As anyone who has ventured off the beaten track in an electric vehicle will tell you, camp sites and RV parks are the ideal place to find an emergency charge if there are no official public charging stations nearby. And while RV parks won’t necessarily charge your car as quickly as say a rapid charging station might, they’re a great place to stop off for the night if you’re making a multi-day trip in your electric car and need somewhere cheap to stay that also happens to have power to hand.
So far, if you’ve wanted to make use of RV parks to charge your car, you’ve had to be content with camping outside in a tent or perhaps rigging up some form of make-shift bed inside your car, but now a company from the UK has taken Nissan’s all-electric e-NV200 van and turned it into a family-friendly camper van, complete with bedding for up to four — and it will unveil it tomorrow at the Motorhome & Caravan Show 2014 at the NEC exhibition centre in Birmingham, UK.
Enter Hillside Leisure, a specialist campervan conversion company from Derby, who have taken Nissan’s work-focused e-NV200 electric van and given it the custom micro camper van treatment, complete with pop-up roof, twin-hob gas stove, 39-litre refrigerator, on-board water tank and low-voltage LED lighting.
For those who don’t know, a campervan is usually based on a small to medium-sized commercial vehicle or minivan, and is a little like a shrunken-down recreational vehicle. Smaller than U.S. RVs, most modern European camper vans still follow the same design ethos set out by the original VW microbus, offering basic accommodation, cooking and cleaning. Small enough to be driven on a conventional driving license, camper vans offer a lot of the practicalities of RV or caravanning, but without the hassle of a larger vehicle or towing. What’s more, they fit into most standard car parking spaces.
Being based on the Nissan e-NV200 electric van, the all-electric camper — called the DalburyE — features the same 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty as the e-NV200. It also comes with a 3 kilowatt on-board charger as standard, along with a faster optional 6 kilowatt charger and CHAdeMO DC quick charge capability. And with many of the UK’s popular holiday routes now serviced by DC quick charging stations, it doesn’t take too much imagination to see how anyone with the DalburyE could leave their house at lunchtime, stopping off at a couple of DC quick-chargers en-route, before arriving at their first camp-site before dusk.
All without burning a single drop of gasoline.
Hillside Leisure quotes a range of 106 miles for the DalburyE, with an electronically-limited top-speed of 76 mph. That’s the same figures quoted by Nissan on the NEDC test cycle, and given the NEDC’s optimistic range figures, we’d suggest you’d need to look for recharging every 70-80 miles en-route if you wanted your family break to be as low-stress as possible.
With the official unveiling due tomorrow, there’s no official word on price, but given the company’s non-electric Dalbury range — based on the petrol NV200 — starts at £23,995, we’re thinking the all-electric will be somewhere between £32,000 and £40,000, depending on the trim levels specified.
Do you like the idea of an all-electric camper van? Where would you take it? And who would you take?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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