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I have an old '69 Ford F600 flatbed that is going to be a Vinyard fruit truck. It will transport fruit from the vinyards to the winery in our little valley. I doubt it will every go more than 30 miles in a day, and never over 55mph(probaly not even 45). I might start using it as a run around truck so it is used more throughout the year, but that still keeps it in the same daily range. I am a heavy equipment mechanic by trade, right now maintaining a fleet of readymix trucks. I have no experience with the EV side of the industry but want to learn. Can anyone recomend a place to start. My goals for the project are to eliminate the need for a transmission and either go direct drive or use a gear reduction box, but i do not want a transmission to have to shift, including for reverse. Definitely want regen braking. I wont need most of the accessories found in modern vehicles. I am considering making it 4wd, and would like to hear thoughts on possibility of using 2 motors instead of needing a transfercase, and if that means 2 motor controllers with everything else. any thoughts or direction would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I have an old '69 Ford F600 flatbed that is going to be a Vinyard fruit truck. It will transport fruit from the vinyards to the winery in our little valley. I doubt it will every go more than 30 miles in a day, and never over 55mph(probaly not even 45). I might start using it as a run around truck so it is used more throughout the year, but that still keeps it in the same daily range. I am a heavy equipment mechanic by trade, right now maintaining a fleet of readymix trucks. I have no experience with the EV side of the industry but want to learn. Can anyone recomend a place to start. My goals for the project are to eliminate the need for a transmission and either go direct drive or use a gear reduction box, but i do not want a transmission to have to shift, including for reverse. Definitely want regen braking. I wont need most of the accessories found in modern vehicles. I am considering making it 4wd, and would like to hear thoughts on possibility of using 2 motors instead of needing a transfercase, and if that means 2 motor controllers with everything else. any thoughts or direction would be greatly appreciated.
I have a similar truck to this one, and have thought about doing this. I just rebuilt the gas engine, so I'll stick with that for a while. You probably have a Rockwell or an Eaton 2 speed differential. Mine is a Eaton Dana 16244 with 6.17/8.58 ratios. It would be important to know the ratios and tire diameter for a direct drive EV conversion. In my case, the differential can be set up with ratios from ~4 to ~10:1, with different gear sets.

If you have a wide set of ratios available to play with and don't need a high top speed, you may be able to use one of the 13" diameter series motors from Kostov or Netgain in a direct drive app. Other people can recommend controllers for these motors. As series motors, unfortunately, there's no regen option available. Regen is available with the brushless motor options: Other people can tell you about their ideas with Leaf and Tesla motor/gearboxes. Maybe a large induction motor or the running gear from an electric bus?

If you have good(cheap) access to lead-acid batteries through your work, that might be the way to go for starters. Twenty 8D truck batteries in series would be ~250V (Kostov max V?), ~60 kWh of energy, take up a lot of space, and weigh ~3500lbs.! At a ~50% depth of discharge(recommended depth for reasonable cycle life) you might get 30-40 miles range (30kWh / 1000 to 750Wh per mile). The lithium people are screaming right now, and will tell you about the lithium options.

If you ever want to put a hoist on this truck(dump truck option), you should think about the battery and motor placement in the frame. I have a hoist on my truck and frequent a local quarry, up a steep hill. I think about the ideal regen scenario (going up a hill empty, coming down with a full load) every time I pick up some crushed rock and have to rev out the engine braking and stand on the brakes, going down this hill!
 

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Thats part of the plan, to start off with cheap batteries for now and then swap out for lithium down the road. It has a long frame so there is plenty of room for everything. It has the 2 speed rearend for now, but that will go away. I will drop in an airride rear end and a front end with matching ratio(5.88:1 minimum). The tires are about 46" super singles. I do not need a dump bed, I have a 25k dump trailer that can handle more than I need to do. I am considering using 2:1 gear box since I do not need highway speeds. I have just started planning this out and Still have 99% to learn, but what if i used a pair of Siemens motors? They seem to be pretty beefy.Another idea is if i plan on 4wd, using a UQM eGearDrive box with a 6.5:1 reduction. I could use that as a transfercase for fulltime 4wd. Even just one of the larger UQM motor/controllers might be the way to go like the 135 or 220 with a 2:1 gear box.
 

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Thats part of the plan, to start off with cheap batteries for now and then swap out for lithium down the road. It has a long frame so there is plenty of room for everything. It has the 2 speed rearend for now, but that will go away. I will drop in an airride rear end and a front end with matching ratio(5.88:1 minimum). The tires are about 46" super singles. I do not need a dump bed, I have a 25k dump trailer that can handle more than I need to do. I am considering using 2:1 gear box since I do not need highway speeds. I have just started planning this out and Still have 99% to learn, but what if i used a pair of Siemens motors? They seem to be pretty beefy.Another idea is if i plan on 4wd, using a UQM eGearDrive box with a 6.5:1 reduction. I could use that as a transfercase for fulltime 4wd. Even just one of the larger UQM motor/controllers might be the way to go like the 135 or 220 with a 2:1 gear box.
Looks like you have a healthy budget for this project. There is a 220 inverter/motor set-up on eBay for $12k https://www.ebay.com/itm/UQM-POWERPHASE-220-HD-PROPULSION-SYSTEM-220-kW-MOTOR-CONTROLLER-PP-220-/332150530978

If you go this higher voltage route, and you do have the room for one, an intact Tesla battery might be an option. Last week one, out of a model S P100D, with 700 miles on it, went for ~ $10k on eBay.https://www.ebay.com/itm/TESLA-MODE...XTHTHufXPk5OBC9saLwNA%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc This is ~one third the battery weight over lead acid, cheaper than a set of top quality deep cycle 8Ds and ~3X the available energy would give you 100 mile+ range.

Another option ( I think the other Brian also mention this) is to use a complete Tesla S/X rear drive train as the motor/transfer case. It would be mounted sideways, with output driveline(s) going to the rear only for 2WD and both the rear and the front for 4WD.The differential would have to be locked somehow for 2WD. The motor tops out at 18,000RPM. Gearbox output with the stock ~9.7 gear ratio would be ~1860 RPM. This is pretty low speed and may require a low numerical (~2.5-3.5:1) axle from a low RPM, heavy duty diesel truck. Since you're changing the rear axle anyway, this may not be a problem. These are just ballpark figures and you'll need to confirm them with your tire size and truck usage.
 
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