It might not feel like it when you look around a campground or a boondocking spot, but electric RVs are at the forefront of taking the industry by storm.
According to findings from the 2024 Travel Trend Report commissioned by RVshare, 60% of American travelers plan to organize a road trip or vacation on an RV in the next 12 months.
Moreover, 50% of survey respondents think positively of a trip in an electric campervan – they believe it’s a fantastic way to save money and protect the environment.
The EV industry is showing positive signs. Overall, global purchases for EVs shot up to 16% of the global market this year – that’s a whopping 41% increase in sales since July 2022. Experts predict production will soon be booming, increasing by 17,02% annually until 2027.
This encouraging data and the fact that many outdoor enthusiasts are keen to reduce their carbon footprint means a growing demand for electric campervans and RVs.
Listen to The Wayward Home Podcast interview with Grounded CEO Sam Shapiro here:
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Which Electric Campervans are On Sale Right Now?
As of late 2023, there is only one electric campervan for sale: the G1 by electric RV startup Grounded. Built on a Ford E-Transit platform, the G1 has a 108-mile range on a single charge and comes with 640 watts of solar.
The G1 features a bench with a pull-out table, a queen-sized bed, an outdoor shower, a dry-flush toilet, a garage, and a kitchen with a fridge/freezer, sink, and induction stove. The interior layout is fully customizable, thanks to modular furniture – you can add, remove, or shift furniture to create your own floor plan.
You can buy the G1 right now – pricing starts at $125,000 – or rent it in 2024 on RVShare (more on this later).
The Electric Campervans Coming to the Market Soon
Buckle up; there are a lot more electric campervans, RVs and travel trailers in the works. Here’s some of what there is to look forward to.
Grounded’s G2 (Expected 2024)
Grounded is leveling up its electric campervan game with its second version, the G2, on the docket for a 2024 release. This campervan has even more range than the G1, with 250 miles on a single charge.
The G2 has a modular interior where you can mix and match components to fit your lifestyle. You can choose components such as a kitchen unit, wet bath, dry flush toilet, hanging closet, and more. Plus, the G2 electric campervans come with a comfortable queen size bed.
What we like about these vans is that you can change the modular components at will. If you don’t like the full wet bath, for example, you can remove that module and add a different one. More storage space, let’s say.
The G2 isn’t cheap. This rig costs just under $200,000. Check out the Grounded rigs here.
Winnebago’s eRV2 (Launch Date TBA)
The eRV2 is built on a Ford E-Transit platform and has a 108-mile range. The eRV2 features 900 watts of solar, a 35-gallon freshwater reservoir, climate control, and more. The interior looks modern and luxurious. Winnebago estimates you can stay off-grid for up to seven days on the eRV2, as long as you don’t drive much. The company will start selling this model in 2024 after testing it and increasing its range.
For now, reviewers who could test a prototype say that, as a rule of thumb, for every 90 minutes of driving you need to spend 45 minutes at a fast charging point.
Thor Vision Vehicle (2024 Possibility)
Meanwhile, Thor Industries is working on its impressive Vision Vehicle. Thanks to its partnership with Harbinger Motors, Thor can offer an exclusive motorized platform with a 300-mile range. According to a YouTube video by Thor, “The thoughtful fuel cell integration automatically recharges the chassis and house batteries to deliver this targeted range.”
A 1,500-watt solar roof allows you to boondock for many days. The interior is sleek and technological – everything, including the windows’ frosted glass effect, is digitally or voice-controlled.
Watch this model if you hope to get a luxury electric campervan in 2024.
VW has launched an electric version of its iconic bus, the ID. Buzz, in 2022 in Europe. It’s 195” long, 78” wide and 75” high and can seat up to 7 people. The driving range? 285 miles on one charge.
This cute little van has proved to be a success in the old continent – after the launch, VW managed to sell double the amount of EVs it did in the previous year. The van is coming to the US market with a long-wheelbase body style variant and a bigger battery as of 2024.
There is no official camper version of the ID. Buzz yet but, according to Car Scoop, VW plans to release a California version, the ID California, in 2025. It will feature a pop top and mirror the T7 interior. While we wait, QuQuQu have released a dedicated removable camper kit for the ID. Buzz – the BusBox-4. It features a box that turns into a bed and a slide-out kitchen.
German company Alpincamper has created the prototype of the first professional conversion of the ID Buzz. It features a chimney-like pop top to provide standing headroom (but no bed), a couch that turns into a bed, and a narrow kitchenette with a single-place induction cooktop. It will be available in Europe in the next few years.
SylvanSport’s Leading The Charge
SylvanSport, specializing in camping trailers and accessories, is working on a line of electric RVs in partnership with the electric truck manufacturer Zeus Electric Chassis. If released early enough, these could be the first off-road RVs on the market. Leading The Charge models feature AWD military-grade axles, 290hp, and independent front and rear coil spring suspension Zeus Electric Chassis claims their trucks can drive for 400 miles on a single charge. Now we’re talking!
SylvanSport hasn’t released any details about the interiors yet but renders show they will likely have a pull-out kitchenette in the front and an elevated bedroom at the back. The campers will also be fitted with racks to carry kayaks and surfboards.
Mercedes-Benz is refining its very own EV base, the Van.EA. All midsize and large Mercedes vans – whether commercial or private – will be built on this architecture from 2026. The company plans to achieve a range of well over 310 miles on a single charge—the Van.EA design will be modular and scalable, making it easy to transform models towards different uses, including turning them into RVs.
As a side note, the first electric travel trailers are also on the horizon. Lightship is developing the L1 Travel Trailer, while Pebble Life is working on their own Pebble. ERV has already released The ERV trailer for pre-orders. These come with a fully-integrated and powerful solar system and a host of electrical appliances, which allow you to stay off-grid for long periods of time.
How to Rent an Electric Campervan
While everyone’s excited about RVs becoming electric, not many campers are thinking of going all in and buying one just yet. After all, the models that are currently for sale can only do up to 108 miles on a single charge. Grounded’s G2 is the most promising one yet, with a 250 mile range and expected sometime in 2024.
If you’re curious about trying an electric camper, rent one from the RVShare Detroit pickup location from 2024. The rental company has partnered with Grounded to provide an electric fleet to renters. You can rent a G1 and offer feedback to help the startup improve its vehicles. There is no need for a special driving license – just hop in and get going. Prices will likely range between $200 and $300 per night.
What To Expect When Renting Electric RVs
Camping out of an EV is slightly different. You will need to keep a close eye on your driving range at all times to locate the next charging point before you run out of juice.
My top tip would be to base your route around charging locations. That’s because charging can take some time, depending on the type of charger you have access to. The G1 can charge from 15 to 80% in as little as half an hour at a DC Fast charging station, such as those provided by Electrify America.
Charging at a campground will likely take a long time, but it shouldn’t be an issue, as you can do it overnight. Don’t rely on charging an electric RV using the solar panels on the roof – it would take an extremely long time. Good planning, flexibility and patience are a must for your first electric campervan vacation.
The good news is that charging an EV is approximately three times cheaper per mile than filling up a gas-powered vehicle. That’s a big save on a road trip. We spend a lot filling up our Sprinter van – anything between $400-$800 per month.
The other great thing about EVs is that they don’t break down according to the manufacturers currently developing them. Maintenance is virtually non-existent, so they make for very reliable motorhomes. Expect a trouble-free vacation with no engine drama.
Finally, electric engines run much quieter and smoother than diesel or gas. However, they accelerate faster. So expect a quiet, smooth, and responsive ride.
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