Pop-top e-Camper packs 61 miles of EV driving and gas range extender
The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) already offers some of Great Britain's most classically stylish electrified commercial vehicles, from black cabs to work vans. Now it's turned its attention to the red-hot leisure market, morphing its work van into a plug-in hybrid camper van that offers an impressive 61 miles (98 km) of zero-emissions electric driving coupled with gas-extended range. The sporty four-person e-Camper serves as a cleaner adventure alternative that's still ready to put together seamless long-mileage holidays.
For some reason, LEVC bills its new e-Camper as the "world's first electric camper van," even though partner Wellhouse Leisure has already introduced both plug-in hybrid and an all-electric camper van models, both of which followed other European all-electric camper vans like the Hillsdale Leisure Dalbury-E from the UK and Nissan e-NV200 camper from Spain.
While the e-Camper is not the first electrified camper van, it might very well prove the most practical on the market. Its 61-mile all-electric driving estimate is nearly double the 35 miles (56 km) of the Ford Transit Custom PHEV, which underpins both the Wellhouse Misano 2 PHEV linked above and the Dethleffs Globevan e.Hybrid. So not only will the e-Camper be able to make it out of the city without any tailpipe emissions, it can save some battery power for quietly and cleanly cruising around the campground and through the forest.
"The campervan market is growing rapidly and, despite these vehicles being used for coastal and countryside adventures which often include national parks and protected areas, they are still powered by petrol or diesel engines," explains LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann. "This is a major conflict; we can see a shift in consumer attitudes, with demand for greener mobility solutions to help to protect and improve air quality."
The e-Camper is based on LEVC's VN5, the plug-in hybrid commercial van the company introduced last year. The platform brings 304 miles (489 km, WLTP) of total range when factoring in the gas range extender, which serves only as a generator to supply power to the battery and is not mechanically connected to the drive wheels. LEVC's total range is just slightly less than the Ford Transit Custom PHEV's estimated 310 miles (500 km).
Upcoming electric campers like the Rivian R1T adventure truck and Xbus van promise potential pure-electric ranges greater than the e-Camper's combined range, but LEVC's plug-in hybrid configuration also brings the advantage of fast, efficient fueling at gas stations all over the city and countryside. The van's 30-minute recharge time (50-kW DC fast-charging) is also quick and convenient enough for a short lunch break.
Beyond powering the van around city centers, campgrounds and national parks, the e-Camper's 31-kWh liquid-cooled battery also powers the all-electric camp kitchen, which should cut reliance on cooking LPG. Next to the driver-side kitchen, interior converter Wellhouse Leisure mounts the position-adjustable two-seat rear bench to floor rails. The bench folds down to sleep two people at night, and two more find a bed in the pop-up sleeper roof. A fold-away table supplies dining space in conjunction with the rear bench and front swivel seats.
LEVC only has renderings for now, but it plans to deliver the first e-Camper models in the fourth quarter of this year. The van will start at £62,250/€73,000 (approx. US$87,000), and a series of proprietary racks for the likes of mountain bikes and surfboards will be among the available options.
Source: London Electric Vehicle Company