Driven: Protean Ford F-150 All-Electric Pickup Truck

Driven: Protean Ford F-150 All-Electric Pickup Truck
Words and Photos by Ben Wojdyla for PickupTrucks.com

It might not seem obvious, but pickup trucks are the ideal candidates for electric drive systems. Electric motors deliver peak torque at zero rpm to get big loads moving. There’s plenty of room to store massive batteries and heavy-duty components can handle their extra weight.

It’s why Protean Electric – formerly known as PML Flightlink – converted a 2009 Ford F-150 to all-electric drive for the 2008 SEMA show. The unique part: Unlike normal EVs, Protean’s F-150 has in-wheel electric motors, four of 'em, and boy are they powerful. How do we know? Because after three years, we finally got behind the wheel of this alt-powered truck.

Let's back up a moment, though. In-wheel electric motors on trucks aren't a new idea. In fact, one of the first hybrid vehicles was a modified truck built in 1900 by Ferdinand Porsche, and it used so-called pancake motors in the wheels. The reason then is the same as the reason now — mechanical simplicity and packaging advantages. Putting electric motors in the wheels makes sense on a basic level; it puts the power-generating elements where power is needed and frees up space for passengers and cargo.

Rear-underbody-1-560
Looking from the rear forward. Note the hollow beam rear axle shackled to conventional leaf springs and lack of a rear differential. Gear reduction and wheel speed is controlled inside each wheel motor. Battery packs and power cables (orange) are also shown.

Until recently, the biggest reason against using in-wheel motors was that they create too much unsprung weight. Unsprung weight is generally considered the enemy of handling performance. The more weight hanging off the end of the suspension, the harder it is to control the motion of the wheel and by extension, the performance of the vehicle. Generally, more power from an electric motor requires more windings, bigger permanent magnets and added weight.

Protean has taken a different approach that not only increases power, it improves reliability, control and, most importantly, reduces weight.

Protean created an in-wheel electric motor unit that's essentially eight motors in one package. Inside the motor, its rotor looks conventional, with segmented permanent magnets on the outside. The stator, however, is new. Arranged in a circle are eight identical inverter motor controllers, each capable of switching on and off independently and driving the motor at low power individually. Alone, they offer minimum power use, but all together, they switch on and off to provide maximum power and torque.

Front-wheel-1-560
Closeup look at the right front wheel. Protean's in-wheel electric motor has minimal impact on the independent front suspension, knuckles and tie rods.  

This system provides several important benefits, including easy repair and redundancy. But most important is the weight reduction the design allows. Each motor tips the scales around 68 pounds, more than a brake and half-shaft system, but still manageable from a vehicle tuning and dynamics perspective.

Protean has designed its motors as a modular bolt-on system. The motors are designed to use the factory bearing systems, so installation means removing the factory brake system, swapping the bearing onto the integrated mechanical brake/motor unit and bolting it back into place on the axle.

A live axle like the solid rear axle a stock F-150 uses isn't necessary. To prove the point, Protean chucked the factory Ford rear axle in favor of a hollow beam axle, saving considerable weight in the process. They also ditched the rear differential because wheel speed and gear reduction is managed in each of the wheel motors.

Drive-1-560

Protean’s demonstrator uses a slick inboard braking system much like an old Jaguar E-Type; however, the system can provide regenerative braking. Federal mandates require a mechanical backup system, so traditional hydraulic braking has been integrated into the latest motor design.

How does such a radically different powertrain layout drive in a half-ton truck? A lot like today’s truck. As you might expect from an EV, power comes on strong from the start, and as you reach higher speed, the power output decreases. These aren’t weak motors. Each of the four can generate peak twist of 608 pounds-feet of torque, and continuous output is just as impressive at 368 pounds-feet. Remember, that's for each motor.

Beastly as the motors might be, there’s still a major challenge to overcome: the battery, something Protean makes no bones about. Protean isn’t in the battery business, so the 40-kilowatt-hour battery installed under the bed isn't theirs, just the battery du jour. It's also the truck's weak point right now. Each motor can operate at 84 kwh peak power, about 112 hp, for a grand total of 448 hp. Unfortunately the battery can only output a maximum of 138 kW, or about 185 horsepower. So better battery means bigger power, just like better fuel pump means more fuel, means the potential for more power. Remember, though, that we're talking about a demonstration machine built three years ago. Battery technology has advanced a lot in that time, and so can performance.

Interior-1-560
The interior has been customized with digital gauges and three push-button controls (next to cupholders) for drive, neutral and reverse modes. The large red button is a kill switch, just in case.

But what about the handling? Making the case that in-wheel motors can be a viable drive system is tough, especially when pitching to a generation of chassis engineers taught that unsprung weight is the worst thing in the world. So Protean did something risky. It didn't tune the suspension at all after the conversion. To compensate for the removal of the drive line, the company placed the hefty battery pack to maintain proper weight distribution and ride height, and that's all it did. The truck still rides on the factory springs and dampers front and rear. It's a tricky way to put the product to the ultimate test. With no suspension tuning working to Protean’s advantage, how does the truck perform compared with the stock setup?

We're not going to gloss over the rougher ride, but considering the circumstances, we're open to believe Protean's view that previous unsprung weight concerns can be overcome. There is a noticeable increase in the amount of vibration translated to the driver compared with a stock truck. Some can be attributed to the 18-inch wheels and lower-profile tires, but in fairness, some comes from the added heft of the motors. It's not disconcerting, though, not even close. It's entirely within reason that with appropriate springs and dampers, you'd never know you were driving something other than a stock F-150, well, aside from the freaky quietness of the vehicle.

Drive-2-560
Protean's in-wheel electric drive system had no problem moving the F-150 up and over a steep test grade.

In a corner and at speed, it feels similar to a conventional pickup. Such a statement may seem generic, but it belies the possibilities of the system. The highest praise an EV or hybrid can ever get is, “It feels just like a normal vehicle.” That is oddly the goal. Do something revolutionary and make the difference imperceptible. In that measure, Protean has succeeded with this demo vehicle.

What are the odds of this truck, or something like it, making it to production, considering the long odds facing upstart EV companies and their seemingly frequent burnout rate? Protean says it’s watertight financially, claiming it’s nearing its first contract to supply vehicles and has plenty of investor capital available. It expects to make an announcement in the near future of a U.S. production facility for its hardware.

The F-150 demonstrator serves as a “most extreme case” of what Protean can deliver. The company plans to offer hybrid and all-electric vehicle solutions. Protean’s in-wheel system can operate as a through-the-road hybrid, a synchronous axle hybrid, all-electric as is the case with the F-150, or as selectively internal combustion and EV operation. Protean is currently a full generation ahead of the motors installed on this truck, with another generation pending release this summer. The numbers have changed slightly to improve continuous output and overall efficiency, with peak torque down to 578 pounds-feet and 355 pounds-feet continuous with continuous output up to 80 hp rather than 60 hp.

After all this talk of kilowatts and inverter motor controllers and peak versus continuous output, the takeaway is this: Don't fear the future. As much as we all love big, powerful, dinosaur-fueled internal combustion engine-powered pickups, there's room enough for electric trucks, too, or even hybrids. If you think the growl of an IC engine is mandatory for the truck experience, just imagine what having 2,300 pounds-feet of torque on tap might do for your opinions.

Beauty-1-560

Comments

I've ridden in this truck...it's impressive. What is the best feature is the on-demand 4WD. In theory, you could even have a FWD pickup!

What a cool development! It does not look like it lost very much, if any, capability? The only downside might be the mileage range between charges? Great story!

Wow, amazing that the truck performs with 3 year old technology. I wonder how a Reg Cab, Short Bed, 4wd/2wd version would perform??? Is there any word of Ford even considering building an all electric truck?

Forgot to add in the above comment with the new 3rd gen electric motors and the latest battery technology.

Insanely cool technology, awesome to read about this kind of stuff. I wonder about the possibilities of putting this kind of thing into a compact truck, maybe even to supplement gas engine? Awesome article.

Only 2300 ft. lbs. of torque? That's enough torque to roast the tires, and all future sets of replacement tires before they're even on the truck!

HOLY CRAP IT'S BEN WOJDYLA!

Fantastic write up Ben. Glad to see you are still writing.

And what a fantastic truck. I welcome electric power via in-wheel motors. Either as a hybrid or full electric.

What is the battery range?
and
what is the cost?

They should give this a try with one of the midsize trucks to lower the weight. It's nice to see that trucks are getting some attention with electric

For comparison of maximum torque at the wheels, the 3.7 v6 engine in the 2011 provides ~3500 pound-feet of torque to the wheels with the 3.55 rear end ratio in 1st gear, using 278 (rated torque) x 4.17 (first gear ratio) x 3.55 (rear end ratio) x .85 (for parasitic loss). The 6.2 v8 provides ~6300 pound feet of torque to the wheels with the 4.10 rear end ratio in 1st gear... Now, put that 4x4 into low, and see what happens...

Depending on overall weight, this truck may be incapable of ascending a 25% grade. It should handle most on-road conditions quite well, but off-road it would be severely limited, specially for trailer towing and/or steep grades.

I'm not trying to bash the idea - I think it had great on-road fuel efficiency potential. It's just limited for the way some use their trucks.

I'll happily take one adopted to my F-350. Keeping the truck and dropping the fuel bill is the best of both worlds.

I too have been watching this for 3 years. The in-wheel motors are what gives this amazing machine the edge over Via motors (formerly Razor) http://www.viamotors.com/ extended range hybrid. Add a three cylinder diesel gen set and your good to go.
I would like to add two more things though. A set of regenerative shocks like were developed by Tuffs University professors. Or maybe the ones designed by the students at New York State University. Though the only ones that look likely to make it to market are the hydraulic ones from the MIT students. I don't like the idea of adding more fluids to the machine. The Tuffs shocks were licensed by Electric Truck, LLC and just disappeared.
The other tweak I'd like to see are the airless tires from Resilient Technologies. (http://www.resilienttech.com/products/non-pneumatic-tire) Unless you want to go all the way, then figure out a way to put a set of tracks on the machine. Mattracks makes some, but they are nuts concerning price.
I suppose it would be possible to mount the drive motors inside of the Mattracks drivewheel. But it would be a challenge.

The heck with the batteries...... those motors cry out for a diesel genset, a mini EMD locomotve for the road. I could really see the potential in HD trucks- far, far more fuel efficient and even the ability to generate power at a jobsite. Rheostatic braking could substitute for a jake brake.

If the battery is mounted under the bed, and there is no ICE, what is under the hood -- more storage space?

Sorry, I hit "enter" too quickly.

So if there is space under the hood, why not but in a small ICE genset to generate power to charge the batteries? Then you eliminate range anxiety.

The article says they converted a 2008 F-150...but that is a 2009+ model in the pictures. Unless I missed something in the article. Just an observation.

The article also doesn't say how far it can go on a charge.

I'm so sick of green Fords. Argh. Give me a Hemi any day.

Looks great. I'm actually excited about it. However, I do have one question. Where will the electricity come from to charge the battery? Any ideas?

i want one

@Andrew - coal fired electrical plants, nuclear power, or big nasty environment wrecking hydroelectric dams.

GM should adopt this technology, they could combine it with the Volt's powertrain with the Silverado/Sierra HDs. Or even better would be for them to use the volt's powertrain with Fisker's Motors that give out 968 lb-ft, put a new Lyth-poly battery under the bed and cab, and they will own.

Useless,

The Nissan Electric car's battery died in 20 minutes in cold weather !! Doesnt even get the range in normal driving.

Why are we going to have electric vehicles,do you know they will have pay per mile road ussage if we all had electric cars,and the current President said under his plan ELECTRICITY RATES WILL SKYROCKET !! Guess what it will cost you $3000 a month to power your house,charge your electric truck,think i am kidding,do some research,cities are have plans for charging fee's for electric cars since they dont pay fuel tax !!!

People love to self destruct something good,what we need is to drill for oil and have more refineries,that will bring the cost of oil down,oil is the most reliable energy source and its clean,electric cars batteries emit far more toxic pollution than a gas powered truck and if we all had batteries we would run out of the worlds supply of lithium ion,and China owns 90% of the worlds supply,so we would be off of foreign oil,but then rely solely on CHINA for lithium ion,The USA has the worlds biggest supply of oil,we are just too stupid to drill for it,people love to be b.s'ed and you are now paying for it,believe the green dream,20 years from now people will want oil,because its cheap and be blaming Big Green !!!!!!

Please people for the love of God..or just yourself, WAKE UP and drill for oil and build refineries !!!!!!!!!!!

Unless you want no vehicle,brown outs all the time,I know you believe batteries would be better,but you are fooled to easily !!!!!

All these electric vehicles get huge TAXPAYER monies (grants) they are in it for themselves and not you,electricity rates will skyrocket,not only you wont be able to affoard to charge your vehicle,you wont have power for your home !!

Wow...all you people who love the idea of pure electric vehicles are freaking iditots....

SO you people want to trade one rare resource for an even RARER resource? You want to trade petroleum for LITHIUM??

Guess what, Lithium is a super rare element. Guess what else, the only place rich with Lithiu known at the moment are China, Afghanistan, and that general region... You think getting Lithium out of there migth be troublesome??

Not to mention todays battery tech such big time. Where are all the shitty batteries we use going to go when they get thrown away? India, Bangledash, etc. Make Southeast Asia a giant toxic waste dump for electrical components...smart...

How about the EMF (electro magnetic frequency) radiation todays electric hybrids put out?? Bad shielding tech. Have funny with each dose of radiation you get when you drive..and with cancer down the road...

How about the ridiculous cost of electric batteries and motors??

Where do you get power for electric vehicles? Coal fire power plants, nuclear plants, hydroelectric damn, etc....ya real "green"...

Or do all the "electric" hybrid zealots plan on powering there vehicles with there hopes and dreams?

We need to focuse on producing home grown bio-fuels, particularly renewable diesel (different than bio-diesel). If all of our farms in the U.S. devoted 20% of there land to growing algea or other oil producing biomass when you be energy independant.

I'll walk before I use a pure electric vehicle (golf carts dont count LOL!).

@ Garret, Lithium isn't actually a rare commodity, the SUPPLY is rare. Until very recently it wasn't a widely mined mineral, but now as it's coming into strong demand vast reserves are being developed.

The problem is, has been, and always will be developing enough total energy in the most efficient way possible to supply demand. ExxonMobile itself is projecting peak oil in 2030 and heavily investing in Natural Gas technologies. Solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, biofuel, they're all part of a much different energy future -- one which will very likely see some form of storage necessary, be it lithium based or other.

@garrett- I have long said the same thing. If we all woke up tomorrow and every single vehicle in the country was electric, would that really be more green? Think about how much more coal power plants would then have to burn. Until we get the majority of our electricity from wind, solar, etc. there really isnt much "green" to electric cars. Osama, er, I mean Obama is trying to push us off Fossil Fuels and onto alternatives. Things is, we have no viable alternatives yet.

I doubt ford would build it, makes way too much sense. And not a whole lot makes sense in this country anymore unless it can fleece our pockets. Like onug stated, put a little diesel engine in it to recharge the batteries to extend range and you would have a vehicle that makes sense. Someone please build it so i can buy it. I am so tired of 50+ yr old technology that barely gets 16% better fuel mileage than my 1970 GMC 3/4t

fuel wouldn't cost so much if they stop buying it from the middle east here in pennsylvania i know wells that are 15 years old still makeing 2 to 3 feet of oil a day even wells from 1940s still makeing 3 or 4 inches there's brand new wells makeing 30 feet a day all this green crap is bull. mineing to get the stuff to built barttery's is worse it just strips the land

@Garrett

Let's see. You started your post by calling everyone who disagrees with you "iditots," so there's an indicator of who I'm dealing with here.

Chile, not China is the world's top lithium producer, and Bolivia is estimated to have the world's largest reserves of the element, not Afghanistan.

Have you ever heard of recycling? No one is suggesting that what will be valuable sources of lithium (worn out batteries) will be left to rot somewhere.

What unshielded EMF are today's hybrids/EVs putting out? Do they not have to comply with the FCC rules applicable to all other electronic devices? In addition, where is some evidence that EMF is responsible for any cancer?

Electric motors don't cost any more than any engine or transmission component manufactured in similar numbers, and battery cost is dictated by the market price of the components.

Coal power is certainly dirty, but a coal power plant still has better thermodynamic efficiency than an ICE. Nuclear power and hydroelectric power are very low in pollution.

Devoting resources currently used to produce food for humans to producing fuel for vehicles is completely unsustainable and frankly pretty silly.

"I'll walk before I use a pure electric vehicle." I would really like to see you put your money where your mouth is on this one.

@chevy guy

As a fellow Pennsylvanian, I have to ask: With regards to "stripping the land", what the hell do you think oil and gas drilling is doing to our state? Ruined water, pillaged land, toxic pools of slime made of hundreds of secret chemicals, just to maintain the status quo. I just don't think that's good enough.

Yes, makes far more sense to add a diesel generator to an electric vehicle than to add an electric motor to a conventional vehicle. Net weight saving of all that drive line, brakes etc PLUS can incorporate the latest brake and power distribution technology via the motors using off the shelf software.

Not happy with your hill decent control - download HDC v4.7 and load on to your EV via USB this afternoon etc.

All very exciting but what I have not heard discussed in any article about EVs is how they handle water crossings? This must be even more important for in wheel motors.

Well when you talk about power, electric motors win BIG TIME. The only problem is supplying power to them, so far the best way seems to be the hybrid way, but unfortunately with the higher cost, a normal vehicle will cost less for 150,000 miles or more. Like a normal Ford Fusion will cost less than the Hybrid Fusion up to 170,000 miles, after that the hybrid will be cheaper.
Eventually I think all vehicles will become hybrids, which may sound lame, but as this article states you can get 2300 ft-lbs of TQ at anytime at any rpm. No gas or diesel can do that ever.
We'll just have to wait for new technology for better generators or solar panels, because nuke powered vehicles are kinda dangerous lol

@ a different luke

dep should bust there butts if they follow the laws there be no problem a 10 wide road seeded after drill and fraction i've never see no slime here and grew up pumping and drilling yeah some times they do mess up water wells when fracting point is i rather have a small road then a big open pit mine filling with water makeing acid when it finds coal and leaking in rivers and drinking water you can take oil out of water its harder to take acid out of water


Seems to be an issue with range and vehicle battery capacity vs net vehicle payload. Why place this technology in a pickup? Cause most drive around with nothing in the bed.

I hope they iron out the technology and cost so john q public can afford it and free up more diesel for me. :)

The problem with ''mass produced'' electric cars is that if every single vehicle in the world ran on electricity it would use a ton of coal to keep the world supplied. So that really takes the ''green'' effect out of it. So, as already stated, until we get into a position were we can get the majority of electricity from wind or hydro then ''and that won't be for quite some time'' then there is no real benefit to using electric vehicles over Internal Combustion Engines. And another thing about Electric vehicles is battery disposal...It won't be cheap, and it CERTAINLY won't be good for the environment. And those batteries won't last forever.

And the simple fact is, that we have had over 100 years to perfect the Internal Combustion Engine, and though it’s far from perfect, it’s still a much cleaner and efficient design than alot of the public realizes. Alot of people are brainwashed into thinking gasoline and diesel powered vehicles are terrible for the environment and nothing but smoke belching carbon emission producing dinosaurs. And the fact is, a modern day Internal Combustion Engine is anything BUT that. Sure 30/40/50/60 years ago they might have been closer to what was described. But over the years we have had a little thing called progress.

Now I am by no means afraid of an electric vehicle. But I think I'll always prefer an ICE engine over Electric Motor.

I think in the future we will still have Internal Combustion Engines available, but we will also have more electric cars on the road and we might quite possibly have other options as well. My brother in law is an engineer working on Compressed Natural Gas Engines. He says the company he's working with is working to refine CNG engines for future use in Automobiles as CNG is clean burning, efficient and in high abundance. I think hydrogen power might come into play sometime in the future. Both in the form of Fuel Cell Hydrogen and Internal Combustion Hydrogen.

So personally I think the future will just simply hold more options for us all. And lets face the simple economics of it. If more alternative fuel vehicles are on the road ''CNG, Hydrogen, Electric...etc...etc'' then the demand for each energy source can be divided more evenly and in best case scenario, the price for each would drop to relatively cheap and affordable levels.

I speculate that in the future we will have all that follows offered and combinded on the road together. Its really quite foolish to just rely on ONE of these energy source's when we could use all them together to lower the price of each.

Gas Power Vehicles.
Diesel Powered Vehicles.
(Possibly) Compressd Natrual Gas Vehicles.
(Possibly) Hydrogen Powered Vehicles.
(Possibly) Electric Vehicles.

And for the record let me state that I think that man made Global Warming is total BS and nothing more than something that can be used as a poltical tool for greedy politicians.

Most electric motors operate through interacting magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force, although electrostatic motors use electrostatic forces. The reverse process, producing electrical energy from mechanical energy, is done by generators such as an alternator or a dynamo. Many types of electric motors can be run as generators and vice versa.

Got to cost big $$$ but is still needed. Hydrogen fuel from water ran through radio wave current is something that needs to be looked at. http://youtu.be/e8utkoK2DhA

Wonder how well sealed those motors are. I'd hate to run through water or rain, short the electric system, come to a stop, and/or start corroding.

The Toyota Prius has the same sensation. Too much unsprung weight in the front wheels. Feels odd but gets the job done.

2300ftlbs of torque sounds impressive but that is wheel torque.

Let’s compare to a standard ram 1500 hemi, 400ftlbs at the crank.

1st gear = 3.00:1, rear end ratio = 3.92 = 4704ftlbs at the hub.
2nd gear = 1.67 :1= 2618ftlbs
3rd gear = 1.00:1= 1568ftlbs

And that’s not even taking into consideration the torque multiplication from the torque converter...

Someone else mentioned water, but it is a good question. Trucks are generally used more through deep water and mud. I wonder how snow, deep salty slush, and salt water spray would affect this too.

You'd need to split crank tq (400ftlbs) among the # of driven wheels. So your 1st gear 1500 hemi is still about half the reported 2300ftlbs wheel torque.

I would love to have one of these pickups. Could you imagine not having an EXXON/MOBIL bill at the end of the month for $400.00! This pickup if you'll excuse the expression is "THE CATS ASS"!

Wow!

There is no problem- solar can charge it all - I put 8620 watts on my house - I will be putting more on my other house -
Any oil enthusiastic person can lock themselves in the garage with pickup running to find out how long they can live with it.

@Stevev

Well, I guess I know who I won't be giving a ride when his ''solar'' powered car runs outta juice in the middle of nowhere at 2 am in the morning.

I'de rather choke to death on my gas fumes than be eaten by the wolve's that'll have you're carcass.

Innovation keep on coming for Ford automotives.... Hope to see more technology and this one is really a good idea.

What is the towing capability on something like this?

Lithium batteries are relatively easy to recycle and produce new Lithium batteries. Petroleum; no so much.

Electric vehicles are inherently simplistic compared to similar ICE based vehicles. Simplicity equals longevity.

People who suggest adding a diesel engine generator to charge the batteries of EV's make me giggle like a school girl.

Last I checked, after initial investment, wind/solar power is damn near free. Solarcity is starting to market solar charging solutions for electric vehicles.

Oh well, I guess one can't win when arguing with gross stupidity.

There are amazing batteries currently being produced. There are mind blowing batteries in the pipe-line. You oil freaks are soon to go the way of the horse and buggy.

Before I buy an all electric truck I will invest in a 10 kw dual axis tracker (solar panels) and 12 submarine batteries. That way I will have loads of power and I could recharge the truck on any cloudy day or cold winter night. That is however, until I build a 2 kw bismuth telluride thermoelectric generator that uses waste heat to help add charge to my bank.

Fossil fuels for fossil fools.

Some of you people are nothing but pig headed zealots. There is a huge possibility and a great need to update our tech. History over and over point out fools such as ones here. "Big green" smear remarks do nothing for an argument or improvement. Show me the proof that advancing solar, wind and similar techs does no good? Look on Germany where villages and cities produce multiple of what they consume. In return even making millions by selling power down the line. All 100% renewable.. Yet I can find HUNDREDS if not thousands of examples where fossil fuel based system has created disasters and tremendous negative impact to our health, economy and politics... Humans are sig junkies sucking that black tar until they fall flat from cancer or weakness of dependency...

Personally, Im planning on owning something similar to what video has shown if its possible to get the torque. A solar powered travel trailer or even fifth wheel can already be self sufficient. From lights to entertainment to even generating 20-30 liters of water per day from the air. The only thing you would need is land to grow food (and additional water collection systems) to be truly self sufficient. I know someone who is actually living free in this way and Im planning to do same in next few months. But thats not the point. Its quite easy to have multiple additional panels set up by the camp or parking ground in order to charge up the vehicle in no time! As the video mentions, full charge lasts 70 miles. That should be enough to drive through the city for whatever needs I have. And if the batteries are gone, hybrid will use fuel long enough to get to charge site. Hell, why not have a system where you can pull up to "gas" station and replace a battery for a fee? There, they will charge it on site for next paying customer similar to dropping off spent gas tank. The reason is CORRUPT MONEY!
Either way. You can chose to stay still like a zax. But the world will not wait for you to move. Since the corporations and small yet capable companies are too slow to make it happen (hoping to find a way to milk the system effectively) People are doing such projects at home and quite successfully..

If you chose to look at the possibilities and what we already have, proven and achieved. Then there is nearly endless information and demonstration such as this available through out the web and even at select car shows...

A small example.. Look for a home made project "solar truck" on you tube and tell me, -does that look like a coal eating, sludge guzzling machine to you? As crude as it is, it does not take a fool to realize the reality...

@a different Luke

I totally agree on concerns to stripping the land.

As far as the truck is concerned, I am glad to see Ford moving this direction, and hopefully it will force the other companies to offer comparable products.



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