These New Electric RVs Could Change How We Road Trip
Heading out on an RV adventure could soon become a lot more environmentally friendly.
In January, Thor Industries, the world's largest RV manufacturer, presented its eMobility strategy around the "electrification of the RV industry" at the 2022 Florida RV SuperShow. Seems like a mouthful, but it breaks down to this: Thor displayed two electric RV concepts, a motorhome, and a travel trailer, all of which could prove to reduce road trippers' carbon footprints.
"We've been focused on an electrification 'eMobility' strategy for a number of years and have made substantial progress on our journey," Bob Martin, chief executive officer at Thor Industries, shared in a statement released to Travel + Leisure. "Early on, we determined that success for us would not be to simply put our name on the side of an electric chassis built by a third-party electric chassis manufacturer. Instead, as the industry leader, we harnessed emerging technology and co-developed flexible, scalable, and customizable platforms on which our family of companies will build distinct products, providing a best-in-class RV user experience."
Thor's motorhome concept, the Thor Vision Vehicle (TVV), is built on an electric chassis co-developed with automotive company Roush. The TVV motorhome includes range-extending technologies, including integrated fuel cell components, which enable a range of up to 300 miles.
"Our team has conducted a massive amount of research targeted at understanding the impact of design elements on extending range, including aerodynamics of the units. Our strategy to create a unique electric experience specifically tailored for RV users has identified a number of product enhancement opportunities that we can and will implement well before we industrialize the electrified units," Todd Woelfer, Thor's chief operating officer, shared. "At the Florida RV SuperShow, we are showcasing two concept units which are only the first outputs from our defined electric RV strategy."
However, Thor isn't the only company attempting to bring electric RVs to market. Winnebago also unveiled its e-RV concept at the Florida RV SuperShow on Jan. 19.
According to Car and Driver, Winnebago did not release an estimated horsepower rating for the e-RV camper van concept. However, it did offer an estimated driving range of 125 miles per charge, and the concept vehicle comes with a bed, a kitchenette, and wet bath with a shower. While its range may be short, the e-RV's interior is just as sustainable as its fuel system, constructed using materials like rubberized cork for flooring and wool wall trim for insulation.
Neither company announced when these new concepts could turn into a reality, nor did they share potential pricing. That said, you can follow Thor's innovation journey, and sign up for all the e-RV-related updates, here.