Five Commitments to Electric Trucks
If you remember from previous posts, I mentioned that electric-powered recreational vehicles will be available in the next few years (Summer Travel Concerns). It appears that 2020 will go down in history as the Year of the Truck. Cummins, Tesla, Mercedes, and a new USA startup, Nikola, are rolling out their versions of the electric-powered commercial truck.
Most of us are happy chugging along in our gas or diesel transportation, especially if we can sleep and cook in them too. But imagine our travels without the sounds and smells that accompany them. Several European RV manufacturers are already working on an electric-powered prototype. Soaring gas prices, gone!
Watch this space for updates!
American electric vehicle startup, Nikola, suddenly stepped up to the mic and announced plans to unveil an electric semi-trailer truck prototype by the end of the year. The Nikola One electric semi-trailer Class 8 truck rolled out as scheduled. Their network of service and maintenance is already contracted with local suppliers.
The Nikola One is an extended-range electric truck with a hydrogen fuel cell as the range-extender. A 320-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery built into the frame is charged on the run by the fuel cell. Drive comes purely from an array of six electric motors.
Nikola states “the truck should offer a range between 800 and 1,200 miles with the battery charged and the hydrogen storage tank filled. Peak output from the electric drive system is said to be more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 pound-feet of torque, enough to accelerate the One from 0-60 mph in 30 seconds, or about twice as quick as a conventional diesel rig.” Look for the first one to roll off the line in 2020.
Cummins Concept Truck
Cummins has unveiled an electric truck concept that they are confident will enter production around 2020. Cummins’ recruited engineering firm Roush to help design and build the concept.
Dubbed the Urban Hauler Tractor, the concept is a fully-electric class 7 truck with a maximum payload of 44,000 pounds. The truck itself weighs 18,000 pounds. The weight of the electric powertrain including the battery can be compared to the weight of a 12.0-liter diesel engine (together with the emissions treatment, transmission and fuel tank components conventional trucks also pack).
Tesla Semi Truck
Tesla is scheduled to reveal the design of an all-electric semi-trailer truck currently in the works on Oct 26th.
Tesla has been quiet on details but Reuters has learned the truck has a range somewhere between 200 and 300 miles, which would make it more suited to urban and regional jaunts than long-haul trips. The information came from Scott Perry, an executive at Miami-based fleet operator Ryder System, who met with Tesla earlier this year to discuss the truck.
Mercedes Semi Urban eTruck
Daimler revealed its first non-fossil-fuel big rig, the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck. Their second entry is the eCanter, designed for local surface delivery.
Like most electric vehicles, the eTruck is relatively whisper-quiet, especially compared to a typical diesel truck. With a weight capacity of 29 US tons, it’s the largest electric big-rig concept to hit the road.
Produced under the Mitsubishi Fuso brand, their eCanter truck is going to surface as a UPS delivery fleet here in the USA. It has a payload of 4.5 tons with a range of 60 miles. Savings estimates range as high as $2,000 in operating costs for every 10,000 miles.
Navistar and VW Team Up
Navistar has announced that, together with Volkswagen Truck & Bus, it will introduce a new electric medium-duty truck.
Navistar plans to introduce the truck in 2020, with the target market for the vehicle to be the U.S. and Canada.
The Class 6 or 7 eTruck is aimed at city delivery customers and will have a range of just over 110 miles (180 km) with a payload of about 18 tons.
Earlier this year, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus formed an alliance to jointly develop various vehicle power-trains – including plug-ins.
New Thousand Trails Collection for $199.
For Thousand Trails members, or those thinking of buying into this membership park system, there is now an add-on for $199 that opens access to their Encore commercial parks. Selected parks only though, so check to make sure they are where you want to stay.
- Age restrictions on RV (15 yrs/10 yrs) for most Encore parks
- 14 days in, 7 days out regardless of your contract agreement
- No park to park – even regular Thousand Trails parks (must be out of the system for 7 days)
- Popular metro parks $20 night instead of free (for example: San Francisco)
The National Highway Safety Association (NHTSA.gov) maintains a list of all RVs recalled by the manufacturer. To narrow the chances of buying a defective vehicle, check the VIN number on this website. If you have a question about a particular make or model, enter the VIN number of the vehicle to see the details.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notifications:
Forest River (6)
Forest River Inc. is recalling 184 2018 Forest River Dynamax, Forester, Sunseeker, and Coachmen Prism vehicles built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans. The affected vehicles have tire labels on the B-pillar that list a tire pressure that is too low. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”
Forest River is recalling certain 2018 Prime Time recreational trailers, models WCF32WB, WCF34WB, and WCF37WB. The Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) on the Federal Placard is listed as 6,160lbs when the axle is only rated for 6,000lbs. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”
Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018 Rockwood and Flagstaff recreational trailers equipped with Dexter Axles. The spindle nut on the axles may not have been torqued to the proper specifications.
Forest River is recalling certain 2018 Prime Time Tracer recreational trailers. The Federal Placard on these vehicles may not list the correct tire pressure information of 65 PSI and 448 kPa. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims,” and the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”
Forest River Inc. is recalling 674 2007-2017 Turtle Top Odyssey, Odyssey XL, Odyssey LT, Terra Transit, Terra Transport, Terra Transport XL, Vanterra, Vanterra XL, and Vanterra XLT transit buses manufactured with one or more extra seats. When the vehicle is fully loaded with passengers, cargo and fuel, the vehicle may exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”
Forest River Inc. is recalling 34 2018 XLR ToyHaulers, models XLT23KW and XLT23KW-W. The Federal Placard on these vehicles may not provide the incorrect tire and rim combination information of ST225/75R15/E tires needing 80 PSI and rims of 16X6.0JJ. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.” Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1.574.862.1025.
KZRV Inc. is recalling 23 2017-2018 Sportsmen and Sportster recreational trailers. The tires may rub against the steel enclosure housing for the sewer hose, causing premature tire wear.
Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling 6,686 2016-2018 Springdale and Summerland recreational trailers. The wiring for the electric stabilizer jacks were incorrectly connected to the unprotected side of the breaker.
Erwin Hymer Group North America Inc. is recalling 195 2016-2018 Hymer Aktiv recreational vehicles, built on RAM Promaster chassis and equipped with a Continental kit (CK). The exhaust pipe may melt the rear bumper cover and the vehicle wiring in that area. (Hint: buy the Hymer Mercedes chassis.)
Thor Motor Coach (TMC) (2)
Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling 680 2018 Four Winds, Chateau and Freedom Elite motorhomes. The liquid propane (LP) hose may sag and become pinched between the frame and the leaf spring u-bolts, potentially damaging the hose and causing a propane leak.
Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2010-2011 Hurricane, and 2011 Serrano and Windsor motorhomes. The affected vehicles are wired to be powered by a generator and are equipped with an Iota ITS-50R transfer switch that may fail when exposed to elevated electrical loads and used in higher temperatures.
Note: Thor posted record fourth-quarter revenues of $1.93 billion representing a 49.7% increase over the same period a year ago. They have recalled 1,120+ RVs this year for possible life-threating quality control issues.
REV Recreation Group is recalling certain 2018 Holiday Rambler Vesta and Fleetwood Jamboree motorhomes. Wires within the generator junction box may have been improperly stripped before being connected. Owners may contact REV customer service at 1.800.509.3417.
FYI: Special Note for Motorhome Owners
From the “Black Book”:
Recreational Vehicles: The auction results last month were a bit surprising; towable values did exactly what we expected them to, but motorized units, which should also be declining, shot up nearly 15 percent.
For motorhomes (including Class A, B, and C), the average selling price was $47,723, up $6,229 (15.1 percent) from previous month. One year ago, the average selling price was $39,701, while auction volume remained unchanged. But for Towables (including travel trailers and fifth wheels), the average selling price was $12,521, down $259 (2.2 percent) from the previous month. One year ago, the average selling price was $11,984. However, auction volume was up 10.5 percent from previous months.
This looks like a good time to sell motorhomes, not necessarily a good time to buy.