Ex-Tesla and SpaceX Engineers Offer First Electric Camper Van For America, and It’s Rad
Camper vans have blown up over the past three years. For a time, demand was so high that buyers couldn’t find any inventory. The only trend equal in popularity to the blossoming RV market is EVs. So what does that mean for the first electric camper van to hit the U.S. market? You’ll have to ask ex-Tesla and SpaceX engineers who’ve broken off to form their own company. It’s this crew that is bringing the first electric camper in the form of the Ford Transit-based eRV.
Are there any electric campers for sale in America?
Not yet, but there will be very soon. New Atlas points out that there have been two examples of e-campers from Winnebago that use the same Ford eRV. However, these prototypes have not hit the market and don’t seem overly close to doing so.
Grounded RVs – a company made up of the former Tesla and SpaceX folks – seems to be about to change everything. The Ford E-Transit-based camper van is said to start deliveries as early as a few weeks from now. Grounded’s EV camper promises not a silent camper van but one loaded with innovative design features; a proper camper van.
Why haven’t we seen an e-camper out of the Ford E-Transit before now?
One reason we haven’t seen a production E-Transit camper van in the U.S. is that that platform only gets 126 miles per charge. If you go with the high-roof version for more headroom and volume, as Grounded does, the range drops to 108 miles. This is hardly enough to even find the woods in some places, much less go off into them.
Although the Grounded G1 camper will be pretty limited by this low range, the G2 – another version coming down the pipe – will reportedly get 250 miles of range. Based on reports from New Atlas, this version could be based on the Mercedes Sprinter. However, for the ones who want to take short trips and claim the new camper before their neighbors, the G1 will be the first electric camper to hit real peoples’ driveways.
What does the inside of the G1 electric camper look like?
The G1 is built around a modular base. It offers a full collection of modules and components from which each buyer can shop and build their own custom floor plan. The company says that this system allows high-level customization without the long lead times that other companies often require.
“We’ve designed a new assembly system that allows us to manufacture customized designs at scale, and our library of components enables a near-infinite amount of layouts,” said CEO and founder Sam Shapiro.
The G1 has options that include a bathroom, while one of the most popular configurations leaves the thunder pot out of the picture. The G1 will get all the normal offerings one would expect from a new camper van; a kitchen with an induction cooktop, convection oven, and an electric fridge/freezer, all powered by an available 650-W solar system. There are also versions that support up to a Queen-size bed. Seating ranges from only two up to eight passengers.
The G1 is most likely going to a limited-edition build starting at $125,000. According to New Atlas, Grounded will also offer it via a $2,300 monthly subscription program, as well as an annual lease agreement. While having the first electric camper in America would be fun, you might want to hold off to see what Grounded has in store with the 250-mile G2.