The Key EV Tech I'm looking for in Scout Vehicles

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RebelliousPeasant

Active member
1st Year Member
May 8, 2023
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Ottawa, ON Canada
evco.ca
I for one am very happy Scout will be all electric. There are no all-electric off road vehicles on the market so Scout will be filling an important and as-yet unmet demand niche.

Given that battery electric is indeed the future of all vehicles I've given some thought to the sort of technologies I'd like to see in Scout's first vehicle offerings.

In no particular order what I'm looking for is:
- A simple and rugged EV. That means an lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry. Why is LFP important? LFP packs don't care if you charge them up to 100% and drain them every day. They aren't flammable, are non-toxic, and some can even continue to function when a spike or rock has damaged a chunk of cells. Ideally SM would somehow get their hands on BYD Blade batteries but really and LFP chemistry should be fine. They're also much cheaper than typical NCM batteries.

- 800V architecture. This is important for fast charge speeds. 800V allows for much higher charging speeds and conventional 400V batteries because they can do the same job with lower current. I would be very disappointed to see a new Scout vehicle released with a 400V pack.

- Vehicle to load/grid/home etc. This is available on a lot of new EVs and will be mandated in some markets in the coming years. It just makes sense to be able to use the huge amount of stored energy in a vehicle when the vehicle is not being used otherwise. It's come in handy for me on several occasions already (I currently own an EV with V2L capability), I use it far more than I ever thought I would. It can keep fridges and lights on during an emergency for DAYS if not weeks! It can run equipment out in the field. It's always handy to have a power station at your disposal wherever you happen to be.

- A battery preconditioning button. I'm assuming the battery will have preconditioning because every EV should have that. Ideally there would be a button accessible to the driver on the dash somewhere that would allow us to turn it on and off at our discretion. My current vehicle currently does it automatically when a charger is selected in the nav but sometimes I don't want to precondition or sometimes I know where the charger is and don't want to go through the trouble of entering it in the nav just to get preconditioning. Give us a button!

I'm sure I will think of more points but that's it from me for now!
 
I for one am very happy Scout will be all electric. There are no all-electric off road vehicles on the market so Scout will be filling an important and as-yet unmet demand niche.

Given that battery electric is indeed the future of all vehicles I've given some thought to the sort of technologies I'd like to see in Scout's first vehicle offerings.

In no particular order what I'm looking for is:
- A simple and rugged EV. That means an lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry. Why is LFP important? LFP packs don't care if you charge them up to 100% and drain them every day. They aren't flammable, are non-toxic, and some can even continue to function when a spike or rock has damaged a chunk of cells. Ideally SM would somehow get their hands on BYD Blade batteries but really and LFP chemistry should be fine. They're also much cheaper than typical NCM batteries.

- 800V architecture. This is important for fast charge speeds. 800V allows for much higher charging speeds and conventional 400V batteries because they can do the same job with lower current. I would be very disappointed to see a new Scout vehicle released with a 400V pack.

- Vehicle to load/grid/home etc. This is available on a lot of new EVs and will be mandated in some markets in the coming years. It just makes sense to be able to use the huge amount of stored energy in a vehicle when the vehicle is not being used otherwise. It's come in handy for me on several occasions already (I currently own an EV with V2L capability), I use it far more than I ever thought I would. It can keep fridges and lights on during an emergency for DAYS if not weeks! It can run equipment out in the field. It's always handy to have a power station at your disposal wherever you happen to be.

- A battery preconditioning button. I'm assuming the battery will have preconditioning because every EV should have that. Ideally there would be a button accessible to the driver on the dash somewhere that would allow us to turn it on and off at our discretion. My current vehicle currently does it automatically when a charger is selected in the nav but sometimes I don't want to precondition or sometimes I know where the charger is and don't want to go through the trouble of entering it in the nav just to get preconditioning. Give us a button!

I'm sure I will think of more points but that's it from me for now!
>There are no all-electric off road vehicles

Maybe I’m naive, but from what I’ve heard rivians are pretty good off road. My impression is that Scout will be more a combination of work-practical and off road, so will still differentiate itself. Rivian seems to be more recreation focused.
 
>There are no all-electric off road vehicles

Maybe I’m naive, but from what I’ve heard rivians are pretty good off road. My impression is that Scout will be more a combination of work-practical and off road, so will still differentiate itself. Rivian seems to be more recreation focused.
You're right. I guess Rivians count as off-roaders and I suppose the Hummer EV would count as well. I should have said "affordable" off-roaders as all of those vehicles cost well over $100k so to me they may as well not exist.
 
Having driven a MachE for 3 years and forgone getting a Bronco I have EV specific and truck ideas, more truck than EV

Locking diffs, Ability to fit larger rubber.

Tow hitch. Functional trunk with spare tire and jack.

Possibly lockable front hubs as an option so one could run it in 2wd mode to save juice on the highway.

Show the charge rate on the display. Remote start of climate and battery conditioning.

Rubber floors and vinyl seats, sand and hose friendly interior.

Old school shifter on the column.

A lower cost option level that does not have airbag variable suspension.

As to 400volt vs 800volt I see it as a cost thing. Most of my charging is at home level 2 so the level 3 DC charge speed is a wash except on vacations. I think the 800volt may actually be able to provide the same power at a lower materials cost so that would be good.

LFP are heavier for the same range and take a larger cold weather hit. I personally would prefer not and go with a lighter pack.
 
I'll add having a flatter charge curve instead of a max watts "bragging rights" charge curve. This will make life with the car easier.

Currently, because the charging rates of most EVs are dramatically better at 5% than 50%, it's a huge time saver to run your battery way down before recharging (and also to not then fill it to 80% before you go). That's fine when it works but also a touch stressful since you don't have a lot of extra cushion if the charging station didn't work out for some reason. Running your battery way down before recharging is not as important for cars with flatter charging curves. They will quickly fill your battery back up regardless. Stop and quickly "top it off" anytime you like.

Another benefit is that if your stuck on a 150kW charger it won't impact you that much.

The Ioniq 5 & 6 are examples of cars with a flatter charging curves, and they also recharge very quickly overall. 18 minutes 10%-80% with a 350kWh charger. +4 minutes on a 150kWh charger.
 
I'll add having a flatter charge curve instead of a max watts "bragging rights" charge curve. This will make life with the car easier.

Currently, because the charging rates of most EVs are dramatically better at 5% than 50%, it's a huge time saver to run your battery way down before recharging (and also to not then fill it to 80% before you go). That's fine when it works but also a touch stressful since you don't have a lot of extra cushion if the charging station didn't work out for some reason. Running your battery way down before recharging is not as important for cars with flatter charging curves. They will quickly fill your battery back up regardless. Stop and quickly "top it off" anytime you like.

Another benefit is that if your stuck on a 150kW charger it won't impact you that much.

The Ioniq 5 & 6 are examples of cars with a flatter charging curves, and they also recharge very quickly overall. 18 minutes 10%-80% with a 350kWh charger. +4 minutes on a 150kWh charger.
That's an excellent point and I fully agree! I have an Ioniq 5 and can confirm the charge times and rates. A flatter curve is definitely an advantage. My car always amazes me at the speed it holds all the way up to 80% compared to my Dad's Tesla which as you said, starts off fast but really starts tapering when it gets to 50%. I much prefer holding the 177kW or 250kW all the way up to 80% than to see 350kw briefly for 2 minutes at the bottom of the pack.
 
I'm down for Lithium Iron battery chemistry for the safety aspect. Routine charging to 100% is a bonus. I get that 300mi range seems to be a magical marketing number but I just don't NEED that much. Sure, more range is better but I really expect this to sell as a "lifestyle" vehicle. It will be for me with almost all local use, charging at home (L2), so I would totally sacrifice some range to have Li-Iron instead of a more energy dense (and finicky) chemistry.
800V vs 400V - I'll take whatever will cost me less but YES to flat charge curve.
Easy and max wattage V2L is a must. Give me multiple outlets inside and outside the vehicle.
Have an option to keep the A/C going when the vehicle is OFF for camping/pets. Maybe include a user adjustable range cutoff so it doesn't run the battery too low (run the A/C until the estimated range remaining is xxx). My current car will only let it run for 2 hrs and then it turns off.
 
I’d like to have a big full sized solar panel on the roof instead of a sunroof. Perhaps on the hood as well. That’d be good for 1-2kWh per day. Not going to power your driving, but it’d keep all the background stuff powered, keep the car cool and slowly top off the battery.

Edit: kW -> kWh
 
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Well if we get a removable top I think that an aftermarket roof with a built in solar panel isn't far off. I don't know about having it straight from the factory though. Would be interesting to have a panel like you said to just idle everything, though idk how much actually would be drawn from running background stuff. I guess if you were running extra speakers or a small refrigerator/cooler it'd probably be worth it
 
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I’d like to have a big full sized solar panel on the roof instead of a sunroof. Perhaps on the hood as well. That’d be good for 1-2kW per day. Not going to power your driving, but it’d keep all the background stuff powered, keep the car cool and slowly top off the battery.
It's not really a good application for solar panels. Solar panels are fragile, putting them on a vehicle with all the vibrations and impacts of rocks and other things isn't ideal. Aptera is doing it so we'll see how durable their panels end up being but even then, they're only getting around 700W in full sun. It's something but you'd probably be better off putting panels on a car port or your roof. I know the Canadian army has small solar panels on their G-wagens (what we use instead of humvees) to keep the radios charged up. Not sure how much panel area you'd need to have a viable backup for the HVAC system, likely a lot more than what is needed to a keep a radio going. It's an interesting idea. You could do it with aftermarket panels like they use for RVs but you'd need a way of connecting the power generated by the panel to the vehicle itself. It'd be cool if the Scout electrical system had a built in solar MPPT charge controller but that might be a bit much to ask for.
 
It's not really a good application for solar panels. Solar panels are fragile, putting them on a vehicle with all the vibrations and impacts of rocks and other things isn't ideal. Aptera is doing it so we'll see how durable their panels end up being but even then, they're only getting around 700W in full sun. It's something but you'd probably be better off putting panels on a car port or your roof. I know the Canadian army has small solar panels on their G-wagens (what we use instead of humvees) to keep the radios charged up. Not sure how much panel area you'd need to have a viable backup for the HVAC system, likely a lot more than what is needed to a keep a radio going. It's an interesting idea. You could do it with aftermarket panels like they use for RVs but you'd need a way of connecting the power generated by the panel to the vehicle itself. It'd be cool if the Scout electrical system had a built in solar MPPT charge controller but that might be a bit much to ask for.
They make flexible cells, but I don’t know how much worse the efficiency is. Whatever you used, you’d want them built in so there was no aero penalty, as that would erase any gain. I was thinking more running a fan to prevent cabin heat buildup rather than actual AC. There are no doubt other minor loads that could be compensated for. Mmm…sentinel mode?

A solar charge controller would be a neat option, too. While in town you could use the roof solar for minor loads (and worry-free long term airport parking while going on a trip). When camping, you could pull some portable panels out of the back, set them up and plug in to get a more useable amount of juice. Part of optimizing your EV as the core of modern camping.
 
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My first reaction, living at 45 deg. of latitude, was HYBRID. Second thoughts though, suggest stronger Battery Technology may be enforced by development strictly as an EV. Having been employed at an International Truck/ Scout Dealer year's ago; I'm hoping there is an attempt to NOT eliminate the WORK Scout.
 
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