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Hagerty Employee

Canadian sells house to build EV, U.S. dealers compete to restore Porsches, USPS prioritizes ICE

Intake: A resident of British Columbia forever changed his life when he sold his house to fund his homebrew EV project. His now Tesla-powered Rolls-Royce Ghost, the result of four years of labor, has a reported 310 miles of battery-powered range.
Intermediate Driver

I would not restructure my life or lose my wife just to convert a car to electric power. I wonder if these one-off conversions even have a total positive climate/ecological impact.

As for the post office vehicles, I have my doubts about their decision. Predicting the future is tough, but it seems that given gas price volatility and the long, long time that USPS vehicles are in service electirc might be a better long range choice.
Intermediate Driver

I think the cost of the charging stations for the USPS would drastically reduce the amount of vehicles to fit in the same budget.
I'm all for reduction of emissions, but seriously question the outcome to the automotive industry in the next few years. In cities with dense populations, the cost to add charging to apartment towers will be very high.
I believe there will be unsold EV's when manufacturers are mandated to produce EV's. Ford is refusing orders for the Maverick hi-bred, to make way for EV production.
We'll see how this unfolds.
Intermediate Driver

You raise several valid points. But suppose the USPS charging stations were public at a fee during the day to offset their cost. Many of the EV tests I read these days tout recharging from 20% to 80% in "only" 18 minutes, as if that were some magic time window. But have you checked out the wait at your post office lately? Maybe EV users would pay for a quick 10 minute boost.

I do not believe the flip to EVs will be quite as fast as the auto industry wants. But as I have written in the past, they are not building all those battery factories not to utilize them. The current chip shortages have gfiven the industry a taste of being able to sell whatever they can produce without incentives. I do not see the auto industry backing down on this shift and I suspect they even welcome it as it means their long range plans are clear and they do not have to guess about their product plans five years out.

Part of my thought about electric is that given over 11,000 utility scale electric generators but only 129 oil refineries in the USA, the availability of electric power might be a little more resiliant to being knocked out by weather or acts or war or terrorism.

I'm no fan of EVs but I try to keep an open mind on some of the pros and cons and also realize that for some people an EV will fulfill all their needs.
Intermediate Driver

I'm not so sure the manufacturers want to switch to all EV, but government mandates are forcing their hand.
As Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corp stated, "Rather than legislating full electrification by a set date, a costly and disruptive mandate, governments could achieve a quicker near-term reduction in CO2 by encouraging a variety of technologies, including gas-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells"
I personally will need to bring in 200 amp service to my house, plus the installation of the level 3 charging station.
I have concerns about how clean battery production from cradle to grave actually is.
I also have concerns with China's monopolizing of lithium mines. I know that will be in the news soon.
Intermediate Driver

Again, all valid points.  Though as to the observation:

"I also have concerns with China's monopolizing of lithium mines. I know that will be in the news soon. "

I would not bet on that being headline news on any of the mainstream media any time soon.



Let's see now. Buy a Rolls to prove to yourself that you have too much money, get schooled by your daughter that your reward to yourself is foolish and wasteful, sell your house to spend more money to make the car less efficient while simultaneously irritating your wife enough to leave you to live in it by yourself, but feeling that you've made a difference in the world by converting ONE car to use electricity. Is his daughter happy now?

He could convert one million cars and it would still make no difference.
Pit Crew

If that brat was my daughter,she wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably,even in Rolls leather cushions.
New Driver

Tony T,
My thoughts exactly.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to think mama yu may have been a LITTLE domineering, while papa yu may have rebelled a bit too much!
Regardless, his daughters academics should hold their heads up high to the fact that they and their peers have most likely twisted this young persons mind into believing the environment was more precious than a united family.
Long live gasoline 👍

It's a mystery to me why DeJoy is still running the USPS.

True - especially with a Democratic President in office. DeJoy is unqualified for the role. As some are suggesting, perhaps this major gaffe with the truck procurement may prove to be the last straw.

Nobody *runs* USPS. The post office isn't the Titanic -- it's the iceberg.

Rolls-Royce conversion - some people are just nuts. Not necessarily because of the conversion, per-se, but because of what he gave up to do it.

USPS - that is one plug-ugly vehicle, with that ludicrous windshield. a time when fleets should be converting to hybrid or electric power (depending upon planned usage) as possible, they are going 90% ICE? That is also nuts, and an irresponsible use of what will, in essence, be taxpayer money. Those vehicles are prime candidates for hybridization and electric propulsion, and should be handled as such.


Well, if you want, you can give them the $11 Billion extra dollars they need to go EV. The thing to remember is that the Oshkosh platform can be either ICE or EV, so I am speculating that they are choosing (remember the Post Office is extremely strapped for cash) to use the cheaper option now that will save them on fuel costs in the near term, as they need to have the vehicles (and they are more efficient than the ones currently in use which have an EPA rated 8.2mpg by the way) so the new ones will be an improvement. At a later date, the EV conversion can be completed on the existing chassis, converting them over time and spreading the cost (which may also be lower in the future as the tech progresses).

Another factor is the fact that going EV would require the installation of multiple charging stations at each or most of the 34,223 USPS locations in the US, a very expensive prospect that would involve upgrades to the electrical services of the buildings as well as the cost of the charging stations themselves. As they would need a full charge daily, we are talking Level 3 chargers, which are at least $1000 apiece for the charger, not even discussing the installation and the wiring upgrades the buildings would require (Let's use a total of $2000 per charger and installation as an average cost for argument's sake). As of 2021, USPS operates 190,000 local delivery vehicles, if we assume each charger could charge 2 vehicles overnight, we have 190k/2=95000*$2000=$190,000,000.00 in costs for the charging stations alone. A lot easier to spread this cost over time with conversions, especially if one is betting the costs of the tech will go down as it becomes more mature.
Advanced Driver

RE: Lamborghini
I'm torn on the news of that ship burning with all those beautiful cars. On one hand it kills the car guy in me to think of all that beautiful hardware getting destroyed. But on the other hand it's kind of satisfying to know some rich a-hole who will never appreciate what he has, losing his purchase.
(Hey, give me a break, I'm having a sh***y day at work.)

"I don't approve, but -- I understand." --Chris Rock
It's a perfectly OK joke. Just not one I'd share with, you know, my insurance agent.

I am not a fan of modern Rolls-Royce cars. They do nothing for me. If you want one, great. Vincent Yu's mistake was to let his daughter guilt him and eventually losing his marriage. I would have taken away her toys. I'm sorry but this is just idiotic. If he wanted to start his own EV conversion company, great but this is just silly.
Advanced Driver

Maybe the USPS decided to get the ICE trucks that can be built now, rather than the EVs that would ultimately take a little longer (years) to get? Supply chain, anyone?

So, the Overlords in Washington who are mandating ICE to EV for the masses, can't enforce the policy on their own adjunct agency? As the PO is daily counting pennies, maybe they are the reality check on the EV timeline fantasy? Notwithstanding their choice of the ugliest vehicle on the planet, built by a company that specializes in diesel Urban Assault Vehicles, they have a point. This issue applies to the PO and everyone who doesn't have a personal garage space, how exactly do these mandated vehicles get charged? Too bad the real Tesla's over the air electricity never worked out.

Batteries exposed in the back, no trunk now too. Under the hood looks scary, most have been a cheap house he sold.

While I accept that Yu's conversion is a complex undertaking I think it's a stretch calling it "ground breaking" especially while using another major manufacturer's proven hardware. I wonder why he, an engineer by trade, needed to hire a team of craftsmen for four years to do the job. At least we know why it cost so much.

Huracan drivers would fit right in around my area; blinding oncoming drivers is all the rage with or without blanking caps.

Our new postal vehicles have that auto stop/ start feature. Seems insane to have the things fire up and then quit as they inch forward through our row of 4 mailboxes out front,. Wear and tear etc.