Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
  • Kurbwatt Electric Postal Van eBay listing
Here's a tough sell on eBay: an old electric postal delivery van that only gets eight miles of range. It could go up to 40 miles on a charge, but that would cost about $1,600 for a new battery on top of the $2,400 asking price.

The vehicle up for discussion is a Kurbwatt electric van, which runs on 14 six-volt, deep-cycle batteries that take all night to recharge at 220 volts. Its top speed is 55 miles per hour. Oh, and there's one more thing to consider: steering is on the right side and shifting is done with the left hand.

The seller's sons used to use the Kurbwatt to commute to high school – an 11-mile drive each way. They made this trip every day for years and found it to be reliable and required little maintenance. The kids also used the van to haul their rock and roll band gear – drums, amps, keyboards and guitars. The van also features an ancient swappable battery pack, which should make upgrading the pack easier than if it was all built in.

Originally built by Grumman, this Kurbwatt is one of 50 electric vans sold to the US Postal Service in Cupertino, CA, during the 1980s. There are three days left to bid, if a project car like this is up your alley.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      Dave
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://www.kurbwatt.com/history.php
      Tony Belding
      • 1 Year Ago
      What ever happened to NEVs, anyhow? I don't hear much about them anymore.
      • 1 Year Ago
      What ever happened to NEVs? I don't hear much about them anymore.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        The current EV incentive laws make NEVs kind of pointless. You get $7500 for a full-speed EV but only 10% for an NEV. With fullspeed EV like the Mitsubishi-i that has been discounted heavily lately, that makes a fullspeed EV just a few thousand dollars more than an NEV. So why buy the NEV when you can buy a fullspeed EV for just a few thousand more?
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        If you live in a gated community and you've given up your license due to age, its much cheaper to buy a used golf cart. If you don't live in a gated community, and you still have your license, you might as well buy a real car.
      Dave
      • 1 Year Ago
      The listing says it only has 23,826 miles on it. It appears to be very cheap to operate, so it must be truly miserable to drive if that's all the miles they put on it.
        taser it
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        Don't see how you reach that conclusion. It can barely reach 55 mph and has a range of only 25 miles with a long charge time. Those factors preclude it being driven much.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @taser it
          I suppose it depends where you live. Theres plenty of stuff within a 12 mile radius of me. If it were registered, I could take it on lots of errands. This car is 30 years old. That's less than 1000 miles per year.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      EZEE But not in the UK or Australia ! :)
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many forward gears?
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I didn't think that private individuals could own cars with steering wheels on the wrong side?
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        The government sells their old postal vehicles. The old jeep ones can be seen from time to time. Not illegal, just difficult on left turns...
      Reggie
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would buy it, it looks a very roomy practical EV thats sadly missing from most new boring bland small cramped unpractical electric car designs these days. 40 mile on charge with new batteries, that would last me a couple of days driving.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      The US postal service has a long history of trying out electric vehicles, over the decades.( with very mixed success) . The Grumman Kurbwatt was probably one of the best. I hope the EV enthusiast, and legendary EV drag racing identity, Richard (Wild Man) Wilde will inspire some other enthusiast, to buy this piece of Americana, and preserve it for future generations. Richard Wilde's awesome Grumman EV , ' Gone Postal' can be viewed on U Tube. ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tFVgSwQ62g ) I rescued a similar Grumman Kurbwatt EV's, painted in Canada Post livery, and marked with 'Experimental Electric Evaluation Vehicle" stencilling. Along with the vehicle were technical drawings and a pamphlet displaying an illustration (with plans) for a fully fitted emergency service vehicle, complete with battery swap packs. Although the evaluation by Canada Post recommended the vehicle, concerns about cold weather and a suitable heating system for the driver, seems to have prevented adoption of this vehicle, or the subsequent Grumman LLV EV submitted by Azure Dynamics. I also tracked down and purchased earlier USPS EV based on the traditional Willy's Jeep. USPS put a dozen or so of these EV Jeeps into service, but they proved unreliable in cold weather and lost power on hilly terrain. Probably the biggest order ever placed for EV's by the USPS, was in 1980 for 375 (and a further 200 per year ) of the quirky little CitiCar Postal Comuta-Vans. Looking like something designed by DF/Giza, it turned out just as badly ! Alas, although 231 were delivered, the vehicles were poorly built and unreliable. As a result of the ensuing legal dispute, the whole project was eventually scrapped. But some of these little RHD vehicles survived the scrap yard and I was lucky enough to find a complete example in fair condition, along with three more in pieces. The shipping cost me more than the purpose, but with a lot of help, the little vehicle has been completely restored to original condition. In 1973 the City of Cupertino, California, (before Apple Inc ) had 34 British built Harbilt Electric delivery vans. For anyone interested in EV history,, good article about early USPS EV's can be found at [ https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/electric-vehicles.pdf‎ ]
      Reggie
      • 1 Year Ago
      How much would it cost to import into the UK?
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Reggie
        @ Reggie, It would depend on the shipping line and whether you can find someone to share a container. It's cheaper (and easier) , to ship from Canada (Halifax) into one of the UK's minor ports. For this sort of vehicle, which is small and light, but bulky, you should allow £ 700 to 950 plus 5% duty. (No VAT). You should ship the vehicle with out batteries, not only don't these old batteries travel well, but they are hazardous, heavy, and not worth the shipping cost. ( You can even select a shipping line that doesn't use bunker oil !) All up, expect to pay about £ 1250 for the entire import ex- previous owner, to your front door. By the time you spent money on insurance, MOT, restoration, (sourcing and storing a small stock of spares) new batteries and updating the computerised BMS , charging faculty, even installing regenerative braking, the whole project could cost £ 4-5000. (Much less if DIY ). The result would be a great little vehicle, (really practical to transport bikes :) endless fun, for very little outlay ! Take my advice and do it, you'll never regret getting involved ! It's even possible to retrofit, a Daikin heat pump system for winter, or the original optional butane fired heaters, can still be found. A great EV restoration project for anyone living in the UK or any RHD country.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      The main problem with all the postal fleets efforts with EVs is that they were buying custom vehicles from government contractors. This is notorious inefficient and expensive. What they need to do is buy off-the-shelf EVs. For example, they should buy a fleet of electric EV-200s from Nissan for handling postal delivery routes that are less than 50 miles. These would be inexpensive and save them huge amounts of money on fuel.
        taser it
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Unsure what your point is. This is a vehicle from 1983. Who else could have driven the EV Vanguard in 1983, if not a fleet owner like the USPS?
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        The post office buys in large quantities. They get volume discounts. This vehicle never made it that far.
        Reggie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Good ole British postman uses a bike or walks, you are lazy lot in the US, no wonder you are all so fat.
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Reggie
          So then why are you all so fat? "Soon the Brits will be as fat as Americans thanks to the same industrial food complex, bad diet, and limited exercise." http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/21/britain-s-weight-crisis-almost-hits-u-s-proportions.html
          DarylMc
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Reggie
          Hey Reggie You are reinforcing plenty of stereotypes too. Keep it up, maybe you can get yourself banned from here.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 1 Year Ago
      He said he put in 14-6 Volt batteries. They are rated at 242 Ah. So that makes it 84 Volts at 242 Ah, or 20.3 kWh battery pack? Assuming they are all connected in series. I think thats right. Oh somebody put a bid on it! Hopefully it finds a nice home and is used often.
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