When will there be an electric RV?

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DonTom

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I wonder if this is for real.

If so, it looks like electric RV's might be just around the corner.

I am hooked on electric. I just purchased myself a Model Three Tesla, AWD (two motors) after owning a couple of electric motorcycles.
BTW, IMO, the Zero DS 6.5 is a perfect motorcycle to take on an RV trip. It only weights 318 lbs and it can easily get itself up  a ramp on a trailer hitch under its own power. No clutch and a very good slow speed throttle response. Easy to walk with up the ramp. Does not compare to any ICE bike. 

When boondocked, I charge it with my Onan gas generator, inefficient to use gas on an electric motorcycle, but it works. I also use a quick charger in addition to the bike's on-board charger. The bike has proved to be very handy on RV trips.

I checked the waveshape of my 4KW Onan RV generator and it is surprisingly good so I felt safe charging the bike with it. Here is what my generator output looks like under load.

Not quite a  perfect sinewave, but certainly good enough!

And look at the specs of this new  Tesla Roadster. Seems an electric RV is not too far away.

-Don-  Auburn, CA
 

RedandSilver

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I just saw a show on PBS yesterday that was taking about Buses in the Washington DC area.
They could run for 10 hour shifts.  But I assume that was at city speeds and not highway speeds - so don't
know of they would last as long.  It took a lot of power to recharge them too.
They don't have the house like stuff that most RV's have so you have to consider that part of it too.

But I agree and was thinking the same thing that RV's shouldn't be too far behind.

Time will tell.
 

LarsMac

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I can see a Hybrid coming down the Pike any day now.

We were talking about the viability of using Tesla's Power Wall and a Solar array on an RV. Mostly as auxiliary power, not so much for travelling power. 
Affordable Electric power RV's are probably a decade away, realistically.
It will probably change the whole plan for RV Parks when they have to provide Power Charging stations as well as the other service.
 
S

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There was a Motorhome manufacture in CA named Rexhall,  that RV company (and it's owner Bill Rex) was bought out by Chinese investors and are now building all electric buses for the City of Long Beach CA.

It makes sense that if Bill can build an electric bus,  he should be able to build an electric motorhome.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Maybe, but the city bus application is nothing like a motorhome.  Low speeds where wind resistance is non-factor, and never far from its home charging station.  Plus a huge battery bank is needed for a decent size motorhome  and those are mucho dinero.  Regional delivery electric trucks can amortize the battery cost over many years and offset it with fuel savings, but I suspect an RV owner is going to face a staggering upfront expense for it, just as they now do for electric cars.  If the battery for a Nissan Leaf costs around $6000, consider what it might be for one several times that size (KWh).
 

LarsMac

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Maybe, but the city bus application is nothing like a motorhome.  Low speeds where wind resistance is non-factor, and never far from its home charging station.  Plus a huge battery bank is needed for a decent size motorhome  and those are mucho dinero.  Regional delivery electric trucks can amortize the battery cost over many years and offset it with fuel savings, but I suspect an RV owner is going to face a staggering upfront expense for it, just as they now do for electric cars.  If the battery for a Nissan Leaf costs around $6000, consider what it might be for one several times that size (KWh).

True. Until they solve the weight issue, as well as cost, Pure electric vehicles are going to be a cool toy for the rich folks.
I was just searching for the weight of the batteries for those city buses.

The ranges on city buses are more like 75-120 miles per day. And, as earlier pointed out, they run a city traffic speeds in relatively controlled environments.
An RV will likely need a minimum daily range of 300 miles, with the ability to run highway speeds.
GVW with batteries will be another limiting factor.
 

John From Detroit

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Not sure if it was a CONCEPT or actual production but I recall seeing an article on one already.. I think it is a concept vehicle. Very short range. but they now have all electric semi tractors so yes an all electric is .. Coming.. Just can not say when.  Battery science is booming just now.
 

Larry N.

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Another thing I saw no comment on: An RV needs range between charges, and for many folks 300 miles won't do the job, so you'd either need charging stations every 200-300 miles (if the range were that good), or a much longer range. And those stations need to be in all directions (as diesel/gas stations are), since most RVers won't take kindly to being limited to a few places they can go, and mostly nearby.

There was a stretch of Oregon (along the Columbia) where I got down to less than 15% of my fuel left on 150 gallon tanks, simply because there weren't any places I could identify that my Beaver with toad could get in to for refueling, so I was close to 700 miles on the tank -- not a comfortable situation. So an electric RV would have to allow you to deal with such things, or be limited to short, relatively local trips.
 

Isaac-1

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This is a chicken and the egg problem, until there are charging stations available at the RV destinations it will not happen.  As it is many campgrounds already have under-designed electrical grids that cause brown outs if everyone's air conditioners were to come on at once.  A typical RV air conditioner draws about 2,000 watts, imagine what will happen in a campground when people pull in for the night and plug in their 10,000 watt Level 2 RV chargers all at once.  This is not to mention how all those RV sites with included electricity will suddenly change to pay by the kilowatt.
 
S

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The stop and go city driving may be more of a battery range drainer,  than prolonged highway speeds.

and there is 30 and 50 amp charging spots at every RV park everyone is already charging up their Prius toads for free,  and they could make a full RV size sun shade out of solar panels.
 

LarsMac

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my 300 miles was assuming that at the end of every drive you can find a charging station. And that is minimum. I was looking into the electric cars a few years ago, but for me they were woefully inadequate with 150 mile ranges and 8-12 hour charging cycles. That is improving, but I make runs between Denver and KC, or Omaha, and such regularly. If I can make that run in a single day, I've got no use for the vehicle.

When on vacation, though, we don't plan on running more that 300 miles in a day. And how will the mountain routes affect that range?
Will they have the technology to feed energy back to the battery charging circuitry when going downhill?

I almost wish I was young and just getting started. It would be fun to working on such things.
 
S

sightseers

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ok,  put a big propane powered generator on that motorhome and call it a Hybrid RV... :D
 
S

sightseers

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LarsMac said:
Will they have the technology to feed energy back to the battery charging circuitry when going downhill?

Every electric and hybrid electric car I know of already has downhill regenerative charging and braking, my 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid has it.
 

LarsMac

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There is a whole other aspect to the Electric vehicle market.
All that power for charging batteries has to come from somewhere. and if we are still burning fossil fuels to generate the charging systems, then we haven't really gained much.
Sure we may get some offset to the carbon being pumped into the atmosphere. I would like to think that your average power plant can generate kilowatts a lot cheaper and cleaner than all of the vehicles that are choking up the freeways and city streets, but I have not yet done the math on that. But, the whole system needs to be revamped to make any of this really matter.



 

Alaskansnowbirds

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LarsMac said:
There is a whole other aspect to the Electric vehicle market.
All that power for charging batteries has to come from somewhere. and if we are still burning fossil fuels to generate the charging systems, then we haven't really gained much.
Sure we may get some offset to the carbon being pumped into the atmosphere. I would like to think that your average power plant can generate kilowatts a lot cheaper and cleaner than all of the vehicles that are choking up the freeways and city streets, but I have not yet done the math on that. But, the whole system needs to be revamped to make any of this really matter.

Even if we have the generating capacity, we don't have the electrical infrastructure to get that electricity from the generating plant to the campground. I saw on a TV special that if you lived on a 5 house cul-de-sac, no more than 2 or 3 could plug their EVs in at the same time. The local power grid can't handle the load.
 

SeilerBird

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The big problem for the whole electric vehicle industry is charging stations. The best idea is to install charging stations that use solar panels to charge the vehicles.
 
S

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every shopping mall and public parking lot out here in CA is covered with these large carport style roof structures made up of solar panels, there are free electric auto charging stations in these places. ..(and free shade too  :)))

out in the Mojave desert there are these huge solar panel farms, The majority of new homes being built today are pre-wired for solar power. The Power companies are phasing out coal fired power plants and going to wind and solar.

if you have sun, you can have renewable power. 
 

muskoka guy

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If everyone gets an electric vehicle, more nuclear plants will have to be made. Its the only solution to more power. Solar and wind have no way to store the power produced, and cant be relied on due to rain, clouds, and no wind days. The world doesnt need more nuclear. Several melted down plants are proof of that. If solar and wind are going to be viable, I think hydrogen is the next fuel. At least you can make hydrogen from the electricity produced, and store it for later. The byproduct of using the hydrogen is water vapour.
 

Lou Schneider

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sightseers said:
every shopping mall and public parking lot out here in CA is covered with these large carport style roof structures made up of solar panels, there are free electric auto charging stations in these places. ..(and free shade too  :)))

Those solar panels on the Tesla charging stations are mostly for show.  Almost all of the charging power comes from the grid.

A Tesla battery contains anywhere from 75 to 100 KwH of power.  To recharge a depleted battery to 80% in one hour you'll 60,000 to 80,000 watts of solar power.  Divide that by an average of 250 watts per solar panel ... I'll let you do the math to figure out how many panels and how much real estate that takes.  Hint ... around 240 per charging space.

out in the Mojave desert there are these huge solar panel farms, The majority of new homes being built today are pre-wired for solar power. The Power companies are phasing out coal fired power plants and going to wind and solar.

if you have sun, you can have renewable power.

Every grid-tied solar plant has an equivalent amount of conventional power in what's known as hot standby.  They're steamed up and spinning the turbines, not producing power but just waiting for a cloud to shade the solar panels and drop their output.  Same for wind power, each wind generator has a conventional generator up and running, ready to take over if the wind dies down.

Currently we supply about 10% of our total grid power from wind and solar.  Germany is up to 25% renewables, and they're finding the power is too irregular - they have problems controlling the grid voltage and stability because they can't throttle the conventional power plants up and down fast enough to compensate for the irregularities of renewable power.



 
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