The Germany-based manufacturer Dethleffs has unveiled their “e-home,” which is an electric full-size Class C motorhome with the cabin built onto an Iveco Daily Electric chassis and powered by a 91 kWh battery pack and completely wrapped in about 31 square feet of solar cells on the exterior of the vehicle to top off the batteries. The power train also has a three-phase liquid-cooled 80kW AC motor with the power of 80kW. This RV showcases the future of electric mobility.
With more major automakers having plans for electric transportation to be added to their product lines, the hopes of many to use a motorhome as the new idea of a tiny home or as a vacation or retirement vehicle is a delightful thought. It’s no fun to frequently fuel up an RV that gets only five to eight miles to the gallon, especially on a lengthy trip. An electrified RV would be cheaper to drive and have zero tailpipe emissions.
The cabin has all the amenities of a modern RV: sleeping areas, a kitchen, all electric appliances, a bathroom, and more. Some cutting-edge components to increase the efficiency of the heating system are heat accumulator plates that absorb excess heat and stores it for releasing after sundown and by infrared heating elements in the floor, walls, and furniture so that the occupants will feel comfortable without consuming excessive electricity.
Although it can support both level 2 charging and DC fast-charging, the range is just over 100 miles, which is far from ideal, and that is why they extended the range with 334 square feet of thin-film high-efficiency solar panels placed on almost the complete surface of the vehicle. That produces a significant 3 kW of solar energy at peak power.
Another problem with RVs is that they are not aerodynamic. That affects efficiency, and with that approximate 100 miles of range, you don’t get a full day of driving when you need to cover long distances. However parking for a time in the middle of the day is a good way to recharge the solar panels and provides an opportunity for the driver to stretch their legs.
What is coming in the future?
There are a number of new technologies that will increase further development, and the pioneering company expects rapid progress over the coming years for this “e.home” concept. For example, a possible larger battery pack for 200 or 300 miles of range should result in a zero-emission and potentially off-grid motorhome and a happier driver.
Featured image source: Dethleffs