Battery-powered motorhomes (EVs)

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Breconeer, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Breconeer

    Breconeer Read Only Funster

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    As an enthusiast for electric vehicles (EVs) in general, and for roadgoing commercial ones in particular (buses, trucks, vans)(eg: the Smith Newton and the Smith Edison), I have long looked forward to the day when I can buy a battery-powered motorhome, which I can drive quietly and cleanly around the countryside, recharging overnight at site hook-ups.

    I am talking of pure electric drive, not hybrids. There are a small number around - mainly in the US. Balqon I think produce one. Nobody in the UK does so as far as I know(?).

    See http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/show...-World-s-First-All-Electric-Class-C-Motorhome
     
  2. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Hi Breconeer

    Welcome to this madness!

    I do fear, however, that the totally battery powered motorhome may be some way off in this country.:Sad:
    One of the problems to consider is weight. Motorhomes struggle to keep withing licensing weight limits with a conventional drivetrain, whilst providing adequate payload. Adding a heavy battery would make things very tight, especially when one considers that motorhome bodies are already very weight-efficient in their build.
    I believe Alko, the chassis manufacturers, recently launched a hybrid system which would fit in their chassis. This effectively gave the option of electric drive or even four wheel drive, when required, for a FWD chassis-cab.
    As for full electric, some funsters can't even last a night on their leisure battery before resorting to to having to fire up a noisy, smoky generator. See this thread-

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/motorhome-chat/48998-another-genny-thread.html

    Maybe a small nuclear reactor would be the way forward! It would make a motorhome's electrical control panel more interesting!:Laughing:
     
  3. Breconeer

    Breconeer Read Only Funster

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    Batteries are heavy - but compensated (in part at least) by reductions in removal of engine, gearbox, fuel tank, exhaust sytem, and various other components specific to petrol/diesel.

    I agree it's several years away though. The electric trucks currently produced by Balqon are huge tugs for shifting containers around dockyards - where a bit of extra weight is presumably no great concern. Smith however do manage to find enough weight reductions to make their trucks and vans commercially viable www.smithelectric.com (Smith is about to offer shares on the US Nasdaq stockmarket. Meanwhile I hold shares in Tanfield group, the UK engineering company who used to own Smith and who maintain a 24% stake in it - bringing a likely windfall when the US listing kicks in this month or next)
     
  4. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Breconeer,I looked at converting a small van into a camper for a mate based on the new all leccy Renault Kangoo Maxi :Smile:At first he was all for it until I noticed you have to rent the battery pack -£60 per week :Doh: The van itself cost 18 k against 12 k for the engine version,he had dreams of paying extra for the van then no fuel costs :thumb:but that soon went out of the window by paying rent/lease for battery's :Doh::Eek!::BigGrin:At the time even the aprox 120 mile range did not bother him -like he said lone traveler did not mind where he slept :BigGrin: he had visions of simply driving and charging from a GREEN MACHINE :thumb:
    terry
     
  5. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi ,iveco in uk do a daily electric .call into your local iveco dealer ,i tried to put a scan on but it keeps failing .
    also tnt have been using electric trucks .there are or was several trucks with out the leccy bit on ebay recently .
    in china many trucks and buses are running on leccy . we are way behind this type of innovation in the west.
    the iveco is a single wheeled 3.5ton or a twin wheeled 5.2ton vehicle.
    ideal as a camper.
    just googled tnt electric powered trucks .seems it was smiths electrical in tyne and weir.
    they had them in 2008 .last week the trucks with no motors were on ebay .
    mind you possibly know about it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  6. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    I must have missed them Alan -any link ?
    terry
     
  7. tofo

    tofo Funster

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  8. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Looks good for converting. At 5 years old though the batteries may need replacing at huge cost, perhaps why they're selling it.
     
  9. Breconeer

    Breconeer Read Only Funster

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    Modec unfortunately went bust - mainly because, in what's a very tough market, they opted to design their vehicle from the ground up - which is nice for ensuring that it properly accommodates battery packs (In Modec's case they are in a huge cassette which can be slid out on a forklift and a fresh pack slid in) - but which means that every door, window, headlamp, body panel, etc.etc is made for Modec who never achieved volume production, so every damage repair was costly. Smith based their rival Edison on the Ford Transit range - so most parts are available off the shelf same day.

    Tesco bought 15 Modecs but said they wouldn't want more. TNT have between 50 and 100 Smith Newton electric trucks based on the Avia D75.

    Before their demise, Modec entered a joint venture with Navistar in the US, and they have the rights to continue production. But that same issue of damage repair costs is hindering sales there.

    The Smith Edison and Smith Newton are (as usual) on show this week at the Commercial Vehicles Show at the NEC (I think entry is free?)

    EDIT: Another issue which didn't help, is that Modec pitched their vehicle size/weight at a level which required a 3.5t+ driver grade, whereas Smith stuck to sizes that tallied with various existing taxation and license categories. That bsaid, the Modec is indeed a lovely size for a camper conversion.

    EDIT: Another thing which limited its appeal to fleet buyers - there are no cab doors. Access is via the load bay and a sliding panel in back of cab. Crazy idea which means leaving part of load bay empty for access, and ensuring that a shifting load in a frontal collision didn't trap the driver whose only escape would then be via the windscreen..
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  10. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Looking at the pics it has a double cab area ie entrance door just behind driver but not in load bay :thumb: RR could well be on the money in that it is five yrs old and from what I understand it is about the battery life span, but having said that I am certain I could make a nice camper out of it :BigGrin:
    I actually saw a leccy vehicle yesterday that had pulled up in a lay-by getting charged via jump leads from a car so Chris's GREEN machine may well have been worth carrying around in such a vehicle :thumb:
    terry
    edit anybody know the size of the battery bank ? and how long a GM at say 100 amp hr would take to charge
     
  11. olley

    olley Funster

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    Can't see how you would get sufficient power on 16amp to recharge an RV, unless you are staying longer than one night, or only travel short distances.

    Ian
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi terry .i didnt watch it have looked but cant find them. there was a pic of several . all in good nick but no engines . further down it said about them leasing them and on return had tyook out the power supplies .

    iveco dropped their info in a while back. i had been asking for info on the new vehicles . i was suprised to see the leccy bit .
    but if you google tnt electric vehicles it tells you all.
     
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