Automotive

Winnebago prepares to show America's first all-electric motorhome

Winnebago prepares to show Ame...
Winnebago's concept appears to be an electric Ford Transit, but the specific electric Transit and the form it takes as a motorhome remain to be seen
Winnebago's concept appears to be an electric Ford Transit, but the specific electric Transit and the form it takes as a motorhome remain to be seen
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Winnebago will debut its concept at the Florida RV SuperShow on Tuesday, January 18
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Winnebago will debut its concept at the Florida RV SuperShow on Tuesday, January 18
The Ford Transit-based Winnebago Ekko motorhome isn't an all-electric, but it does offer a powerful off-grid electrical system with up to 640 amp-hours of solar-charged lithium battery
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The Ford Transit-based Winnebago Ekko motorhome isn't an all-electric, but it does offer a powerful off-grid electrical system with up to 640 amp-hours of solar-charged lithium battery
Winnebago teases what could become the first all-electric motorhome in the US
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Winnebago teases what could become the first all-electric motorhome in the US
Winnebago's concept appears to be an electric Ford Transit, but the specific electric Transit and the form it takes as a motorhome remain to be seen
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Winnebago's concept appears to be an electric Ford Transit, but the specific electric Transit and the form it takes as a motorhome remain to be seen
The Ford E-Transit front-end for reference and comparison; Penske was one of the first commercial customers to take delivery of the E-Transit ... perhaps Winnebago was, too?
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The Ford E-Transit front-end for reference and comparison; Penske was one of the first commercial customers to take delivery of the E-Transit ... perhaps Winnebago was, too?
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We're only two weeks into 2022, and it's already been a milestone year for electric campers. Winnebago has followed Mercedes-Benz and Thor Industries in announcing plans to show an all-electric camper. Set to debut in just a few days, the Winnebago e-motorhome concept could become the US' first all-electric motorhome from a major manufacturer, assuming it matures from concept to production.

Winnebago explains that the forthcoming electric motorhome concept has been developed by the company's Advanced Technology Group (ATG) over the course of two years. ATG was established within Winnebago Industries in 2019, tasked with identifying and developing emerging technologies for use in the company's products and services. The 2022 electric motorhome concept will be the first public-facing example of its work, Winnebago says.

That's about all the vehicle detail Winnebago gives for now, inviting a few days' worth of speculation as to what type of motorhome it will be. The most obvious choice would be a camper van (Class B motorhome) because that would be smaller, lighter and easier on driving range than a larger Class A or C motorhome. The grille, headlight and bumper lines of the front-end Winnebago teased above line up with the Ford Transit, a van that currently features in the Winnebago Ekko Class B+/C motorhome and has featured in past Winnebago camper vans.

The Ford Transit-based Winnebago Ekko motorhome isn't an all-electric, but it does offer a powerful off-grid electrical system with up to 640 amp-hours of solar-charged lithium battery
The Ford Transit-based Winnebago Ekko motorhome isn't an all-electric, but it does offer a powerful off-grid electrical system with up to 640 amp-hours of solar-charged lithium battery

Ford announced in November that it had begun sending out pre-production versions of its 126-mile (202-km) E-Transit to American commercial customers. The pilot program was designed for the companies to test operations within their fleets. While it would seem outside the stated scope of that program, perhaps Winnebago received one of those early examples and made quick work of developing it out into a camper concept.

It's also possible Winnebago's concept is based on an ICE Transit converted to electric drive by an aftermarket company, such as Colorado's Lightning eMotors. That would line up better with the two-year development cycle and could help Winnebago sweeten the spec sheet. Lightning boasts about a few advantages its aftermarket builds offer over Ford's official E-Transit, and not least among those are range options of 140 and 170 miles (225 and 273 km), extra distance that would be very helpful in a motorhome. The higher gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of Lightning's kit would be another major advantage for a motorhome.

The Ford E-Transit front-end for reference and comparison; Penske was one of the first commercial customers to take delivery of the E-Transit ... perhaps Winnebago was, too?
The Ford E-Transit front-end for reference and comparison; Penske was one of the first commercial customers to take delivery of the E-Transit ... perhaps Winnebago was, too?

Winnebago Industries has already gone the route of working with a third-party electric Ford chassis converter. In 2018, it announced its Specialty Vehicles Division's work with Motiv Power Systems in creating electric Class A-style commercial vehicles. Those vehicles have since found use for purposes like urban mobile healthcare and learning. Motiv advertises Electric Power Intelligent Chassis (EPIC) products based on several Ford chassis, but not the Transit.

We'll save our time and yours on any further speculation because we'll know all about the Winnebago electric concept motorhome in fewer than four days. Winnebago will host a Facebook Live reveal at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 18, the industry day of the Florida RV SuperShow. The Tampa-based show opens to the public on Wednesday, January 19 and runs through Sunday, January 23.

We'll have more details about the all-electric concept Winnebago when it makes its official debut.

Source: Winnebago

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5 comments
5 comments
Fairly Reasoner
So, for camping around the corner?
guzmanchinky
Having been a vanlifer and owner of several Sprinter motorhomes and vans, I just don't see how this works. And I LOVE electrification, I just don't understand how this, as a camper, can be easily charged (RV parks vehemently refuse to allow car or even golf cart charging due to their overloaded electrical system) or have the range or power for their weight and use (usually long drives between RV parks). I VERY much look forward to a van/camper someday that has triple the current energy density batteries and charges in 1/3 of the time, it's coming, but it's not here yet...
vince
Sadly this is long over due. You see multi million dollar ice MH that are 42 feet long and use prodigious amounts of diesel fuel and propane when a full EV would be cheaper to maintain, silent at campgrounds, able to soak up 5 kW solar a day, have a 500 mile range just like a Tesla semi truck, etc. So sad.
Knut
Why do they not have solar panels? Just the "bed cover" part of the roof is around 2 x 3 m, which at 23% efficiency can generate 1.380 Wh on a sunny day. That is sufficient for a free dinner, the hot coffee/tea you can drink, hot water for 4 persons to shower. You need a lot of solar panels to keep the car with electricity but start with covering the roof, more than 10 square meters. Then some panels to cover windows, and a roof fr extra space in the back. Then you match what the socket at home will generate during the night that can be delivered during the day. You drive 200 miles/300km a few days in the year, the car is parked many hours, and the car can be charged n all regular chargers. You need many days of sunlight for electricity to the 200 miles home (10 days), but, it is possible. Then there is no gas flask and it comes with an induction oven and microwave, and hot water in the tap.
vince
Every MH and trailer should be 100% electric. Trailers because they can extend the range and boost safety by a large margin. MH's because who wants to try and sleep in an RV park, XOA park next to some buy who blasts his diesel generator at 12pm because he wanted to cook something or whatever. If it's all electric an owner can cook silently no generator required. Then too propane explosions are common place. Dozens die every year from propane stove and BBQ's blowing up. I have seen a half dozen RV's go up in smoke because of propane leaks. Time to dump the caveman mentality and do away with fiery gases, fumes, noise and pollution.