By Cheri Sicard
James from The Fit RV caught up with Nick from Winnebago’s advanced technology group recently to tour their prototype eRV. That’s right, Winnebago is working on an entirely electric RV.
The electric motorhome, not yet on the market for us mere mortals, uses no fossil fuels whatsoever, although it is currently on the road.
Winnebago’s advanced technology team works on projects that are 3-5 years from being ready to actually go into production.
This particular project began about three years ago. Likewise, at this point, the job is to learn about this new technology and exactly what it is, and is not, capable of accomplishing.
This electric RV is based on a Ford Transit van that has been repowered to be an electric vehicle. This gave the benefits of the Ford Transit body with a more flexible powertrain.
Two 43 KW hour batteries that sit on either side of the drive shaft power the eRV, both the vehicle and the house portions. The two systems interact to insure your charge never goes too low. A 6 KW 350-volt inverter helps it all work.
Range of the eRV
The RV can currently go about 125 miles on a charge. This is something Winnebago realizes they must improve. In fact, technology has already improved since this eRV was made.
DC fast-charge capable, it will take about one hour to recharge. You can also plug into a campground’s power to charge, albeit more slowly. But by the next morning, you will be ready to go again.
The eRV carries 25 gallons of fresh water, 17 gallons of gray water, and 15 gallons of black water.
Many of the materials in the interior are also renewable, but they are lightweight and built for performance. For instance, the sofa upholstery is actually natural wool. One-third of the floor materials are made from recycled rubber.
As the vehicle is more efficient at slower speeds (55-ish), you can actually go slower but get to your destination sooner as you can potentially skip a charge. This encourages leisurely trips.
It’s not available yet, but Winnebago’s prototype eRV bodes well for exciting things for the future. Check out the video. As this electric motorhome is still in development, Winnebago welcomes your comments and feedback about it.