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Re: [EVDL] Commercial delivery EVs for FedEx, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Staples, Frito-Lay,

I hope these programs work out better than similar EV programs did in the
1970s. Back then, they usually ended with the vehicles parked for months or
years, and eventually auctioned off for a fraction of the original prices.

= They omitted BMSes (actually, I think devices like the Badicheq didn't
even exist yet). Without good monitoring, either by instrumentation or by
maintenance people (see below), battery failures happened without warning.
This left the drivers stranded on the road, not a good way to get them to
appreciate EVs.

= The builders almost always overstated the range; the way fleet drivers
used the vehicles, they often got less than half the claimed range. The
drivers would run them flat. This damaged the battery, making matters
worse. And again, the vehicles had to be towed back to the base, annoying
drivers, managers, and customers.

= The drivers were often given little or no instruction in using the
vehicles, and they tended to be skeptical anyway. They had nothing invested
in the EVs and didn't much care for the change in their routine that EVs
required. They often saw the EVs as less convenient and less comfortable
(which they usually were), so they abused them out of annoyance and spite.
This exacerbated the vehicles' already troublesome weaknesses.

= The maintenance staff too were often poorly trained and almost always
unconvinced of EVs' advantages. Instead of being able to follow the
procedures they knew by heart, they had to actually read the service manuals
and consult with the manufacturers. That meant more work. So they hated
the EVs. They would sometimes deliberately neglect or even sabotage the
vehicles. I read one of report which described maintenance people watering
batteries by removing the caps and flooding the tops with garden hoses.

Thank goodness, batteries are much improved since then, and let's hope that
the builders have learned from the errors of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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