We live in very interesting times when it comes to automobiles. We have pretty much conquered reliability and safety – by that I mean that most new cars will easily run for 100,000 miles and they’re far from being the death traps they just a few decades ago. Simple oil change intervals have gone from 3000 to 15,000 miles. We progressed from surviving accidents to avoiding accidents. We are currently in the process of eliminating the driver and gasoline from cars. While most of us here love older cars, we’d be making a mistake if we didn’t pay attention to what is going on with cars now and the near future.
While the progress in passenger cars has been dramatic, it has been much slower in heavier duty commercial vehicles. Take the Toyota Land Cruiser 70-series, for instance. It’s as old schools as it gets, having been in production since the 1980’s with little change. Yet it still in demand in certain regions and industries. Heck, I’d give up a kidney for one.
An Australian company that works with in the mining industry did something interesting recently. They yanked out the turbo-diesel V8 and its transmission from a new Land Cruiser and replaced it with an electric motor and lithium-ion batteries. And the best part is that it was done out of a need and not just a desire to have eclectic electric vehicle.
There is a whole issue of oxygen in mining – there isn’t a lot of it in mines. And that was the need that drove the creation of this vehicle. Out went the diesel V8 and in went a 140hp electric motor. If my calculations are correct it makes around 189lb-ft of torque, probably at 0-rpm. That motor is connected the factory part-time transfer-case and then onto factory axles.
The charge is stored in 132 100-Ah cells. According to Voltra that calculates into 42.24kWh. For comparison, the Tesla Model S is available with 75 and 100kWh batteries. There is no specified range for the eCruiser or acceleration numbers, which is this case would be rather pointless as long as they are somewhat comparable to the stock Cruiser. There is also no word on the weight difference between the eCruiser and the Cruiser, and therefore its payload capacity. The charging time is 5.5 hours on a 240-volt, 32-amp circuit and just one hour on a fast charger. Regenerative braking tops off the batteries while driving.
The result is a vehicle that satisfies the mining industry’s needs and that doesn’t pollute the air which is already in shorty supply there. The company claims the the eCruiser is smoother and more comfortable to drive. That its sealed components reduce service time and cost. The eCruiser is still in a prototype phase but the company intends to to sell conversion kits for 70-series Land Cruisers. Overall the information provided is kind of vague and difficult to decipher but the idea is really cool.
You can follow the eCruiser developments here.
SPECS DETAILS E-LV79-CONV Motor Type 3 phase permanent magnet radial flux Cont. Power 66 kw Peak Power 104 kw Cont. Torque 106 Nm Peak Torque 256 Nm Cooling Agent 60/40 Glycol/Water IP Level IP69 Inverter Power 110 kVA Cont. Current 350 Arms Peak Current 575 Arms Cooling Agent 60/40 Glycol/Water IP Level IP69 Charger Power 6.6 kw Input Single phase (onboard charger)CCS Type 2 Charger for fast charging Cooling Agent 60/40 Glycol/Water TransferCase Type Original part time 4WD Diff Lock Original High Gear Ratio 4.19:1 Battery Low Gear RatioType 10.42472:1Modular Cells 132 x 100 Ah Cell Type Prismatic Energy Content 42.24 kWh Nominal Voltage 422 V Min/Max Voltage 330V/482V Cont. Current 33A Peak Current 300A Chemistry LiFeP04 ThermalManagement Integrated Evaporator & Ducted air IP Level IP69 Misc Aircon Type Variable speed 400V compressor w/independent cab heating/cooling, battery, electronics & motor cooling – all under software control Brake Booster Type Original w/12V vacuum pump Power Steering Variable speed – Original w/12V pump