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Old 09-24-2012, 03:26 AM
USDragoon USDragoon is offline
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Default Farm & Ranch EV Work Truck

Hello Everyone!

I'm a lay person when it comes to this type of stuff. I've kept tabs in the past on Tesla Motors, and last saw that they were introducing an AWD sedan. Very nice, but WAY out of my budget for just a car.

In my smattering of research thus far, I happened upon an interesting site called That got me thinking about potential conversion ideas. This weekend while in Denver, I really started fantacizing about the prospects of a 4 x 4, 1 ton dually thats all electric. What got me really going on this thought process is the fact that for now, our daily driver happens to be a 2008 1 ton chevy dually 4x4, 3500HD with a 6L gas engine. It gets an incredible 10- 13 mpg! Great truck! Awesome transmission! Expensive to drive!
Wife is talking me into a used Nissan Murano 6 cyl AWD that gets 27mpg as our daily driver.

The reason we have the dually, is because we're building a small farm here in Colorado at 9200 feet, in the mountains west of Pueblo. We get extreme weather, and we needed a dependable 4 x 4 cargo type truck in a bad way! Our '93 k-5 blazer gave up the drive train (tranny & transfer case) because of the loads we placed it under. Plus, it has about 200k miles on it and needs an extensive overall. That k-5 rocked in the snow though, with 10 ply Cooper SST's for meat!

Anyhow, with no offense intended, I see that many folks have successfully made short range "mini" vehicles that are all electric. However, has anyone attempted, or at least have plans on paper for an actual farm and ranch work truck?
I'm talking about a truck that has 4 wheel drive, with at least a 22,000 lb GCVW rating, and a 400 mile range that can do upwards of 80mph on the freeway.
I really need the range for hauling supplies, hay and livestock. Also, when I come up from the flat lands, the lowest elevation I go through is around 4500 feet, then starts the mountain pass proper, I'm going from about 6000 feet to home at 9200 feet, over 17 miles of road in that stretch. My shortest round trips are about 80 miles. This usually involves getting a few tons of hay, about 500lbs of feed, etc... I also tend to drag my 16' flat bed trailer along as well, and it has an empty weight of right at 2000 lbs.

I would think this would place a big strain on the battery/ motor/ controller/ et-al. So, I'm speculating that the system would essentially have to be "overdone", or over engineered to provide enough power for the demand, and to ensure long life of the batteries, etc...

If its possible to create a 1 ton 4x4 dually with a 22,000 lb GCVW rating, I'd love to here about it. Again, I know not a whole lot about the EV stuff, and am not a very good mechanic... but I know enough to keep my ICE mechanic honest.
If it is possible, I'd be interested in buying; I hear what's called a 'donor' vehicle, this coming year for the purpose of converting it. Perhaps a 70's model 1 ton with a manual tranny?

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Old 09-24-2012, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: Farm & Ranch EV Work Truck

Dude, I don't think there has ever been demonstrated a battery powered vehicle doing 400 miles on a single charge. Let alone a 10 ton truck doing 80.

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Old 09-24-2012, 12:24 PM
USDragoon USDragoon is offline
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Default Re: Farm & Ranch EV Work Truck


I just read the previous post 5,000+ Pound EV

to summerize for my understanding;

For the 1/2 ton delivery truck, the motor and controller came to about $12,500.00.
Given the battery pack, and options of power steering, A/C, etc..., The truck has a range of about 50 miles at an optimal speed of about 55mph.

Just for my minimum round trip range, I need at least an 80 mile range, and the system needs to be able to handle up to 22,000 lbs total weight up a 17 mile steep grade. Also, if/ when the weather turns sour, I'll need 4 wheel drive.

I must admit that I haven't kept records on milage/ fuel usage, however, I just did some quick math knowing it costs an average of $3.79/ gal at the pump. My real fuel costs for my current truck appears to be closer to $6000.00 per year. If I'm able to slash that by half with an EV, it would take about 4 years just to pay for the motor and controller.

Q: What is the life expectency of the motor and controller? I do demand performance in my vehicles (hence, 4 cyl engines never lasted me long).
As for my driving habits, my wife often times accusses me of driving like an old man. I do drive in a way to get many, many years of service- till the wheels fall off.

Q: Also, does adding more batteries help in adding more power for the hill climb? ...or help in any other way?

Finally, my current 1 ton has a curb weight of about 8000 lbs. I would think the removal of the ICE, radiator (and fluids) & 35 gallon gas tank would free up a lot of weight. How much? don't know exactly.

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Old 09-24-2012, 12:45 PM
dladd dladd is offline
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Default Re: Farm & Ranch EV Work Truck

Forget it. Stick with Diesel.
1995 Saturn SL2 ev conversion
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Farm & Ranch EV Work Truck

I say it can be done with performance you need but it will be costly. Maybe not worth it. I would like to see this kind of conversion happen though. I bet many others would like to see it too, hehe.

Jack at EVTV has done something heavy already. His Escalade weighs well over 7000lbs and has good performance (in my opinion). If I didn't misread his blog the car uses 925Wh per mile. For 80 mile range you'd need at least 74kWh of batteries. And thats without any significant load added. 74kWh of batteries cost nearly 30k$.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:59 PM
jeremyjs jeremyjs is offline
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Default Re: Farm & Ranch EV Work Truck

Don't forget to add the weight of that much battery to your calculations on range. 74KW worth of batteries will weigh about 1500 lbs plus battery boxes, bolts, straps, etc etc.

Last edited by jeremyjs; 09-24-2012 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:31 PM
Caps18 Caps18 is offline
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Default Re: Farm & Ranch EV Work Truck

Via has a hybrid truck that might be something to look into. You get a tax break on it too, even though if GM had made it it would cost $20,000 less probably... (I'm not sure why no one has developed a pick-up truck yet )

Trust me, what you want is in the extreme expert range, if it is even possible. And the time you save in converting could go towards making more money and getting a bank loan to pay it off over a few years, which you can't do in a conversion easily.
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