Coming Soon To A Campground Near You: The Electric RV

It’s Memorial Day weekend in 2027. You’re looking around the seaside RV park where you’re vacationing and you see laughing kids and relaxed campers. There is an Airstream eStream on the property. A Winnebago e-RV sits under a grove of shady trees. Opposite is a Mercedes EQV Electric Camper. It seems that everywhere you look there is an electric motorhome!

Ah. While this all-electric recreation image holds such appeal, the electric RV options for this Memorial Day 2022 weekend are pretty slim. Yet what seems an elusive 5 years to wait in our imaginary scenario is not that long, and all indications are that the advent of an electric RV option by that date will be realistic and viable.

Finally, the EV market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 33.6% through 2020-2027, peaking at $2,495.4 billion and 233.9 million units. Ford alone is expected to produce more than 2 million electric vehicles per year by then.

It makes sense that the eRV will be part of this electronics industry growth.

For many people, long-distance travel means a mobile home. The electric and locally emission-free future of the motorhome industry meets the challenge of sustainable travel. Because what consumers want, consumers usually get, and zero-emission camping is in high demand now.

However, if you look around the crowded RV village this summer, you’ll likely hear the rumble of generators. It’s just not very calming or connected to nature…

Eco camping is gaining popularity

Being in nature has a positive effect on your mental and physical health. People who have had the opportunity to experience the beauty and magic of remote wild places often become environmentalists trying to protect the fragile geological wonders and ecosystems.

As a steward of nature, you carry with you the knowledge that spending time in the wilderness contributes to environmental awareness. Eco-camping is a term for the associated eco-friendly journey with the goal of respecting wild spaces and preserving them for years to come. Eco-campers avoid single-use plastic, reuse containers, avoid products made with chemicals, dispose of all waste properly, and stay on trails.

Campers who make smart choices to minimize their impact on the environment around them adhere to a Leave No Trace philosophy that now includes zero-emission travel. While it may mean moving primarily through human power through hiking, paddling, or biking, longer journeys are common. Eco-campers want the more complex zero-emission travel options of a mobility scooter – in addition to an induction hob and electric fridge, kettle and air conditioning.

An electric mobile home is well suited for a sustainable holiday.

Publications and concepts for electric mobile homes

Arriving at the RV park means setting up bedrooms, putting camping furniture in place, placing kitchen and grocery items in designated areas, raising and positioning chairs and tables, opening windows, and connecting personal tech devices. It’s less about getting there and more about experiencing the relationship with nature.

Or is it?

Traveling long distances in a recreational vehicle means traveling with all the comforts of home. Consumers who buy electric vehicles want luxury and state-of-the-art battery and charging technology at an affordable price.

Green Car Reports examined the December 2021 North American Motorized Electric RV Survey. Of the 675 respondents who either currently owned an electric vehicle or had some level of RV experience (owning, renting, camping, or borrowing) within the past 10 years 47% of respondents said they would use an eRV at least every 2 to 3 weeks – some at least once a week. 97% expect to drive 3 hours or more before charging, and 45% said they would drive 5 or 6 hours from home before needing to charge. Can a 300-mile cargo allotment really live up to that expectation?

The most popular answer for an expected charge time was in the range of 45 to 59 minutes, suggesting that DC fast charging is required not only in products like this, but also as an infrastructure need at campgrounds across the country. It’s a big leap from the typical 240-volt, 30-amp outlets found in US campgrounds to fast-charge compatibility.

Here are some eRV concepts trying to hit those plateaus in consumer expectations.

Airstream eStream Concept Travel Trailer: It paints a picture of a world in the not-too-distant future, where your caravan works in concert with your tow vehicle to maximize range and efficiency, where you unhitch and use your mobile device to remotely control your Airstream at the campsite, and where high-efficiency solar panels and high-voltage batteries allow you to take your adventures even further off the grid. Airstream says its large, safe, high-voltage, automotive-grade battery bank powers everything from the all-electric appliances to the independent motors that allow the caravan to move under its own power.

Mercedes EQV: If you are in Switzerland, you can order this electric motorhome now. The Mercedes EQV has a folding tent roof, similar to that known from Volkswagen. The conversion, which was carried out by the Swiss company Sortimo, rethinks the battery-electric mid-range van V-Class. The EQV 300 has a range of between 203 and 226 miles, while the EQV 250 has a range of 132 to 147 miles. The electric camper will be priced at $75,000. Solar panels on the roof are available at an additional cost. Klaus Rehkugler, Head of Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Vans: “The motorhome market is of strategic importance for Mercedes-Benz Vans. Here we want to continue to grow and play a pioneering role in terms of innovation and sustainability. One thing is clear to us: the future is electric, also in the motorhome industry!”

Winnebago e-RV: The Ford Transit-based Winnebago e-RV has an 86kWh battery and offers 125 miles of range — enough to satisfy 54% of RV buyers, they say. Key elements include 350 volt DC for the water heater and roof-mounted heat pump air conditioning system, as well as 110 volt AC for the induction hob and fridge, which can also run on 12 volt DC for greater flexibility and convenience . At high-current charging stations, the charging time is around 45 minutes.

THOR Vision Vehicle Concept: Also starting with the Transit, Thor’s e-RV includes a battery pack, a hydrogen fuel cell and a solar roof, adding a range of up to 300 miles. The following video whets the appetite for eRV.

Final Thoughts on an Electric Motorhome

According to a survey, 47% of EV owners take 3 to 5 car trips a year. Savings include not having to pay high prices at the pump; Planning ahead and making more frequent stops to load seem quite accessible to this ownership group.

All types of electric motorhomes are in the research and development phase: RVs, campervans, caravans, semi-trailers, pop-up motorhomes and truck campers.

The standard Ford F-150 Lightning package delivers 452 hp and 775 lb.ft. torque. It can serve as a mobile electrification source, which is very attractive to campers. Many campers are considering ways to use the cargo capacity for camping gear.

Solar Team Eindhoven, a team of Dutch university students, decided to take a radically different approach to motorhome driving when they built the solar-powered Stella Vita motorhome. Dubbed the “self-sustaining house on wheels,” the prototype is a mobile home that lets you live and work while traveling powered by the sun. Stella Vita generates energy through its rooftop solar panels and uses that energy for both driving and living.

According to THOR, the partnership with ZF has resulted in a concept travel trailer equipped with a prototype of the eTrailer system. In contrast to an ordinary trailer, a trailer equipped with the eTrailer system can move under its own power. The speed of the trailer is adjusted to the speed of the towing vehicle via a sophisticated sensor system, which leads to a minimal loss of range.

Do you value CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador—or a Patron on Patreon.

Do you have a tip for CleanTechnica, would you like to advertise or suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk Podcast? Contact us here.

You might also like

Comments are closed.