Two major players in the Class B van space have announced new electric camper prototypes.
Mercedes EQT Marco Polo Camper Van
Mercedes debuted its EQT Marco Polo Camper Van last week, and Winnebago exhibited its eRV2 at the RV SuperShow in Florida on Monday.
“For us, the future is electric – regardless of the size or purpose of a van,” said Klaus Rehkugler, Head of Marketing and Sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans. “The latest proof of this strategic direction is our new EQT with all-electric drive. With the Marco Polo Module, we also have a first, simple solution for the all-electric camping trip on offer in 2023.”
Rehkugler added, “In the second half of 2023, we plan to expand our range even further with a fully electric micro camper. The Concept EQT Marco Polo gives a glimpse of the upcoming series production vehicle. As the name suggests, we are expanding our Marco Polo family with both products, based on the EQT.”
The camper van will be powered by an electric motor with a peak output of 90 kW (122 hp) and a maximum torque of 245 Nm (180 ft-lb.). The lithium-ion battery is installed in a crash-protected location in the underbody in front of the rear axle and has a usable capacity of 45 kWh. The EQT can be charged at 22 kW with 110-volt alternating current (AC) using an onboard charger. It can be rapid-charged using direct current (DC), depending on the SoC (State of Charge) and the temperature of the high-voltage battery. If the EQT is equipped with an 80 kW DC charger, the charging time will then be 38 minutes from 10-80 percent.
Mercedes indicated that the price of the EQT will start at around €49,000, or approximately $53,294 for the EQT with 90 kW e-motor and standard length. A long wheelbase variant is planned for later in 2023.
For its new eRV2 prototype, Winnebago made a big change in its starter vehicle. The company initially based the concept van on a regular Ford Transit chassis with an electric powertrain developed by Lightning eMotors, a company which specializes in commercial vehicles. The current eRV2 is built on the Ford E-Transit platform, Ford’s proprietary all-electric cargo van which debuted last year.
Winnebago earlier published the range of the eRV2 as 108 miles, because that is the range stated in the technical specifications for the E-Transit high roof commercial vehicle. The short range has raised eyebrows among RVers, and Winnebago said in a press release at the Florida SuperShow that they’re “actively pursuing range extension opportunities.”
Winnebago has entered into an agreement with Lithionics Battery® on a proprietary “house battery” that will power appliances like the refrigerator, which it says “features a 48V system with more than 15,000 usable watt-hours, and a unique thin lay-flat design stored beneath the floor to maximize interior space.”
The eRV2 will be equipped with solar panels that can reportedly provide up to seven days of off-grid camping.
Winnebago said they are working to lock down the final chassis configuration for the eRV2 “later this year,” and that the “model could change significantly from this current prototype.”
Winnebago has not yet released pricing information for the production eRV2.