Bürstner creates the first electric camper van atop a Ford E-Transit
Ford's electric Transit debuted nearly two years ago, so it seems like about time someone built a camper van out of it. Winnebago has been hard at work on an electric Ford Transit camper van throughout 2022, but its e-RV isn't based on a Ford E-Transit but a Lightning Motors-electrified Transit. Bürstner becomes the first to use the real factory article, transforming the E-Transit into an all-electric camper van that can travel up to 197 miles per charge. It's just a concept for now, but it previews the direction of things to come.
We were wondering if we'd see a full-size Ford E-Transit camper van first or if the newer electric Ford Transit Custom midsize van would beat it to the punch. Ford's biggest battery-powered van proves a natural fit for Bürstner, which recently launched an ICE Transit camper van called the Lineo.
The Ford E-Transit's stout shape and blue-barred grille make it a natural for a concept vehicle, and Bürstner further adds to the styling with blue graphics around the side edges and flared shoulders. All that staticky blue hints at the 65-kWh lithium battery pack running the show from below. Bürstner says the concept can deliver up to 317 km (197 miles) of range, but it's really just relying on Ford's WLTP estimate, and we imagine RVers might struggle to achieve maximum range with the added weight of full camper floor plan.
Bürstner does not mention which engine option it goes with for its concept; Ford offers both 135- and 198-kW (181- and 266-hp) outputs. Either way, the van lets the driver manage the ride and range using three driving modes. Eco mode is available for dialing in the most efficient ride, while daily mode tailors vehicle settings toward everyday driving. The last mode helps maintain traction in wet, slick conditions.
The E-Transit also boasts a full tech suite that includes connected navigation system with voice control, intelligent adaptive cruise control with traffic sign recognition, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, 360-degree camera system and reverse brake assist. Another available tech feature that will prove a particular boon to RVers, Ford's ProPower Onboard package lets E-Transit owners plug into the van's battery to access up to 2.3 kW of exportable power for running tools and equipment. Campers could use this power, accessible in both the driver's cab and load area, to run things like coffeemakers or stereos.
Inside, the electric Lineo shares the C590 floor plan Bürstner offers for the ICE model. A classic European full-size camper van floor plan, the C590 includes a rear transverse bed, central wet bathroom and kitchen, and front dinette. An optional dinette single bed conversion increases maximum sleeping capacity to three.
Bürstner has not yet decided if it will pursue a production electric Lineo, but we do know that its parent company across the Atlantic, Thor Industries, is interested in pursuing electrified RV products. In contrast to the Lineo Electric, Thor's own electrified 2022 Vision Vehicle concept uses a range-extended fuel cell-hybrid layout that offers up to 300 miles (483 km) of combined range.
"European registration figures for e-cars continue to rise at record levels," says Bürstner CEO Jens Kromer. "With the Lineo Electric we have a concrete solution to implement this trend for mobile travel as well. However, the speed of development depends primarily on the expansion of the charging infrastructure and the adaptation of our production processes to vehicles with battery packs."
Bürstner also builds the smaller pop-up Copa camper van atop the Ford Transit Custom, so a Ford E-Transit Custom model is another possibility. The E-Transit Custom offers a slightly better advertised range of 380 km (236 miles).
Bürstner is showing the Lineo Electric at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, which opened this weekend and runs through September 4. The concept is one of the highlights of its booth, along with the new Lyseo Gallery TD. and its inflatable half roof.