While the auto industry is prepped to invest more than $100 billion in electric cars through 2030, the RV industry has lagged behind. Sure, we’ve seen concept RVs covered in solar panels and Winnebago Industries recently announced the launch of an all-electric, zero-emission chassis. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.
But despite these gains, RVs have had a hard time going electric thanks to one crucial problem: range. Winnebago’s commercial electric RV will have a range of 85 to 125 miles, a distance that’s too short for long-haul camping trips. This is why electric camper vans have so far been relegated to concept cars or limited edition one-offs at expos.
That’s changing with the a new pair of camper vans from Nissan. Debuting at the recent Madrid Motor Show, the e-NV200 is a zero-emission, factory-built camper that’s completely electric. It’s powered by a 40kWh battery—backed by a five year guarantee—that can be charged up to 80 percent in under an hour. A full charge using Nissan’s 6.6KW onboard charger would take about 7.5 hours.
Photos released by Nissan of the new NV300 model show a pop-up sleeper roof and a bench seating that can fold into a second sleeping space. A compact kitchen with stove, sink, and refrigerator sits adjacent to a removable table and swivel front seats, and window shades allow for privacy. A large rear picture window will provide great Instagram shots, and a Webasto heater keeps things toasty in the cold.
According to a press release, the e-NV200 should come with similar options. “The new Nissan Camper range will allow the most adventurous to have a balcony with views of the most incredible places in the world and enjoy the essence of traveling with family or friends,” said Francesc Corberó, communication director of Nissan Iberia.
The biggest drawback? With its current set up, the e-NV200 will have a 124-mile range before it needs to charge. That might work for some, but it’s still a serious drawback for those of us that were hoping for a range over 200 miles, and not that different from the Winnebago camper.
The e-NV200 will also only be available in Spain for a base cost of $25,165 plus at least another $6,970 for the conversion from Nissan partner Bram Technologies. These prices may go up once the first campers roll off the factory floors, but that’s downright affordable compared to the Nissan-based campers made by Recon Campers here in the U.S. Those will run you closer to $50,000.
Of course, if Nissan ever did release an electric camper here in the U.S., regulations and market forces would likely make it cost much more than the Spanish version. For now, we’ll have to add the e-NV200 to the long list of European camper vans that we covet from afar.