My Electric Pickup Truck
Why an electric truck? There are lots of reasons. For me, I've found that in the last 25 years of commuting, I've never gone over 15 miles (one way) to work. In fact, I currently work only two miles from home. (The time-weighted average is 7.8 miles.) So I don't like to spend a lot of time driving. My wife drives even less. We find that most of our trips are, in fact, short trips. We also find that our ICE (internal combustion engine) cars often need new engines at 50,000 miles, despite regular oil changes, and that the largest repair bill is replacing brake pads and shoes. So while others may find the maximum range of an electric vehicle a limitation, we find that the minimum range of an ICE vehicle (the time it takes to warm up and work efficiently and meet emission specifications) is also a problem. Also, we prefer the convenience of charging at home overnight to stopping at gas stations periodically.
We also like the fact that electricity can be efficiently generated from a wide variety of fuels and renewable resources. Of course, while the truck itself does not pollute air or water directly, the centralized power generation stations generate a small fraction of the pollution in vehicles (see Phil Karn's analysis). Since much of our electricity in Oregon comes from hydropower, there is also less contribution to greenhouse gases.
This is my electric 1994 Chevy S10, converted in 1994 by US Electricar. It uses the GM/Hughes Dolphin AC drive, which is no longer made. The motor is a 3-phase AC motor with 15 KW continuous and 50KW peak power. The batteries are the 52 original Hawker Genesis 42AH batteries, configured in two 312V strings. The 3 KW charger is built into the motor controller box and runs on either 240 or 120V AC. The controller box also contains the DC-DC converter for running the 12V systems from the main pack. It uses an E-Meter to improve on the accuracy of the voltage-based, built-in "fuel gauge".
Since the batteries are the most expensive part of an electric vehicle, costing an estimated 22 cents per mile (compared with less than 3 cents for electricity itself), the care and feeding of them is important. I'm adding 50 12V 2A PowerCheq units from Power Designers. I'm also experimenting with some Dallas Semiconductor 2438z battery monitor chips.
There are a (much too) limited number of EV's from automobile manufacturers. If you are in Los Angeles, you can rent some of them from EV Rental at the airport.