Imagine traveling the world in your camper van… and you never have to fill up the gas tank! In this week’s episode, Kristin sits down with Sam Shapiro, CEO of the electric RV startup Grounded. Sam shares how the idea for Grounded was sparked after he converted his own van during COVID and traveled around the country for 6 months, constantly frustrated by issues with the gas engine and lack of available power.
These pain points led him to conceptualize an electric camper van, free from the maintenance and pollution of fossil fuels. The recently launched G2 model features a customizable, modular interior and a robust 250-mile range – this van comes packed with some serious battery capacity! We also discuss the challenges in the current EV infrastructure and how Grounded plans to help address these in the future.
Beyond just the RV space, Grounded aims to position themselves as leaders in the modern electric outdoor gear market, tune in to hear what’s coming next!
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What We Discuss in Episode 61 of The Wayward Home Podcast:
- Sam Shapiro shares how he got the idea to start Grounded after traveling the country in his own converted van during the COVID pandemic and experiencing issues with the gas engine and lack of power.
- Grounded’s electric camper vans, including the short-range G1 built on a Ford Transit platform and the new 250-mile range G2 built on BrightDrop chassis.
- The G2 features a modular interior that can be customized like Lego blocks.Details on the G2’s large 173 kWh battery, additional house battery, solar charging capabilities, and smart monitoring app that allows you to track energy usage and range.
- Comparisons to traditional van platforms like Sprinters and Transits in terms of size and interior space. The G2s offer more boxier, spacious interiors.
- Expansion plans including a towable trailer in 2024 and positioning themselves as a modern electric outdoor recreation company, not just an RV maker.
About Sam Shapiro:
Sam Shapiro is the founder and CEO of Grounded Electric RVs, a startup that is building the future of electric mobility and sustainable travel. Before launching Grounded, he worked as a senior software engineer at SpaceX, where he wrote embedded device software for Starlink satellites and WiFi routers, and facilitated customer discovery around engineering and feasibility.
Sam was also a filmmaker and creative technologist, did early technology development for a VR-short film that was featured in Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance in 2018, and worked on several other technology, film, and advertising projects for various clients, including Google, Facebook, GOOD Magazine, NIO (autonomous vehicle startup) and Sperry.