Praised by a growing number of holidaymakers, the motorhome still runs mainly on diesel. But things are moving and the switch to an electric motor is starting.
For the moment, “ there are not many motorhomes with alternative engines “, A spokesperson for the European Caravanning Federation told AFP. 99% of the fleet would run on diesel. ” This is due to high mileage (motorhome fans only drive 10,000 kilometers per year on average but make long journeys), the weight limits of 3.5 tonnes which would require another license, but also to a limited supply of electrified utilities. With a wider offer and a modified license, motorhomes will go electric », Explains the spokesperson for the Federation.
A German manufacturer, Iridium, presented an electric motorhome with a range of 400 kilometers for nearly 200,000 euros, allowing you to drive in silence and without rejecting greenhouse gas. The German manufacturer Dethleff also offers a very rare converted van and hybrid, to 75,000 euros. In England, the company EDub has embarked on the conversion to electric of the Volkswagen Combi, the icon of the hippie years. Indie, the first of these Combis, is rented for escapades in the English countryside. Three more were sold, one with batteries of Tesla and a maximum range of nearly 400 kilometers.
Volkswagen’s eagerly awaited ID.Buzz electric combi
« Wetsuits have always been tinkered with, transformed. Why not put an electric motor there? Says EDub founder Kit Lacey. If the beginnings were technically complicated, says the entrepreneur, he “ masters the system ” from now on. The conversion kit remains expensive but these historic vehicles ” deserve to be transformed Rather than going to the junkyard, he emphasizes.
Volkswagen has taken it at its word and intends to strike a blow in 2022 with an electric version of its Combi. Called ID.Buzz, this ultramodern version is announced with a range of up to 600 kilometers and an autonomous driving system.
Competition is also electrifying its utility lines, giving ideas to companies that fit out these vehicles. Mercedes has launched its electric van, the EQV, and plans to add a little brother to it in 2022 based on the Renault Kangoo.
Fiat and Ford are in the line
Fiat is due to deliver at the end of 2021 the first electric versions of its large Ducato van, the pet craftsmen of the motorhome. Ford promised that each of its utilities would be available in a plug-in hybrid or 100% electric version from 2024 and that two-thirds of sales would be electrified by 2030.
« We are looking forward to that because the motorhome is really a very green tool. We consume very little water, very little electricity once we move. Often, we consume locally, we go to the market », Emphasizes the spokesperson for the French motorhome manufacturer Pilote, Antoine Guéret. ” But we depend on a chassis (the vehicle before its transformation) which is not enough ».
Electric van start-ups are also looking at the big air with interest. In the USA, Rivian presented a camping version of its future pickup. Its competitor Lordstown is also preparing a leisure vehicle with an American giant in the sector, Camping World. And even before its release, the Cybertruck of Tesla was also entitled to a retractable camping kit, already ordered in 1000 copies, according to its manufacturer Cyberlandr.
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