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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking about my needs for an EV and I am now considering something larger rather than smaller. I have a 1989 Toyota 4x4 pickup truck with a cap and I rarely drive it, but it comes in handy once in a while for getting stuff like firewood, furniture, building supplies, appliances, etc. But I think what would be even more useful would be something like a small (12-16 foot) box truck that has a capacity of 1 to 2 tons, and capable of towing a trailer or a small camper. It may even be possible to use it as a camper.

My thoughts are that a larger vehicle would have more room and a heavier frame that would easily accommodate a larger motor and heavier batteries, even (gasp!) lead, which may be practical for a vehicle that is meant for local pickup and delivery rather than highway driving, and for occasional use where the cycle life of lead batteries would not be as much of an issue. I'm sure I can figure out what I might need, and as a first approximation I would consider 24 x 100 Ah 12V deep cycle batteries for 288 volts and 28.8 kWh. This would cost about $2000-$2200 and would weigh about 1600 pounds.

Hopefully I can keep the total truck weight to about 5000 pounds. For an average 2% grade at 45 MPH my energy consumption would be about 500 Wh/mile and 30 HP (22 kW) which would be 78 amps and the Peukert effect would cut the effective capacity in half, so I would have a range of about 20 miles. For climbing a 10% grade at 45 MPH I would need 80 HP (60 kW), so a 50 or 60 HP motor should be sufficient. At that power I'd be drawing about 200 amps so I'd have about 40% capacity. But I also figure that a heavy truck at moderate speeds may be able to recoup much of the energy expended going uphill, when going down with regen.

I don't know if I'm actually going to do this, but it seems like a more practical EV for my purposes at this time, and it's something I may actually be able to afford, now. I saw some suitable vehicles on Craig's List for $1500-$2500, and I figure I can get a motor and VFD for about $2000, and the batteries for $2000, so maybe $6000 total. And I think I'd be able to sell it for close to that amount if I find I need the money more than the truck. But I might also be able to make a little money doing local pickups and delivery occasionally.

Any thoughts? Anyone else with similar conversions?

Thanks! :)
 

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It is an interesting line of thought, I have changed my trike project in a similar way.
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=345638&postcount=654

Instead of a 70mph, 70mile range trike for my commute, now that I no longer work at college my needs have changed.

The trike is now being developed into a cargo vehicle with a 40mph top speed and around a 10 mile range. The requirement is to be able to carry my tools for local bespoke joinery, and building maintenance, work with the largest cargo being occasional 8' x 4' sheet materials laid on the flatbed.

It should be a good candidate for running on lead, for the first year or so.

A part of the reasoning for my change of plan is also that I no longer have the funds to invest in a 'do everything' EV and so it seems sensible to, instead, invest in a 'do what I don't need an ICE to do' EV.

My diesel car, at 70mpg, will still do the long journeys and tow the trailer for any distance but the local money earning work and shopping trips can be done by EV.
 

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FWIW: in my Ranger at 5000# GVW, your numbers are VERY optimistic. 3% hill at 45 is about 400amps/160 vdc, 430 wh/mi flat and level @ 55 mph. gearing seems to just change the motor rpm, with no appreciable wh consumption difference. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That sounds promising, with 500 Wh/mile and 8000 lb GVW.

What I'd like to find is something like this, which uses a 120V FLA system and achieves 30 miles and 50 MPH:
http://www.evalbum.com/4159

And this is even better, at 223 Wh/mile, 37 mile range, 53 MPH, and a GVW of only 1600 lb. I like the idea of a basic two-seat cab and a short bed, capable of towing a trailer for larger loads as needed:
http://www.evalbum.com/3823

A small tilt/dump bed is also a nice feature:
http://www.evalbum.com/3677

Another little Diahatsu:
http://www.evalbum.com/3046

The VW Vanagon seems nice also. This one weighs 4000 lb with 1500 lb FLA battery pack, and gets 65 mile range and up to 72 MPH. He's in VA, near Blacksburg, so close enough to visit and share ideas:
http://www.evalbum.com/2996

The Hyundai Porter seems like a nice truck style, and this one weighs 4200 lb, and gets 50 miles and up to 65 MPH.
http://www.evalbum.com/2891

I like this as well:
http://www.evalbum.com/2774

And this:
http://www.evalbum.com/2745

I'll try to follow this build in progress. I had a similar truck (1961 Econoline van) configuration. It was simple and easy to work on, but the body and frame rusted beyond safe:
http://www.evalbum.com/1552

This is cute. Probably not really a 2200 HP motor!
http://www.evalbum.com/1537

Another with the style I'm looking for. Not bad, 25 mile range, 70 MPH, 1500 lb GVW:
http://www.evalbum.com/1408

A small van like this would be another possibility. I like the specs, with 288 Wh/mile, 88 MPH, 60 mile range, 2750 lb GVW:
http://www.evalbum.com/1007

Interestingly, most of the above use FLA batteries, so my projection of possible range and performance seem to be reasonable and maybe on the pessimistic side. Seems like my general concept may be a winner, for my own purposes. Thanks for the link - I should have checked EValbum. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I found a vehicle that might meet my needs. It's a Kia Micro Truck for $600: http://york.craigslist.org/cto/3701191565.html


I also found a series of vehicles that are similar. They weigh 1700 to 2000 lb and can carry a ton (at 25 MPH).
http://www.littlewhitetruck.com/pg2.html

Here is another similar truck, which is described as a Suzuki or a Geo Metro:
http://kennethwinter.tripod.com/id8.html

Here's more info on what I'm looking for:
http://badgerlandminitrucks.com/specs.htm

They have some cool vehicles!
 
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