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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/22 12:57 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

I agree the small truck market could work very well for EVs.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
1/22/22 1:07 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

That Audi, to me, cries out for a set of silver Enkei RFP1's.

I used to think about a Maserati BiTurbo EV conversion but an NC MX-5 seems a bit more smart.  BiTurbo Spyder seems like both best and worst of both worlds.  But those are the cars that interest me the most for a DIY EV swap project. 

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/22/22 1:19 p.m.

Transit connect full hybrid or electric. Buts it's gotta tow my Scirocco to the track and back and let me sleep in too. Like an Astro but no or little emissions.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
1/22/22 2:43 p.m.

In reply to vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) :

What about the Ford E-Transit ? Would that work even though it's much bigger than a Transit Connect?

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/22/22 3:07 p.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

In reply to vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) :

What about the Ford E-Transit ? Would that work even though it's much bigger than a Transit Connect?

The E Transit has approximately 125 miles of range and weighs approximately 500 pounds more than a gas fuelled Transit. Given much more battery weight it would be consigned to life as a potato chip truck (low weight, high volume).

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/22 3:36 p.m.

I have to admit I hadn't heard of the E Transit. Ford is really going after the commercial EV market. Okay Javelin, throw some seats in there and you've got your minivan :)

Interesting note on the Ford site. This is the math that commercial customers can do and private customers are terrible at. It's this balancing of battery size vs cost vs mass that I expect we'll see play out in the market for years, kinda like how we balance power vs economy vs cost now.

By leveraging more than 30 million miles of Ford Pro™ Telematics* data, we learned that the average daily range from commercial vans in the U.S. is 74 miles. Of course, we also understand that there are days when those distances are higher and recognize the need to adjust for factors such as cold weather. We consequently designed E-Transit with a targeted 126 miles of range (Cargo Van low-roof models). **

The SWB low roof E Transit (the one with the 126 mile range) has a cargo capacity of 3880 lbs. The gas powered SWB low roof E Transit T-150 has a cargo capacity of 3685 lbs, the T-250 is 4000, the T-350 is 4515 - but with the SWB low roof bodystyle I suspect you might run out of cubes first.

At the other end of the scale, the most capacious bodystyle is rated at 3300 lbs payload for the EV and about 3900 for the equivalent ICE (depending on the engine). That's about 15% less.

All the E Transits are called T-350 as they have the same GVWR as the T-350 gas vans. So that payload difference is the batteries.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/22/22 5:20 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

As always, your logic is impeccable. I'm sure there are many businesses that can use the E Transit well. 
 

I'm not thrilled with the use of "average daily range" as a metric. First off, I'd use the mean, not the average. Or the average range WHEN USED. There are a lot of vans that sit still many days. 
 

But the bigger deal for me as a person who has used vehicles like this my entire working career is that I can't run my company on averages.  My tools and vehicles have to meet my worst case scenario.  A range of 126 miles would be a no-go for me, regardless of what the national averages are (or even what my own personal averages are). It would define (and limit) the geographic territory in which I could sell my services. 
 

We all try to stay near home, but when times get tough, I'm sending my crews farther. I'll take whatever I can get during hard times. There have been dozens of times when that meant I sent crews to jobs that were 5 hours away. It kept us alive.  A fleet of vehicles with 126 miles of range could translate for me to a need to lay-off staff, and then I might lose them. Can't do that. 
 

Perfect vehicle for regular delivery routes, local service work, etc. But I can't use it in construction. 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
1/23/22 9:34 a.m.

All I want is an electric Honda Element or something with similar room, split hatch and fold up or fold flat seats and lots of headroom and easy to clean interior. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/22 10:16 a.m.

In reply to SV reX :

There are a lot of delivery vans and tradesmen that work in urban areas with a limited footprint and consistent daily use. We can start there and let the wide ranging work crews use something else. I'm not trying to sell you a van.

As for median vs mean vs average, I suspect that quote came from marketing and not a statistician :)

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/23/22 10:44 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I understand. 
 

35 years of my 40 year career was spent doing local construction, not wide range. 100% of my time owning my own company was spent doing local. I still had to send crews further when times were tough. 
 

126 miles of range would not have cut it for me.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/22 10:51 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

I agree the small truck market could work very well for EVs.

Toyota already has the tech, and it should be easy to stick the batteries under the bed. I don't understand why they didn't start doing it in 2016.

Erich
Erich UberDork
1/23/22 11:23 a.m.

I want a new premium city car, I guess the new Mini is a good start to that but I'd prefer a ground-up design. I would love a Miata RF with an electric powertrain. 

The problem with Minivans is they're often road-tripping machines and I don't think our battery tech and charging infrastructure could support that yet. I wish VW well with their ID.buzz but it sure still feels like Vaporware. Same with the Canoo. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/22 12:26 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

If not a full electric (they seem hesitant on that due to Japan's emphasis on hydrogen), why not a hybrid? There must be a reason. Could it have to do with the manufacturing? The trucks are built in the US for taxation purposes, are any of the hybrids built here?

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/23/22 12:46 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Interesting note on the Ford site. This is the math that commercial customers can do and private customers are terrible at. It's this balancing of battery size vs cost vs mass that I expect we'll see play out in the market for years, kinda like how we balance power vs economy vs cost now.

Commercial customers also often have a multi-vehicle fleet.  If you need 5 vans you can make 4 of them electric and 1 gas, get 80% of the savings, and still have the ability to send a van out for the infrequent jobs where the EV won't cut it.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/23/22 1:05 p.m.
SV reX said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

As always, your logic is impeccable. I'm sure there are many businesses that can use the E Transit well. 
 

I'm not thrilled with the use of "average daily range" as a metric. First off, I'd use the mean, not the average. Or the average range WHEN USED. There are a lot of vans that sit still many days. 
 

But the bigger deal for me as a person who has used vehicles like this my entire working career is that I can't run my company on averages.  My tools and vehicles have to meet my worst case scenario.  A range of 126 miles would be a no-go for me, regardless of what the national averages are (or even what my own personal averages are). It would define (and limit) the geographic territory in which I could sell my services. 
 

We all try to stay near home, but when times get tough, I'm sending my crews farther. I'll take whatever I can get during hard times. There have been dozens of times when that meant I sent crews to jobs that were 5 hours away. It kept us alive.  A fleet of vehicles with 126 miles of range could translate for me to a need to lay-off staff, and then I might lose them. Can't do that. 
 

Perfect vehicle for regular delivery routes, local service work, etc. But I can't use it in construction. 

Would 126 miles allow your guys to reach as far as you service?  Why couldn't you use a portable generator to be plugged in and charge the vehicle back up for the trip back home while they are doing the job?   I know there are 220 generators in compact sizes you can haul along for the rare  case when electric does have sufficient range?  
     I just saw a " gas pump" style charger that Sunoco(?) is preparing for their stations.  Will it be that much longer before they are the norm? 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/23/22 2:10 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd and coders:

Absolutely. Those ideas could work, perhaps very well. There is always a work-around. 
 

The most efficient my company ever became meant that EVERY truck carried EVERYTHING we would need at a job site for virtually every job we would encounter. That's why we drove utility body trucks. 
 

We did not load or unload tools and equipment. Never met at a central location. Never worried about which truck did or did not have the equipment or supplies for a particular job. My crews never spent time at supply houses. Trucks went home with them so we could start efficiently every morning without wasting time meeting at the shop. 
 

Having to load tools would also mean having to remember to load all the associated stuff. It doesn't do any good to load a demo saw if you forget to load the blades or the gas can.  It was ultimately better for me to make sure each truck had their own.

So yes. I could easily solve the problem by considering a generator for those rare times, or having a couple of gas trucks instead of an entire fleet of them. But that would also mean inefficiencies- forgotten fuel can for the generator or power cord, or the frustration of switching crews between trucks (every individual has their own tools and supplies on board in their own way. Switching to a different truck would mean swapping tools over, stuff forgotten, etc)  Every tradesman is like that.  Even a mechanic working in a shop will be inefficient if you ask him to switch bays and work with someone else's tools.

I know these things sound petty, but they were very, very real to me for years that I ran my business.

The best crews I work with now all have similar efficiencies in how their vehicles are set up for their own trades.  Switching trucks is not good.

For those reasons, I would not buy electric vans with 126 miles of range.  
 

There are other industries I know they would work well with.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/22 2:12 p.m.

Package delivery is the obvious first use case. Very consistent and predictable use, always returning to a home base at the end of a shift. Roaming generalists are harder.

BAMF
BAMF HalfDork
1/24/22 3:27 a.m.

I'm hoping Ford will announce an electric version of the Maverick.

Rotaryracer
Rotaryracer Reader
1/24/22 6:15 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

VW's van will be stylish (hopefully) but it may end up selling more to the Transit Connect small business or local delivery demographic than the school run crowd.

I was really hoping VW was going to bring over the cargo version of the Buzz, but thought I read somewhere it will be all long wheelbase passenger vans.  I'm still interested as a DD/local delivery vehicle, but would've really preferred not to have to remove and store seats and trash a finished interior.  Guess we'll find out on 9-March!

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
1/24/22 6:52 a.m.

 

Interview with Herbert Diess:

Discussing the Buzz...
"In this new Microbus, the interior size is much bigger than the existing T7 bus, which we are offering on the platform of a reduced size even compared to the current ICE [internal combustion engine] car. What we really bring back is that initial room efficiency rather than a huge space. You have very low angle overhangs over the front, very much like the first Microbus. You typically need a one-box design, and that is why electrification brought back this opportunity. When I joined Volkswagen, bringing back the Microbus was a dream of mine because it is probably the most emotional car the world has ever seen. It came at the right time: in the hippie era of the ‘60s, the Microbus was a cultural item. It created so much positive awareness, not just in the United States, but worldwide — though not in China because they didn’t experience it — but in the rest of the world, the Microbus is so nicely perceived. It’s so tied to positive memories of Volkswagen that it’s really a brand essence. From my first day at Volkswagen, my wish was to bring this car back to life, and only electrification gave us that opportunity.

There were probably six or seven attempts to bring back this initial icon, but the real chance came with electrification. We pushed it through and I’m really excited. I think America is waiting for this product. In Europe, many people are looking forward to it. I think the team has done a great job: the car will perform very nicely as a modern car while still awakening all those memories of freedom from the very liberal time of the 1960s.

***
When I pushed very hard for this project — I have to say that I really fought for this project because it was very important for me. There was quite a lot of skepticism when we made the decision in 2015 as to whether EVs would work at all, and whether this would be a good investment or a bad investment. You have to imagine that this was still during the Trump administration: our American colleagues had been very conservative on their volume perspectives at that time, which led to a situation where the decision to bring the car to America was made very late. It required some modifications for the local American specs, which is why the car is coming much later in the US. I feel sorry about that, and I apologize for it, because I think the car is really important for America."

 

Erich
Erich UberDork
1/24/22 7:10 a.m.
Chris_V said:

 

Interview with Herbert Diess:

Discussing the Buzz...
What we really bring back is that initial room efficiency rather than a huge space. You have very low angle overhangs over the front, very much like the first Microbus. You typically need a one-box design, and that is why electrification brought back this opportunity. 

This made me laugh a bit. The OG microbus (and really any other mid- or rear-engined van that followed) was known for some pretty long overhangs and a forward-control driver, which is the main reason for the ridiculous space efficiency.

With modern safety standards it might be impossible to replicate that airy feeling inside, and so you lose a ton of the magic of the original. While the outside apes the shape of the original, the driver is sitting wayyyy back from the windshield and so there goes that magic space efficiency. 

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
1/24/22 7:30 a.m.

Whether the windshield is right in the driver's face or extended forward for styling, his statement is correct. This thing is more space efficient that the Pacifica et al.

I'm reserving final judgement until I see the uncamo'd versions, but if they don't at least offer two tone paint, they're missing the mark...

This rendering still looks like it's the most accurate:

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/24/22 8:13 a.m.

In reply to SV reX :

Something I don't understand is when something like the range doesn't fit to every situation you might encounter, you completely dismiss the vehicle entirely.  Why not have both? Especially when you have a fleet of vehicles anyway?  EV vans for the short range jobs and ICE vans for the long distance jobs?

While I want an EV minivan for the local driving I do, I don't plan to entirely eliminate my ICE vehicles for times when those are more appropriate for the task (or I just want to drive an old car).

My guess on when we'll see an EV minivan/van is when the EV "skateboard" is more prevalent and manufacturers have exhausted other body styles.  For example, when Ford can produce all of the Mach-E platforms it wants to meet the SUV variant sales, then we will likely see that platform with different body style options.  If I had money to burn, I'd buy a Mach-E, rip the body off and install an old E-series van body on the chassis.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/24/22 9:03 a.m.

Where are all the Tesla Model Y's selling?  The reason I ask is that I feel like I'm in a pretty Tesla-heavy part of the US (Southwestern CT), and I think I've only spotted 2 or 3 Model Y's in the wild.  The Model S and Model 3 are everywhere, and even the Model X seems more popular than the Model Y.  And our area is generally heavier on SUVs because of the snow and of course, image.  I never would have dreamed that the Model Y has sold as well as the sales figures suggest.  I'd even say I've seen more Taycans that Model Y's. 

I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for them!

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
1/24/22 9:12 a.m.

I think an EV version of a Mazda 3 would be very enticing.

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