Winnebago in the USA has just unveiled the ERV concept motorhome, developed by its Advanced Technology Group (ATG).
The ERV is a fully electric van-conversion motorhome (what Americans call a B-Class), built around the equally new electric Ford E-Transit. Almost certain to enter production, the ERV is aimed squarely at Millennials looking for a low-impact, high-convenience motorhome for short range adventures.
Featuring an 86 kWh battery pack that drives the vehicle and powers all its systems, the ERV has a claimed range of just 200 km. By contrast, the E-Transit, due in Australia later this year, has a claimed driving range of 317 km from a 68 kWH battery, which drives through a 198 kW/430 Nm electric motor.
The ERV features electric (induction) cooking, electric water and interior heating, off-grid airconditioning and what it calls ‘residential grade’ wifi. All systems are controlled through a slick-looking touchscreen or via an app, which is especially useful when away from the vehicle.
“Winnebago Industries continues its innovation legacy with the reveal of an all-electric concept motorhome, a milestone in the two-year plus development of the vehicle. ATG was established in 2019 to identify and develop emerging technologies for application within future products and services in the company’s various business units. The all-electric concept motorhome is the first public facing example of ATG work streams and demonstrates a commitment to innovation and sustainability with product electrification, connectivity and improving user interface experiences for customers,” the company says.
Ford announced in November that it had begun sending out pre-production versions of its E-Transit to American commercial customers. The pilot program was designed for the companies to test operations and it’s likely Winnebago received one and made quick work of developing it into the ERV camper concept.
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.
Whilst there's virtually no chance of the ERV arriving in Australia, with the E-Transit due in Australia in the second half of 2022, it will be interesting to see which manufacturer produces Australia’s first all-electric motorhome. To watch a video of the ERV launch click here.