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Is Lightship Poised to Be America’s First All-Electric RV Company?

Founded by Tesla Alumni, the Startup Looks to Redefine the Travel Trailer

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Lightship

A growing team of engineers, product designers, and Tesla alumni that make up the Silicon Valley startup, Lightship, closed on Series A funding this summer as they work toward becoming America’s first all-electric recreational vehicle manufacturer. Sure, Winnebago and Airstream have revealed E-RV prototypes and concepts, but this ambitious company aims to launch its first “Lightship” this coming spring, according to its official website.

And it all started with a road trip.

When Lightship co-founders Ben Parker and Toby Kraus tried to haul an aerodynamic Hi-Lo travel trailer with a Tesla Model X halfway across the country, they ran into their fair share of struggles – headwinds being their primary hindrance. The road trip was an experiment of sorts, and its “failure,” to go smoothly proved the need for their concept in the market; a market where1-in-10 Americans own an RV, and 90% of RVs on the road are towables.

“Relying on fossil fuels to power the camping experience is complicated, expensive and toxic. This must change.” – The Lightship Blog

Both the CEO (Parker) and COO (Kraus) are Tesla alumni, having worked on the battery team and product team, respectively. Together they’re building a company and product around a central idea – enjoy the freedom of the open road, free from fossil fuels.

“We are on a mission to make RVing easy, accessible, and more sustainable for everyone.” – The Lightship Blog

The electric Lightship RV won’t just be for EV owners. Sure, it’s designed to be efficiently towed by an EV without drastically reducing its mileage from a single charge; but combustion engines will still feel the benefit. The towable will have its own propulsion system (drivetrain), which will reduce the load on the vehicle. Trucks and other tow vehicles won’t see their gas mileage drop so drastically when they hook up and head down the highway while pulling a Lightship. The travel trailer aims to solve chronic RV customer pain points like drag, fuel consumption, and (once at the campsite) generator reliability.

Lightship e-RV

Photo Credit: Lightship

With Tesla’s First Principles approach, Lightship CEO Ben Parker said they’re going back to the basics and asking, “what should a travel trailer be?”

We’re excited to see what’s on the horizon for Lightship.

If you’re interested in Lightship’s mission and want to play a part, explore their open jobs and careers.

Find out more in the video above and at Lightshiprv.com.

Discover LightshipRV on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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