Video: Taking the Iridium electric-powered motorhome for a spin

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

WOF photo

Last month we talked about Iridium, a “coming soon” electric motorhome to be released to the European marketplace next year. We were a bit concerned about the top-of-the-line Iridium which promises a 249 miles between charges.

A YouTube.com release shows a bit more about this interesting rig, including a walk-through view of the rig and a test drive. The video speaks for itself, so we’ll let you get into it momentarily. However, one thing that came out in the video is the matter of charge times.

Using a Tesla-style charge system, a charge-up could take a couple of hours. Don’t suppose that’s too bad – you can grab a bite, play a few hands of cards, then off you go. What about other charge systems? The comment was made that other commercial vehicle charge stations could take perhaps five hours to do a charge-up. That’s a mite more in our estimation. But what about charging up at the campground? There’s where matters take a completely different turn: “Overnight. Perhaps even a couple of days,” is the proffered response.

A couple of days charge time may be OK for those who are making a slow trip. Run a couple of hundred miles, pull into the campground, stay two days, then do another leg of a couple of hundred miles. But in terms of the average U.S. RVer, in our opinion, there’s a bit of room for technological advancement. Yes, we too see the day when our diesel pickup will probably get the old heave-ho. The handwriting is on the wall, and the future – in the unknowable but approaching distance – means a complete overhaul of how we do business under the hood. For now, we’re still expressing “Fill ‘er up” in terms of taking 10 minutes out of our travel schedule.

##RVT917

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Wolfe
1 year ago

I’d like to hear battery capacity, charge rate, and expected usage rates here… everything else is ad speculation. It would be VERY hard to get a 6-10 “C” charge rate even with lithium based batteries and a private power station… lithium doesn’t want more than 1C and lead 1/10th C. This is why you can’t charge your 100AH house battery at 12KW for 6 minutes (kaboom!)

10 minute refill: now imagine all the energy your engine puts out during a 6 hour drive, except you want to draw it from a plug and then shove it into batteries in 1/36th the time… if you use 100KWh, 10 minutes is 600KW, or 50-200X the wattage of your camp genny.

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Mike Sokol (@mike)
1 year ago

I’m talking to a few of the manufacturers of these things, and studying the issues of recharging all-electric RVs, so I should have some empirical data to share in the spring. But TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch), so there will be significant amounts of electric power for extended periods required to charge any electric vehicles in a reasonable amount of time. Stay tuned….

Martin A
1 year ago

what is the cost of the electricity per charge up, I haven’t seen any discussion of recharging costs per mile.

richard ackroyd
1 year ago

Bob P. It would only take you 3 day with 2 overnight stops at 225 miles per day. Also remember over in Europe the camp grounds only have 10 amps at 230 volts for their hook-ups compared to 50 amp (120 volt/phase) hook ups so the overnight charging should be faster.
Richard.

Bob p
1 year ago

No thanks to EV motorhome or tow vehicle! This has been my argument against EVs all along. They may be great in urban areas for commuters, but until the infrastructure is in place and charging times get down to refueling times they’ll never compete with ICE power. We go to FL every winter, approximately 650 miles from our home base in south central TN, this generally takes 2.5 days as we’re in no hurry and drive 62 mph. In the example given drive 200 miles, stop 2 days for charging plus $100 in camping fees X 3 1/2, no thanks, plus that motorhome size is way to small for us, we like comfort and all our amenities.

Jerry
1 year ago

Does it have an onboard generator? Charge yourself!

Bob p
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerry

You would have to be pulling a commercial generator on a trailer, that’s why it would take 2days to recharge sitting in a campground. Unless you’ve got a 240 volt charger you can’t recharge overnight. People think they can recharge overnight by plugging in their extension cord, that takes several days at 120 volts. We have 2 electric scooters that use 48v and when the batteries need recharging we plug the chargers into 110v outlet and it takes 6-8 hours to recharge and that is 4 12v batteries that are smaller than lawn mower batteries. If you’ve got a big enough battery bank to power a vehicle 200+ miles it will be a long time charging. Our scooters are only good for 18 miles.