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Ezekiel2517

Towing with electric?

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I know that electric motors have crazy torque ratings but how would they work in real world towing?  It seems like it would draw the batter down super fast resulting in very short range.  So even if you had 700-800 ft lbs of torque, wouldnt it be kinda pointless if you could only use it a little while.  It seems like a plug in hybrid might be a good idea if it could supplement the gas engine all the time.  

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3 hours ago, Ezekiel2517 said:

I know that electric motors have crazy torque ratings but how would they work in real world towing?  It seems like it would draw the batter down super fast resulting in very short range.  So even if you had 700-800 ft lbs of torque, wouldnt it be kinda pointless if you could only use it a little while.  It seems like a plug in hybrid might be a good idea if it could supplement the gas engine all the time.  

On YouTube, TFL took a Tesla Model X across the Eisenhower Pass:

 

 

As you can see, your assumptions are correct!  All hat, no cattle.

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Cool.  Just watched it.  It kinda proves my point though.  The power is incredible, but the range goes out the window.  To be fair gas engines get half their normal MPG at best while towing.  However, I can stop on a long trip and instantly fill up my tank and keep going.  How can this be made practical on an EV if you could only go 100 miles then stop for hours to charge?  And at few and far between charging stations.   Just doesn't seem practical for that kind of work yet.  It would be awesome, yes, but if you actually use your truck as a truck it doesnt seem viable.

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It's all about the batteries.

The continue to be improved daily.  Both storage capacity and quick-charge ability. 

 

Wasn't many years ago battery powered hand tools were considered 'impossible' ... now they seem to be mandatory on most job sites.

Wasn't many years ago battery powered cars were considered 'impossible'... 

etc etc...

 

I gotta agree we're not there today, but the story isn't completely written yet. 

 

Who knows what is being tested that hasn't been made public.

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150-200 kWhr batteries and 800V charging systems (ala Porsche Taycan) are where it will be at for electric trucks that can tow. 200 kWhr batteries would probably give a reasonable range for a pure EV, and 800V charging systems will charge twice as fast as the Tesla 400V superchargers, or let you charge a 200 kWhr battery in the same amount of time as a Tesla 100 kWhr battery @ 400V.

 

What I think would be interesting is a series-hybrid truck with an all-electric drivetrain (think Volt), enough battery capacity to keep things going for quite awhile (maybe at least 100 kWhr), but then a beefy enough ICE to keep things going when you're pushing the limits. That 2.7L turbo-4 might work pretty well for that. A lot of weight and cost and complexity there, but it could work.

 

These first gen EV trucks will just get their foot in the door with whatever they can do, and will probably have pretty limited towing capabilities as far as range, but things will only get better from there on out. I don't think gas and diesel powered trucks will be going anywhere anytime soon. There has to be a robust grid of 400V/800V charging stations or whatever they end up standardizing on everywhere including out in the sticks for these things to take off, and then our entire electric grid will probably collapse long before then. Lol. EV's are cool, but our grid won't handle a critical mass of people all charging their EV's overnight. 

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Cold climates can reduce a batteries ability by up to 90%. Take your phone out and leave it on the deck and see if it hasn't died in an hour. It's -30c here for a few months, I get mad enough at my phone, I don't need to be kicking my truck because I can only get 100 miles on a charge. Not saving the environment anyway, you're just reducing fuel, and supplementing it with electricity that is primarily generated through burning of fuels. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.  

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We looked at the electric cars in detail, ive bullet pointed our findings.

- Batteries, Tesla has one of the best battery systems, with even cooling over the whole battery cells (they look like small D cells with cooling between every row

- Charging, how well can you get the current back in the car

- Location, in Canada we do well with this, as most energy is provided by a renewable source (water / wind) so it works well getting an electric car

 

We learned if you need to tow, you need fire (engine), however the next generation of battery cars looks like they may do well (like the VW new generation, which wasnt at the Toronto motorshow for some reason).

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These first gen EV trucks will just get their foot in the door with whatever they can do, and will probably have pretty limited towing capabilities as far as range, but things will only get better from there on out.


This is definitely true. They’re just going to keep better and it’s going to have pretty big implications across the entire energy sector. The big utility scale batteries are rapidly improving and falling in price as well. Batteries and renewables will continue to displace fossil fuels in coming decades. Will take awhile but is happening faster than a lot of people think. And by the time electric cars are main stream the grid will be significantly different too and will have no problem keeping up with demand.


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They had electric cars in late 1800's and early 1900's that would go 80-90miles on a single charge. Now, 110 years later we can only top out at 200 miles if all the stars and moon align to make the perfect conditions. Unpredictability is another factor, I know how far I can go on a tank of gas, if you run into colder temps, a snow covered road, a low tire, that will all lower your economy a bit, how much do things like that effect EV's? I just got back from a 750km (466mi) one-way trip to the Northern Reserves in Canada to drop off a trailer load some water treatment equipment, 5000#. That 750km may seem like a small distance, but it took 13 hours to travel loaded through the bush and swamps after 400km of good road, 10 hrs unloaded. 2.5 tanks of gas, 1.25 on the way back. How is an EV ever going to do something like that? Truck ran for 31 hours straight. Carried some extra cans with me. You're not carrying an extra DeWalt battery for your car. 

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They had electric cars in late 1800's and early 1900's that would go 80-90miles on a single charge. Now, 110 years later we can only top out at 200 miles if all the stars and moon align to make the perfect conditions.


I’d say this is pretty amazing actually. 110 years ago they could make a frame with a bench strapped to it go 80 miles at probably 15 mph on a flat road. Now we have batteries that last for up to 300 miles and you get to cruise in a weatherproof vehicle that goes 70 mph (and gets there in about 3 seconds in ludicrous mode), comfortably seats 4, has all sorts of safety and convenience features, electronics that monitor every possible data point continuously, and is very close to being able to drive itself autonomously. Incredible I’d say and can’t wait to see where it goes in the next 25 years.

But of course there will be specific situations like 31 hour trips to Canada where a battery powered vehicle will not be appropriate for quite awhile longer. The internal combustion engine isn’t going away anytime soon. There will just be fewer and fewer of them from here on out.


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On 1/6/2020 at 1:26 PM, K2xxSteve said:

What I think would be interesting is a series-hybrid truck with an all-electric drivetrain (think Volt), enough battery capacity to keep things going for quite awhile (maybe at least 100 kWhr), but then a beefy enough ICE to keep things going when you're pushing the limits. That 2.7L turbo-4 might work pretty well for that. A lot of weight and cost and complexity there, but it could work. 

Model it after a diesel-electric locomotive. The batteries run the drive train. The diesel charges the batteries. I can use the existing fuel station infrastructure and don't have to depend on a new one to be built before my vehicle is practical. Sure, it would be expensive. Have you priced a pickup that can tow 20,000 lbs lately?

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4 hours ago, TMarsh said:

Model it after a diesel-electric locomotive. The batteries run the drive train. The diesel charges the batteries. I can use the existing fuel station infrastructure and don't have to depend on a new one to be built before my vehicle is practical. Sure, it would be expensive. Have you priced a pickup that can tow 20,000 lbs lately?

I've been saying this for thirty years!  Replace the driveline and brakes with traction motors too which instantly turns every vehicle into AWD and you could conceivably have traction motors on the trailer too.  A gas turbine generator might work too but probably to trade static weight for more fuel and easier replacement.

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On 1/6/2020 at 1:26 PM, K2xxSteve said:

 

 

What I think would be interesting is a series-hybrid truck with an all-electric drivetrain (think Volt), enough battery capacity to keep things going for quite awhile (maybe at least 100 kWhr), but then a beefy enough ICE to keep things going when you're pushing the limits. That 2.7L turbo-4 might work pretty well for that. A lot of weight and cost and complexity there, but it could 

GM tried that. 

 

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On 12/13/2019 at 8:50 AM, Ezekiel2517 said:

Cool.  Just watched it.  It kinda proves my point though.  The power is incredible, but the range goes out the window.  To be fair gas engines get half their normal MPG at best while towing.  However, I can stop on a long trip and instantly fill up my tank and keep going.  How can this be made practical on an EV if you could only go 100 miles then stop for hours to charge?  And at few and far between charging stations.   Just doesn't seem practical for that kind of work yet.  It would be awesome, yes, but if you actually use your truck as a truck it doesnt seem viable.

Electric only vehicles are a poor choice for long distance driving period.  A hybrid option with a smaller engine recharging the batteries would make a lot more sense.  I believe they somewhat jumped over hybrids and went straight to full on electric.  The technology isn't there yet.

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i found the battery tech just isnt up to the job for towing

1. climate temp effects battery output, now you have to waste battery energy to cool or heat the cells so they are able to deliver power reliably.

2. as you travel the voltage drops, this limits peak power. you'll never have the same peak power as you did when first charged.

3. charging time is slow and cheap almost $.80/gal evuivalent to fuel., but fast charging is very exspensive on an EV. your better off towing your second battery to make range.

 

in the end the power to weight is far superior with petrol/diesle, and the infrastructure is set up. leave it alone!

 

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