As powertrains and electric batteries increase globally, production costs decline, opening up new markets for competitive electric vehicles. This means new markets geographically and it also means new markets in terms of vehicle classes and uses. While we are still in the early days, a hot trend seems to be electric motorhomes.
As Jennifer Sensiba wrote in a recent article, even with a Tesla Cybertruck (not yet delivered) or a Ford F-150 Lightning (not yet delivered), towing a trailer will eat away so quickly that some trips will not really be possible. A motorhome, however, benefits from much better aerodynamics and much lower weight, which can make this option whatever you want for your clean, electric camping pleasure. However, with that ideal in mind, there are a few caveats with the two new options highlighted below.
The biggest downside to this option is that it’s only available in Scotland, and it looks like it’s only a single electric van available for hire. In fact, PaulCamper seems to indicate that it is the only electric motorhome in all of Scotland.
“Book an ecological and sustainable nomadic holiday,” they write. “With almost every overseas holiday destination on the orange or red travel list, there has never been a better time to hire a motorhome to explore some of the UK’s most beautiful areas, and Orkney Islands are no exception. ” PaulCamper is said to be “Europe’s largest online platform for sharing motorhomes and motorhomes”.
There is a second caveat with this option. (Or third, if you count that this EV can only be rented.) It only has a rated range of 120 miles on a full charge. So, yes, a Tesla Cybertruck pulling a trailer will likely beat that in most conditions – and it won’t be available in the UK for a long time anyway.
The good news on this front, however, is that the UK is full of fast chargers and is relatively small geographically. “[W]With a quick charge in just 30 minutes at any of Orkney’s 30 charging points, you can quickly add an extra 80 miles, so running out of charge never needs to be a concern.
Before we move on to the next electric motorhome option, here are some details on what PaulCamper has to offer and recommends for this once in a lifetime adventure:
“Spot is a great option for fun outings and a comfortable night’s sleep – and it’s eco-friendly too. A motorhome vacation gives you handy cooking facilities, a warm shelter, and this all-electric motorhome avoids costly refueling at the gas pump.
“By combining electric vehicle rental and accommodation, you reduce your vacation costs. You can camp at one of Orkney’s many campsites or travel a little further into mainland Scotland – the choice is yours. Equipment and bedding are included, while car seats can be provided for smaller travelers and secured using Isofix brackets.
“If gadgets are your thing, then you’ll love Spoot!” This motorhome is equipped with air conditioning, a 39 liter refrigerator that plugs into 12v electricity, a solar panel and a reversing camera, which greatly facilitates parking. It also has an opening top, a folding table and a comfortable sleeping area.
“With unprecedented interest in motorhomes, the Highland Council has temporarily relaxed the licensing rules to allow landowners to offer continental-style motorhome stops known as Airigh. Many of these sites are free – an even better reason to visit this beautiful region.
“With so much to explore in Orkney, you will be spoiled for choice. Spoot owners love to visit the village of Evie, located at the northern end of mainland Orkney, overlooking Eynhallow Strait towards Rousay Island.
“The sound of Eynhallow and its sapphire emerald colored water with beautiful golden beaches make it a great place to relax or take a dip in the sea. Otherwise, head to the Bronze Age settlement, The Broch of Gurness – a village that began between 500 BC and 200 BC.
“The Orkney Islands are also a great place to see the Northern Lights, so if you’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights, be sure to visit in the fall or winter. Orkney is truly a year round destination.
It looks pretty sweet. The Northern Lights should be on most sane people’s bucket list (if you’re a bucket list person at all, that’s – I’m not, so no judgment there).
LEVC was eager and happy to claim a world first in the title of its recent press release: “LEVC Unveils World’s First Electric Motorhome”. I’ll just skip straight to the caveat, though. this is not one 100% electric caravan. It’s a extended range electric vehicle. It has 60 miles of electric range, but then an option for over 240 additional miles via a gasoline-powered range extender.
While it might not be as ideal as an electric motorhome with over 300 miles of fully electric range, it does have a few perks. Also, given everything Jennifer has written as well as the specs of the Nissan electric motorhome mentioned above, I think it’s reasonable to say that this is a use case where a range extender still makes a lot of sense.
“LEVC sees enormous potential in the UK and Europe and, in partnership with Wellhouse Leisure *, the first e-Camper deliveries, with an indicative list price (excluding VAT) of £ 62,250 / € 73,000, will have take place in the fourth quarter of 2021. Prospective clients can express their interest on levc.com/ecamperThe company writes. “Flexibility and space are key attributes. The new LEVC e-Camper includes sleeping for four, an integrated electric kitchenette, a sunroof (incorporating sleeping for two) and a folding center table. In addition, the motorhome includes a second row bench seat, which folds down into the second double bed.
“With a tight, class-leading turning radius, the e-Camper is also easy to maneuver in any environment. When owners set up camp, they can rotate the front row seats 180 degrees and slide the second row backwards, creating enough space for dining and socializing around the deployable table. The pop-up roof creates a standing space for the living and kitchen areas and a single large sliding door makes it easy to enter and exit the living space.