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Old 03-03-2020, 07:58 PM   #1
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Ford Transit all-electric van in 2021

Ford has announced that they are bringing an all-electric Transit van to market in 2021:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/03/cars/...van/index.html

To be made in the USA.

Great news for us van-as-tow-vehicle fans!

Links to van-as-TV threads:

https://www.google.com/search?q=van+...=airforums.com
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f23...se-171397.html
[See post #25 for our setup]
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...le-156975.html

Note Ford investment in Rivian at the bottom of the article. A Rivian thread is here, although it has been closed:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f23...uv-189788.html

Peter
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Old 03-03-2020, 09:35 PM   #2
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Ok, so for all the grief that Tesla took for it's design of the Cybertruck, what was Ford thinking when it debuted this concept?


Because nothing says cool electric vehicle of the future more than the van from "Dumb and Dumber"
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Old 03-04-2020, 06:36 AM   #3
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As an rabid electric fan, I didn't see many specs as to what the van will actually be able to provide in terms of range and tow capacity. If I missed that, can you point me in the right direction?
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:09 AM   #4
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I would be concerned with the distance you could travel per battery charge. I principally use my rig to travel to remote areas where EV recharging stations are either rare or non-existent.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:38 AM   #5
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I imagine all the details will come out in the next year or so.

Keep in mind that the Transit platform has supplied over 8 million vans in Europe and the USA over the last few decades.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Transit

This platform comes in a variety of lengths and roof heights, with DRW as an option. There are dozens of payload packages, with the familiar Ford van categories of 150, 250 and 350. We have a 350, single rear wheel drive, and I seem to recall it can tow a 6,000 trailer. The DRW packages have larger tow ratings.

Suffice it to say, that putting large lithium batteries under the floor of the new all-electric Transit should be effortless.

Sales of this new vehicle will take off IMO.

Peter
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhroberts View Post
I would be concerned with the distance you could travel per battery charge. I principally use my rig to travel to remote areas where EV recharging stations are either rare or non-existent.

It's a valid concern. I travel similarly. Range on a number of up and coming vehicles is approaching 500 miles, which **should** yield closer to **around** 300 miles of towing charge. Companies like Tesla and from what I read on this thread, Ford, seem to be the only two that have a charge network in addition to the non-factory networks out there. Looking at the Tesla map (which IMHO is the most robust charge network) it's getting pretty difficult (though not as of today impossible) to fall short of that 300 mile threshold since the earlier EVs had 200-280 mile ranges.

Of course I'm not on any wait lists for an EV truck...yet. I do enjoy the EV as a daily commuter car and some longer trips, but I've taken an optimistically cautious look at EVs as a tow vehicle. Not solely because of range or capability (I'm fairly certain these will both meet or exceed the needs most-- not all, require), but because of maint and repair. Right now I can take my current truck to any GM dealer or mom and pop shop. Though my local mom and pop shop can services most of the basic mechanical stuff, they cannot and will not touch any or many of the EV specific components. That's not a problem in urban America, but like you, when you go far off the beaten path......
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:52 AM   #7
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The First Thing everyone always worries about regarding battery powered electirics is Range.

The next three concerns in order are:
  • Range
  • Range
  • Range

Then there is what has come to be called Range Anxiety Syndrome, where folks are worried about how far they can go before the batteries run out of juice.

Finally they wonder how long it will take to charge the batteries.

Luckily, it seems that the manufacturers are vaguely aware of this concern and are working to address it.

However, those same clever marketing people also know that the main customers for these vans are fleet buyers (read: lots of unit$ = lots of $ale$) who will largely be using these for deliveries and returning to base every night for a recharge, and for whom this vehicle is a potential game-changer in overall operating costs and costs of ownership.

This also means they are not at all focused on the 500 or so customers nationwide that do long-haul airstream trailer towing to remote sites that lack recharging infrastructure. But, hey, if it works for you, great! If not, have you heard about our F-series trucks or E-series vans?
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:56 AM   #8
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Please see Post #5. The 8 million Ford Transits on the road, in a wide variety of payload packages, are ample testimony to the fact that Ford could put a huge battery in this new vehicle, and more or less eliminate any "range" issues IMO. Yes, the available payload might go down. Ford will work out the details.

This van will rock, with very little new design work needed.

Peter

PS -- Bingo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
. . .
. . . for whom this vehicle is a potential game-changer in overall operating costs and costs of ownership.
. . .
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Please see Post #5. The 8 million Ford Transits on the road, in a wide variety of payload packages, are ample testimony to the fact that Ford could put a huge battery in this new vehicle, and more or less eliminate any "range" issues IMO. Yes, the available payload might go down. Ford will work out the details.

This van will rock, with very little new design work needed.

Peter

PS -- Bingo!
Well, they could put a huge battery in a 350 chassis and have the payload of a 150. Therein lies the limitation of a truck made to haul and electrics. My volt battery is only 18kw and weighs over 400 pounds. So define your "huge" desire when balancing range (battery capacity) and your desired loads.
No magic bullet here with current technology. It'll come.
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:46 AM   #10
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When the day comes it can tow 13000# for 600-700m and be charged by a 3400w gen at a boondock campsite in a couple of hours - then and only then will it be on my buy list.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:06 AM   #11
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Interesting, but I'm not sure Ford would be all that concerned with range to start with. The vast, overwhelming majority of these vans are used for local businesses like plumbing, drywall, carpentry, etc. They are driven to the job site and back where they can be charged and ready to go the next day.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Well, they could put a huge battery in a 350 chassis and have the payload of a 150. Therein lies the limitation of a truck made to haul and electrics. My volt battery is only 18kw and weighs over 400 pounds. So define your "huge" desire when balancing range (battery capacity) and your desired loads.
No magic bullet here with current technology. It'll come.
A battery is a lousy fuel tank.
You never know when it will empty and takes forever to refill.
They been working on it for over a hundred years.
It's great for golf carts and for urban travel of limited mileage and if one has the means to plug it in overnight.
Anyone living in a 3 floor walkup in congested New York or Chicago is out of luck. The very people who could benefit the most.
Recently I watched a video testing five different EV cars for range including a Tesla and there wasn't one that came close to to advertised range. Tesla was the closest coming in at 90 percent.
The best part for me was that they were followed by a ICE owered van with a large ICE powered generator to rescue the test vehicles after the batteries went dead.
EV will never be ready for prime time. It's a dead end idea. Electric motor propulsion is great but they need to come up with more reliable energy supply thatn a battery.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Please see Post #5. The 8 million Ford Transits on the road, in a wide variety of payload packages, are ample testimony to the fact that Ford could put a huge battery in this new vehicle, and more or less eliminate any "range" issues IMO. Yes, the available payload might go down. Ford will work out the details.

This van will rock, with very little new design work needed.

Peter

PS -- Bingo!

With all due respect to you and the Ford solution, as a current ICE (internal combustion engine) tow vehicle owner and and EV owner, I can tell you that 8 million current ICE Transits on the road isn't really the same thing as an EV Transit. I am sure they will have thought about and solved a lot of the things we talk and worry about out, however, you cannot compare the two vehicles even though they may share a basic fundamental chassis-- that's about where it stops. Sure the 8 million ICE transits do the job they were intended, but what if that Transit EV truck was released today and it had 500 mile range with all the extra real estate to place the battery packs, and the 3x the weight tax that would carry, while towing knocked you down to about 300 miles and luckily there is a good Ford charging network....but....

Now you are hundreds of miles from a Ford dealer, and NO mom an pop shops within 75 or more miles will touch the EV components that have misbehaved because either they never took the training (for a variety of reasons) and/or don't have the expensive and required tools to test/diagnose and repair part that are EV exclusive. More over there are no standards so mom and pop are suppose to buy 3-4 sets of EV tools in a rural town? Remember EVs have some serious voltages it's not like disconnecting your 12v battery. There are high energy circuits and capacitors....touch the wrong thing and that will wreck your week. So what, you now wait a from a few days to a few weeks for parts from some remote Ford tech or worse yet, pay to have the Transit and Airstream towed around a hundred miles to the nearest Ford dealer? To me, 8 million ICE Transits won't share that problem...for now and how long will for now be? Two years, five? More?

Every wrench turner from east to west coast can work on my current ICE tow vehicle. Dealer, mom and pop shop, etc and parts are wildly available in almost every nook and cranny of the country. That simply is not the case *yet* for EVs, which is my main concern in terms of a long distance tow vehicle, venturing off into the wild.
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
The First Thing everyone always worries about regarding battery powered electirics is Range.

The next three concerns in order are:
  • Range
  • Range
  • Range

Then there is what has come to be called Range Anxiety Syndrome, where folks are worried about how far they can go before the batteries run out of juice.

Finally they wonder how long it will take to charge the batteries.

Luckily, it seems that the manufacturers are vaguely aware of this concern and are working to address it.

However, those same clever marketing people also know that the main customers for these vans are fleet buyers (read: lots of unit$ = lots of $ale$) who will largely be using these for deliveries and returning to base every night for a recharge, and for whom this vehicle is a potential game-changer in overall operating costs and costs of ownership.

This also means they are not at all focused on the 500 or so customers nationwide that do long-haul airstream trailer towing to remote sites that lack recharging infrastructure. But, hey, if it works for you, great! If not, have you heard about our F-series trucks or E-series vans?
Couldn't agree with you more. The guys over at Fast Lane Cars found that out when trying to tow with a Tesla Model X last year:
A Tesla Model X CANíT Tow Cross Country ó Watch Us Try And Fail!
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:22 PM   #15
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I wonder if some sort of hybrid would make better sense as a TV in the interim. Range anxiety is gone and possible better MPG too?

The worst time when towing is when starting from a dead stop...in fact, that's the worst MPG on any ICE. Hybrids soften the startup off the line.

Similar problems with parts and service in rural America, but normally a loss of hybrid propulsion will not stop the on board ICE from moving you where you need to go. Also would be a great benefit if hybrid could assist on hill, mountain and headwind when my DIC tells me I'm getting 2-7mpg.

In all seriousness, would a hybrid be a good middle step? Until a lot of what is concerning folks was resolved for use as a TV? I'd love to get better than 10-12mpg towing. I don't go faster than 60ish mph. Only way I know to do that is to currently go diesel (not interested in 2 less cylinders) or a turbo/supercharger.
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Old 03-04-2020, 05:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
A battery is a lousy fuel tank.
You never know when it will empty and takes forever to refill.
They been working on it for over a hundred years.
It's great for golf carts and for urban travel of limited mileage and if one has the means to plug it in overnight.
Anyone living in a 3 floor walkup in congested New York or Chicago is out of luck. The very people who could benefit the most.
Recently I watched a video testing five different EV cars for range including a Tesla and there wasn't one that came close to to advertised range. Tesla was the closest coming in at 90 percent.
The best part for me was that they were followed by a ICE owered van with a large ICE powered generator to rescue the test vehicles after the batteries went dead.
EV will never be ready for prime time. It's a dead end idea. Electric motor propulsion is great but they need to come up with more reliable energy supply thatn a battery.
That is called a hydrogen fuel cell....but there are production and infrastructure problems with that as well.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:07 PM   #17
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They been working on it for over a hundred years.
It's great for golf carts....
You will have to get past your fixation on lead acid batteries.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:24 PM   #18
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I don’t think the battery electric Transit has any specific significance for near-term tow vehicles. Their stated target market is last mile delivery for e-commerce companies. Short trips, return to base. They are competing with the new electric Amazon van, and electric cargo bikes, not HD pickups.

In the last 24 hours, I think GM’s announcement of ten new electric vehicles was more significant. The new Hummer SUV, the new large Cadillac SUV, and so on. These aren’t all tow vehicles, but this is about the survival of traditional automakers.

https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/04...ca-field-trip/

Whatever one chooses as a tow vehicle brand today, if the company isn’t in business any longer it will matter. Ford is betting big on F150s and the Mustang. GM is introducing a large number of vehicles. FCA is managing by buying emissions credits, which isn’t sustainable.

Interesting to watch.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:29 PM   #19
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2021? 2021??? Really?

Where is Ford going to get the batteries? Tesla?

Where is Ford going to produce the truck? Mexico?

When did Ford produce a consumer electric car yet? Ford F-150??? Mustang (that, by the way, copied the tesla model 3 design)?

Where are you gonna charge the truck? The "Ford" electric charging network (actually low power chargers across the county - not a real Ford network).

Tesla challenged the car companies to build electric. Many years later, they are just jumping in. They haven't sold any significant numbers and quite frankly are now way behind. You can say that Ford, a major car company, will surpass Tesla in time. Hmmmmm, did you know that Tesla is worth more than Ford right now?

OK, I'm a Tesla fanboy. I own a Model 3. I also bought Tesla stock 4 years ago. You can say I got my Model 3 for free.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:39 PM   #20
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most electric pumping connection are made for a single EV car

i have not seen any suitable for an electric TV pulling any trailer.
then are not built like gas station, instated they are built as parking spots.

i would not want to unhook, each time i get an EV charge
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