Help CleanTechnica Develop Ideas For An Electric Or Hybrid RV

Jul 23, 2021

In a previous article, I discussed the economic and practical challenges a future electric RV faces. Unlike commercial vehicles (especially semi-trucks), which bring in a lot of money transporting goods, it’s pretty rare for someone to pay someone else to drive an RV around. On top of that, their large sizes, weights, and aerodynamic inefficiency makes their electrification difficult and expensive. Finally, because most people drive them so little, it’s tough to justify using limited battery supplies on them instead of vehicles that are used regularly. The environmental impact of electrifying most RVs just doesn’t justify the money and opportunity costs.

So, Why Even Bother With This? There Are Several Answers.

First off, battery supplies and costs won’t be as high as they are forever, and both charging and infrastructure will improve. When that time comes, we need people to generally be aware that an electric RV is even an option. Like the automakers, the coachbuilders will likely want to continue business as usual for as long as they can. Unless there’s something out there to play the role of Tesla in that industry (a disruptor), then nothing will change.

Fundamentally, a custom electric RV in 2021-22 would be more equivalent to a pre-Tesla EV, perhaps like the Tzero electric car that inspired Tesla to get started. By showing not only that it can be done, but how it can be done, the industry can be stimulated to move beyond the rare and very expensive offerings available today.

Second, my use for such an RV wouldn’t be typical. For the Untold EV & Cleantech Stories project, I’m planning on doing a lot more traveling than the typical RV does to get a lot more boots-on-the-ground journalism done. It also wouldn’t make a lot of sense to drive around burning gas or diesel when working on this kind of project, and it would give people opposed to cleantech the perfect excuse to call us hypocrites, plus, why damage the environment if it’s avoidable at all?

For that reason, I’m putting together plans to crowdfund for the construction of a custom electric or hybrid RV.

Check out CleanTechnica's design ideas here