Winnebago kicks off eVanlife with the all-electric eRV2

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Winnebago’s name is synonymous with vanlife, making its new all-electric eRV2 remarkable for an industry built on top of diesel engines. It’s still only a prototype, but it’s fully operational and actually on the road with a customer fleet for six months of field testing. Input from those early experiences will ultimately shape the final design of the eRV, helping usher in an era of #eVanlife.

The eRV2 is a follow-up to the eRV concept announced last year. It’s built around the Ford E-Transit chassis with a range of 108 miles (174 km) from its 68 kWh battery. Yes, that’s paltry for a vehicle that will be used by adventurers far from electric vehicle charging networks, but fine for field testing a prototype, I think. Winnebago does say it is “actively seeking range expansion opportunities” for the production model.

The eRV2 shown with modern black graphics on a white Ford E-Transit van diagonally in front.  The eRV2 wordmark in red angles up from the rear wheel.

Winnebago’s eRV2 fleet is undergoing six months of field testing.
Image: Winnebago

The electric van can produce up to 900 W of solar energy from the panels installed on the roof to keep its very large 48 V / 15 kWh domestic battery charged. The battery is installed flat under the floor to save living space. Even assuming those panels actually produce 900W under ideal conditions (which isn’t even close in the RV world), it would take about 17 hours to charge the household battery from zero to full and another 76 hours to charge the main battery. . It’s a shame the eRV2 isn’t a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which would offer a lot more flexibility, but let’s see what Winnebago actually ships in the future.

The eRV2 features two customizable workstations with built-in charging points for digital nomads.

The eRV2 features two customizable workstations with built-in charging points for digital nomads.
Image: Winnebago

A new version of Winnebago Connect provides real-time control and monitoring of the power system through both a dedicated touchscreen console and an app. It turns the eRV2 into a smart home on wheels, giving owners granular control over lighting, temperature and other AC or DC powered devices such as pumps and exhaust fans.

“Our primary goal in building the eRV2 was to help people comfortably explore the world around them with less impact on the environment,” said Huw Bower, president of the Winnebago brand. “User experience was central to the development of this prototype, through the early days of market research and even now during field testing.”

You can take the eRV2 for a 15-minute test drive if you attend the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa through Sunday.

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