One thing I’m also confused about is GVWR vs curb weight. My understanding is GVWR is the maximum allowable weight, including passengers, cargo, and tow. The curb weight is full tank of gas, no driver or cargo. Hard to find the actual weight without a trip to the dump.
Close, and maybe correct depending on whose terminology you use...
- Curb weight is with full tank of gas, no driver or cargo (or trailer)
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable weight, including passengers, cargo
- Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum allowable weight, including passengers, cargo, and anything towed
In some commercial truck contexts, GCWR is referred to as GVWR and no separate GVWR is considered. For an E-450, about 14,000 pounds is the GVWR, not GCWR (resulting from front and rear axle load ratings - GAWR - of about 5,000 and 9,000 pounds).
Actual weight is easy because there are lots of scales. Yes, you can use a dump, or a commercial truck scale (where they charge for an accurate vehicle weight), or highways scales used for commercial vehicle enforcement (and in some areas freely available for any vehicle).
Also consider the 1,500lbs of engine, transmission, and fuel would not be present, not to mention the 15-20 passengers weighing ~3,000lbs it is designed to carry, and the foldaway bench seats weighing ~400lbs.
I don’t have a ton of stuff, but I might have half a ton of stuff say +1,000lbs. Truly guessing here, but I imagine the GVWR includes people’s luggage too, and a bit of flexibility.
The point is, it wouldn’t actually weigh 14,050lbs.
Any conversion to EV of any type or size of vehicle causes a net increase in mass if it has significant range, due to the required battery size.
Conversion from passenger to RV service (which is the goal, I assume) is unlikely to decrease empty weight, but the stuff you carry in it may be lighter than a full load of passengers and luggage. Due to water (and later waste), RVs routinely operate near GVWR, including Class C motorhome built on the E-450 (which is why they use the E-450 instead of the lighter and less expensive E-350). If you use it as a mobile tent (a big empty box with no cabinets, no appliances, no plumbing) it would be lighter... and pointless.
I think that it is reasonable to plan on the basis of the weight being close to GVWR.
I am new to this, and not confident in making calculations, but for reference, these already exist: Products – Phoenix Motor Cars
The Lightning ZEV4™ shuttle bus is equipped with a state-of-the-art electric powertrain for zero-emission passenger transportation. Go electric!
Lightning Electric Zero Emission Ford E-450 Shuttle Bus Battery-electric vehicle Fast, smooth, and quiet Maintenance performed by trained local dealers Vouchers and grants available, call today for expert support Specifications Base Chassis Ford E-450 Shuttle Bus GVWR...
Yes, lots of conversion of this vehicle have been done, and the most effective way to get a good conversion is probably to buy a used one, since institutional and commercial operators have been known to buy "green" vehicles for political reasons and quietly retire them a few years later.
And fwiw the tires are 16”, not 30”
The earlier reference to tire size was the overall diameter (which is what is relevant to gearing calculations), not the nominal wheel diameter (which is irrelevant to gearing calculations).
Also, I hope this doesn’t ruffle any feathers, but I would want to use LiFePo4 batteries.
While some EV manufacturers use LiFePO4
, most EV manufacturers and most EV conversions do not. I don't see a reason to worry about ruffling feathers.