Electric Van

CougTek

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I read that Rivian is going to offer the electric van it sells to Amazon for 83,000$ to mainstream buyers.

It seems like a particularly bad value when compared to the Canoo MPDV, which starts at 33,000$ with a similar of better autonomy.

I don't know if any of you or the companies you work for have a need for an electric van. I was looking at such a vehicle last year to move computer equipment. The Canoo got my attention.

Thoughts?
 

LunarMist

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The canoo is vorpware at this point. It weighs about half as much and has about half of the payload.
It depends on the needs I suppose, but Amazon surely is getting a discount on the 100K units. Maybe they will buy some of the Canoos also.
 
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Mercutio

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I suppose that it doesn't matter in commercial vehicles, but is anyone else bothered by the idea of buying any sort of car that will have its life limited to the charging capacity of its battery? I understand that a lot of electric cars are functionally boat anchors after five years simply because the battery replacement costs are astronomical. Has that problem been solved?

I don't love ICE vehicles either but a fully depreciated electric vehicle probably won't have a second or third life in another industry if it has fractional battery life. Are we just creating a new form of waste with these?
 

sdbardwick

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I suppose that it doesn't matter in commercial vehicles, but is anyone else bothered by the idea of buying any sort of car that will have its life limited to the charging capacity of its battery? I understand that a lot of electric cars are functionally boat anchors after five years simply because the battery replacement costs are astronomical. Has that problem been solved?

I don't love ICE vehicles either but a fully depreciated electric vehicle probably won't have a second or third life in another industry if it has fractional battery life. Are we just creating a new form of waste with these?
Given the lack of outcry against Tesla, I'm inclined to think no appreciable problem exists in reality. Anecdata: My Father's 2016 P85D is still very healthy, WRT battery health, and since he has free SuperCharger access; the car has been fast-charged a LOT. Of course, now that the warranties (8 year) are starting to expire, maybe we'll get some attention/backlash now.
 

LunarMist

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I suppose that it doesn't matter in commercial vehicles, but is anyone else bothered by the idea of buying any sort of car that will have its life limited to the charging capacity of its battery? I understand that a lot of electric cars are functionally boat anchors after five years simply because the battery replacement costs are astronomical. Has that problem been solved?

I don't love ICE vehicles either but a fully depreciated electric vehicle probably won't have a second or third life in another industry if it has fractional battery life. Are we just creating a new form of waste with these?
EV batteries are usually warranted for 8 years or 100K miles, though they will have reduced range near the end. It is a legitimate issue but not the end of the EV world. Billions are being spend on improving rechargeable battery life and capacity.

I'm inclined to get a pluggable hybrid next since it is uncertain if I will have electricity access and I don't want that to limit housing options every time I move. Lack of electricity is a more important concern in the long term.
 

jtr1962

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I suppose that it doesn't matter in commercial vehicles, but is anyone else bothered by the idea of buying any sort of car that will have its life limited to the charging capacity of its battery? I understand that a lot of electric cars are functionally boat anchors after five years simply because the battery replacement costs are astronomical. Has that problem been solved?

I don't love ICE vehicles either but a fully depreciated electric vehicle probably won't have a second or third life in another industry if it has fractional battery life. Are we just creating a new form of waste with these?
Except real world date shows the battery may well outlast the rest of the vehicle:


Also, there are two types of batteries being used in EVs now. The first type is regular nickel cobalt lithium ion (the same type used in laptops, phones, etc.). The other type is LiFePO4 (lithium ion phosphate). The latter is what the Amazon van uses. LiFePO4 is good for upwards of 2000 cycles and 20+ calendar years. In short, don't worry about the battery if you get an EV.
Given the lack of outcry against Tesla, I'm inclined to think no appreciable problem exists in reality. Anecdata: My Father's 2016 P85D is still very healthy, WRT battery health, and since he has free SuperCharger access; the car has been fast-charged a LOT. Of course, now that the warranties (8 year) are starting to expire, maybe we'll get some attention/backlash now.
I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla extends the warranty if data shows the batteries lasting longer than expected.
 

Mercutio

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I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla extends the warranty if data shows the batteries lasting longer than expected.

Pretty much every time Tesla's real numbers of any subject are called into question, it's found that they're lying in a way that very obviously benefits the company, like VW's hype about its Diesel Engines levels of untruth. There is no world where I would trust its numbers about anything.

It doesn't help that I live in the Midwest, but I wouldn't want to own an EV 50+ miles from a major city, either; there are only 13 public EV charging stations in Indiana. Most of them are along Interstate 80 (New York - San Francisco) or Interstate 65 (Gary, Indiana to New Orleans).
 

jtr1962

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Pretty much every time Tesla's real numbers of any subject are called into question, it's found that they're lying in a way that very obviously benefits the company, like VW's hype about its Diesel Engines levels of untruth. There is no world where I would trust its numbers about anything.
Pretty much every business fudges its numbers. That's why it's better to look at independent, real world data, like in the article I linked to. Here's another:

Tesla Model 3 Owners Get Candid About LFP Battery Health And Degradation

It doesn't help that I live in the Midwest, but I wouldn't want to own an EV 50+ miles from a major city, either; there are only 13 public EV charging stations in Indiana. Most of them are along Interstate 80 (New York - San Francisco) or Interstate 65 (Gary, Indiana to New Orleans).
Can you charge where you live? For most EV owners most of their charging is done at home. Public chargers are only needed for trips where you approach the range limits. Public charges are a lot more per kW-hr than home charging.

13 chargers in the entire state? Tell me the GOP didn't have something to do with that.
 

Mercutio

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Of course I can't charge a vehicle where I live. I rent.

You can more or less assume that flyover states with ubiquitous single-party rule by the party of racism and incest are probably not going to do very much to help out anyone what ain't rollin' coal. Unfortunately, unless there's a vast change in policy positions, there's a massive limit to the practicality of EVs for everything that's not within 30 miles of a coast or city with more than 500k residents.
 

LunarMist

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I think that must be just the super-fast L3 chargers. There are plenty of the slower ones of varying speeds.
IL is a relatively low population state state outside of the Chicago area.
 

LunarMist

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Of course I can't charge a vehicle where I live. I rent.
You could rent a house.

Unfortunately, unless there's a vast change in policy positions, there's a massive limit to the practicality of EVs for everything that's not within 30 miles of a coast or city with more than 500k residents.
It seems to me that there are plenty of old gas stations that could be converted to electric. Self-service with CC only would satisfy most user needs.
Are there statutes in your state that prohibit chargers?
 

LunarMist

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You are joking, but the issue is that about 1.8kw is the most that will be charged from 120V, so maybe 12-20KWh a night with losses. That's assuming you don't go out partying or on a road trip. Level 1 charging is more practical with the pluggable hybirds.
 
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jtr1962

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I know that. A 240VAC, 30A dryer outlet is a lot more practical for home EV charging, assuming your EV is compatible with it.
 

Mercutio

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Toyota seems to be testing a hydrogen powered van that needs minimal changes to the rest of the vehicle's components, which might be of interest to some.

You could rent a house.

I don't have a family and I don't feel the need to occupy any more space or use any more energy than I already do. I have a decent landlord and I like where I live. I'm just not interested in home ownership.

It seems to me that there are plenty of old gas stations that could be converted to electric. Self-service with CC only would satisfy most user needs.

I am not sure how things are elsewhere, but inoperable service stations here were in almost every case remodeled in to some other sort of business due to changes in environmental regulation. IIRC it had something to do with how below-ground gasoline storage was handled.
 

LunarMist

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There is room for charging stations somewhere. If there are not many, that means they are not practically needed or economical.
 

jtr1962

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There is room for charging stations somewhere. If there are not many, that means they are not practically needed or economical.
Or the grid needs to be upgraded to handle them, often at great expense.

It's a chicken or egg thing. Until more people own EVs, in many places the math just won't work out for charging stations. Provided you can charge at home, for most EV use they're not needed anyway. You'll be seeing them pop up on Interstates first as long trips are where they'll be heavily used. Some gas stations will eventually convert to fast charge stations as well.
Simple physics kills off any idea of having the so-called hydrogen economy, even though the major players in the oil business keep pushing it so they can keep their monopoly on motor fuel. It takes about 3 times more electricity to make hydrogen and use it in a fuel cell to go x miles, than it does using the same energy to charge a battery. The numbers are even worse for an ICE which burns hydrogen at ~20% conversion rates to work. I heard H2 is around $15/gallon. That number is probably not going to change radically. Hydrogen has at best one tenuous advantage over batteries, namely faster "refueling" time. Even that advantage will be lost as we go to batteries with 5 minute or faster recharge times.

Then you need to build an entire infrastructure from scratch to distribute hydrogen. That will include tankers rolling around on highways, each with enough explosive potential to take out a few city blocks. No thanks. Occasional battery fires aside, battery-electric are a much better idea.
 

CougTek

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For my part, I almost always charge my personal vehicle at home on a 120V outlet. It takes almost 3 days to fully recharge when the battery is completely empty, but I don't drive much or often, so I can wait.

This wouldn't be feasible with a commercial vehicle though. However, just using a 240V 30A outlet would cut the charging time by 4, making it realistic to recharge overnight for ~250km of daily driving. That's 155 miles for people who prefer imperial metrics.

In Québec, there are over 8000 fast charging stations, all feed by renewable energy source (99.8% renewal, to be precise). EV charging is not an issue, unless you plan to make a trip to extremely remote location like the visiting the electric dams in James Bay.
 

jtr1962

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That's 155 miles for people who prefer imperial metrics.
Just as an aside I've been using metric on my bike computers for years. The higher number just sounds better. I can tell people I was cruising at 35, or bombed down a hill at 60. Sounds much better than 22 and 37, respectively.

Can't get used to metric for temps though. It still sounds strange having low 20s as normal room temperature.

What's the highest speed limit in Canada these days? 120 km/hr?
 

LunarMist

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Just as an aside I've been using metric on my bike computers for years. The higher number just sounds better. I can tell people I was cruising at 35, or bombed down a hill at 60. Sounds much better than 22 and 37, respectively.

Can't get used to metric for temps though. It still sounds strange having low 20s as normal room temperature.

What's the highest speed limit in Canada these days? 120 km/hr?
I recall starting with °C in the 1970s. I'm kind of surprised you were an engineer and using the archaic systems until recently?
 

jtr1962

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I recall starting with °C in the 1970s. I'm kind of surprised you were an engineer and using the archaic systems until recently?
I'm used to °C for all my engineering work. I just don't have an instinctual grasp of it as it relates to weather. If someone tells me it's 20 outside, I expect to be freezing unless I'm wearing a few layers. I have to convert C to F in my head to get an idea of the temps I'm dealing with. Also, °F has smaller differences between degrees, making it more precise without using tenths of a degree. With speed km/hr actually has the smaller differences. That's probably one thing that got me using it. Speed isn't as difficult to get used to because you have the same zero point. Not so with °C versus °F.
 

LunarMist

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I saw a few analog controls in the 20th century that used half degree increments. It's just a matter of the mechanical design and scale, but you don't lose any accuracy or precision. OTOH, I've seen some cheap °C/°F thermometers that calculate internally in 0.1 °C increments and map the values to °F values, so in the latter there are some gradations that don't exist.
 
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