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DWS Investors

This new camper for electric cars has its own battery pack, electric motors, and solar panels

By Fred Lambert / Electrek / 28 August 2018

Dethleffs came up with an innovative new camper concept built for electric cars.

It has its own battery pack, electric motors, and solar panels to reduce the load on the vehicle towing it.

The idea is pretty simple: towing a camper reduces the efficiency and the range of your vehicle, electric car or not, but by adding its own power to the trailer, it mitigates the impact that the trailer has on the overall range.

In the case of the newly unveiled ‘e.home coco’, Dethleffs adds in-hub electric motors to each wheel, a significant 80 kWh battery pack to the bottom of the camper’s platform, and a control unit to manage everything.

Here’s a visualization of the powertrain on the trailer:

The German company unveiled the concept last week, but they said that they haven’t tested it on the road yet and cannot confirm the actual impact on range and efficiency.

They plan to test it next year and evaluate a possible commercialization at that point.

It applies to any trailer really, but Dethleffs, who also unveiled a new RV powered by solar panels and 91 kWh battery pack last year, has pushed the concept further by designing it to be multi-purpose.

Since each wheel is independently powered on two axles, they envision to be able to park the camper on its own without a vehicle, which can be useful in tighter spaces.

Furthermore, they also plan for the battery pack to be used as a home energy storage system, which is ideal since most campers are only being used for a few months out of the year.

A 80 kWh energy capacity and a few solar panels that can be used all year can increase the value of the whole system.


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