Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
 I was around when a pilot EV program in Alameda was scrapped because the postal workers wouldn't plug in the vehicles. They all died in a week. That's one story. We dismantled the chargers. Vans were auctioned off. Here is the result: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3ezx4/post-office-delivery-trucks-keep-catching-on-fire
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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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Lawrence Rhodes via EV wrote:
>   I was around when a pilot EV program in Alameda was scrapped because the postal workers wouldn't plug in the vehicles. They all died in a week. That's one story. We dismantled the chargers. Vans were auctioned off. Here is the result: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3ezx4/post-office-delivery-trucks-keep-catching-on-fire

It's a common story. USPS has donem many EV trials over the years. In
most cases, the workers "sabatoged" the programs one way or another.

I got my ComutaVan due to a failed USPS trial in Indiana in 1980. Some
friends and I bought four of them from a scrapyard; all basically new
(less than 2000 miles on them), but deliberately disabled in various ways.

My dad was a mail carrier, so I also had his "take" on it. The union
management was vehemently opposed to EVs, and the national newsletter
full of vitriol about them. So USPS management basically rammed the EV
trials down their throats. This created a hostile situation, where the
workers *wanted* them to fail, to "show the bosses that they can't push
us around".

In the few cases where management *did* get a buy-in from the workers,
the trials went much better. But the problems of short range and higher
cost for the vehicles still made it an uphill battle.

Lee Hart

--
If happiness is on your mind, here's a daily list to find:
  - something to do
  - something to look forward to
  - someone to love
  - someone to take good care of
  - and misbehave, just a little
  --
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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Short range?

I thought that USPS vehicles actually don’t go many miles.

- Mark

Sent from my Fuel Cell powered iPhone

> On Jul 8, 2020, at 11:20 AM, Lee Hart via EV <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Lawrence Rhodes via EV wrote:
>>  I was around when a pilot EV program in Alameda was scrapped because the postal workers wouldn't plug in the vehicles. They all died in a week. That's one story. We dismantled the chargers. Vans were auctioned off. Here is the result: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3ezx4/post-office-delivery-trucks-keep-catching-on-fire
>
> It's a common story. USPS has donem many EV trials over the years. In most cases, the workers "sabatoged" the programs one way or another.
>
> I got my ComutaVan due to a failed USPS trial in Indiana in 1980. Some friends and I bought four of them from a scrapyard; all basically new (less than 2000 miles on them), but deliberately disabled in various ways.
>
> My dad was a mail carrier, so I also had his "take" on it. The union management was vehemently opposed to EVs, and the national newsletter full of vitriol about them. So USPS management basically rammed the EV trials down their throats. This created a hostile situation, where the workers *wanted* them to fail, to "show the bosses that they can't push us around".
>
> In the few cases where management *did* get a buy-in from the workers, the trials went much better. But the problems of short range and higher cost for the vehicles still made it an uphill battle.
>
> Lee Hart
>
> --
> If happiness is on your mind, here's a daily list to find:
> - something to do
> - something to look forward to
> - someone to love
> - someone to take good care of
> - and misbehave, just a little
> --
> Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> ARCHIVE: http://www.evdl.org/archive/index.html
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> Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>

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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Similarly, I think that the six SCT Rabbit conversions that were in
fleet service for the city of Portland, OR in the 1980's got a
similar reception from the city employees that were "forced" to drive
them. It was part of a federally-funded study, and drivers were
expected to complete a vehicle report form each day after use.

The controller design was likely a big contributing factor to the
program barely lasting two years, the accelerator was disabled when
the clutch was depressed, and a R/C timer circuit prevented the go
pedal from being active until five seconds or so after the clutch
pedal returned to fully released. The result was that it was
impossible to smoothly accelerate during gear changes, touching the
pedal either intentionally or accidentally while in gear meant that
the car went into full regen (up to 250+ amps!). Downshifting and
releasing the clutch also produced immediate full regen. Think how
fun that was for the driver, and for those following. This was one of
the first modifications when I bought the car with 5,000 original
miles, rip out the accelerator inhibit circuit.

Designing ~any~ vehicle to be difficultly different from what drivers
are used to is certainly a recipe for failure. Making rank-and-file
grunt workers be the beta testers doesn't increase the chances of
product acceptance.

UPS freight terminals in larger cities have on-site fueling
facilities. I wonder how long the drivers would keep their jobs if
they routinely "forgot" to fuel the brown race trucks they use now?

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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Not sure about way back then, but the average Rural postal route these days is around 45 miles.  I believe the mail Comuta-Vans had a daily usable range of around 25-35 miles.  
Lee (and a few others) would know for sure.

July 8, 2020 11:45 AM, "Mark Abramowitz via EV" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Short range?
>
> I thought that USPS vehicles actually don’t go many miles.
>
> - Mark
>
> Sent from my Fuel Cell powered iPhone
>
>> On Jul 8, 2020, at 11:20 AM, Lee Hart via EV <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Lawrence Rhodes via EV wrote:
>>> I was around when a pilot EV program in Alameda was scrapped because the postal workers wouldn't
>>> plug in the vehicles. They all died in a week. That's one story. We dismantled the chargers. Vans
>>> were auctioned off. Here is the result:
>>> https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3ezx4/post-office-delivery-trucks-keep-catching-on-fire
>>
>> It's a common story. USPS has donem many EV trials over the years. In most cases, the workers
>> "sabatoged" the programs one way or another.
>>
>> I got my ComutaVan due to a failed USPS trial in Indiana in 1980. Some friends and I bought four of
>> them from a scrapyard; all basically new (less than 2000 miles on them), but deliberately disabled
>> in various ways.
>>
>> My dad was a mail carrier, so I also had his "take" on it. The union management was vehemently
>> opposed to EVs, and the national newsletter full of vitriol about them. So USPS management
>> basically rammed the EV trials down their throats. This created a hostile situation, where the
>> workers *wanted* them to fail, to "show the bosses that they can't push us around".
>>
>> In the few cases where management *did* get a buy-in from the workers, the trials went much better.
>> But the problems of short range and higher cost for the vehicles still made it an uphill battle.
>>
>> Lee Hart
>>
>> --
>> If happiness is on your mind, here's a daily list to find:
>> - something to do
>> - something to look forward to
>> - someone to love
>> - someone to take good care of
>> - and misbehave, just a little
>> --
>> Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
>> _______________________________________________
>> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
>> ARCHIVE: http://www.evdl.org/archive/index.html
>> INFO: http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
>> Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Mark Abramowitz via EV wrote:
> Short range?
>
> I thought that USPS vehicles actually don’t go many miles.

At the time my dad worked there, the postal vans were only used for
"mounted" (rural) routes, which could be quite long in sparsely
populated areas.

Urban routes were generally done on foot. Employees also used their own
cars when the distance for their route was too far to walk, but too
short to issue a postal vehicle.

Today, it has become more common for *every* route to be done in a vehicle.

Lee Hart

--
If happiness is on your mind, here's a daily list to find:
  - something to do
  - something to look forward to
  - someone to love
  - someone to take good care of
  - and misbehave, just a little
--
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Mr. Sharkey via EV wrote:
> Similarly, I think that the six SCT Rabbit conversions that were in
> fleet service for the city of Portland, OR in the 1980's got a similar
> reception from the city employees that were "forced" to drive them...
>
> Designing ~any~ vehicle to be difficultly different from what drivers
> are used to is certainly a recipe for failure. Making rank-and-file
> grunt workers be the beta testers doesn't increase the chances of
> product acceptance.

I've seen the same effect in factories that introduced EV fork lifts, or
golf courses that introduced EV golf carts. Employees or customers that
were forced to use them would (either accidentally or deliberately) work
to sabotage the change.

But, when better EVs are introduced in a more inviting manner, the EVs
usually win. They can be smoother, quieter, break down less often, and
cheaper to operate. When I worked at Kodak and then Honeywell, the
drivers came to *prefer* the EV vehicles over the ICE versions. Often,
they didn't even know it was an EV; it was simply "newer, quieter,
easier to drive, and always worked".

Lee Hart

--
If happiness is on your mind, here's a daily list to find:
  - something to do
  - something to look forward to
  - someone to love
  - someone to take good care of
  - and misbehave, just a little
  --
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Peter VanDerWal via EV wrote:
> Not sure about way back then, but the average Rural postal route these days is around 45 miles.  I believe the mail Comuta-Vans had a daily usable range of around 25-35 miles.
> Lee (and a few others) would know for sure.

Hi Peter,

25-30 miles is about right for the ComutaVan in its stock form, when
used in heavy stop-and-go driving. Or 50-60 miles if driven in normal
traffic.

The fundamental problem with the ComutaVan is that they were very crude
vehicles. They had poorer handling, a harsher ride, and were harder to
drive than the alternative Jeep DJ-5 postal ICEs.

But there have been postal EVs that were clearly superior to the ICE
DJ5's. AM General themselves built an EV version that was very good.
Otis (the old Baker Electric) and Smith's (the British firm that made
the EV milk floats) also built versions that were quite good.

Lee Hart

--
If happiness is on your mind, here's a daily list to find:
  - something to do
  - something to look forward to
  - someone to love
  - someone to take good care of
  - and misbehave, just a little
  --
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
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Re: Postal service vans catch fire. Should be replaced by Electric.

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Ah, rural.

Got it!

- Mark

Sent from my Fuel Cell powered iPhone

> On Jul 8, 2020, at 2:58 PM, Lee Hart via EV <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Peter VanDerWal via EV wrote:
>> Not sure about way back then, but the average Rural postal route these days is around 45 miles.  I believe the mail Comuta-Vans had a daily usable range of around 25-35 miles.
>> Lee (and a few others) would know for sure.
>
> Hi Peter,
>
> 25-30 miles is about right for the ComutaVan in its stock form, when used in heavy stop-and-go driving. Or 50-60 miles if driven in normal traffic.
>
> The fundamental problem with the ComutaVan is that they were very crude vehicles. They had poorer handling, a harsher ride, and were harder to drive than the alternative Jeep DJ-5 postal ICEs.
>
> But there have been postal EVs that were clearly superior to the ICE DJ5's. AM General themselves built an EV version that was very good. Otis (the old Baker Electric) and Smith's (the British firm that made the EV milk floats) also built versions that were quite good.
>
> Lee Hart
>
> --
> If happiness is on your mind, here's a daily list to find:
> - something to do
> - something to look forward to
> - someone to love
> - someone to take good care of
> - and misbehave, just a little
> --
> Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> ARCHIVE: http://www.evdl.org/archive/index.html
> INFO: http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>

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