Powertrain Options? Weight vs. Range Concerns?

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Halon337

New member
1st Year Member
Nov 15, 2022
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I understand that VAG's goal is to make a line of all-electric vehicles, and the website says that they're "making the next generation of all-electric trucks and rugged SUVs for American drivers". However, as someone who grew up wheeling and have seen lots of things break, I'm worried about the off-road ruggedness/usability of the new Scout. For effective off-road driving, low weight is paramount, and electric vehicles are characteristically very heavy. The way to lighten the vehicle would be to limit battery capacity, but that would significantly decrease the range of the vehicle, which already will be lower than advertised because of use of electrical accessories (winches, lights, etc). Additionally, no one is going to want to trailer their Scout to a trail. You have to be able to drive the Scout to the trail, run the trail, and then drive it back home. Most of us aren't blessed to live on 300 acres off forest land to go wheeling on, and will have to drive a while to get anywhere worth going.

The other downside I see of electric-only powertrain options is that when you do break something or run out of energy out in the woods, there is no way to quickly repair it. Unlike traditional combustion engines or hybrids, there is no real way to carry extra power/gas/range on an electric vehicle without severely weighing down an already heavy vehicle. Outside of sending out a recovery truck with a diesel generator and charging the Scout for 8 hours, or some sort of swappable battery system, the Scout is going to be straight out of luck.

There are other pre-existing options for electric SUVs with off-roading pretensions (Jeep 4xE, Rivian), and there will likely be more by the time the Scout actually makes it to production. However, as mentioned other places in this forum, these vehicles have shown significant flaws and failures. The marketing and forum introduction talk about the enthusiasts and rabid community, but the people that love the old IH Scouts don't want a styling exercise by Volkswagen to cash in on a known name. They want a reliable, durable, capable vehicle that isn't just hypothetically capable on a spreadsheet, but actually fun to drive off-road while being road-legal. These people are going to end up buying Ford Broncos or other trucks because of the inherent disadvantages of electric off-roaders. Something like a modern turbodiesel seems like it would check all the boxes to be a true Scout while still being efficient and EPA compliant (it also allows the use of a manual transmission, which would be EXTREMELY desirable to the enthusiast community). Without something like that, the Scout doesn't provide any reason to be purchased over the other options outside of the fact that it looks like a 50 year old, mostly forgotten truck.

With that in mind, how is the Scout going to be different than the other options available on the market? How will it be able to be rugged and reliable for farther than 60 miles off-road? Would it be possible to see biodiesel/hybrid options by release? Is there action to try to integrate a hydrogen fuel system into future versions?
 
You bring up a lot of valid points, particularly as they apply to offroading in remote areas.

Electric vehicle adoption rates worldwide are moving rapidly. Norway has already crossed the 50% threshold in new electric vehicle registrations and EV's have widely become mandated in countries like China where EV sales have gone up over 130% year over year. It is a global change and one that all car manufacturers are moving quickly to work into product planning for the future.

Yes (my opinion here), right now you could think of current battery technology as the early bag cell phone where batteries were bulky and heavy. If you think about it that way, we are in the early adoption phase, and in the future things will be moving quickly to smaller, lighter, and more powerful batteries. Nearly every device we use these days has batteries. Even the blower and string trimmer I use in the yard are battery-powered. All my power tools (with a few exceptions) are battery-powered. More research is being done now in the battery field than ever before and between the improvements in batteries and software, range will become a non-issue in the future. When and how quickly that happens remains to be seen. There will be growing pains in the adoption of battery technology worldwide, but in the long run, it is an ongoing epic shift in how we use everything in our life.

That said, we all purchase the vehicles that best meet our needs as a whole, and not every vehicle is going to do all the things we want or need. I think the Scout team is very aware of the heritage and expectations. Hopefully, over the next two years before production starts, we will see further improvements in batteries and software to help overcome or improve some of the scenarios that you mention.

In the meantime we will do our best to make it great and we appreciate the input.
 
Personally, I'd sacrifice range for lower weight and size... battery energy density is only going to increase until there's another paradigm shift in powertrains akin to going from ICE to electric. I'm sure the design team is forward-thinking enough to make sure the batteries are easily replaced when better tech comes along...

I've been "weighing" (haha) my options for BEV conversion on my 800 for about a year halfheartedly. My 196-4 block alone weighs 550 lbs. Removing the motor, xfer case, and transmission would reduce my ~3900lb weight considerably.
If replacement e-axles were available at a similar weight to a vintage Dana 44, that's an awful lot of weight and space that could be filled with modular battery packs in the bed floor, saddle tank area, under the hood & along the "tunnel", all but the saddle tank areas protected by the frame.
 
I would like to see weight below 5500 lbs with realistic useable range of 230 miles (70 mph @ 70 deg F).

I pulled together some numbers from various sources comparing the Rivian, F150 Lightning and Hummer EV. Some of the numbers may not match exactly what you might find, as the manufacturer sites don't list all of these and you can find similar, but slightly different numbers across various sites. The Estimated range at 30 deg F is me applying my experience of a drop of up to 20% in range when temps drop from 70F to 30F with my ID.4. ymmv. :)

MakeModelCategoryPrice (MSRP)Weight (Lbs)Battery (kWh)70 mph Range (Miles)85% 70 mph Range (Miles)Estimated Range at 30 FEPA Range (Miles)Difference (70mph vs EPA)Efficiency (mi/kWh)
GMCHummer EVSUV
$90,000​
9,063246
343​
292​
233​
329​
4.26%​
1.6​
FordLightning Lariat Extended RangeTruck
$75,000​
6,597131
270​
230​
184​
320​
-15.63%​
2.1​
FordLightning Platinum Extended RangeTruck
$97,000​
6,893131
258​
219​
175​
300​
-14.00%​
2.0​
FordLightning Pro Standard RangeTruck
$53,000​
6,01598
214​
182​
146​
230​
-6.96%​
2.2​
RivianR1S Large Pack, 20" all-terrain tires Quad MotorSUV
$92,000​
5,842135
286​
243​
194​
316​
-9.49%​
2.3​
RivianR1T Large Pack, 20" all-terrain tires Quad MotorTruck
$87,000​
5,886135
289​
246​
197​
314​
-7.96%​
2.3​
 
I would like to see weight below 5500 lbs with realistic useable range of 230 miles (70 mph @ 70 deg F).

I pulled together some numbers from various sources comparing the Rivian, F150 Lightning and Hummer EV. Some of the numbers may not match exactly what you might find, as the manufacturer sites don't list all of these and you can find similar, but slightly different numbers across various sites. The Estimated range at 30 deg F is me applying my experience of a drop of up to 20% in range when temps drop from 70F to 30F with my ID.4. ymmv. :)

MakeModelCategoryPrice (MSRP)Weight (Lbs)Battery (kWh)70 mph Range (Miles)85% 70 mph Range (Miles)Estimated Range at 30 FEPA Range (Miles)Difference (70mph vs EPA)Efficiency (mi/kWh)
GMCHummer EVSUV
$90,000​
9,063246
343​
292​
233​
329​
4.26%​
1.6​
FordLightning Lariat Extended RangeTruck
$75,000​
6,597131
270​
230​
184​
320​
-15.63%​
2.1​
FordLightning Platinum Extended RangeTruck
$97,000​
6,893131
258​
219​
175​
300​
-14.00%​
2.0​
FordLightning Pro Standard RangeTruck
$53,000​
6,01598
214​
182​
146​
230​
-6.96%​
2.2​
RivianR1S Large Pack, 20" all-terrain tires Quad MotorSUV
$92,000​
5,842135
286​
243​
194​
316​
-9.49%​
2.3​
RivianR1T Large Pack, 20" all-terrain tires Quad MotorTruck
$87,000​
5,886135
289​
246​
197​
314​
-7.96%​
2.3​
Interesting.....let's hope the price tag isn't getting that high 😬. Pretty hard sell to get the wife talked into that!! Currently have her convinced that we should be looking to get a new car around 2026 😁
 
Interesting.....let's hope the price tag isn't getting that high 😬. Pretty hard sell to get the wife talked into that!! Currently have her convinced that we should be looking to get a new car around 2026 😁
Same boat and my wife’s an accountant so here’s to fingers crossed. My daughter should be getting her Bronco in next couple of months so hopefully my wife falls in love so it’s easier for me in ‘26
 
Versatile as a farmer is how I feel Scouts were built. So why not set up the vehicle design for in town or highway driving. If you need to do a little extra for pleasure then why not set up a special power port that a towable generator with extra fuel capacity can tag along. Better yet a control link on the trailer to allow it to have an extra push with power driven wheels if you are wheeling. Another option is an off road camper with the motor driven wheels and generator all tied into the Scout drive system. This could be all sold separately as options or why not even a rental facility. This way just rent when you plan to have a little extra fun. The original Scout designer’s definitely thought out the box and that is what brought me to have such a strong compassion for them.
 

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Farmers (even retired here) think alike. I have felt for a long time that one visble answer to range extension is a trailer loaded with batteries and plugged in via umbilical.

Similarly a Diesel (after reading g recent biography the engine name should always be capitalizdd) powered generator on the rear hitch (or in the frunk) should be able to provide enough electrical power to run the vehicle without battery until the fuel runs out. Shouldn't 5000w be enough to limp home? At a safe speed?

Diesel-electric hybrids abound near me where Wabtec (formerly GE Locomotive) builds 16 cylinder twin turbo 6000hp at less than $100/hp. At same rate a 300 hp hybrid without frills should cost right about 30k
 
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