For any avid road-tripper – whether it’s hitting the big lap of Australia or tackling a weekend microadventure – it often starts with a hit to the wallet from a tank of fuel. Electric vehicles may be the answer, but having to plug into the grid and charge isn’t exactly nomadic. So, RV company Dethleffs have taken it one step further with the e.home.
Far from a half-arsed tradie-turned-backpacker-van, the RV Company have designed an electric beast covered in solar panels. Built around an Iveco Daily Electric, the chassis houses an 80-kilowatt electric motor, which powers the 228-Ah sodium-nickel-chloride battery that’s charged by the 31 square metres of solar panels.
Once loaded up with all the camping essentials the motorhome should get you just over 150km before the battery runs out. Dethleffs say the battery is capable of 1500 charges, giving it a theoretical 250,000km lifespan.
No More Servo Stops
All of that means it’s able to run without any trips to the servo, has less impact on the environment, and provides huge savings. It’s taking it big distances which will be a struggle. The savings are a big plus though, considering that after a year of travelling Australia in their van, Scout and Ben spent $10,000 on fuel – a quarter of their total expenses.
Solar panels on a van is far from a new concept. We’ve seen many vanlifers like Mitch Cox rigging up solar panels – and it’s kept him off the grid for four years. But, they only to keep everything charged up and free to camp outside of powered sites and caravan parks. While it’s one of the many ways he reduces his impact, he’s still got to head to the bowser, with fuel his biggest expense of living in the van.
While it would be interesting to see how the e.home holds up on Aussie roads, it at least shows what the future could hold as we see more battery-powered vehicles take to the streets. If it’s packed full of other features like the e.home, who knows what could be around the corner.
Feature image by Dethleffs