Long trip/Overlanding/Remote use case…

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There’s been a few posts over the years that discuss this but I thought a consolidation post might be interesting to define more broad solutions to niche use cases.

One of the challenges is competing with the current experience of internal combustion.

Range can be divided into two sides of this same coin.
  1. Storage of enough onboard energy.
  2. Replenishing that energy.
For point 1, this can be remedied by simply continuing to use ICE by implementing an ancillary generator or taking more battery capacity
  • Multi fuel turbine optimised for purpose would be efficient and also not necessarily require fossil fuels.
  • Structural battery pack trailer could have benefits that will warrant its own post.
Point 2,
  • Current proliferation of fossil fuel supply is not going to continue in perpetuity, but small scale alternatives like used frying oils and alcohols may find a place supplanting that supply chain.
  • Portable solar is not at an efficiency to be practical for continuous travel, however remote communities can get multiple benefits providing energy to travellers at a premium.
Both of point one solutions need a new technology/Hardware to efficiently interface with the vehicle to either hack the regen system or new software to accommodate.​

the solutions are possible it’s just a question of priorities.

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Crissa

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The questions arise:

What is the weather where you're going? This changes what kinds of energy are available there. And what kind of energy you're going to be expending.

How much travel vs how much time stopped? The longer you're camped, or willing to be stopped, the better that Solar or Level 1 & 2 charging appear. 18 to 30 miles per hour charging (for a truck) isn't so bad if you're going to be hiking or sleeping for ten hours.

How far between camps? This is the ultimate range question. Will there even be a place to plug in along that route? There are more places to plug an RV in than to refill a gas can, but more places to refuel a gas can than there are DC charging stations.

The one advantage of EVs for remote work is they're more fuel agnostic. They don't care what the generator runs on, per se.

-Crissa
 
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The questions arise:

What is the weather where you're going? This changes what kinds of energy are available there. And what kind of energy you're going to be expending.

The one advantage of EVs for remote work is they're more fuel agnostic. They don't care what the generator runs on, per se.

-Crissa
Yes, my first statement is intending to encourage discussion of broad solutions to niche use cases. Feel free to outline what you think will work and the limitations of that specific solution for a specific use case.
Current use case supports 500miles of autonomy with 15-30 miles added with tonneau solar.

Beyond this use case I suggest three aftermarket solutions for use cases outside the above limitation.

The first being an example auxiliary generator as an accessory.

The second being an auxiliary battery in a
Multi trailer.

Third being a amalgam of the first two.

Maybe these three need their own thread?
 

Ogre

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I look at it this way. If you are overlanding, you are mostly traveling along highways for long distances or parking for a few days at a time camping.

If you are traveling, you recharge on a Supercharger.

If you are parked, solar should generate enough power to keep your truck topped off plus a bit.

I’ve camped in the Model Y a few times, if I’d had solar to just add a few kWh per day it would have offset my use. If you use camp mode it’s a lot more. My big problem was that I was parked for a week solid and used camp mode for a couple of those days in sub freezing weather.

One thing I noticed with camp mode is you can’t set it below 60 degrees. If I’m overnighting for several days, I’m going to be in a sleeping bag so letting it drop to 50 degrees or even less is fine. I do wish there was an energy saving camp mode that just kept it over say 45 degrees or so and didn’t run the fans as much.

Regardless, I think you under-value solar. Doesn’t need to be able to drive you 100 miles, you hit a supercharger to get that far. Solar just needs to make it so you don’t park somewhere for 5 days and have to call a tow truck to get out.
 

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I really wish I knew for certain the cabin was 6’ wide. I could totally sleep in the back seat if its 6 foot wide and avoid having to heat the vault. Then I could use the vault for gear and the back seat for sleeping.

Lay flat seats or just being able to move the front seats out of the way and do this would be rad.

Tesla Cybertruck Long trip/Overlanding/Remote use case… 1672377732943
 


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If you are traveling, you recharge on a Supercharger.
Thanks for a great response. There’s lots of different topics here so I’m only going to respond one at a time.

The scenario that illicits most objections is long distance travel (more than the single charge range) away from any kind of civilisation. Central Australia, South America, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia etc…

These are niche/aspirational use cases that are rare but provide a generalised solution to less challenging use cases.

Regardless, I think you under-value solar. Doesn’t need to be able to drive you 100 miles, you hit a supercharger to get that far. Solar just needs to make it so you don’t park somewhere for 5 days and have to call a tow truck to get out.

I think you misunderstand my position on mobile Solar. I think it will play a critical role in transitioning traditional 4X4er’s in exactly the conditions you’ve outlined.
 
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I really wish I knew for certain the cabin was 6’ wide. I could totally sleep in the back seat if its 6 foot wide and avoid having to heat the vault. Then I could use the vault for gear and the back seat for sleeping.

Lay flat seats or just being able to move the front seats out of the way and do this would be rad.

1672377732943.jpeg
I think you’ve posted in the wrong thread.
 

Ogre

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The scenario that illicits most objections is long distance travel (more than the single charge range) away from any kind of civilisation. Central Australia, South America, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia etc…
In this case, solar is the only practical way of dealing with long distances, and a big solar setup, possibly driving overnight and camping during the daytime. The big question mark is what kind of terrain? If you are just looking at gravel roads, the 500 mile Cybertruck going at much slower speeds 30-40 miles per hour should make a huge difference.

If Tesla doesn’t offer solar on the truck, a solar trailer with a battery you can discharge into the truck every night might be a good alternative.

It’s a huge topic and the specific terrain is going to dictate a different solution. Eastern Oregon in

I think you’ve posted in the wrong thread.
**Looks at title of thread**

No… I don’t think so. Unless your idea of overlanding is different from most people I know.
 
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HaulingAss

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Yes, my first statement is intending to encourage discussion of broad solutions to niche use cases. Feel free to outline what you think will work and the limitations of that specific solution for a specific use case.
Current use case supports 500miles of autonomy with 15-30 miles added with tonneau solar.

Beyond this use case I suggest three aftermarket solutions for use cases outside the above limitation.

The first being an example auxiliary generator as an accessory.

The second being an auxiliary battery in a
Multi trailer.

Third being a amalgam of the first two.

Maybe these three need their own thread?
My thoughts align with @Ogre quite well. I don't think a generator is a good solution, not because I'm morally against burning any fossil fuel for any purpose, but once you have lived with a pure electric vehicle, the last thing you want to do is have a bunch of fuel with you and a generator that needs regular oil changes, spare parts, etc. And generator large enough to charge your truck up in 10 hours is going to be huge and suck quite a bit of fuel. Worse, it's going to make noise for hours on end. What's the point of overlanding to wild scenic areas with the sound of a generator going all night long?

If the area you are travelling in is not unusually dark and rainy, and your schedule is not "gotta get there", then I think a rollout charge solution is much more viable than a generator. Remember, when you are off-road you are probably travelling at speeds around25-30 MPH. These are speeds at which a 500 mile range Cybertruck could make over 500 miles of range if there is not the need to use heavy heating or A/C, even if the rolling resistance is not ideal. In many over-landing scenarios you could drive all day long without charging at 25-30 mph if you can just roll the windows down with the climate control off and enjoy the smells, the quietness, and the scenery.

Here's an interesting story about a group planning a 9,400 mile trip around Australia in a solar powered Model 3 using multiple rolled up solar mats 60 feet long:

Australian scientists to fit Tesla with printed solar panels in 15,000km test ride | CNN Business
 


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And generator large enough to charge your truck up in 10 hours is going to be huge and suck quite a bit of fuel. Worse, it's going to make noise for hours on end. What's the point of overlanding to wild scenic areas with the sound of a generator going all night long?
So much this.

Was out exploring on the mountain bike early this week and we ran into a guy camping in the middle of nowhere with his generator blaring non-stop. Just boggles the mind.

Using a generator to charge and EV is an emergency measure that works, but it’s not a practical plan for day-to-day use. If your game plan involves driving then using a generator, you might as well just get some kind of hybrid and be done with it.
 

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PS there is an interesting documentary on Apple TV about 2 cyclists on electric bikes going from South America up to Alaska I think. Their support vehicle is a Rivian. I haven’t seen the whole thing, but they end up running into a lot of range issues and have some creative solutions.

I don’t think we’ll be able to bring the Cybertruck inside a hotel though.
 

charliemagpie

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For those that MUST go to a particular destination, they may not have much choice.

In my case, I only have to make an A or B choice. The East coast has a network of charges. So go East young man lol.

We discussed a similar thing a while ago. Already, in AU, things are progressing nicely. Since then, announcements for a national grid by 2025, Tesla and others have continued to expand.

Over the last few months, fuels companies such as BP and Shell are getting into it.
The thing I keep hearing is supermarkets and fast food chains. Once these guys get into it, you know the charging issue is mostly over.
 
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My thoughts align with @Ogre quite well. I don't think a generator is a good solution, not because I'm morally against burning any fossil fuel for any purpose, but once you have lived with a pure electric vehicle, the last thing you want to do is have a bunch of fuel with you and a generator that needs regular oil changes, spare parts, etc. And generator large enough to charge your truck up in 10 hours is going to be huge and suck quite a bit of fuel. Worse, it's going to make noise for hours on end. What's the point of overlanding to wild scenic areas with the sound of a generator going all night long?

If the area you are travelling in is not unusually dark and rainy, and your schedule is not "gotta get there", then I think a rollout charge solution is much more viable than a generator. Remember, when you are off-road you are probably travelling at speeds around25-30 MPH. These are speeds at which a 500 mile range Cybertruck could make over 500 miles of range if there is not the need to use heavy heating or A/C, even if the rolling resistance is not ideal. In many over-landing scenarios you could drive all day long without charging at 25-30 mph if you can just roll the windows down with the climate control off and enjoy the smells, the quietness, and the scenery.

Here's an interesting story about a group planning a 9,400 mile trip around Australia in a solar powered Model 3 using multiple rolled up solar mats 60 feet long:

Australian scientists to fit Tesla with printed solar panels in 15,000km test ride | CNN Business
You’ve brought up some really good points .

We are talking about quite a niche situation where a generator might be beneficial. I too abhor the use of fossil fuels and an ICE generator does have the capacity to perpetuate continued use of them (Which is suboptimal), but used fryer oil and other small scale sustainable fuel could be beneficial for these rare use cases.
The issue is implementation.

As you rightly point out having a generator running overnight at a peaceful campground is completely unacceptable.

The optimal utilisation would be one that would run in series.

When the vehicle is being used, a generator sized as small as possible to most efficiently use the fuel (by supplementing power directly to the motors).

Whilst this solution is essentially a series hybrid power train, it is significantly more scalable because the system can be added to any brand vehicle, shared between people on different trips. This solution also negates the compromises of dedicated PHEV.

Another advantage is the “idea” that if you wanted to drive a cannonball run on a whim you could just hire the accessory rather than lugging around an oversized generator rarely plugging the car in. Providing a familiar solution to some imaginary edge case would make people more comfortable having a BEV.

If the area you are travelling in is not unusually dark and rainy, and your schedule is not "gotta get there", then I think a rollout charge solution is much more viable than a generator. Remember, when you are off-road you are probably travelling at speeds around25-30 MPH.
Remember these are the same edge cases/ objections I’m looking to solve especially “gotta get there”. Just disregarding them will slow a transition to sustainability.

We’ve solved 95% of the consumer/passenger use cases. It’s that last 5% that adheres the psychology of the mass market to ICE and Hybrids.

The other issue with mobile solar is you’re limited to available roof space or night time driving.

I know it’s an expensive option but there are multiple benefits to this as a system.
How do you think a 60-75kWh battery integrated into a camper trailer would/ could work?
 

Crissa

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I hate running the generator when the power is out. My neighbors run theirs... I can usually tell when the power is out first because the fancy houses up the hill have automated ones. My batteries keep me somewhat insulated, but I only have about an hour of power now.

I'm currently installing another battery which will make it run longer, but... Mostly I only run the generator to charge the batteries and shower and then it's off again.

I just... sitting all night with it hammering away to charge the truck would be insane. x-x

But I can see why it's be a desired option. Heck, I hope there's a way to plug a DC connection into the battery or AC to the charger in board, so you guys can go crazy with the solar and generators without being 'that guy'. Running the generator while you were driving, for instance, would extend your range and not bother the next camp over.

-Crissa
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