We started at the wrong end. The whole automotive industry made the intellectual mistake of thinking EVs were all about maximum range, so we all started with small vehicles that are basically very economical anyway. Yes, you do save fuel. You can use a smaller battery, but it makes less sense to take a 40 mpg vehicle and make it electric than it does to take a full-size pickup or SUV, which in town realistically gets 11 to 12 mpg. If you take that to 100 mpg, now you’re really saving money and saving a scarce natural resource and reducing CO2 emissions drastically.The idea here being that the economic savings from larger vehicles would have been more enticing to consumers than the fuel savings of owning a smaller sedans that are already relatively efficient.
Why the Chevy Volt should have been a truck
— By Tyler Falk on January 6, 2014, 4:53 AM PST
Sure, and start with postral service vehicles. Fedex and I think UPS already have some trial EVs deployed.
However, auto companies are in the business of making $, so the markup on cars may be the driving force here.
The man is absolutely correct. The auto industry made a huge blunder by going with electric cars instead of Trucks, SUVs, and Vans, especially when it comes to the urban markets, ...but we all must remember 1976, "Who Killed The Electric Car?" Great documentary that explains how the oil industry pretty much is responsible for a great many wows of the world today.
By holding back technologies that really could have propelled humanity towards a much more viable position for economic sustainability and controlled growth, the oil companies have effectively squeezed, ...backed humanity into a preconceived corner of no return, ...Always reliant upon oil, like a drug addict and the manufacturer/dealers of today. I believe both are referred to as "Cartels?" Every product made throughout the world needed some form of oil to produce it, transport it, and then use it via oil, including the above analogy of drug manufacturing and usage.
As the global population continues to grow meaning our hunger for fossil based fuels will continue to increase. By 2060, something called Peak Oil that began in the 1980's, will come to pass. There will be no more oil for a global economy based entirely on oil. What do you think is going to happen with 10 billion hunger mouths to feed and oil is the only viable way for food production and distribution? Mad Max at Thunder Dome!
If we do not drastically begin right now, actually 20-30 years ago more realistically, to curb our consumption of energy, or at least relentlessly seek more efficient means to extract the most proficient means of utilizing energy, ...we as a species will be going the way of the dinosaurs. Our shortsighted greed will lead to our own extinction within the projected next 100 years.
At best, we as a species will revert back to another dark ages of time with about the same amount of people as it was 2,000 years ago. Why do you think there is a global effort providing underground seed and DNA genetics banks throughout the world, not to mention the data storage facility being constructed in the desert of Utah that's (4x) the size of Washington DC?
I just bought a brand new 2013 Toyota Prius 3 that gets 50 mpg. I originally was going to get a Toyota Tacoma truck but the gas mileage sucks (18-20) at best. I investigated throughout the market for a hybrid truck and there was absolutely nothing to be offered. That is ludicrous in this day in age when we only have maybe 46 years of realistic oil left. The oil companies don't really seem hard pressed to encourage the car industry to think conservation. What does this say?
If VIA Motors already had the vehicle today, and if it got 35-40 mpg. while allowing the batteries to be charged via a solar power roof, braking aspects, and or charging plugin, looked similar to a Toyota Tacoma with extra cab, and the big gas savings came with the stop and go town or urban traffic, I would have bought it hands down! No Question, because it is exactly what I was looking for. I'll just have to wait 5 more years for VIA Motors to get the job done. Hallelujah!!!
I take my hat off to VIA Motors for their efforts. Keep it up and you will inspire the rest of the auto industry to get on board or become extinct like the future potentiality of the human race. This is not doom and gloom, it is a statistical fact of global sustainability. The numbers don't lie, ...People do. Just as guns don't kill, ...People do! It all comes down to choices we make and the consequences that come forth from our actions!
It would have been even better had the first EVs been farm tractors as they do not have a range problem; have plenty of space for rechargeable battery packs and the lifting equipment needed to change packs; they need the weight of the batteries to replace the weight of the heavy diesel engine; and removal of the diesel engine leaves plenty of space for the battery pack as there would be four small electric motors in the four wheels. Further, farms have the space for solar PV and wind-turbines to recharge the battery packs as well as providing surplus electricity for the farmer to use at home, in the milking parlour etc some of which can be supplied by the same tractor battery packs on cloudy days or when the wind does not blow.
Spinetic Energy Ltd in the UK is designing wind-fences that capture wind energy at between 4m and 6m elevation and can be sited along existing stock fences or hedgerows without any loss of farmland. They do not need special tracking and the 2m tall VAWTs can be changed from the back of a tractor without needing a crane. These will be at least twice as cost effective as sub 500kW wind-turbines and, at 6m height and matt green, have less impact on the landscape.
Lutz is only stating the obvious and it's already been said for years. It's not too late. Trucks could also use much smaller engines if they had electric boost to get moving. Locomotives have always worked this way taking advantage of electric motor's ability to generate torque at one rpm.
This is an utterly bad idea for SUVs. SUVs of today aren't much bigger, if at all, than regular mid-size cars. Yes, they do have slightly bigger trunk space, but, most of the time, they're empty or don't carry that much more than the trunk of a regular car. Most SUVs of today are the same size of 5 passenger cars, and the main difference is in height of the vehicle, and in the rear gate. Thus, they're basically regular cars disguised as SUVs.
Trucks are a different story, but, electric engines will turn them into expensive local distance vehicles. That's very dumb. People would be paying more to get less. Not practical at all. Perhaps it would make a slight difference with small pickup trucks, but there again, people would still be paying a lot more for very little gain.
Mr Lutz is simply second-guessing the decisions of the past, and there is nothing at all to indicate that making electric SUVs and trucks would have made any difference. If that is the route they had taken, then someone else, or Mr Lutz himself, would today be arguing about how the EV industry should've concentrated on putting the technology into automobiles, rather than into SUVs and trucks. The coulda/woulda/shoulda people will always be around to point out the mistakes of the past, but only because their ideas of the past were given time to work and didn't.
I'm all in favor of electric vehicles, I own a plug-in, but fleet operators already have the option of purchasing trucks that run on cheaper, cleaner natural gas. They also have the option of converting existing vehicles. Those seem like better 5-10-year plans while giving battery technologies more time to improve.
I've been screaming this year years now; By focusing on range issues, EV proponents are killing the EV. EVs are not going to be competitive with vehicles requiring long range, at least for the foreseeable future. Charging stations on every corner isn't going to change that.
Lutz may be right. Low-mileage utility vehicles which travel short distances on a daily basis might have been a better bet.
But ultimately, I blame this on politics. A large contingent of the EV lobby are car-haters anyway, and the idea of a 100 MPG SUV would have been anathema to them anyway.
Totally Agree with this article.
I've been saying this for years. Trucks & SUVs have the space to stuff a big battery under that huge body (to make up for the extra size + weight). Voila', a vehicle that is substantially more efficient than its internal combustion (IC) counterpart. Add in the fact that these vehicles are more likely to be driven less than 60 miles per day (soccer moms & Good-Ole boys who love to drive their pickup to work), BANG ... a usable vehicle void of "consumer angst" about mileage.
Win - Win scenario.
Please don't call the Chevy Volt an electric car; it is clearly a hybrid as it has battery power and an internal combustion engine. You are perpetuating a lie that Chevy promoted leading up to the Volt's introduction, namely that it is an electric car with fantastic range, it is not, it is a hybrid with a range that is typical of other hybrids.
Intuitively making a heavy vehicle like a truck all electric does sound dumb but, thanks to regenerative braking technology weight is not as big a disadvantage as one might think. Yes it takes huge amounts of electricity to get a heavy truck moving but with regenerative braking much of that electricity is put back into the batteries when the brakes are used. You are right in that the rolling resistance of a heavy vehicle is a disadvantage and regenerative braking can only return a percentage of the energy to the batteries still, many cities are experimenting with electric busses with some success.
This is an utterly dumb article, that should have been cut at editorial review.
Why not an EV truck ? - because they are too damn heavy and energy consuming - because they 'are trucks'.
Shame you can't get much Turbo Diesel car action in the USA, as something in the Prius size category like a 2013 Honda Civic 1.6iDTEC in the UK will give a combined 78mpg with a conventional engine.
The same engined 2013 Honda CRV small SUV is about 60+mpg too.
@schaeneman You can electrify cars all you want, but never my truck.
@schaeneman The boogeymen are always the oil companies to you ignoramuses.
Look, EVs have been around for over 100 years, and there have been many cycles where EV advocates and makers did try to get EVs to market. Each time they failed, and each time, you anti-oil ignoramuses blamed the oil companies.
Here we are again, with EVs being made by many companies, and a huge variety of them being made. You people continue ignoring the inherent problems with electric vehicles, namely the high prices of them, the range anxiety, the length of time to recharge, the lack of recharging stations, and a few others. And, if a vehicle cannot be purchased without government subsidies to assist in the purchase, then it's a vehicle which is not consumer friendly. If a consumer cannot afford the vehicle, then it doesn't belong in the market. Those are the problems we have today with EVs, and they're the same problems that existed in prior attempts to get people to like them. It didn't work in the past, and it's not working now, and wont work for the foreseeable future.
And, NO, the problem wasn't that the makers didn't concentrate on trucks or SUVs or tractors. In fact, if electric SUVs and trucks and tractors had been tried first, you can be sure that virtually all of them would have been left on the dealers' lots.
And, that nonsense about "peak oil" has been around for around 100 years, and we are still discovering new oil deposits and extracting more than ever before in history. The "peak oil" nuts will still be uttering the peak oil nonsense some 100 years into the future, while the world continues finding new oil.
BTW, I'm for EVs and hybrids, but not with the inherent problems which I mentioned above. Get rid of those problems, and the world will stop using oil. It's that "simple".
I recently purchase a Ford SUV, but that's after 2 months of searching for a good MPG vehicle. I researched the EVs available, as well as several hybrids, including the Prius. None of them met my criteria, and I had to settle for an adequate MPG vehicle which met most of my other needs. So, to re-iterate, the problems are not with the manufacturers, nor with the oil companies; the problems are with the technology which is still not ready for prime time. It's that simple.
@skf Locomotives work because they only have to start moving one car at a time. The coupling between cars is loose enough so that one car starts moving an inch or two before it starts tugging on the next car in the train. That way the locomotive(s) don't have to overcome the static friction of the whole train.
@rstoeber I think fleets are the only ones who can do any of the fuel changes easily.That's why they can do the natural gas. Building one charging station for ten cars/trucks has got to be more cost-effective than building one new charging station for each new vehicle.
But if you're investigating new tech to address CAFE standards, then trucks don't work because they are exempt (hence that's another reason they have such bad mileage today).
If you want this sort of change, Peugoet of France already make this sort of thing with their 3008 Hybrid4 SUV cross-over. it has your a traditional Hybrid combustion engine, though a more frugal turbo diesel one just for the front wheel drive, with the Electric Motor's powering the real wheels to give a pseudo 4x4 effect.
Novel, as first diesel hybrid, novel by simplifying the mechanicals by not having a heavy traditional 4wd transmission and diff and mixing the combustion drive with the electric drive wheels - whilst maintaining the 4wd benefits. This is the sort of step-change in thinking manufacturers need, not fruitless pie in the sky thinking of eTrucks and eSUV's where the tech (esp batteries) is decades off.
Hopefully the tech will advance in further leaps and bounds, with the move to heavy use of regenerative tech from 2014's Fomula 1 season - often a testbed for this sort of auto mechanical stuff, with the money no real object.
London Buses are already piloting this sort of F1 derived tech, and no reason why not applicable to trucks either - the eTruck/eSUV talking up is missing the point.
I'm still skeptical and unable to square the circle on how they claim that the combustion engine will only be used as a 'peak efficiency' battery generator, and the electric motors power the drive-train - giving 100mpg in normal driving conditions.
actually you are wrong in your assertion. Yes
the trucks are heavy and energy consuming, BUT properly designed an
electric TRUCK is more economical and environmentally friendly than an
electric CAR. because they are heavy and energy consuming.
Many tracks are driven a lot of miles in town(less fuel economical environment)
using stop/go mode. an electric motor have much more torque power from the get-go over ICE+Transmission
so it will save some fuel/energy when starting to move the truck when ICE will need to be reved-up to engage the transmission.
electric truck will not need to be left idling in cold weather(with some exceptions) thus saving fuel and eliminating emissions.
all of this of course applies to
cars as well but most cars are simply driven to/from a specific
destinations and are off most of the day where trucks are used all day
Not always the case. If a locomotive is parked with the last few cars on a grade, those cars will pull the other cars so their linkages are tight. And modern linkages don't have the play in them the old style linkages do. So in many cases, the locomotives must break the static friction lock on all the cars at basically the same time. To do this requires that the engines produce maximum torque at 0rpm. Only electric motors have that capability which is why diesel-electric drive is the most common system in frieght locomotives.
The article says trucks, vans and SUV's and EV's not hybrid's... As the refered article goes on to mention "The VIA Motors VTRUX can travel 40 miles as a pure electric vehicle" - it kinda says it all no use to anyone - was this with a useful load in the back, or empty ? Give us some real world useful info. What is the charge time.
If you want eVan, then look back (not too far) into the history with the established Modec (Coventry, UK) vans, which went bankrupt and the IP was bought by Navistar as they were already partners with the eStar electric van range from 2011 - already shipping, not real soon now from Bob Lutz.
If you want an eSUV, look at the eRange Rover - 200 miles range, but with a horrendous price-tag of £GBP95-150K, from Liberty, also involved with the carcass of Modec. If we could get a suggested date when we could get a small SUV like a Toyota Rav4 or Honda CRV with a mileage >200 miles and price comparable to a traditional engine powered one, then the public might wake up and be interested. By comparison with established best of breed petroleum powered ones, a current 1.6 iDTEC diesel Honda CRV gives around a combined 60mpg (Uk gallon) > 600 miles for a 60 litre tank range.
The info is already out there, and not hard to find, but the lazy journo's at SP either can't be bothered to do any basic article context or supporting research, don't do any fact checking or common sense challenge, or don't have the time to spare as they are too busy at the churnalising articles/press releases factory.
Take a look above your electric train, or indeed many City trams, and what do you see - Vast Pantograph, cable, associated steelwork infrastructure and electrical substation and control units holding it up, carrying very high voltage/high current mains electricity - with sufficient electrical power to drive the heavy duty motors in trains (smaller ones in trams or trolley buses) moving these drive wheels.
Take a look above your Via eTruck, or a larger Big Rig what do you see - Nada. A turbo-diesel engine with 100+L fuel tank is it, to generate the power.
Is it any surprise seeing that a state with a huge technology economy tried to tax ALL technology services.
There are only really 4 choices here...
1. Central State Funding via general taxation
2. Central State funding via a vehicle excise duty (as in the UK, though money gets siphoned off to other uses).
3. Tax (Sales and or Duty) on fuel (again gets siphoned off to other uses)
4. Road Usage Tolls (universally hated, esp. when you are fleeced)
None of the above are palatable, but someone needs to pay for the road.