As the 2019 season comes to an end we look towards the new 2020 ranges of motorhomes. We have seen some exciting updates and changes from 2019 models to 2020. However, today we didn’t just want to look at the 2020 season.
Instead, we want to discuss the technologies that are likely to make their way into the world of motorhomes. Some of these technologies are right around the corner, with some manufacturers already adopting them. Although, some are still far away and will need to see many more years of development and testing before they become mainstream. There are trends growing in the motor industry that will no doubt influence the path of the motorhome. From electric to autonomous vehicles, there are exciting developments that may feel like a distant future, but how close to them are we?
Firstly, let’s consider some of the technology that is already common in the motor industry. Hybrid vehicles have become a necessary stepping stone in the transition to electric vehicles. They provide users with the opportunity to travel emission-free whilst not suffering the pitfalls currently associated with electric vehicles. This means you don’t have to worry about the lack of range or recharge time as you can still use fuel as an alternative option. This is very important when considering motorhomes as many will travel large distances in one journey. The idea of having to recharge after 100 miles is not very appealing. This is the main reason why hybrid vehicles are so appealing.
AL-KO has developed a hybrid power chassis. They develop chassis technology and have worked alongside Fiat, Peugeot and Mercedes to bring us the common chassis’s used in the motorhome industry today. They state that their hybrid chassis “enables emission-free and fully electric driving” with the option to use the internal combustion engine to increase range. The hybrid mode which engages both the batteries and engine allows the vehicles to have a fuel saving of 30%. This is a really exciting chassis and it would be great to see manufacturers make a transition to hybrid motorhomes. However, with fully electric technologies constantly advancing it does seem hard to invest in a technology that might become obsolete once electric vehicles develop increased ranges.
If you would like to read more about the AL-KO hybrid power chassis the Click Here.
Looking a little bit further into the future we have fully electric motorhomes. While electric cars are becoming more viable, there are still a number of limiting factors on the progress of the technology in the motorhoming world. Motorhomes can be very heavy vehicles and this has drastic effects on the performance of an electric vehicle. The AL-KO hybrid chassis has a 100-mile range, however, once a full motorhome is built on this chassis and it is full with weeks worth of living equipment it is likely to be far less. Top of the range electric cars have ranges of up to 350 miles and this has increased substantially recently. So we can assume the ranges an electric motorhome can travel will increase as well but we are still a way out. Once electric cars become more commonplace the pace of progress could speed up.
What is available now?
So the emergence of an electric motorhome that can perform as well as the motorhomes we have now might be quite far away. But there are some fully electric motorhomes available right now! The first and most important to mention is the Fiat Ducato Electric Van. This in itself is not an electric motorhome, but the Ducato is currently the most popular chassis among motorhome manufacturers. This electric alternative proves that the future of motorhomes might be electric. And it could even be sooner than we think.
The Ducato Electric Van has a range of up to 223 miles. This is without the extra weight of a motorhome put on top, but with van conversions, much of this range could be retained. Some of the most popular van conversions use a Fiat Ducato chassis and we would love to see how viable those same vehicles would be on the new Ducato Electric Van. It is exciting to see one of the biggest players in the industry make strides with innovative products.
Aside from the Fiat Ducato Electric Van, there is one other fully electric motorhome that has caught our attention. The Iridium E Mobil is the first all-electric motorhome that can be purchased right now! Unfortunately, it is only available in Germany at the moment. From the outside and inside this E Mobil looks like a regular motorhome. It features a fairly traditional floor plan and when inside you might not notice that the vehicle is electrically powered. The range is slated to be 120-180 miles, although Iridium has said they expect this to increase soon with battery capacity increases. Even with a speculative range of 180 miles, is this enough for you? How far do you usually travel in your motorhome in one trip?
Hymer recently released a concept video of a new motorhome idea. It imagines the Hymer Galileo which is an electric motorhome that also incorporates autonomous driving. That’s right, the Galileo would be able to drive itself and its passengers to their destination. This means no driver input. The concept shows a motorhome, unlike anything we have at the moment. Due to its autonomous abilities, there is no traditional cab no the vehicle. This opens up even more space providing a larger front lounge. It is modern and sleek, full of screen displays and completely surrounded by windows. It is definitely an interesting design that utilises the extra space provided by electric and autonomous technology (no engine and no cab). Have a look at the Hymer Galileo concept motorhome by viewing the video below.
It’s important to note that this is just a concept vehicle. But it is exciting to know that one of the large names in the world of motorhoming is looking into what motorhomes could look like in the future.
We Want To Hear From You!
If you have found this article interesting we would love to hear back from you. What are your opinions on the future of motorhomes? Are you excited about the introduction of new technologies or do you think that we still have a long way to go? Share your opinions below!
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