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Old 07-23-2014, 01:07 PM   #1
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Diesel electric vans?

I was wondering if anyone has come up with a diesel electric van or RV suitable for camping.

I've seen some hybrid vans, with a 4.8l engine and electric drive, but the range is small (suitable for deliveries obviously) and I expect that long range the smaller engine with a camper setup would be worse than just diesel.

RoadTrek now has an e-version, which isn't an electric drive, but apparently it uses the diesel engine as power source for electrical generation.

Electric motors can move a lot of weight, and would seem to have some advantages for RV use. Is it the size of batteries that is the problem?

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: Diesel electric vans?

I recently was thinking about purchasing a Nissan Leaf. I know - what does that have to do with your topic. Well, it was interesting the sales person said - don't buy. Lease it instead. These technologies are changing so rapidly that you don't want to be stuck with something in just a few years that is completely obsolete. Think of it this way, how often are we changing out our computers and phones. The new electric cars are changing in firmware, battery capacity and efficiency just like our computers and phones are. So - my point is, most of us that find a good fit for our recreation mobiles will keep them quite a while. Maybe it's safer to choose a solid platform and enjoy it for a long time. Let someone else take the risk. Just my two cents.

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Old 09-14-2014, 09:24 PM   #3
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Re: Diesel electric vans?

Diesel electric has been around for decades.... most of our locomotives are diesel electric. I think there are also diesel electric buses.

We own both an electric vehicle and a hybrid vehicle.

I have wondered about the same sort of vehicles you are thinking about.

The biggest issue remains energy density for the batteries that power locomotion.

This next year there are patents that expire for the highest energy density batteries that have yet to be designed. The problem is that after the US Taxpayer paid for the design, GM bought the technology, then it was sold to Texaco two weeks before Texaco became Chevron, and since then the battery technology has only been allowed for very large format use like commercial buses. There were a couple of companies with grandfathered contracts to use the technology, but they haven't been willing to. There are companies ramping-up in preparations of the patent expiration.

Hopefully this will open the door for some new applications of the high energy density battery technology.
Greg in Austin
2008 Ford 6.0PSD EB/E-PH SMB 4X4 Aluminess f/r bumpers (13.5mpg avg, 15mpg hwy) 52k miles [Texas McBeast]
2006 Toyota Prius (48 to 68 mpg) 120k miles [Penelope]
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2012 Mitsubishi MiEV (no gas required) ($.50/day in electricity) [Evie]
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