High Powered eBike Camping: Enter the Realm of Highly Compromised Decisions and Deeply Ambivalent Feelings

what do you mean?

this car exists, if that's what you're asking?

Toyota Esquire Modellista | Dmitriy | Flickr
OK. I did not know.
 

I finally get it. The Onboard charger on PHEVs is the inverter. My guess is the inverter may be capable of charging the Sienna HV battery. In essence, converting the Sienna from a mild hybrid to a PHEV by adding a 110VAC inlet. The inlet needs a connection point on the inverter.

If we have an ICE vehicle, in order to transform it into a HEV, we need to add:

  • a high voltage battery (between 200 and 400 V)
  • a power electronics controller (inverter)
  • an electric machine
  • a DC-DC converter
Having two sources of power, the hybrid control system needs to decide what is the torque split between the ICE and electric machine, depending on the driver input and vehicle operating state.

A hybrid electric vehicle can perform at least one or more of the following functions:

  • engine idle stop/start
  • electric torque assistance (fill and boost)
  • energy recuperation (regenerative braking)
  • electric driving
  • battery charging (during driving)
  • battery charging (from the grid)
An example for idle stop/start and energy management functions is the Renault engine 1.6 dCi. It comes with an Energy Smart Management (ESM)function which allows energy created under braking and deceleration to be stored in the low voltage battery, helping to further reduce fuel consumption.

Vehicles that have idle stop/start and energy management functions are called Micro Hybrids.


In the 42V Mild Hybrid System introduced into market by Toyota for the first time in the world, the crankshaft using belt(s) drives the motor/generator (MG). The set-up employs an inverter unit to control the MG electronically. This paper describes the system configuration, operations, characteristic features and development results of the new power control system. The focus is on the MG, the inverter-for-MG-control and energy regeneration, as well as DC/DC converter for the power supply to the 14V devices.
 
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Diesel mild hybrid should be popular in europe.


Lucky enough for drivers interested in the new 2020 Kia Sportage, all-wheel drive is an available option for each of the SUV's trim levels: LX, S, EX and SX Turbo. However, each model will offer front-wheel drive as the standard option.Jul 10, 2019

New Sportage lineup now includes Kia's new 'EcoDynamics+' mild-hybrid powertrain options

The SX Turbo (MSRP: $33,590) is the top-of-the-line Sportage.Jul 9, 2020

The 2020 Kia Sportage's #3 ranking is based on its score within the Compact SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2020 Best Compact SUV for the Money award. Currently the Kia Sportage has a score of 8.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 32 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
 
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I can't believe that after 100+ posts that no one has suggested the ultimate camping vehicle... the Tesla Cybertruck with a Solar roof. ;)


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I can't believe that after 100+ posts that no one has suggested the ultimate camping vehicle... the Tesla Cybertruck with a Solar roof. ;)


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Thanks for pointing the camper out. The camper is conceptually much closer to what i am looking for. I watched a Jay Leno video with Elon. I had no idea from the video that it was modular design. The bit about driving through the tunnel detracted from the Cybertruck message.

My first impression is the Cybertruck is a better compromise. The release date is a deal breaker. I want to buy a vehicle by the end of this year. I would buy a 2021 Sienna now, if it were available. I have my doubts the Sienna will materialize on dealer lots this year due to covid19.

The Tesla Cybertruck, the all-electric pickup truck set to hit roads late 2021, has a new rollout plan. During the company's second-quarter 2020 earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk outlined how Tesla willuse a new facility in Austin, Texas, to produce the new vehicle.Jul 23, 2020

  • I assume it is 4WD or AWD.
    • They arrive later.
  • I infer from the article that a towing hitch is available.
  • I like the solar panel very much.
  • I am unsure if a roof rack is available.
  • I think i could reach remote destinations given the 500 mile range and supercharger network.
  • I assume 110VAC outlets are available.
  • I like the bulletproof glass.
  • I suppose the battery is so big that I don't need a 110VAC shore inlet.
  • My building only has Level 2 chargers (6.6 kW)
    • I could fast charge at a public station
  • How would the camper work in cold weather to heat the Creo non-removeable battery?
    • I really hate the Creo fixed battery idea.​
    • Lay the bike flat in the bed?​
  • I certainly dislike some Sienna features.

 
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Thanks for pointing the camper out. The camper is conceptually much closer to what i am looking for. I watched a Jay Leno video with Elon. I had no idea from the video that it was modular design. The bit about driving through the tunnel detracted from the Cybertruck message.

My first impression is the Cybertruck is a better compromise. The release date is a deal-breaker. I want to buy a vehicle by the end of this year. I would buy a 2021 Sienna now, if it were available. I have my doubts the Sienna will materialize on dealer lots this year due to covid19.
  • I assume it is 4WD or AWD.
    • They arrive later.
  • I infer from the article that a towing hitch is available.
  • I like the solar panel very much.
  • I am unsure if a roof rack is available.
  • I think I could reach remote destinations given the 500-mile range and supercharger network.
  • I assume 110VAC outlets are available.
  • I like the bulletproof glass.
  • I suppose the battery is so big that I don't need a 110VAC shore inlet.
  • My building only has Level 2 chargers (6.6 kW)
    • I could fast charge at a public station
  • How would the camper work in cold weather to heat the Creo non-removable battery?
    • I really hate the Creo fixed battery idea.​
    • Lay the bike flat in the bed?​
  • I certainly dislike some Sienna features.

The Cybertruck will be a game-changer... and it's worth waiting for! ;)

 
The Cybertruck will be a game-changer... and it's worth waiting for! ;)


I agree the Cybertruck will be a game changer. Covid19 is a game changer, too. My neighborhood, Union Station, is a transportation hub. My street, Wewatta, had been a private bike path, until this week. Foot Traffic suddenly returned. The infection rate has been high. Sirens blare regularly (even at this moment!) to remind me. I might need to escape to New Mexico with a bike, if the traffic and infection rate increases.

The ecology of the virus is important. The virus thrives in cold and dry conditions. Thawing seems to activate aggressiveness that scientists don't understand, yet. The H1N1 virus (a coronavirus), for example, attacks arctic birds on a annual basis when their own infected poop defrosts in nesting areas. Sublimination probably vaporizes virus particles in massive amounts. Who knows, the air might become saturated with virus particles?

Sublimination is a powerful air current responsible for some types of avalanches. We might learn this winter that certain types of sunny days after snowfalls are supespreader events? The virus is also transported on air pollution particulates. Air pollution is a significant factor in virus spread.

In any event, i am not looking forward to spending the next six months in Denver. I certainly would benefit from a minivan with a high voltage electrical system.
 
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Simplification Rule #9: Add a Dedicated High Voltage, Plugin Battery to Mild Hybrid for eBike Charging and Camping Purposes

Oh yeah, BTW, improve gas mileage, too.

Now we have the advantages of both the mild and Plugin hybrids, without the disadvantages of either. I think we are finally approaching on a powerful camping solution at reasonable cost. A Specialized Creo might have a 500 to 1,000 mile range using the Plugin battery. An eBike range longer than the Tesla Cybertruck!

The 400 mile Grand Teton, WY to Steamboat Springs, CO leg of the Tour Divide is achievable on a Plugin battery. The Creo is a Class 3, or 28mph bike. That Tour Divide leg would be quick and fun! Imagine riding 250 miles in one day! I am guessing that is about the daily endurance limit of a bike; how far and fast a bike can travel.

A 50:1 operation-to-charge ratio is my general rule for when batteries become compelling.

On the face of the idea, I am liking this configuration better than the 18kWh RAV4 Prime. Level 2 charging is slow.

How to convert a mild hybrid Toyota into a plugin with additional battery capacity. The 18kWh RAV4 Prime li-ion battery chemistry is apparently interchangeable with the Prius NiMH battery, according to Toyota. The electrical system design is deliberately compatible to allow for production flexibility. I do not know if that means they are compatible in the same vehicle, as i doubt it. My understanding is the 2021 Sienna AWD models have the NiMH battery chemistry, while the two wheel drive (FWD) are li-ion batteries. NIMH is better suited to cold temperatures.

If you could add a 18kWh battery to a Sienna, you might get a 40 to 50 mile EV range. Knowing whether that might be a factory option would be helpful. I prefer the 18kWhr battery with 6.6kW Level 2 charger, because camping would be measured in weeks, rather than days.

I suspect upgrading a 2021 Sienna to a 18kWh Prime battery is possible. The Sienna was designed with a Prime model in mind. One approach might better suit your purposes than the other. Prospects definitely worth considering.


 
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Simplification Rule #10: Establish an Electric Energy Budget
A 500 to 1,000 mile eBike range for a Specialized Creo drives this electric energy budget. Reserve as much power to charge eBike batteries as possible. Think endurance. Go as fast and as far as your bike and body permits. The Specialized Creo is a 28mph bike with 120 mile battery range. The Grand Teton, WY to Steamboat Springs, CO leg of the Tour Divide is the prototypical route.

My home appliances have high energy budgets. My breakfast, for example, is prepared in parallel. Breakfast devices can only be used sequentially on a Sienna 1500W power supply. I am hardly semi-conscious of my excessive energy budget. Perhaps, cycling and camping are so appealing due to simplicity and freedom from heavy consumption?

We tend to think in terms of cost, rather than consumption. How much does that food cost, rather than how much nutritional value or calories.
  • My beloved Keurig coffeemaker is 1425W per cup of coffee.
    • I cannot see my energy consumption. I can vaguely feel the Energy consumption from water temperature. I can hear music and indirectly sense energy consumption.
  • My toaster is 900W; almost 1kW that runs for a few minutes ( 1/20 of an hour).
  • Five minutes to cook oatmeal on induction stovetop?
  • In the background:
    • refrigerator continuously cools food.
    • Lights are consuming over 100W of power.
    • Electronics are charging.
    • 800W receiver fills the air with beautiful music.
    • I rarely run HVAC, though.
    • Water heater waits for me to take a shower.
    • My desktop computer idles with the monitor turned off.
    • My lonely electric toothbrush sits on its charger.

Various degrees of hybridization exist to support different purposes, that have different points of diminishing returns. Micro hybrids are probably sufficient for most domestic purposes, because they improve fuel efficiency with idle stop/start technology. The Sienna has a mild hybrid electric energy budget, which is one degree higher than a micro hybrid:
  • 1500 watts peak power
    • Thinking of this bus as 10 to 12 amps is more representative of actual capabilities.​
    • My 1425W Keurig coffee maker may exceed capabilities. Must test.​
    • I might label traditional stovetop cooking power level as starting at 2500W.​
      • An electric stove top burner typically sits on top of the oven with 4 heating elements, normally two small and two large, and is used for heating or cooking food. The energy use of a stove top varies, smaller units will use 1000 watts while a larger heating element will go up to 3000 watts.​
    • I label 1500W as continental-breakfast or microwave cooking power level.
    • The Tesla Cybertruck is clearly designed for stove-top cooking.​
  • Two 110VAC outlets​
    • Look for appliances that have both 110VAC and USB, as they are most useful due to wide power range.​
    • One outlet will probably be fully occupied with recharging batteries, or must remain free to allow other outlet to consume maximum power.​
    • The Seven USB and one 12V outlets are important; don't overlook.​
    • 12V car inverters are useful at 400W level for laptops.
    • Anker PowerCore+ 26800mAh
      To start with, you get the massive capacity of 26800mAh, which is more than enough to fully recharge your smartphone multiple times. The newest version of the power bank comes with three USB ports, including a USB-C port with 30W output to let you charge a MacBook or the Nintendo Switch.Aug 8, 2020
    • Use power wisely.
      • Use AC power to freeze or boil.
      • Use DC power to keep warm or cool.
      • Especially, while cooking.
      • If you only need 200W, combine power from two USB ports.
      • Use power banks to boost power levels or for sleep.
  • Seven USB-C ports are significant. Might be adequate for 80% of camping needs with wise choices.
  • 1.8kW battery maximum​
  • Gas engine and regenerative braking electric charging or generation​
    • No plugin recharging​
    • No RV shore power input (older form of plugin using inverter to charge battery)​
  • A second inverter is actually necessary
    • Plug into existing 12VDC bus from stock outlet
      • ? 100 Watt limit?
    • Add a second 12V deep cycle battery, connected in parallel, to serve for:
      • 2500W needs
      • Special purposes
      • Allow simultaneous activities, e.g., cooking two things simultaneously.
    • Any DC-to-DC converter conflict with additional amp-hours?
I tend to be a minimalist about camping electric energy budgets. For example:
  • Use a battery powered electric blanket, rather than heating air.
    • Think about how ridiculous heating the inside of a minivan would be with a 1500W hair dryer.
  • Use rechargable devices, rather than hard wiring power demands, e.g., lighting, that inflate budgets.
  • Use ice rather than refrigeration.
  • Use solar power to continuously heat water controlled by a thermostat, rather than making battery demands.
  • Use a laptop, rather than TV, or desktop and computer monitor, to watch movies.
  • Use Bluetooth battery powered, rather than AC powered or internal car speakers.
  • Use cellphone local hotspot, rather than AC powered wifi.
  • Shower at a public facility, rather than privately at minivan.
Try to live with a low energy battery budget, rather than recreating a public utility powered household energy budget for the minivan. My guess is most people can live within a Sienna mild hybrid energy budget for camping by planning daily energy consumption with rechargable devices. Daily recharging is obviously less convenient. Peak electric demands for activities like cooking must be balanced against battery capacity and gas engine electric generation.

PHEVs with larger batteries are the next higher level of hybridization above mild hybrids. PHEVs are conceptually similar to RVs.
  • Mild hybrids are better suited to shorter duration, longer distance travel.
    • About 10 to 20kW power rate. 300 to 600VDC at 50? Amps?
    • MG1 is actually 250 amps, in the 50kW range.
    • ? Maximum charging power ?
    • Surprisingly higher power rate than PHEV, about double.
    • ? Is this gas and regeneratIve braking power generation more or less expensive than public charging?
    • Is the cost significantly different? [i suspect not for public, but certainly for home.]
  • PHEVs are better suited to longer duration, shorter distance local travel, when public charging stations are readily available.
    • The key measurement is the 6.6kW Level 2 charge rate. 240VAC at 30 amps.
  • Level 2 charging adds about 25 miles of Range Per Hour (RPH), while Level 1 charging only adds about 4 miles of Range Per Hour.
The more home or office-like convenience style, the greater the need for a 10 to 20kWh battery and 6.6kW charger. Realizing that a 1500W inverter is a minimal power level, a strong case might be built for the Chrysler Pacifica, based on energy consumption and camper living style.
  • Adding a 2500W inverter to a Chrysler Pacifica will result in a more home-like experience, because it has a 6.6kW charger with a 16kWh battery.
    • The Pacifica inverter is useless.
  • My impression is Pacifica is not designed for camping.
  • Unsure whether 2500W inverter is compatible with hybrid system.
  • Dealership never returned my call about this question.
    • Dealer must install inverter, because my confidence is low.

Notes:
  • Longer duration means days or weeks, rather than hours
  • Shorter duration implies greater frequency
  • Longer distance means hundreds of miles, rather than tens of miles; implies weekends or vacation
  • Shorter distance implies greater frequency; daily during week, rather than monthly or annually
 
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Simplification Rule #11: Build a Home Environment from USB Devices to Meet 80% of Your Needs, Powered by a 72Ah Portable Power Bank
I am extremely impressed by 12V and USB products. This means the minivan is essentially wired like a poor man's RV, because all seven passengers have their own USB port.



USB is 5VDC, so it is supported by the High Voltage (HV) battery via the 12V bus. Some products even switch between 110VAC and USB for different power needs; 110VAC cooking and subsequent 5VDC USB warming. You can achieve the same by freezing with 110VAC power and subsequently maintaining coldness with 5VDC USB.

Thinking in terms of a collection of USB devices that are switched between the hard-wired HV battery or a portable power bank is crucial. I refer to this concept as a Low Voltage (LV) bus. A universal power supply! Better yet is when USB devices are battery powered, e.g., Bluetooth speakers.

High capacity Power banks charged by solar power are also available. Charge the power bank during daylight hours, while using the minivan to power devices. Power devices at night from the power bank to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, should the HV battery drain.

72Ah means a 10A device will run for seven hours! How much more power is needed for camping?
  • My goal is to limit consumption to a few amps per hour, if any.
    • Just multiply by 5V to estimate watts.
    • Focusing on amps, to isolate power hungry devices.
    • 5V is approximately battery voltage.
  • Establishing an energy budget is essential to enjoyable experiences.
  • Solar power might allow me to balance my energy budget, under certain circumstances.

The LV bus supplies enough power to satisfy the following daily camping needs:
  1. Heat
    1. USB Sleeping bag or shawl.
  2. Light
    1. My USB bike light is probably more than adequate. I just need a lampshade.
  3. Ventilation
    1. Desktop fans drawing fresh air into the minivan through car ducts and exhausting air through moonroof.
  4. Electronics
    1. Laptops, cellphones, etc...
  5. Food Warming and Cooling
  6. Sound
    1. Bluetooth music players and speakers

The Low Voltage (LV) bus strengthens the case for mild hybrids, rather than PHEVs, for my specific purposes. In fact, i have eliminated PHEVs from consideration. The demand for HV battery capacity has been substantially reduced. In fact, some power banks provide 110VAC output. That means eBike batteries can be recharged from a power bank. I will look for the highest output wattage, which seems to be around 300W.

The Low Voltage Bus approach brings relief, because the general solution is simplified to the point that i can track the major details and perform calculations in my head. I can temporarily ignore the High Voltage (110VAC) bus by separating it from LV bus concerns.
  1. I do not expect more than eight devices to run simultaneously.
  2. I do not expect average device voltage above 5V.
  3. Therefore, my main concerns when buying USB devices ate:
    1. amperage
    2. battery capacity
    3. recharge rate
  4. I want to keep LV bus consumption below 10 to 12 amps, or 50 to 60 watts per hour.
    1. Recharging schedules can now be estimated.
  5. Eventually, all LV and HV details must be combined into a spreadsheet. i am far away from the optimization stage. I am at a preliminary approximation stage about general concepts of form and function.
 
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I am not interested in a luxury vehicle, but this minivan has some interesting features, like how the table pops up to allow four people to eat together.

 
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