?



The hard one: The Long Ranger

I have a long (45-60 mile depending on route) commute both ways in all weather (-10 to 95 degrees). Figure 15 miles urban, 15 miles two lane state roads (Speed limit 60 MPH), and 15-20 miles Interstate (Speed limit 70 MPH). Pretty much flat terrain.
Vehicle has to be capable of steady 70 MPH and snappily accelerate to 80. I donít drive faster than 80 and only a few seconds a week over 70.
Figure manual transmission (Iím not going through this exercise and throw it all away through an inefficient slushbox).
Driver plus 50 lb groceries = payload.
Propane heater for winter. Battery driven AC for hot weather.
I would look for 175 mile range (in -10 degree weather) to allow me to run a few errands.
Target usage: 25,000 miles a year.

What Iím thinking is buy a decent S-10 or Ranger pickup with a stick shift and cab-and-a-half configuration. I wouldnít be using the truck as a truck at all (Iíd still have the F-350 for that work) so if I used the entire bed capacity (both weight and volume) Iím not out anything.

Seems to me like Iíd need a pretty powerful motor, a sophisticated control (with regenerative braking) and a honkiní big battery. As I run a lot at fairly decent speeds, it would justify a lot of effort to streamline the bed.

One thing that worries me is recharging. I only have 120 volt 15 amp service. With that huge battery, I may have to only drive it every other day. My day only allows me 12 hours for recharging throughout the week.

OK guys. Iím too big to stuff into a small car and besides a body-on-frame truck chassis is easy to modify.

If I could find a dual-clutch tranny, I could consider narrowing the truck and straddle the tranny hump.

Electricity is relatively cheap in Indiana as 98% of ours comes from coal. Figure 6 cents per KWH.

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Old 01-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
I’m looking for a little brainstorming for two projects.

I’m not going through this exercise and throw it all away through an inefficient slushbox.
So why go through this exercize and throw it all away by starting out with an inefficient, heavy vehicle for such a small payload

Body-on-frame certainly has some advantages, but you can't overlook the disadvantages : sheer bulk and weight, and less than ideal tyre options.

Quote:
Driver plus 50 lb groceries = payload.
How about a station wagon rather than a truck ?
Or a (smallish) MPV.

Especially given the speeds you want to travel at, aerodynamics are going to have a serious impact.
You could aerohead a truck, but you could also basjoos a station wagon or MPV if you want to go all the way on aerodynamics.

Both wagon and MPV should allow enough room and load capacity for a substantial battery pack for the (long !) EV-range.

A lighter vehicle will allow for a lighter motor.


My 2 cents of brain
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did you see the range required? This vehicle will need a very big battery to go that far. I don't sweat the weight too much as my terrain is as flat as a pool table.

I do not have the coachbuilding resources of a major corporation. Body-on-frame is easy to modify.

I fully intend to aerohead/basjoos the vehicle as much as possible.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A station wagon is not out of the question, but they are not particularly common in the US. Maybe a fifteen year old GM B-Body wagon.

The requirement for 175 mile range in cold weather dictates a half-ton (or more) battery.

Would ultracapactors be needed for decent acceleration?

How wide are such motors? If they were narrow enough, narrowing the truck to cut frontal area is possible. Another reason for body-on-frame. Narrowing would be fairly easy but mission impossible on a unibody.

Are control packages available with renerative braking?
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Solectra's S-10 truck used dual motors with the rear axle flipped around so the motors were behind the axle, the two motors then had a very simple gear box (chain drive?) so they could sit on either side of the drive shaft so the drive shaft could be long enough to have flex for the suspension movement.
S-10 apparently as a better frame for batteries to sit between the frame rails but the truck is heavier then the Ranger and the S-10 cab is smaller.
You might opt for a Toyota as they seemed to get better mileage and have a lower cab without being cramped.

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