An all-electric Class A RV based on Tesla’s commercial semitruck is in the concept phase. The motor coach would be powered by four electric motors—like the Tesla Semi, weigh around 50,000 lbs., have a 600-mile range, and use less than 2 kWh per mile.
On December 1, 2022, Tesla delivered its first all-electric semitruck to PepsiCo in Nevada, marking the start of commercial deliveries of the Class 8 Tesla Semi. Elon Musk attended the debut and made a few remarks about the Maximum Gross Weight of the truck (81,000 lbs.) and the loaded range of the initial two models of the semitruck, 300 and 500 miles. Musk did not mention an updated price which, at the introduction of the truck concept in 2017, he said would be $150,000 for the 300-mile capable version and $180,000 for the 500-mile tractor-trailer rig. It is reasonable to surmise that these prices will have risen substantially in more than five years since the initial announcement.
1,000 kWh battery pack
The Tesla Semi is powered by a 1,000-kWh battery system that is carried beneath the truck’s cab. Tesla is working to increase battery charging power and speed up charge rates. The Semi is equipped with the company’s “V4” charging system that includes a liquid-cooled immersion charging cable capable of handling more than a megawatt of charging power.
Other e-RVs are in development
Other e-RV possibilities have been floated, including one by Winnebago. The Winnebago electric RV has not yet been put into production, but there is a fully operational concept vehicle in service, and Winnebago has introduced it as a likely production camper van. It is set on the Ford Transit chassis, and the company says has an 86-kWh battery that will have a 125-mile range between charges. Winnebago claims that the range is adequate for more than half of the RV buyer population, who make trips under 200 miles. Winnebago said that it anticipates that advances in battery technology will increase the range in the years ahead.
“Consumer demand is driving electric power applications across many fronts, and we believe RV consumers are poised to benefit from the enhanced features and usability that electrified and connected RV products will provide,” said Ashis Bhattacharya, Winnebago Industries’ senior vice president of business development, advanced technology, and enterprise marketing.
Tesla’s big-rig idea may have seemed incredible back when it was first introduced in 2017, but the pace of technology has potentiated into the reality of the Tesla Semi in 2022, and no one should be surprised to see Tesla or other innovators leverage the design to create an exciting zero-emission recreational vehicle in the months ahead.