By Bob Difley
The first all electric motorhome, a creation by MVP RV of Riverside, California, cruised the highways for 180 miles at between 65 and 70 mph, and set the standard for those who follow. That’s a considerable increase in mileage between charges from the first mass market electric cars. Even so, there are at present few charging stations on the nation’s highways which are needed to move electric RVs between campgrounds, so it may be some time before you can walk into a dealer lot and buy an electric motorhome.
The all electric motorhome was introduced at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, as an example of what the RV industry is capable of producing. However, as Brad Williams, president and CEO of MVP RV, stated in an interview with the Press-Enterprise, the invention comes first, then the infrastructure, citing examples of cars invented before highways and the telephone before phone lines. Already at work on the second all-electric RV, Williams said it will kikely have an even better range. What is exciting about the electric motorhome is that it proves the technology is there and it works.
Improvements will come as time and technology marches forward. Currently, it takes 24 hours for the electric RV to charge on a 220-volt plug in, though it could be charged in 20 minutes with the right equipment. The motorhome is named “Winston” after Winston Chung, MVP RV’s Chinese investor and business partner, who developed the unique lithium ion battery used for the RV.
Winston owns Winston Battery Ltd. and bought the first vehicle which is currently in China where it was introduced in November.
But don’t get out your check book just yet, as there are no plans to produce the electric motorhome for consumer use until the infrastructure–mainly charging stations–catches up. Charging stations are essential since the vehicles hqve no onboard generator or propane system, though otherwise are the same as other high-end motorhomes of similar size–with a price to match, estimated to be between $750,000 and $1 million when it finally lands in a showroom.
And since RVers like to get outside and are mostly environmentally conscious and conservative with their use of natural resources, if the infrastructure follows, and improvements bring the electric motorhome closer to mainstream operational practices, the day of the electric motorhome could be just around the corner–though probably the couple-of-decades corner.
Check out my website for more RVing tips and destinations and my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands, Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts, and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar.