When to go electric for a tow vehicle – page 30 – airstream forums electricity and magnetism review


Let move ahead about a year or two. Elon Musk has announced he will be making a pickup truck. In two years I believe the range of the truck will be 500-600 miles. It will have more torque than any current pickup and Elon bragged it will carry a current pickup. An electric TV will be at home in a campsite with 30 or 50 amp station nearby, and would practically eliminate the largest cost in traveling, the fuel. My model three, using the tesla superchargers, can travel from New York to Los angeles for about $105 in electricity. It currently charges at night in my garage at about 30 miles per hour of charge.

I just bought an F-250 diesel (2017) for my new TV. The complexity of that engine is way beyond my knowledge. The fluids, filters, air cleaning DEF, radiators, transmission are all very complex and very expensive to buy and maintain. Imagine an electric TV with one electric motor, no transmission, no gears, no fluids (well one gear housing with oil) no radiators, more storage, more torque, more speed, and no diesel smell or noise.

Yeah, the only problem with that prognosis is that Tesla is on the verge of bankruptcy. They have been running huge deficits for years and have only been surviving due to the magnetic charisma of Elon Musk and his ability to raise venture capital. Every year they keep promising investors that they will make a profit eventually. Every year they are set back on that goal. It is only a matter of time before investors pull their money out of Tesla and it collapses into bankruptcy.

Even if the electricity is generated locally from natural gas, that is preferable to burning the same natural gas directly in the vehicle (let alone burning other less clean fossil fuels). That is because it is far easier to treat emissions at the power station than on every vehicle, especially as standards get tougher over time. You don’t have to wait for the installed fleet to age out, for example.

Yep. And it’s been shown repeatedly that even a dirty source of electricity going into an EV is cleaner than most gas vehicles. Healthcare costs associated with vehicle emissions were estimated at about $3B for the year 2015 in California alone. Youth living near highways and freeways were significantly more likely to develop lifelong asthma in another study. There are plenty of reasons it’s a better choice, but I think those who throw out the source of electricity argument aren’t really interested in digging down. They’re looking for a quick and easy dismissal so they can go about the status quo.

Others often decry lifecycle emissions, but those have been shown to be quite a bit lower as well. This map is from data collected in 2015. The grid is significantly cleaner at this point, so I am looking forward to an updated map from the UCS.

As a rabid driver of a plug-in hybrid for the past 6 years, I can tell you that I absolutely love the car. I went plug-in hybrid because I don’t want to sit for 30-45 minutes to get 80% range recovery adding to my trip time as I do take the plug-in hybrid on several 700+ mile trips per year. Having that ICE (internal combustion engine) avail to turn a generator (similar to how locomotives work) is a very great asset to have for folk not just driving around town.

That said, the technology as posted by the OP last year…. just isn’t there yet for consumers and today, it’s just only starting for commercial big rigs. Can you imagine with the tech as it is today trying to do a cross country trip towing and RV with a pure EV? You’d add many days to the trip in commute time alone.

The question really isn’t can electricity be an effective tow vehicle, clearly it can as locomotives do this every day and soon 18 wheelers….the question really is when. There are a lot of variables like battery compositions, battery sizes, charging infrastructure, etc that will dictate when (not if) the growing EV revolution will take off. My guess is sometime within 10 years the costs will be justifiable at the consumer level and folks like me would gladly consider trading in my 10-11 mpg towing for an electric alternative.