Another year brings more EV RV prototypes

You may recall that about this time last year there was a whole slew of RV prototypes revealed (this week is the big RV show in Tampa Florida where RV manufacturers show off their latest models). Last year Thor showed off three and Winnebago had one.

This year Winnebago is showing off “version 2” of their EV RV prototype. This one is built on the eTransit chassis (so that they didn’t have to convert one to EV–easier starting point). As a consequence its range is only 100 miles and change. The Ford’s eTransit is really built for inner city deliveries and service workers; not really for long haul trucking and its range reflects this.

Apparently they built quite a few of these for testing. Enough that they were letting just about every reporter and vlogger drive it around (here is a sampling):

There are event articles about it.

The funny thing about most of the reporting here is that it is being done by RV enthusiasts who don’t have much experience in the EV world and, in many cases, don’t ask all the right questions LOL.

Oh well..EV RV’s are coming…slowly….

Another year brings more EV RV prototypes

Rivian’s Amazon vans

You may have heard the news a while ago that Amazon contracted with Rivian to make a bunch of vans for them. Then that news faded and then not much.

Well back in September Amazon released a promotional video about them:

Of course no mention is made of what their range is but that doesn’t really matter to anyone but Amazon (unless Rivian is also going to sell them to other parties).

Still interesting to see though..

Rivian’s Amazon vans

Spending some time with friends

Hey does this blog even still work LOL

Well yesterday I met up with some fellow Mach-E owners for a fun day of exploring The Henry Ford and The Rouge Tour.

The day was a lot of fun showing people around and visiting with new friends.

Spending some time with friends

Contactor update via OTA

It now appears that the contactor software update is going out via OTA (over the air). Great no need to take it to a dealer.

Don’t read that link too far (or any of the HVBJB threads on that site) as many people are disappointed with Ford (e.g. they thing that everyone’s HVBJB needs to be replaced instead of just some software that will watch for the problem and alert you if it detects the condition–its supposed to alert you early enough so that you can still drive it to the dealer instead of bricking the car where it is and needing a tow).

I get it: For some people who have had their cars bricked it is huge. This is very reminiscent of the Focus Electric’s stop safely now issue. In that they both would appear to happen at just about any time and turn your car into a paperweight. In many circumstances this can be quite dangerous and thus people are upset.

Much like the Focus Electric issue, however, I still have some faith that Ford will solve the issue (either through software or hardware or a combination of both). To date it has happened on very few cars (according to the dealer letter around 500 mostly GT’s and GT Performance Editions) thus I continue to drive my car and we’ll see what happens when it gets the OTA fix.

Contactor update via OTA

Living on the edge

Well when you get a brand new design from a manufacturer what do you expect? LOL

If you’ve seen the news recently (like the past 24 hours or so) Ford has issued a big recall on the Mach-E with respect to the battery contactors. In certain situations they could overheat and either weld together or open. This results with the car basically bricked requiring a tow and the HVBJB (High Voltage Battery Junction Box) module will need to be replaced (where the contactors are).

It appears that Ford’s attempt to fix this will involve updating the software to monitor the temperature in said module and/or also monitor the current and reduce power in situations that could cause the problem (mentioned in this document).

So far this is around the 4th or 5th recall on my car. To this point none of the issues mentioned in any of the recalls has happened to my car, thankfully. Reading accounts of the contactor issue online makes me happy it hasn’t happened–and hoping it won’t (given my car is RWD with only one motor cuts any current consumption down significantly as well).

Now we just sit back and wait for the OTA to happen to fix all the issues LOL..

Living on the edge

Schrödinger’s Mustang

Wait what?? Let me explain….

When creating the Mach-E Ford kind of created a Schrödinger’s Mustang situation similar to the famed Schrödinger’s Cat.

If you’re not familiar with Schrödinger’s Cat I’ll try to briefly explain: Schrödinger was trying to illustrate the quantum mechanics principle of superposition where a particle can simultaneously be in more than one state. Basically a cat is in a box with a Geiger counter connected to a device that will release poison if the Geiger counter detects a particle. Along with the cat and the Geiger counter is a small amount of radioactive material that may or may not decay releasing a particle the Geiger counter would detect. The idea is that before you open the box the cat is always in both states: alive or dead.

How does this apply to the Mach-E? Well during the introductory presentation on the Mach-E Ford called Mustangs a “brand”. Up until that point “Ford Mustang” meant one car (even though the are many variations: GT, GT350, Bullitt, Shelby, etc. its still the same car going down the line). Now “brand” can mean more than one thing: Mustang Brand, Lincoln Brand, Ford Brand. Notice the distinction.

To elaborate a little further: We have vehicles described by make (brand) and model (also brand in a way–when a model is as well known as the Mustang it becomes its own brand). Thus we have Ford Escape, Chevrolet Camaro, Chrysler 300, etc. Where as, until the Mach-E it was “Ford Mustang”. Now with multiple vehicles the word “Mustang” is both a car and a make (I’ll denote the make with a small-m and the car with a cap-M). Thus the original car is now a mustang Mustang–but we don’t repeat stuff so you drop the make. The Mach-E is now a mustang Mach-E but it isn’t a Mustang Mach-E.

There you have it: Schrödinger’s Mustang wherein the Mach-E is both a mustang and not a Mustang.

Schrödinger’s Mustang

Blue Cruise — Yes!

Well after 7 updates (and I just got another one today)… My Mach-E has “Blue Cruise”.

What is “Blue Cruise”? It is similar to GM’s SuperCruise in that it allows hands free driving on specific mapped freeways. The car has a sensor that pays attention to you to make sure your eyes are on the road and not your phone, or sleeping, or…. (about 4:15 in the video below is what happens when you look away).

Some Job 1 Mach-E’s had all the hardware for Blue Cruise but not the software. Ford was to deliver the software via over the air updates sometime last year–they missed that deadline. They are now starting to roll out the feature (via OTA still) to people enrolled in the “Early Access” program to make sure everything works before they ship it to everyone (Yup I’m in “Early Access”).

To indicate that you can take your hands off the wheel the dash changes to a blue color scheme and a “Hands Free” icon appears. You can see all of this in the 5 minute video here:

So far I’ve only taken it for that one drive but wow is that a freaky and cool experience….

Blue Cruise — Yes!