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Electric Trucks May Shift EV Perceptions PickupTrucks com News

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Electric Trucks May Shift EV

Posted by Mark Williams | 28, 2012

Electric vehicles are a rough time lately in the of public opinion. Hurdles battery technology, charging-station entry cost and reliability are what is supposed to be a solution to our oil look more and more an unlikely option.


Sales of like the plug-in Chevy Nissan Leaf and Toyota make up a tiny fraction of sales, and they aren t to get much higher over the 10 years. Yet both political are using the vehicles as a football to some good and bad points the viability of the current and future Unless there is a practical, and reliable way to use the technology, an electric may not be a worthwhile solution for people who use cars simply as transportation.

But may be another way to make inroads: trucks that use electricity as a and a tool.

Over the past several we ve seen some electric strategies that seem to promise in making a work much less expensive to over the life of the truck s cycle. Up to this point, are all about extending existing and lowering the overall cost of two key issues important to fleet

Pacific Gas Electric, a huge for Northern and Central California, took possession of two electric made by Via Motors. with to buy 400 to 500 new trucks per year starting in These are basically GM half-ton with small engines the V-6) that provide for the newly installed battery that run a compact and powerful electric motor. These PGE trucks will also be with a 15-kilowatt gas-electric

Via Motors strategy is similar to not exactly like) the Chevy in that it runs on electric until it reaches a certain then the gasoline engine in to power the electric motor provides power to the wheels. Any power generated can be stored in the packs. In addition to supplying to the wheels, the electric motor can supply gobs of power for any need. For a utility company PGE, that could supplying power to an entire while working on the grid — all sorts of time, money and to a large number of homes.

These trucks could become traveling power ready to light up the darkness or, in the of various hospital or emergency save lives.

The point is that in the initial stages of adoption technology like it makes more sense to out the bugs in more practical, fleets with punishing environments like the ones PGE every day. That likely provide more feedback compared with a number of celebrity early To date, there have mixed results with the new and Fisker Karma and Tesla

Treating a powertrain as a useful as well as a power supply to be a more intelligent move using it in a single-purpose high-visibility car.

We have no doubt there be a place for electric powertrains, but it s not they ll be as popular as some or transportation futurists might — unless we re smart about it. is, unless they can find a way to the inherent advantages the technology deliver over and above we re getting from our current strategies. And from the looks of it, the are staring us in the face.

We ve written Protean Electric and explained how its electric motors essentially the need for an underhood engine. The electrical generators sit inside wheel hub and provide the specific needs for each wheel. wheels means you could install four electric and use the engine bay as another storage

Protean also promotes an regenerative-braking setup that mean using a smaller to achieve the same extended

Even more interesting is this particular strategy mean for both large and vehicles. Take a basic car with an efficient four-cylinder and front-wheel drive. Drop in a battery pack under the seats and an electric motor in hub, and you have a super-efficient vehicle that could get the fuel economy. Better how about adding 40, 60 or 80 horsepower to rear-wheel-drive V-6 Ford Mustang by two electric motors in the front

Protean tells us that the brake-drum-sized motors uses serious computer power, but you have the right software the rest falls into And from a cost of ownership of view, especially in larger trucks, the system can save up to 30 percent in fuel costs.

And if the advantages weren t enough this type of space-saving Protean has teamed up with the European-car experts at Brabus to the all-wheel-drive hybrid Mercedes-Benz that was shown at last s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The push behind electric has already started. California is to legislate the number of electric on the road in the state by a given (1.5 million by 2025), and the Air Resource Board voted in to require the big automakers in the state to 15 percent of their cars as or near-zero-emissions vehicles.

Regardless of which electric strategy takes the lead, it clear that the commercial may be better positioned to reap the of this technology and provide testing data for suppliers. It sense to us that the abusive cycles seen by vehicles in public utility companies be able to supply more to help companies improve and hardware. Although it s likely we ll to see the occasional plug-in electric in various commuting and dense-city it seems more likely we ll see commercial fleets adopt interesting technology in the name of cost-of-ownership savings and more power grid needs.

The of these trucks will be a issue, especially in these stages. For now, Via Motors trucks cost $79,000 for the truck (saving as much as per year in fuel, depending on cycle), while other companies like Alt-e a range of solutions, costing $10,000 to $30,000 depending on needs. Still, other like Protean are more in working directly with and we re more likely to see its technology as of a new special package offered by makers such as International, or possibly Nissan.

This will be interesting to especially if fuel prices don t more reasonable.

Interesting

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