Pickup Trucks: Potential Green Energy Behemoths

So, I just got to thinking. People complain that Pickup trucks are fuel guzzelers. I can see that, but heres the thing. Some people literally cant get anything other than pickup trucks. They are cheap and reliable, and provide 2 tons of cargo capacity. Some people need them for the cargo. They may work construction and keep thier tools in the bed. Or there are people like me who live in rural areas with rough, minimum maintaince dirt roads, which will pretty much destroy anything smaller than a pickup truck or SUV after years of driving on it. But with gas prices as high as they are, it gets hard to fill the tank sometimes.

So thats what got me thinking. The average pickup truck has a 7' long and 5'10" wide cargo bed. That is A LOT of room. So, I thought: Why cant you just shove abunch of hybrid batteries back there. It can easily take the weight, and then you can just put another layer of metal over the batteries to keep the cargo space. And if one battery pack in a Pruis can get it about 20 miles out of its battery, if you could put, lets say 5, batteries in the bed of a truck, you can get about 100 miles out of that on pure battery power before a recharge. The only thing I can think up for a problem is horsepower, and I really cant think up a solution to that.

So, what are your thoughts on this Escapist.

Good idea but.
then your pick up truck becomes expensive and same old problem of we still get most of our energy from fossil fuel.
ideally this is a great idea don't get me wrong, we just want see this anytime soon due to current situation on energy production and costs for electric cars.

Several big problem with that.

1. There isn't actually a lot "under" a truck bed for you to put batteries. Often it is just the wheels, exhast, and drive shaft.

2. Batteries are fairly heavy, so piling a ton into your truck will only decrease the top carrying load of the truck, which will mean the truck will need bigger engines and larger hydralics to match the same pay load, increasing energy consumption.

3. Hybrid batteries are EXPENSIVE. Prisiuses, which are smaller, slower, and lighter than any pickup truck on the road run around $30,000 for the BASIC models. Trucks, which need a lot of raw power to carry around extra tons, would be VERY pricy.

Power is no problem. Electric motors have Hella Torque at the low end. Price.... That's another thing.

Check out delivery truck from SteamWhistleBrewing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGh2WEjcLoM

Check out the other episodes for the full story.

You're looking at the holy grail of the current US auto market and something automakers have been trying to figure out how to do for years. There's just a few problems:

One problem is that hybrid and electric engines do not have the output to cover the increased weight of both the batteries (ever lifted a car battery? It's quite heavy) and heavier loads that are sometimes put into pickups.

Another is that standard car batteries are not an ideal shape and size for what you proposed, so the batteries would have to be a custom design (i.e. expensive). Then there would be the need for access for maintenance of the batteries in the event of an emergency (why do you think automakers avoid putting the engine underneath something?).

Still, not a bad idea as a concept...

No no no. They are not good for energy efficiency, if they rely on fuel.

You're actually on to something if you're talking about lithium batteries. That's actually a great idea and it's already in the works.

BOOM headshot65:
So, I just got to thinking. People complain that Pickup trucks are fuel guzzelers. I can see that, but heres the thing. Some people literally cant get anything other than pickup trucks. They are cheap and reliable, and provide 2 tons of cargo capacity. Some people need them for the cargo. They may work construction and keep thier tools in the bed. Or there are people like me who live in rural areas with rough, minimum maintaince dirt roads, which will pretty much destroy anything smaller than a pickup truck or SUV after years of driving on it. But with gas prices as high as they are, it gets hard to fill the tank sometimes.

So thats what got me thinking. The average pickup truck has a 7' long and 5'10" wide cargo bed. That is A LOT of room. So, I thought: Why cant you just shove abunch of hybrid batteries back there. It can easily take the weight, and then you can just put another layer of metal over the batteries to keep the cargo space. And if one battery pack in a Pruis can get it about 20 miles out of its battery, if you could put, lets say 5, batteries in the bed of a truck, you can get about 100 miles out of that on pure battery power before a recharge. The only thing I can think up for a problem is horsepower, and I really cant think up a solution to that.

So, what are your thoughts on this Escapist.

if you put 5 packs of batteries you can get 5x the horse power for same distance. and they do need extra hosepower offroading as they do.
pickup trucks are FINE for people that NEED them. peopel that live in farms, carry stuff over, have to move tools or other cargo ect. the problem people usually ahve with pick-up trucks are caused by people who buy the "largest engine" pick-up truck and all they use it for is to drive thier kids to school on good asphalted roads for a walking distance. and then complain that "wow gas is so expensive i cant drive my 10l engine truck anymore lets blame the goverment"

BOOM headshot65:
So, I thought: Why cant you just shove abunch of hybrid batteries back there. It can easily take the weight, and then you can just put another layer of metal over the batteries to keep the cargo space. And if one battery pack in a Pruis can get it about 20 miles out of its battery, if you could put, lets say 5, batteries in the bed of a truck, you can get about 100 miles out of that on pure battery power before a recharge. The only thing I can think up for a problem is horsepower, and I really cant think up a solution to that.

So, what are your thoughts on this Escapist.

A truck is certainly a lot heavier than a Prius. It would therefore do a lot less than 20 miles per battery, or do those 20 miles much slower. Also, add the weight of such huge batteries as well: as I recall they used to be up to about 50kg (although maybe less nowadays).

It'd be less efficient in a pickup, just like everything else except sheer payload capacity. Pickups just need to stay where they're at and only be used by people who need them. The only problem I really have with trucks is that they're used a lot by people who don't need them >.>

For what reason couldn't we use hydrogen fuel cells in larger autos? I'm not certain of the power output, but I know they have to be lighter than batteries and power to weight ratio is more important than just energy output.

WouldYouKindly:
For what reason couldn't we use hydrogen fuel cells in larger autos? I'm not certain of the power output, but I know they have to be lighter than batteries and power to weight ratio is more important than just energy output.

Because hydrogen fuel cells are volatile, moreso than gasoline. While they're not the mini-nuke a lot of the ignorant opposition treat them as, the fact still remains that hydrogen is explosively flammable at much lower concentrations. That means that they are much more dangerous in the event of a catastrophic failure, like the kind that could be brought on by an accident such as a collision, either with another vehicle or a peice of equipment the likes of which you might find in a construction site.

Fuel cells are cool, but only in the same way strapping rockets to your car are. It does work, and it's more efficient than internal combustion, but it's far too dangerous.

ShadowKatt:
Because hydrogen fuel cells are volatile, moreso than gasoline. While they're not the mini-nuke a lot of the ignorant opposition treat them as, the fact still remains that hydrogen is explosively flammable at much lower concentrations. That means that they are much more dangerous in the event of a catastrophic failure, like the kind that could be brought on by an accident such as a collision, either with another vehicle or a peice of equipment the likes of which you might find in a construction site.

Hydrogen has the advantage of being lighter than air, though, in the event of a leak it doesn't pool on the ground, which is much more dangerous.

You'd have a pretty weak pickup truck if it ran on batteries, and I'm pretty sure one of the major selling points of pickup trucks is that they're powerful.

Anyway, we'll likely see a shift from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) in the next few decades, depending on how quickly major gas companies start putting up fuel stations for it. Ford actually released natural gas (or maybe bi-fuel, don't remember) versions of the F250 and F350 recently. Natural gas is cleaner, cheaper, quieter, and provides similar horsepower. The major issues are that you'll get fewer miles to the tank out of it, and at the present it's difficult to find a place to refuel it.

thaluikhain:

ShadowKatt:
Because hydrogen fuel cells are volatile, moreso than gasoline. While they're not the mini-nuke a lot of the ignorant opposition treat them as, the fact still remains that hydrogen is explosively flammable at much lower concentrations. That means that they are much more dangerous in the event of a catastrophic failure, like the kind that could be brought on by an accident such as a collision, either with another vehicle or a peice of equipment the likes of which you might find in a construction site.

Hydrogen has the advantage of being lighter than air, though, in the event of a leak it doesn't pool on the ground, which is much more dangerous.

That's the thing though, isn't it? We have LOTS of technology we could use, and if we did away with things like regulations we could revolutionize the WORLD with a technological revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since the advent of the PC in the 90s. But it wouldn't be safe, which means the benefits would be, in restrospect, not worth it.

Safety must come first, and hydrogen fuel cells are not yet safe.

ShadowKatt:

thaluikhain:

ShadowKatt:
Because hydrogen fuel cells are volatile, moreso than gasoline. While they're not the mini-nuke a lot of the ignorant opposition treat them as, the fact still remains that hydrogen is explosively flammable at much lower concentrations. That means that they are much more dangerous in the event of a catastrophic failure, like the kind that could be brought on by an accident such as a collision, either with another vehicle or a peice of equipment the likes of which you might find in a construction site.

Hydrogen has the advantage of being lighter than air, though, in the event of a leak it doesn't pool on the ground, which is much more dangerous.

That's the thing though, isn't it? We have LOTS of technology we could use, and if we did away with things like regulations we could revolutionize the WORLD with a technological revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since the advent of the PC in the 90s. But it wouldn't be safe, which means the benefits would be, in restrospect, not worth it.

Safety must come first, and hydrogen fuel cells are not yet safe.

What people think is safe and what actually IS safe are two very different things. Yes, Hydrogen cells can be a bit unstable at times, but right now we are using honest to god explosives to power our cars. Hydrogen cells do not produce any pollution, while gas produces tons of crap you do NOT want to be breathing in so regularly.

Remember, laws are often influenced by two groups via campaign donations. People from one power producing industry that doesn't want another to be viable, and another who means well but who's belief in what safe wrong. Take nuclear power plants. They produce little to no radiation, can use the same fuel for large stretches of time, and have killed far fewer people than oil, coal, or natrual gas power plants. Yet, people are scared of them just because of some few high profile cases (which are mostly due to human stupidity than the power source itself) and knowledge that "radiation causes CANCER!"

Regulations are not all made by high beings people, using nothing but facts to make the safest world they can, but simple human influenced by lies, mistaken knowledge, and money.

Back on to the subject of hybrid pickup trucks, why not remove the gearbox, disconnect the shaft from the wheels, make a hole in the boot, rig up the drive shaft at the bottom of the hole to a chain, use that chain to power a dynamo generator mounted in the boot, and then rig that up to electric motors for driving the wheels.

Essentially you'd be using the combustion engine to generate current for electric motors.

When the wheels are driving the shaft like if you're going downhill or braking, they'd be powering the dynamo as well.

Where would that energy be stored you ask?
Well, if there aren't batteries which can do it, maybe some kind of flywheel.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked