Electrified Wellhouse camper van makes roadways and campsites greener
An electrified camper van has long been an attractive idea, but only recently have we been seeing the kind of robust EV platforms needed to make it a reality. On the plug-in hybrid side, one new example is the Ford Transit Custom PHEV, which has already paved the way for the Globevan e.Hybrid that Dethleffs introduced last year. Now British conversion shop Wellhouse Leisure launches its own Ford Transit Custom PHEV camper van. The new Misano 2 PHEV combines short-distance zero-emissions driving, a fuel-sipping gas/electric range of over 300 miles (483 km), and a tiny, efficient living space for two to four people.
While 250+ mile (400+ km) vans like the Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer and EQV are pushing the idea of an all-electric camper van closer to a practical reality, the combination of equipment-loaded curb weights, long-distance road trip driving and long charge times still isn't quite compatible with all-electric van life. But today's plug-in hybrid powertrain provides a solution that's ready for the camper market right now, offering zero-emissions driving for short trips, robust total driving range for long trips, and easy fill-ups for even longer trips.
The Transit Custom PHEV underpinning Wellhouse's latest tasks a 125-hp electric motor with powering the front wheels. The 13.6-kWh lithium-ion battery delivers up to 35 miles (56 km, NEDC) of pure-electric range before leaning on the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine-generator to supply power for a total range up to 310 miles (500 km). Even with the pistons pumping, the Transit PHEV enjoys a fuel economy of 87 mpg (2.7 L/100 km).
Ford's battery is mounted snugly under the floor, so the electrified powertrain doesn't take a bite out of available space, allowing Wellhouse to install a standard layout centered around a three-seat rear bench that folds down into a bed. The driver-side kitchen block puts a dual-burner gas stove and sink within easy reach, and the front seats spin around to complete the living area. The pop-up roof comes standard, roof bed optional.
Other standard camper equipment includes a solar panel, air heater and 8-in touchscreen command center for the lights and water system. The base van itself comes with an 8-in infotainment system, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and an eight-way-adjustable driver seat.
The Misano 2 isn't quite as optimized for everyday driving as vans with minimal or removable camping furniture, but it seems capable enough. With room for five people and cargo space in back, the van can run errands or commute to and from work each day on wholly or mostly battery power, offering a clean, efficient way of commuting during the week before undertaking greater journeys on the weekend.
The Misano 2 PHEV starts at £57,000 (approx. US$71,500), which includes an available UK government grant. Options include an awning, extra rear seats and a mini oven.
Source: Wellhouse Leisure