Sunday, January 10, 2016

Quietly Changing The World: 2012 Navistar eStar

In 2012 Navistar (in cooperation with UK based Modec) started producing an all-electric van from their Wakarusa, Indiana manufacturing plant called the eStar.  Modec was sort of the Tesla of the British trucking industry, and it started with electric taxicabs and later transitioned to building electric inner city delivery trucks before being forced into administration (that's British for bankruptcy) in 2011.  Navistar fed on that rotting corpse like a hyena in heat and the fruit of that meal is this eclectic electric box on wheels.  Find this 2012 Navistar eStar here on eBay bidding for $7,877 reserve-not-met with a few hours to go.


The eStar is powerd by a 70kW (102 horsepower) electric motor, mounted somewhere underneath, connected to a 80kWhr lithium-ion battery pack.  With the help of generative braking the eStar will transport you and some mix of 5,100 lbs of goods to a top speed of 52 mph and an approximate range of 100 miles.


Here is the interesting part in this eStar listing -- with the current sub $10k bidding, this thing has lost 96% of its original $187,000 MSRP to the magic of depreciation.  A Bentley maintains value better than this thing.


See a better car to park in the electric parking spot at work? tips@dailyturismo.com

12 comments:

  1. I can see if the range was 200, not 100 miles this could be a really good delivery vehicle in big cities.

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  2. It looks like a prop vehicle from Total Recall

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  3. $187,000... $187,000... nope, doesn't compute

    $8000... that computes

    100 miles seems pretty useful actually - not for a driving-all-day-long situation like package delivery, but it would be plenty for zapping around town more modestly - in a previous life i had a gig making house calls to inspect and fix... um... stuff, and this would have been great

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  4. Lets see... 70kw motor and an 80kw/hr battery...that means you have slightly more than an hour (1.14 hours) before the battery is completely out of juice, assuming you can wring every last kw/hr out of the battery. With a top speed of 52 mph you'll travel just shy of 60 miles...59.43 miles to be exact. Far short of the claimed 100 mile range. No wonder I've never seen one of these on the road.

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    1. is that how it works? would you be able to go 118.86 miles at 26 mph? 594.3 at 5.2 mph?

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    2. markiteight - you are forgetting about regenerative braking, which Vince mentioned in his writeup above.

      It would last 1.14 hours yes...but only if at full throttle continuously, with no lifting, deceleration, etc.

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  5. The formula for electrical capacity is more complex. There is something called Peukert’s Law which says that increasing the current draw on the battery will also result in a decreased capacity, and decreasing the current draw will result in increasing battery capacity. The relationship is not linear. Kilowatt Hour rating is difficult to extrapolate when the current draw is always changing. I'm sure the figure they use of about 100 miles is an average of driving conditions, and this would go for fewer miles at it's maximum speed. This would probably make a good inner city delivery truck, but that's not exciting. This is screaming to be a food truck - minimal driving, mostly parked, low emissions. Add a propane tank for the cooking and even the refrigeration, and you're set. How about "Spacely Sprocket Burgers" (with the buns designed to have gear teeth edges)?

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    1. i figured it had to be a lot more complicated, up there with divining NO2 levels from normal diesel operation

      now, a food truck is a great idea, and i can't for the life of me understand why someone hasn't licensed one Jetsons character or another for some kind of futuristic food concept - which is not to say i personally have some such concept up the sleeve of my anti-gravity suit... but of course i do ;)

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    2. You could make the most awesome George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine food truck with this badboy. [img]https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ_6MOhBatu1BTMddil25LR8IAUjbuloAWUOkOaHbZTL2l0vL20hg[/img]

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  6. Looks like the perfect shape and size to blow over.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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