World's first electric motorhome gets a proper interior, more range
Back when we first looked at the WOF Iridium all-electric motorhome at the CMT show in January, it was all locked up and appeared incomplete inside. Fast forward to the 2019 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon this month, and not only was the Iridium entry door flung wide open, but it wore an updated spec sheet hot off the press. The zero-emissions vacation-mobile inches its way toward practicality with 33 percent more estimated driving range per charge.
We promised that the Dethleffs Globevan e.Hybrid wouldn't be the only plug-in motorhome we'd see at the 2019 Caravan Salon, and that's because the updated WOF Iridium was on our radar before the show. We were happy to see it with the completed interior it lacked during its CMT world premiere, and the higher range figure didn't hurt its case, either.
The biggest news from Düsseldorf is the estimated range bump from 300 km (186 miles) per charge to 400 km (249 miles). We're taking that with a big grain of salt, though, because while WOF does now have two trim levels with different battery packs, the advertised 400-km model is quite similar to the 300-km model we looked at in January. The lithium-iron-phosphate battery has grown nominally from 106 kWh to 108 kWh, but nothing to provide that much of a range boost. In fact, WOF is now advertising a 186-mile range for the lower-spec Iridium trim with 86-kWh battery pack.
Perhaps WOF is factoring in added range from the 120-watt roof-mounted solar that's now listed as part of the package, but we still want to see what type of range it gets in the real world, when fully loaded with people and gear, navigating a popular vacation route with a combination of highway and twisty country road. We'll be less skeptical if third-party tests like that register in anywhere close to 400 km per charge.
The Iridium maintains the 188-hp electric drive it had earlier in the year. Its dimensions have been slightly reworked to 699 x 230 x 280 cm (275 x 91 x 110 in), lending the new model designation "70 EB".
Düsseldorf brought our first look at the Iridium's interior, which differs from the ICE-powered WOF motorhomes from which we thought it might be directly derived. The Iridium shares the split rear longitudinal double bed of other WOF motorhome layouts, but the dry bathroom is separated by the center aisle rather than combined on one side. The shower room is on the driver side behind the kitchen block, while the toilet room with sink is on the passenger side. Each bed is separated from the corresponding dry bath compartment by an individual wardrobe.
The kitchen block includes a dual-burner stove and sink, with a refrigerator across the aisle between the toilet room and entry door. The Iridium's frontmost section is dedicated to the dining lounge with up to five seats — the swivel cab seats, a dual-seat rear bench and a side seat.
That's the primary floor plan that was on show at the Caravan Salon and also appears in the new Iridium brochure, but WOF also stresses that other floor plans are available upon request. Standard and available equipment includes a satellite dish, Thule awning, and multimedia package with navigation, digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
The 400-km Iridium flagship retails for €197,900 (approx. US$217,800), while the 300-km version prices in close to where it was back in January with a €169,900 ($187,000) base price. We still feel like the Iridium's combination of high price and limited range is just pushing the envelope a little too far too fast for most travelers, but the extra range, coupled with the bragging rights of early adoption, might just convince a small pool of buyers.