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Winnebago completes 1,300-mile road trip in electric RV

Winnebago Industries, Inc., just completed a more than 1,300-mile all-electric RV road trip with the e-RV, the first all-electric zero emission motorhome concept from a major RV manufacturer.

The e-RV was introduced in January at the Florida RV SuperShow by the company’s Advanced Technology Group (ATG) as a fully functional, all-electric concept vehicle. The latest road trip further affirms the growing feasibility of electric-powered RV travel—the primary objective of the road trip.

The trip began in Washington, D.C., last week after a successful exhibition at the RV Industry Association’s “RVs Move America Week” and covered more than 1,300 miles, the longest continuous road trip conducted with the e-RV, and the first known trip over 1,000 miles by an all-electric RV.

The All-Electric RV Road Trip enabled Winnebago Industries ATG teams to further test and document real world performance factors and gather additional data that will drive further refinements as the technology is assimilated into future production vehicles. Members of the ATG who helped design and build the e-RV drove legs of the road trip.

A few key stats from the road trip include:
• Total miles driven: 1,380
• Total drive time: 26 hours
• Average driving speed: 53 mph
• Average charge time at DC fast chargers: 1 hour and 2 minutes
• Total charging cost: $275
• Average miles per kWh: 1.58 mi/kWh

“Our Advanced Technology Group was very innovative in our approach to building this first-generation e-RV. We are excited to apply learnings from the road trip as we continue refining, exploring, and innovating future iterations of the vehicle,” said Ashis Bhattacharya, Winnebago Industries senior vice president, Business Development, Advanced Technology and Enterprise Marketing.

Winnebago Industries Advanced Technology Group was established in 2019 to identify and develop emerging technologies for application within future products and services in the company’s various business units. The e-RV is the first public facing example of ATG work streams.

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Dave Piposzar
11 days ago

Noticed that the van did not have a solar array to offset some charging times. Seems logical that bigger RVs would have the roof square footage to generate a good bit of electricity. We’d better support the R&D now or future generations won’t live to enjoy the planet. Naysayers offering no solutions ought to just engage the brain before activating their mouths.

SDW
11 days ago

You noticed that they mention just the time spent driving not the total time it took to drive 1380 miles including charging time. And they didn’t mention how many times they had to stop to charge. Or how long it took to find charging stations that could except a vehicle that big. Most charging stations in parking lots are not wide enough for big RV to make a 90 degree turn into a parking spot.

Jim
8 days ago
Reply to  SDW

It is a van, not a 40′ Class A or 30′ Class C

Bill Forbes
11 days ago

So, I did a little math. $275 divided by 1380 comes to $0.20 per mile, the same fuel cost as a gasoline car getting 25 miles per gallon and $5.00 gasoline. With the electric vehicle, there are no oil changes so maintenance is significantly less. As to the environmental issues, generally economy of scale is a huge benefit, so even a coal fired power plant is more efficient than the thousands of cars it could power. Mining and manufacturing costs of the batteries are significant, but these are priced into the vehicle. Battery disposal or recycling is being kicked down the road at this point, like disposal of nuclear fuel and many of our other waste streams.

For me, the biggest drawback is the short range and wait time for recharging, and the fact that my wife and I are no longer comfortable in that small a vehicle. An electric or hybrid toad would be attractive.

SDW
11 days ago
Reply to  Bill Forbes

You noticed that they mention just the time spent driving not the total time it took to drive 1380 miles including charging time. And they didn’t mention how many times they had to stop to charge. Or how long it took to find charging stations that could except a vehicle that big. Most charging stations in parking lots are not wide enough for big RV to make a 90 degree turn into a parking spot.

B N S
11 days ago

A BIG No To EV Vehicles !

Gary
12 days ago

What Chuck left out of his article: Estimated range 125 miles. They stopped every 70-90 miles to charge.
Car & Driver mag also reported on this in much greater depth.
https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a40302213/winnebago-e-rv-first-look/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_cdb&utm_medium=email&date=061822&utm_campaign=nl27997390&utm_term=AAA%20–%20High%20Minus%20Dormant%20and%2090%20Day%20Non%20Openers

Jim
8 days ago
Reply to  Gary

It is a start. What was the range of the first few electric cars?

Joseph Phebus
12 days ago

So is everyone offended by American companies innovating and anticipating a changing business climate and changes in the type of products consumers demand? I just can’t understand why every article on EVs or cleaner emissions results in a barrage of criticism by naysayers or the assumption that some conspiracy is afoot.

1) Nobody’s coming to confiscate your RV and you’ll have your choice of gas, diesel or alternative fuels for a long time to come.
2) Younger people are much more tuned into environmental concerns and there’s increasing demand for these vehicles, particularly as the technology matures and prices come down. Smart businesses are getting ahead of the curve through R&D and innovation.
3) Not every consumer choice has to define which political team you play on.

Sheesh!

Spike
12 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Phebus

Joseph, I agree with you…and I’m not young or liberal or in the market for an EV.

I commend Winnebago, a long time leader in bringing new innovations to the RV market, for working on this for the future. While I’m not willing to sit charging for an hour for each 1 1/2 hours of driving, this is a concept vehicle being refined and tuned. over time, these will evolve.

There was controversy when automobiles were first introduced replacing horses as well!

Those of us wanting to drive fossil fuel vehicles should embrace alternative fuels. Perhaps less demand would lower prices…although it also lowers investment in the old, so there’s that.

Last edited 12 days ago by Spike
Cheryl V Clark
11 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Phebus

I am very concerned about the environment. My resistance to EVs is common sense. EVs don’t reduce emissions; they merely relocate them. Electricity supplies aren’t magic. Electric power is produced by gas, oil, coal, or nuclear sources. Very little power is produced by wind, water, or sun. The batteries are toxic yet will most likely end up in landfills. The batteries themselves are made from mined materials that make strip mining look green. Those pushing for EVs haven’t thought this through yet vehicle manufacturers are being pressured to jump on this ill-conceived bandwagon.

Don
11 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl V Clark

👍

Joseph Phebus
11 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl V Clark

Cheryl, when Edison first invented the light bulb, it lasted a few hours and burned out. But thankfully he persevered and improved and eventually got to a highly marketable product. Thank heavens he did or we would still be using oil lamps and gas lights.

Similarly, the automobile was quite expensive, dirty and not very reliable. Over time we figured out how to make engines that were not only efficient, but ones that were not poisoning the air with lead,CO and smog. American companies, given the right incentives and regulatory guardrails are capable of incredible innovation and problem solving. I challenge anyone to name a new technology that simply appeared without lots of trial, error and sweat to get it to market

If we can summon up the national will and good old fashioned can-do American know how, eventually solar, hydraulic, nuclear and other not yet invented technology will generate electricity for these cars. Maybe they’ll be competing with hydrogen. Battery technology is improving and battery recycling is a nascent industry making strides.

We can tackle all these issues if we put our energy, focus, and ingenuity to work. I’m of the opinion that there is nothing more un-American than throwing up our hands and refusing to solve problems because it’s too hard, too inconvenient, or requires collective action.

Gordy B
11 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Phebus

It’s easy to say “hey, let’s go electric”, but many of us (myself included) can not afford anything new. We are on a semi fixed income and have to be careful so as to have our funds continue. No matter who or what you care to blame for it, the rising prices of everything now days makes it very scary to think about putting out any money for a new vehicle electric or other. Allowing oil companies to raise prices on a whim and record profits in billions per quarter is a catastrophic mistake. Doing so raises the price of everything in existence! If you cannot afford to buy fuel at the inflated prices, you definitely cannot afford an electric vehicle. Happy Trails

Joseph Phebus
11 days ago
Reply to  Gordy B

Gordy, I agree. EVs are out of reach for a lot of people right now. I’m not making a case for forcing people to run out and buy one, I’m making the case for doing the necessary R&D and investment into these and other non fossil fuel vehicles. Forcing people to run out and buy one in the early development and adoption phase would be a mistake and until the necessary infrastructure to support these vehicles is built out, it’s not practical

Consider this though. As EVs become more prevalent, demand for gas and oil should drop and presumably prices as well.

Most new technology are expensive and out of reach for most people early on. Automobiles are a classic case. But as the technology and production capabilities mature, and competition enters the market, prices drop and the become affordable.

Development of EVs and technologies is a separate issue from the which and when to purchase. But if you read the comments here, you would think we’re all going to be forced to turn in our vehicles in 2 years if successful, so we best not do the development at all.

I suspect it has more to do with politics and tribalism than reality. But fear is a powerful tool and extremists on both sides employ it quite effectively to the detriment of progress and collaborative problem solving.

sdw
11 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Phebus

Because they don’t mention any negatives that go along with this change over to EVs. Have you even thought about the fact that people in apts. can’t own one because there are no chargers in apt. parking lots. and what it’s going to cost apts. to add 200 or 300 chargers to their complex (1 per apartment). Which the apt. complexes will just add to the rent. And that all the electric grids in the country are going to have to be upgraded to handle all those charging stations. Is there enough lithium, Nickle, cobalt and other materials that are needed to make batteries for the next 100 years for the millions of cars that have to be produced, compare to how much oil is still available And there are many more problems than that you haven’t even thought about.

Rosalie Magistro
12 days ago

That’s a van,who can be a full timer in that ?
They need to leave gas and diesel RV’s owners alone. The majority don’t want to go the EV WAY. IMHO

Bob R
12 days ago

Simple solution RM, don’t buy one. With gas over $5/gallon and RV miles/gallon averaging 10 or so electric seems like a smart way to go.

Don
11 days ago
Reply to  Bob R

Really? How smart is it when it needs a new battery? How smart is it stopping and charging about the same amount of driving? How smart is it when about 90% of the electricity was generated by fossil fuels. How much pollution will be created just to build our electric grids and so forth. Etc.

Diane Mc
11 days ago
Reply to  Bob R

Until the electric grid can’t handle it. We are facing brown/black outs this summer in CA. Already being asked to reduce or not use any electricity between 4pm and 10pm. So what happens when all these EV’s need to be charged.

Gordy B
11 days ago
Reply to  Bob R

Do you really think electricity will remain at it’s current level when they get more people using it! Supply and demand will make the cost equal or higher! Count on it !! Happy Trails

Crowman
12 days ago

Zero emissions? 60 percent of our electric generation comes from carbon fuels in the US. It’s just moving the pollution from where you can see it to where it’s out of sight so you can feel warm and fuzzy about yourself. Mining lithium is the dirtiest mining and processing there is that’s why its done in China where 100’s of square miles are destroyed for 100’s of years they don’t care. If you buy a lithium product don’t think that there’s no cost associated with it as there’s a cost on everything we buy.

Bob M
12 days ago

The true cost for EV’s hasn’t been figured yet with everything that our government will charge us. They only are giving us figures to pull Americans into buying them. You can’t trust our politicians.

Andy
12 days ago

Two additional stats that would be useful to know: how many times did the drivers stop to recharge, and how many total hours were spent recharging? Meanwhile, it appears that “fuel” costs for this vehicle were approximately half of what would have been paid for gas, so the attractiveness of the EV approach comes down to time spent at “the pump” vs. total dollars spent–and, of course, how important it is for the driver to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Ed D.
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy

I was going to ask the same question as to how many stops and total time was spent at charging stations. Also how many miles did a charge last? These are important. The other item of interest to me is “How much does an EV Motor Home cost”, as opposed to a gas powered? I know that a full EV starts at approximately 62K. So that has to be figured in the equation.

Warren G
12 days ago
Reply to  Ed D.

EV’s are available for much less than $60k.

Bob p
12 days ago
Reply to  Warren G

Not one with decent range.

Dennis
11 days ago
Reply to  Warren G

Doesn’t have to be EV, it can be Hybrid. Combo electric and gas. Great gas mileage on the hiway and even better in town mileage when it runs mostly on elec.

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