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Best bet for inexpensive small truck - 25 mi range?

579 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CharlieH
My wife and I have inherited her family's cottage rental business. The business currently has a small truck (1996 tachoma) that shuttles firewood, a lawn mower, returnables, and laundry. It never goes far, and does not drive in winter. It does, however, need to be able to to go short distances on a road with a 55mph speed limit.

It seems it probably doesn't make sense to convert this vehicle.

I'd be very interested if people have ideas about inexpensive ways to get and convert a small electric truck that could handle this load. (25 mile range, 50 mph top speed. 4wd would be great, but probably not strictly necessary)

Thanks for any input!!
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There are a few conversions that pop up from time to time. Ford Rangers, VW Caddys, etc. Doing your own conversion will take some time and quite a bit of expense.

A unique vehicle that I'm enjoying is a 2011 Azure (Ford) Transit Connect Minivan. Somewhere around 1000 were made in 2011 and 2012.

It should work for your small cargo needs. I'm going to try a light trailer with mine shortly.

The big issue is the company went bankrupt. So, there is no manufacturer support.

A few show up from time to time.

IAAI.COM currently has a bunch of them for sale in New York and West Virginia. Probably former DHL delivery vehicles. You may need a "Broker" to purchase.

The problem with auction vehicles is they may have issues, some simple, some a major hassle. And, limited support leaves you on your own.

Let's see.
The Azure is:
2-wheel drive, front wheel drive.
Up to about 80 mile range.
110V or 220V charging. Not particularly quick. No DC Rapid charging.
Speed is OK for freeway.
Should have AC and Heater, although for now I've just been rolling down the window.
2 seats and cargo in the back.
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A small, inexpensive, short range, infrequently used truck... is the truck you already have.

Don't spend a dollar converting it. Just do some minimal maintenance and drive it.

You'll never pay off the cost of the conversion in efficiency, savings, or environmental impact.

Just throw a tank of gas into it 3 times a year and carry on carrying on.
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There are Chinese or Japanese Electric Mini-Trucks that are available (Alibaba direct import?), but could be a major issue for licensing for road use in the USA.

People might not care if you're just zipping around a lake resort area.

"Neighborhood Electric Vehicles" may also fit the bill, but are limited to about 25 MPH, and may not be legal for high speed country roads.
@CliffordK: "does not drive in winter"

Did you miss that part?

Like the worst possible application to go electric and to turn batteries into bricks (because they typically shut off power to "winterize" cottages in these places) and you're all over it with EV suggestions.

As @MattsAwesomeStuff said: For the role and geographical base it has, don't do it. And don't buy one.
Thanks for the input everyone. I was kind of hoping that the kits I had been looking at were way over-priced for our application since they had much higher battery capacity than we need. But I believe @MattsAwesomeStuff that it's the wrong application for conversion. Cheers
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