Which EV would you buy?

cjohns716

New member
Hi all,

Pretty new to EP (and loving it so far). Been camping for most my life, and will probably continue to sleep on the ground for as long as my body will let me. What I've recently gotten interested in is having a vehicle to get way back into the backcountry. I'm a big climber and ski tourer and love the idea of setting up camp in the back of beyond and climbing and skiing to my heart's content.

I live in Colorado, and when I moved here, did what 90% of transplants do and bought a Subaru Outback. It's been great. Great in the snow, great on forest roads, enough room to load up and car camp. But it does have limitations. I purposely didn't choose a Jeep or a truck when I bought because the few times that the capabilities would be necessary didn't outweigh the downsides as a daily driver. 2 hours each way (with no traffic...) to ski 40+ days a year, commuting for work, potential future kids, all added up to fuel efficiency being a bigger priority than off-road chops.

5 years later, my life plan has changed a bit, and getting a vehicle that isn't quite as practical as a true daily driver but I'd be able to 1. modify fairly easily and 2. is more capable off road seems like a possibility. I've been looking at a second vehicle, something used and abused (XJ, old Wrangler, old 4Runner, etc.) but I don't really have room to store a second car. Which has lead me to buying something that would be my only vehicle. I still cringe at the thought of a rolling brick and having to fill that tank too often (once COVID is under control and I'm driving back to work every day), which has lead me down the EV rabbit hole.

Seems like a no brainer. Boatloads of torque, high water fording depths, independent wheel motors. Really, the only downside at this point is range, but there are only a few times where 300 ish miles isn't quite enough for an excursion where I couldn't recharge. I like to think I'll keep my next car for a long, long time and I think EVs are going to be the majority of cars before we know it. Honestly, I'd buy an electric Bronco tomorrow (or a Wrangler for that matter) if they were available. Alas, seems like it'll be a few years until a fully electric version of either is on the market.

Rivian I think would be the obvious choice. The truck seems great (maybe remains to be seen how easy lifts and mods are). The SUV seems a bit large for a true off-roader, with 7 seats. The Nikola Badger is obviously some interesting eye candy, though from things I've read, feels prudent to be wary of the company. Bollinger seems too spartan inside to be a daily driver. Plus I haven't seen pricing, but at least from their materials, I'd guess them to be at least as expensive as Rivian, with far fewer creature comforts. The Cybertruck, I'm not keen on the look. TBD on what it looks like when it's actually released.

Any others people are aware of and are worth keeping an eye on? Anyone have any out of the box solutions for storing a second vehicle? I looked into offsite garages and that sort of thing, but frickin expensive.

Cheers all
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
EV aint down for this game.. a 300 mile range is really 5h of driving.. if you going 2miles an hour ur not getting 300 miles out of it.. even EV dirt bikes cant venture too deep in the back country with a couple hours of runtime.. the only electric vehicle suitable for back country use right now is e-Bikes, and thats because you can still pedal out when the battery is flat.

All EV trucks on the horizon are for city use, not back country use.. they are to replace all those F150's with mint-condition beds sitting in your work parking lot that never get used for anything even remotely truck like.

I was thinking real hard about buying a PHEV Q5e, enough battery power to do 99% of our grocery getting w/out touching the gas engine.. but no range anxiety, or pathetic performance from not having a gas burner onboard, I had one for a month as a loaner and it was faster than the SQ5 and loved everything but the comfort of the seats long term... but then the 4cyl Turbo Bronco came out, its got a manual gearbox and I think I'd rather have one of those instead..

If you need vehicle storage: https://www.stowit.com/
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
If you want a solar powered vehicle that can travel beyond cities and urban corridors what you want is biofuel combustion. The amount of kWh needed to drive all day on dirt is vastly greater than any BEV is capable of with present storage capacity.
 
Last edited:

Recommended books for Overlanding

Americas Overland - The Driving Handbook
by Donald Greene
From $20
Jupiter's Travels in Camera: The photographic record of T...
by Ted Simon
From $139.15
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die.: And other mor...
by Jared McCaffree, Jessica Mans, Kobus Mans
From $19.99
The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road: 4WD Self-...
by Robert Wohlers
From $59.95
Road Fever (Vintage Departures)
by Tim Cahill
From $6.99

cjohns716

New member
EV aint down for this game.. a 300 mile range is really 5h of driving.. if you going 2miles an hour ur not getting 300 miles out of it.. even EV dirt bikes cant venture too deep in the back country with a couple hours of runtime.. the only electric vehicle suitable for back country use right now is e-Bikes, and thats because you can still pedal out when the battery is flat.

All EV trucks on the horizon are for city use, not back country use.. they are to replace all those F150's with mint-condition beds sitting in your work parking lot that never get used for anything even remotely truck like.

I was thinking real hard about buying a PHEV Q5e, enough battery power to do 99% of our grocery getting w/out touching the gas engine.. but no range anxiety, or pathetic performance from not having a gas burner onboard, I had one for a month as a loaner and it was faster than the SQ5 and loved everything but the comfort of the seats long term... but then the 4cyl Turbo Bronco came out, its got a manual gearbox and I think I'd rather have one of those instead..

If you need vehicle storage: https://www.stowit.com/
Do you think the 4cyl Bronco will have enough...pardon the pun...giddyup?
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
with a turbo charger on every model, most definitely.. spec sheet looks better than most offroaders naturally struggling for aspiration 6cyls that just guzzle fuel for no performance up here in the Rockies.

That 4cyl Bronco got more power than a Jeep Rubicon, here in colorado.. its got alot more power.
 

Cyberland Bound

New member
It’s an interesting question OP raises. My team thinks we are at the cusp of a generation electric trucks that could offer the range and performance that covers nearly every use case in the U.S., at least. We are planning to take our little caravan down the TAT to determine whether the charging network and vehicle performance are ready to support activities that take EV owners far from well-traveled highway corridors and urban centers. We’re optimistic, but we also hope to provide some real data that will help inform prospective purchasers that are looking to take an electric utility vehicle out in the woods. Hopefully this question gets easier to answer in the affirmative as the years pass.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
My team thinks we are at the cusp of a generation electric trucks that could offer the range and performance that covers nearly every use case in the U.S., at least.
Lol, did you forget about towing? There is absolutely nothing even on the horizon that is gonna make any EV remotely suitable for hooking a camper up too.. thats still firmly in the realm of science fiction.


TLDW: They made it from Denver Metro to Laramie WY before they determined it was not possible, they already hadda recharge several times in the distance my SUV goes towing a heavier camper on a single tank.
 
Last edited:

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
My team thinks we are at the cusp of a generation electric trucks that could offer the range and performance that covers nearly every use case in the U.S., at least
Since they are already vanishingly close to maximum theoretically possible efficiency you won't see any increase in efficiency from electric motors or their control circuitry. Conversion efficiency on electric motors is better than 90% already.. as in there's not any amount of work or research possible that will ever significantly change that number because it's already almost perfect in terms of energy input to work output. Storage efficiency on batteries could be better (kWh in vs. kWh out, minus conversion inefficiency) but even that is really close to the theoretical maximum on chemical batteries.

Battery storage technology could change but we already know how the periodic table of elements works, there is no magical increase in chemical energy storage density on the horizon. Not because "needs more research" but because we already know how many electrons fit in an atom and which elements are suited both physically and economically to this application.

So there's static electrical storage (capacitors) which maybe shows some promise but it's necessary that they fail gracefully in the event of collision, remember that 200kWh is equivalent energy to about 350 pounds of TNT so if it's going to be released in an uncontrolled fashion you want that to happen over a period of minutes or else you want to be nowhere near it. I don't think we're anywhere near that particular engineering breakthrough. To make an all-day-long off road EV that's going to be able to drive you to the backcountry and back on all terrain tires with your RTT and skottle and ARB freezer for some hott glamp overland action you'll need more like 1000kWh storage..

And then you'll have to figure out how to charge that. Like with a 7.4kW charger it would take you five whole days to charge a 1000kWh battery from 20% to 100% .... how exactly is a busy travel stop going to cope with delivering megaWatts of power to quickly refill dozens of these vehicles per day?

This isn't the rambling of an old man who is scared of technology, I work in a technology industry and every EV manufacturer today is a customer of my employer. I just was awake during those Sesame Street episodes with The Count.

Biomass is solar energy and you can use it to retroactively convert every ICE powered vehicle on Earth into a solar powered vehicle. That's how we solve the transportation wedge of the climate change pie chart. (then we get to work on ag emissions, become vegan, make less babies, buy less disposable junk... and keep on dreaming) - EV's are great for commuting and maybe fun for toys to deploy once you're at basecamp. Just not anywhere on the horizon for the topics relevant to distance travel over land.
 

cbobgo

Member
If you are just looking to get from your home to the ski resort or camping spot and back, a Tesla X or Y will serve you fine. For all the reasons stated above you couldn't take them on days long trips to the back country, but that was not what the OP was asking about.

I'm also eyeballing VW's new ev bus, that could make a nice short distance camper with a rooftop tent.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
I'm also eyeballing VW's new ev bus, that could make a nice short distance camper with a rooftop tent.
If that thing ever makes it off the drawing board, rest assured we'll never get it in North America.. They gave us a 10cyl Diesel Touareg and Americans went and bought more 4cyl FWD Atlases in like 2-3 years than they ever did the 4x4, Low Range Touareg over more than a decade.. We aint getting anything cool again in this realm from VW.

but that was not what the OP was asking about.
Is it tho? seems like OP was asking for something more capable than his Subaru outback so he could do more than scratch the surface of what Colorado has to offer.. dont seem to me a Telsa is really any more capable than what he has, in that case take a good look at Q5e PHEV, all the good stuff of EV, and all the good stuff of ICE.. and with decent tires it'd be just as capable as an Tesla w/out the range anxiety.
 
Last edited:

nikoli

New member
Lol, did you forget about towing? There is absolutely nothing even on the horizon that is gonna make any EV remotely suitable for hooking a camper up too.. thats still firmly in the realm of science fiction.


TLDW: They made it from Denver Metro to Laramie WY before they determined it was not possible, they already hadda recharge several times in the distance my SUV goes towing a heavier camper on a single tank.
This was hilarious and doomed to fail. They could have made the haul but the charging time didn't fit their schedule. Since the current Tesla software doesn't account for towing the range projections were never going to be accurate. Their range anxiety was off the chart.

I'm also in Colorado and have both a Boreas XT (which they were towing) and a 2012 Model S. Would never try to tow that camper anywhere with any current Tesla, none of them have the practical range even with the existing Supercharger network. The tri-motor Cybertruck with supposed 500+ mile range might be a candidate. It's supposed to have software that accounts for towing when calculating projected range. I wouldn't expect more than 250 miles while towing but we'll see. There are still major gaps in the Supercharger network though. The upcoming Tesla Semi will demand additional Supercharger/Megacharger installs so the network has to grow for that to succeed. It could allow more charge locations for the CT.

We're on the fence between holding out for the tri-motor CT (have an early reservation) or caving in and getting a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon diesel to replace our aging 1st gen Tundra for camping and towing. The cost will end up being very close between the two. I have a bias against waiting around for Elon since he tends to overpromise and underdeliver while focusing on features that aren't at all practical.

The upcoming Jeep Wrangler 4xe is very interesting. Being a plugin hybrid you still have the backup of the ICE without the EV range anxiety, and the possibility of crazy torque for off roading. Supposed to be available this year but no real details have been released, and sadly no mention of a Gladiator 4xe...yet.
 

Cyberland Bound

New member
Lol, did you forget about towing? There is absolutely nothing even on the horizon that is gonna make any EV remotely suitable for hooking a camper up too.. thats still firmly in the realm of science fiction.


TLDW: They made it from Denver Metro to Laramie WY before they determined it was not possible, they already hadda recharge several times in the distance my SUV goes towing a heavier camper on a single tank.
Didn’t forget about towing, just not planning to tow as part of the caravan. From what I understand, some segments of the trail were designed for motorbikes and would be challenging to traverse with a trailer. Our team members are planning to sleep in the back of their trucks or tent camp, but understood that a lot of folks like to tow a camper behind them.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Tortillas to Totems (Every day an Adventure Book 4)
by Sam Manicom
From $9.99
Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on North ...
by Michael McCoy, venture Cycling Association
From $9.99
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
by Laurence Gonzales
From $9.99

nikoli

New member
Anyone have any out of the box solutions for storing a second vehicle? I looked into offsite garages and that sort of thing, but frickin expensive.
Do you have a garage and how high is the ceiling? You could get a 4 post parking lift for a few grand.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
They could have made the haul but the charging time didn't fit their schedule.
Who's got a schedule for that tho? Man last time I had 2 weeks go GTFO I did like 5k miles.. with a 250 mile towing cybertruck (I think this is super optimistic) thats 20 recharges.. with a bigger battery than current vehicles, so if it takes 75min to fully charge a Model S thats at least thats 25h of charging I gotta do, and nowhere did I go have any opportunities for overnight charging, so thats consuming several days of my vacation just to recharge alone.. but its likely gonna be even longer with a substantially larger battery than anything else Tesla makes.

Go buy that diesel and cancel your reservation IMO.. Cybertruck nedsa matching CyberCamper that's half batteries/range extender to make up for its mass, and it'll surely cost more than the truck.
 
Last edited:
Top