Solar-powered motorhome cruises with no need for fuel
We here in the UK love a motorhome – the industry is worth £500m to the economy each year. But their gas-guzzling diesel engines aren't exactly 'of the moment' – and the only electric motorhome currently on sale is a tiny , two-berth creation based on the Nissan e-NV200.
But German motorhome manufacturer Dethleffs may have the answer with the new e.home concept. It's a large, family-sized motorhome, with at least four berths, a fully-featured kitchen and massive lounge and dining area. But underneath the sofas and the chemical toilet you'll find that it's based on a fully electric Iveco Daily van.
It relies on a 107bhp electric motor, which will power the Daily for up to 174 miles – in non-camper trim. Range will clearly drop when the batteries are tasked with the extra weight of the motorhome body, but that's where the e.home plays its trump card.
The bulky camper shell has been outfitted with 31 square metres of thin-film solar panels. They can generate, according to Dethleffs, up to 3kW of electricity to keep the e.home's 228aH sodium-nickel-chloride battery array charged up.
Inside, where you might expect to find a gas cooker and heater, everything's been linked up to the central electrical system. That means you'll have to share your driving charge with the power for your electric hob – so think carefully before cooking those beans!
Dethleffs is showing off the e.home at the 2017 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon. It's only a concept for now, but could provide an intriguing look into the future of motorhome touring.