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Environmentalists have issued cries about climate change and conservation. But it’s not just “tree huggers” who seek change. The RV industry is answering. Recently unveiled at the Florida RV SuperShow, the Winnebago electric RV turned heads with its sleek design and functionality.
The Ford Transit base still exists, but Winnebago swapped it for an electric motor and 86 kWh battery pack instead of a gasoline engine. Let’s take a closer look at this one-of-a-kind RV and learn more about its features.
Winnebago manufactures travel trailers, fifth wheels, motorhomes, and boats under the Winnebago, Grand Design, Newmar, Barletta, and Chris-Craft brands. Most mainline RV manufacturers are headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, the RV capital of the world.
However, Winnebago actually has facilities in Iowa, Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota, and Florida. The company began operating in Iowa in 1958 and adopted its present name, Winnebago Industries, in 1961. It’s one of the most recognizable names in the RV industry.
What Is the Winnebago e-RV?
The first all-electric zero-emission motorhome is coming. This is welcome news for campers looking to leave a smaller footprint on the environment. For other RVers looking for modern conveniences and innovative technologies, meet the Winnebago electric RV.
With only a 45-minute charging time, you can set off on your next adventure in less than an hour. Currently, the battery configuration will last about 125 miles, but evolving technology will hopefully increase the mileage range.
The electric capabilities are worth celebrating. And you can monitor the integrated control panel with an app. Additionally, it features eco-friendly and sustainable materials, high-speed wireless connectivity, and energy-efficient appliances. These all make the Winnebago e-RV one-of-a-kind in the industry.
How Does the Winnebago e-RV Work?
An 86 kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers Winnebago’s electric RV. If travelers need to stop to recharge along the route, they can plug in the battery at a campsite or at a public charger. It only takes 45 minutes at a high-speed charging station.
The battery can power the vehicle and the water heater, heat-pump style air conditioning system, induction cooktop, and refrigerator. The RV sits on the Ford Transit and features a powertrain designed by Lightning eMotors.
Learn More: What makes a motorhome a Class B?
Additional Features of the Winnebago Electric RV
As mentioned above, the integrated control panel allows the owner to monitor battery levels and optimize efficiency from an app. This convenient technology will help manage energy usage and conserve power when needed.
Another eco-friendly change includes sustainable materials like rubberized cork flooring and wool wall trim. Both enhance insulation.
Also, Winnebago has aligned the in-vehicle appliances to maximize functionality and conserve energy. For example, the refrigerator operates off 110V AC but can switch to 12V DC power when needed.
And finally, many RVers need to stay connected while traveling, whether for work or play. The Winnebago electric RV provides a residential-grade Wi-Fi network for streaming, video calls, and gaming. The option to stay connected wherever you go just got easier.
When Will the Winnebago Electric Be on the Market?
We don’t know a release date. Currently, the Winnebago electric RV remains a concept and has not been mass-produced. But the future looks bright.
With the interest at the Florida RV SuperShow and the media attention it has received, we expect to see the Winnebago e-RV soon.
The Winnebago Industries Advanced Technology Group (ATG), established in 2019, develops new technologies and future products. They have succeeded. Now let’s hope they can get the Winnebago e-RV to market sooner than later.
Are There Any Hybrid Motorhomes?
Other than the Winnebago electric RV, other countries have created hybrid motorhomes. The German-made WOF Iridium EV debuted in 2019 and became available for purchase in Europe shortly after. Its 249-mile range was significantly higher than the 125-mile range previously advertised.
Another European model, the Nissan e-NV200, is a smaller Class B van that can travel 124 miles before recharging. Mercedes-Benz also recently debuted a prototype camper version of its all-electric EQV van in Europe.
The Tuscany 45JA Class A is a hybrid electric RV powered by the Volta power system. Although you can’t go for days without recharging, you can boondock for a night on the 36 kWh of usable energy.
This Thor-manufactured motorhome recharges while driving, through solar panels and a shore power connection. American companies have begun other concept models but nothing has hit the market for public use yet.
Pro Tip: Get the scoop on the concept electrical travel trailer by Airstream.
Winnebago’s Electric RV Could Be the Future of RVing
Electric power, now common in cars, is making its way to the RVing industry. Many travelers want to protect the environment while still camping in style and convenience. RV companies have their work cut out for them, but it looks like they’re rising to the challenge.
Airstream recently debuted its eStream travel trailer, and Winnebago’s electric RV is also making noise. Manufacturers will introduce other concept models at RV shows in the coming years.
Will you be purchasing an electric RV when they become available?