Winnebago Takes its e-RV for a 1300-Mile Test Drive
The All-Electric Prototype Drove from Washington, DC to Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Winnebago continues to make headlines with its e-RV prototype. When the vehicle was first revealed at the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa this past January, it garnered a lot of attention from RVers and the mainstream media alike. Now, the electric camper van is in the news again, this time for completing a 1,300-mile road trip from Washington, DC, to Minnesota.
The e-RV was designed by Winnebago’s Advanced Technology Group and built on an electrified Ford Transit Van platform. The vehicle reportedly utilizes an 86 kilowatt-hour battery, which gives it a range of about 125 miles on a single charge while still having enough juice left over to power its onboard appliances and amenities. These include a slide-out induction stove, a small refrigerator, a water heater, and a roof-mounted air conditioner.
Recently, Winnebago execs took the e-RV to Washington, DC, to attend the RV Industry Association’s RVs Move America Week. After showing off the vehicle to those in attendance, the team decided that rather than ship it back to the company’s headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN, they would drive it instead. This allowed them to see how the camper van performs on an extended road trip spread over several days.
According to a Winnebago press release, the e-RVs 1,300-mile journey is the first-ever in an all-electric, zero-emissions motorhome by a major manufacturer. It is also the first to exceed 1,000 miles, making it the longest such excursion ever. After leaving Washington, DC, the vehicle traveled to Harpers Ferry, WV, before proceeding to Pittsburgh, PA, and Canton and Cleveland, OH. From there, it was on to Detroit, MI, followed by a stop in Indiana Dunes National Park, before proceeding to Chicago, IL, and then home to Minnesota.
Winnebago has provided some interesting numbers for those interested in the e-RV’s performance on the road trip. The entire journey covered 1,380 miles and took 26 hours to complete, with the vehicle averaging 53 mph throughout. The team driving the camper van stopped roughly every 100 miles to recharge its batteries, taking an average of one hour and two minutes to complete that task. The total cost of charging was $275, representing a 60% cost saving over using a gas-powered RV instead.
“Winnebago Industries has a rich history and tradition of innovation, and we see electrification as a continually evolving chapter of that legacy,” Michael Happe, Winnebago Industries president and chief executive officer said in the press release. “We are proud to be a leader in exploring the possibilities of this technology in the outdoor markets we serve.”
“Our Advanced Technology Group was very innovative in our approach to building this first-generation e-RV,” Ashis Bhattacharya, Winnebago Industries senior vice president, Business Development, Advanced Technology, and Enterprise Marketing, adds. “We are excited to apply learnings from the road trip as we continue refining, exploring, and innovating future iterations of the vehicle.”
No Production News
Currently, there is no timeline for when the e-RV could move beyond the concept phase and into production. Like others in the RV industry, Winnebago continues to explore the possibilities of an electric RV and the best way to bring that vehicle to market. Expect further updates in the months ahead as the company completes further testing and research.
For more information on the e-RV, visit the Winnebago website.