The motorhome market has experienced an explosion like no one remembers. the coronavirus pandemic demand shot up of a type of tourism more connected with the environment. And, how could it be otherwise, the electrification has also come to this way of moving. Even with scandalous prices and solutions. Above and below.
In 2020, the motorhome sector experienced its golden summer. With a multitude of confinements distributed inside and outside of Spain and with the shadow of new restrictions always present, many were those who decided to spend their vacations away from the crowds of big cities.
A type of tourism that is very common in Europe but that has yet to be exploited in our country, which, moreover, with the changes that the pandemic has brought about in some sectors and the increase in telecommuting has seen the supply increase enormously. For example, some companies already offer vehicles designed to telework on board and, thus, be able to do it every day in the environmental environment that is preferred.
And how could it be otherwise, electrification also wants to make a hole in this space. Paradoxically, a type of tourism that should be very respectful of the environment can also be the opposite if the passengers are not used to moving around with this type of vehicle. Electrification wants to make its way into a sector where regular users may be more aware of taking the leap.
It’s hard to jump
And, this is where the motorhome sector has its great challenge. Because at the moment the full electrification of a large vehicle is usually limited by very low autonomy and very high prices. Although not everyone agrees with these statements.
This year has been presented Winnebago e-RV, a model that, at the moment, is a concept and that is based on the platform of a Ford Transit. Its creators assure that the model has autonomy to travel 200 kilometers. A limited autonomy but which, they say, is sufficient for the vast majority of its users, who travel less than 320 kilometers per day. In addition, they claim to be able to fully charge the vehicle in just 45 minutes using a quick plug.
The large dimensions of motorhomes and their poor aerodynamics make it difficult to jump to their complete electrification, so whoever wants to move in this direction is opting for camperize large vans, such as the aforementioned Ford Transit or the Nissan e-NV200, which is no longer in production. They are models that barely have two or three hundred kilometers of autonomy to which, in addition, the weight of making their interior habitable is added.
And expensive… sure?
Another disadvantage of moving to full electrification in the motorhome sector is its high price and low supply. To buy a second-hand Nissan e-NV200 it is necessary to have more than 15,000 euros available. The Ford Transit e-Custom is about to arrive in our country and to get us a Peugeot e Expert or one Fiat e-Ducato it is necessary to disburse about 60,000 euros.
But there are those who are not willing to give so much money to move… at least in China. The Xinge RV is the cheapest motorhome in the world and is on sale for 4,500 euros. How is it possible? Obviously, sacrificing safety and any other element that common sense dictates when we want to hit the road. A good reason why this Xinge RV could not pass European homologations and is only sold in China as a derivative of other Xinge models.
Although it has gone viral now, the Xinge RV It has been known for a long time. In 2020 a tweeter was interested in it, after knowing its price. He did not hesitate to contact the seller, who sent him photos and videos of the curious artifact. These left so surprised Jayson Elliot who did not hesitate to share them through a Twitter thread.
I want to buy this $4,900 RV from China with three wheels and an electric drivetrain: a thread (with videos!) (and photos!)
The salesman just sent me all these photos and videos, and I can’t get over this crazy thing.
— Jayson Elliot 🇺🇦 (@JaysonElliot) March 26, 2020
The motorhome is really a large trike in which the space has been used to the maximum to provide it with a bed, a small shelf, a sink… and even a shower! In addition, to increase the autonomy of the motorhome, it has some external solar panels with the aim of obtaining extra electricity.
Security, in this case, is secondary. And we are not talking about the dashboard fan to use as an air conditioner or the lack of a seat belt. We also talk about taking a shower next to a refrigerator plugged in.
Of course, this Xinge RV is far from the technological sophistication that we have seen in other motorhomes or that used by some students in their attempt to travel from the Netherlands to Tarifa solely with clean energy, using solar panels and with those who managed to travel 2,000 kilometers.
Photo | Jayson Elliot