New Survey Reveals Consumer Expectations for Electric RVs
THOR Shares Results of Electric RV Report with Some Surprising Results
At the Florida RV SuperShow in January, THOR Industries made headlines by unveiling prototypes for two electric RVs. The THOR Vision Vehicle and Airstream eStream gave RVers a glimpse of the potential future, generating plenty of excitement in the process. Since then, the fate of those new models has remained murky, although THOR has reaffirmed its commitment to exploring the possibilities that EVs offer. Recently, the company surveyed consumers regarding their expectations for an electric RV, with some surprising results.
The most significant cause for concern amongst potential EV buyers is how far an electric vehicle can travel on a single charge. Dubbed “range anxiety,” the fear is that drivers could find themselves running out of juice while miles away from the nearest charging station. As more stations get deployed—and charging times become faster—these concerns will diminish. But for now, it is a potential hurdle that EV manufacturers must contend with when selling their vehicles.
As it turns out, range anxiety is also a potential issue for RV owners. According to THOR’s survey, 45% of respondents indicated that they would expect an electric motorhome to be able to drive five or six hours before needing a recharge. That is roughly equivalent to a 300-mile range and falls in line with a previous customer survey from the company. In its 2021 internal path to purchase days, THOR found that 70% of RVers travel an average of 5 hours or more on their camping trips, which indicates why would be the expected range.
Curiously, 25% of those surveyed indicated that they would expect an electric RV to be capable of traveling more than seven hours on a single charge. 8% said that they expected the vehicle to be able to go nine hours or more—something that isn’t possible utilizing today’s technology.
A Better Charging Network
Half of the survey respondents indicated that they see the availability of charging stations as the biggest challenge to EV adoption. 44% indicated that they expect a fast-charging station—that can recharge an electric vehicle in under an hour—at each individual campground. Nearly a third of those surveyed say they expect charging times to be about 45-59 minutes, while 34% believe that a full recharge will cost $41-$60.
With the passing of the Infrastructure Act last fall, the federal government has committed itself to help build a more robust charging network. Additionally, some campgrounds have started adding chargers, and EV manufacturers are working to make them more accessible too. Still, fast-chargers remain expensive to manufacture and install, which is why there are so few of them found in the wild.
Other Survey Results
Other interesting results from THOR’s survey include 47% of respondents saying they expect to use an electric RV “at least once a week” or “once every two to three weeks.” A little over half reported that they believe an EV should be able to endure frequent weekend trips and be compatible with most campsite amenities. More than 80% of the respondents indicated that safety features and a low cost of maintenance are attractive qualities for an electric RV.
The good news for potential electric RV buyers is that it could take several years before THOR—or anyone else’s—prototype models come to market. That should allow battery technology to evolve and become more efficient while providing more time to build a charging network. Hopefully, when these EVs start to roll off the assembly line, some of the challenges and hurdles have been worked out.
Read the entire THOR survey findings here.