Sunday, December 3, 2023

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RVelectricity: More on EVs and a survey: Are you ready to purchase an EV in 2023?

Dear Readers,
Last week’s RVelectricity article focused on how the vehicle manufacturers were marketing their upcoming electric vehicle offerings. I noted that they were busy promoting mind-numbing acceleration, but ignoring the huge loss of driving range while towing any sort of trailer. And they really weren’t promoting (or don’t seem to be aware of) the lower cost to fill your EV tank with electricity using a Level-2 home charger compared to a Level-3 fast charger, or even the comparison to filling your internal combustion engine vehicle at the fuel pump.

It’s all about the price

moneyI also noted that while you can certainly pay in excess of $100,000 for an EV truck, SUV or sedan, many EV manufacturers are now offering base models in the mid- to high-$30,000 range.

Of course, that’s with smaller batteries with much less range and horsepower than their flagship models, but that’s how the automobile industry has always done it.

A brief example of an upcoming EV

I saw (but wasn’t allowed to actually touch) the Silverado EV truck at the Detroit Auto Show last month, but price and performance details were sketchy at the time. However, GM has just released info on the 2024 Silverado EV truck which will be available in 2023 at various price and trim levels. Read the full Motor Authority story HERE.

Base model (if you’re counting your pennies)

“The Silverado EV will debut in spring 2023 as a 2024 model in WT trim for fleets and consumers. Priced from $39,900, plus destination, this base model will come with front and rear motors making 510 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque. With standard all-wheel drive, it will be able to tow up to 8,000 lb and carry a payload of up to 1,200 lb.”

I would consider this to be a work truck, but I’m not sure exactly how this will fit into most contractor businesses. And if it had a reasonable size battery, it “might” be able to tow a small aerodynamic RV trailer for a reasonable distance (perhaps 150 miles, is my SWAG).


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“In the fall of 2023, Chevy will release the top-line RST First Edition model for $105,000 plus destination. It will come fully loaded, but with fewer goodies than the First Edition Hummer EV. Both versions will launch with the Hummer EV’s 24-module battery pack that has about 200 kwh of capacity, and both will offer about 400 miles of range. The battery will be able to charge at up to 350 kw, which Chevy says will add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes.

“The Silverado EV will be available with 10 outlets to charge items at campsites and job sites, including a 240-volt outlet in the bed. It will offer 10.2 kw of charging capacity and will be able to charge other EVs. The RST model will come with two motors as well, as opposed to three in the GMC Hummer EV that enable 1,100 hp. The Silverado’s dual-motor system will make 664 hp and 780 lb-ft of torque in what Chevy calls Wide Open Watts mode. Similar to the Hummer’s Watts To Freedom mode, it will unlock the best performance when the batteries and motors are in the right operating parameters and enable a 0-60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds. It will tow up to 10,000 lb and carry 1,300 lb of payload.”

This is the truck they were promoting at the show, and it’s certainly loaded with all the bells and whistles, along with a 200kWh battery and 400-mile base range. But this is a $105,000 truck that few will be able to afford.

What do I know?

Not enough yet, so I’m contacting all the communication departments from the various auto makers to see if I can get a test drive towing a few RV trailers.

But currently it’s difficult to separate the marketing bologna from real world data. I’ll let you know when I know more. So stay tuned!

Please take this survey and add your comments below

Let’s play safe out there….

Send your questions to me at my RVelectricity forum here.

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

##RVT1074


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David Barnett (@guest_207142)
1 year ago

It seems battery technology is evolving at an exponential rate and I’m afraid my 2023 EV will be obsolete in just a few years making it unsaleable.

Joe (@guest_206890)
1 year ago

I answered maybe however at this time I view them as a novelty. What could change my mind is how the vanadium redox flow battery would perform versus the Lithium in a vehicle. From what I have read after investing millions of US taxpayer money the U.S. Department of Energy gave the technology away to the Chinese so now I’m not sure what will happen with this technology.

Mike Sokol (@guest_206916)
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

Please provide a link to the article you’re referring to. I’m interested in studying this.

Admin
RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Hi, Mike. Here’s what I found when I Googled it: https://www.npr.org/2022/08/03/1114964240/new-battery-technology-china-vanadium (Mukilteo is about 9 miles from my house, BTW.) Have a good night. 😀 –Diane

Joe (@guest_207041)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Mike, as of now these batteries are huge and I believe not yet suited for vehicles. a Google search will get you many articles on them. I have been following the technology for several years and from what I ascertain they show promise, but probably years from now.

Michael Butts (@guest_206787)
1 year ago

Since I live in the cold, dark north, I don’t see getting an EV for a loooooong time. Maybe when battery technology makes another leap or two, but too many shortcomings at the time. I don’t want to have an extra vehicle for when I can’t use the EV.

Bob M (@guest_206752)
1 year ago

I just read a article that quoted both Ford and GM saying ICE vehicles for towing will be here for a long time. Presently the F150 can only tow a 6000 to 8000 lb travel less than 100 miles.

Mike Sokol (@guest_206869)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob M

I think the Ford F-150 PowerBoost gas/electric Hybrid with the 3.5L turbo V-6 and built-in 7.2kW inverter generator has a lot of potential. It does need a beefier chassis for towing, so as an F-250 with a larger (10kWh) traction battery it would be great.

John the road again (@guest_206743)
1 year ago

At this point of their evolution, I don’t think that EV ownership is going to be as inexpensive as their advocates suggest. A well maintained conventional vehicle today can be expected to last 200,000 miles or more without major repair. The same cannot yet be said of EVs. The most expensive aspect of vehicle ownership isn’t fuel but depreciation, and EVs currently have very steep depreciation curves. I’ll be waiting until they flatten out.

G Smith (@guest_206605)
1 year ago

We keep our cars maintained and drive them for a long time. Our Jeep Liberty, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler have 197,000, 124,000 and 249,000 miles respectively. I’m hearing about EVs hitting 70 to 80K needing new batteries to the tune of 18 to 20 $K. The only reasonable option is to throw them away and start fresh. No thanks.

G Smith (@guest_206601)
1 year ago

Last week I saw a post of the question “how would you feel if you were evacuating Florida in an electric car”. Enough said.

Diane Mc (@guest_206543)
1 year ago

A hybrid, maybe. EV don’t think so. Would like it to do double duty. Vehicle for home short 2 a 7 day trips we don’t want to take MH and flat towable behind motorhome. We looked at the Ford Escape. A little too small, not great looking (both my husband & me agree on this) and the price for the Titanium version was outrageous for that car. Don’t NEED a car right now. With things uncertain with the economy we can wait. May be some deals out there soon.

Bob p (@guest_206586)
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

We sprung for the Toyota Camry hybrid, we love it getting 56-60 around town and local driving and 49.7 on the highway at 75 mph. Wouldn’t consider an EV, outgrew the 0-60 50 years ago plus all those jackrabbit starts will take its toll sooner or later. And it’s big enough to be comfortable and it doesn’t use one of those stupid belt drive CVT, it’s all gears. It’s also made in America, Kentucky!

Gene Bjerke (@guest_206519)
1 year ago

One thing that interests me about EVs that is never mentioned is that the engine end transmission of an internal combustion vehicle contains hundreds (thousands?) of moving parts, while an electric motor contains one. Seems like less to break down.

MattD (@guest_206548)
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

If that’s the case, I wonder why they’re so much more expensive?

Mike Sokol (@guest_206870)
1 year ago
Reply to  MattD

It’s the Lithium battery costs right now. But battery costs are going down and energy density is going up.

JAMES (@guest_206549)
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

You’ll have plenty of time to think about that while you’re charging an EV (up to 14 hrs)

Mike Sokol (@guest_206842)
1 year ago
Reply to  JAMES

That’s up to 12 hours charging time overnight on a Level-2 home charger, but around 1 hour on a Level-3 Fast Charger.

Sailor Bill (@guest_206891)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Mike, Can we get some more information on Level 2 home chargers? How many volts are they, 120v or 240v? How many amps do they draw? Will a home with 200 amp service have to add more service (additional 100 amp or 200 amp service)? Can the power companies provide this additional power? Is the power grid robust enough to handle the additional load? Thanks very much.

Sailor Bill (@guest_206902)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sailor Bill

Mike, Also what is the cost to put in a Level 2 home charger with and without adding additional service? Thanks.

Jeff Craig (@guest_206481)
1 year ago

I can’t wait for Jeep to come out with a flat-towable fully electric rig, preferably something fairly light weight. Since I went back to work earlier this year (discovered retirement is kinda boring…) my new job gives me a work truck that I keep at home, so I only have to drive my Jeep every few weeks. Thus, it’ll be several years before I need to worry about getting a new car. On the plus side, I can pay cash for it.

Bob p (@guest_206587)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

It’ll be one of those Italian Jeeps made by Fiat!

Wayne C (@guest_206464)
1 year ago

Sooner or later EVs will have to pay road tax in a similar manner as the gasoline tax. I’m wondering how that will change the cost equation

Billinois (@guest_206530)
1 year ago
Reply to  Wayne C

Some states charge a larger amount for annual sticker renewal for EV’s. In Illinois it is $251vs $151 for ICE vehicles. This is to make up for the shortfall in gas taxes that EV owners don’t pay.

Richard (@guest_206397)
1 year ago

EVs are good only for city commuters. The whole “Saving the earth” with EVs is political/power/money smoke and mirrors. EVs are powered by coal/nat. gas produced electricity. “Green” power sources, leaving a HUGE carbon footprint, can’t even BEGIN to power the grid.
Until someone finds dylithium crystals, it’s oil, coal, and nat. gas.

Wilf (@guest_206584)
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard

…and hydroelectric

Mike Sokol (@guest_206874)
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilf

I worry about hydroelectric power being stable since there’s so much drought in many areas of the country.

Mike Sokol (@guest_206873)
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard

Actually, all Trekies know that dilithium crystals only direct the power to the warp engines. It’s the antimatter reactors that produce it. 🖖🏻 😉

Billinois (@guest_206378)
1 year ago

I would love to buy an inexpensive grocery-getter EV. Being retired we don’t drive like we used to. We could accomplish 95% of our daily errands using an EV around town.
The problem is the initial expense. Paying $40,000 (plus the insane dealer markup) for a Nissan Leaf or equivalent doesn’t make sense at this time. We’ll keep looking though.
As for EVs for towing anything substantial, forget it. It’s a pipe dream.

Crowman (@guest_206295)
1 year ago

I just got back from a deer hunting trip to Idaho towing a 10,000 pound trailer and load in the truck bed. The trip was close to a 1,000 miles and I could travel 325 miles between fill ups that took 5 minutes to pump. With the best EV I’ve read about it would have taken me 2-3 more days to get to my destination if there were charge stations on my route. IF you don’t clear the city limits I can maybe see getting a EV but if you travel far No Way for the inconvenience.

Bob p (@guest_206589)
1 year ago
Reply to  Crowman

Amen, until you see the power companies start spending billions of $$ the infrastructure is not there!

Mike Sokol (@guest_206875)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

I’m studying how SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) could provide safe nuclear energy for local power grids.

Mike Sokol (@guest_206877)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol
Sailor Bill (@guest_206895)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Mike, The US Navy has been using nuclear power in our submarines and aircraft carriers safely for over 50 years to provide power for both propulsion and to generate electricity. Why are so many people against it or afraid of it?

Mike Sokol (@guest_206913)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sailor Bill

I’m a child of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, as well as the more recent Fukushima disasters. It’s pretty terrifying when you watch a full meltdown. But these new small reactor designs are based on what the US Navy has learned from decades of proven safety and reliability. I’m willing to take a closer look.

Dan (@guest_206241)
1 year ago

I’d be interested in an EV when someone builds a small grocery getter about the size of an early Civic hatch back. Two seats and enough room in the back for a trip to the supermarket. One hundred mile range with the AC or heat running would be adequate. Charge over-nite at home. And keep it simple, user friendly, not a cell phone on wheels. A plus would be towable with some controlled regenerative charging.

Bob p (@guest_206590)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Dream on dream on teen age queen!

KellyR (@guest_206620)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

Most things we have in this world came about because of dreamers, didn’t they? There were Mother’s of Inventioners too – I think EVs are a bit of both.

Mike Sokol (@guest_206844)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

Actually, I’m currently in discussion with several EV makers about the flat-towable options.

Claudia (@guest_206219)
1 year ago

We would love an EV, but it needs to be flat towable. It’s getting near time to replace our TOAD, but we’ll keep nickel and diming her along until they become available or we give up RVing.

Ed K (@guest_206215)
1 year ago

Issue is range and the time to fill up the battery. I can go over 400 miles in my Diesel Pick-up and 350 in my Cherokee. Less than 10 minutes to fill their tanks. If I went electric, they would have to have twice the range for me to feel comfortable and they would have to be tow-able four down behind my Motor Home. Maybe if I was still working and needed something for the short haul back and forth to work I could justify it, but I definitely don’t need three cars any more, I can hardly justify the two we currently have.

Les (@guest_206202)
1 year ago

How useful is a 5.5 foot bed or shorter for a work truck, electric or petrol? Tough to carry a sheet of plywood or…

Roger V (@guest_206353)
1 year ago
Reply to  Les

Pretty useful as it turns out. I’ve carried many 4×8′ sheets of various construction materials in my 2006 Honda Ridgeline with a 5′ bed over the past 16 years. It’s got a 50″ wide flat floor and with the tailgate down, a 7′ long flat surface that can easlily handle 1450 lbs in the bed. Not bad for something famously known as “not a truck” to body on frame snobs. On top of that, it still runs like a top. Looking forward to at least another 10 years with it.

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