Trip to the Alps with an electric caravan

Electric cars are becoming more and more common on our roads. We are not here to enter the debate on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. It is a fact. But one thing is certain: electric cars are rarely suitable for caravans, even though the most powerful electric cars have performed well in tests. To solve this problem, Dethleffs has launched the E.HOME caravan, the world’s first electric caravan.

The first electric caravan

Presented for the first time at the Düsseldorf Fair 2019, the E.Home caravan is an original idea. The concept of this electric caravan is to relieve the towing car. The towed caravan is no longer a dead weight, but a driving caravan thanks to its own 100% electric drive module. The two electric hub motors of the E.Home caravan thus transform a passive trailer into an active living vehicle. When towed, the two motors of the caravan reduce the load on the car. These two motors also offer a number of advantages, such as the possibility of parking via a remote application or of rotating the caravan through 360°. No need to mover, then. To power this electric caravan, a photovoltaic installation on the roof of the E.Home maximises its autonomy. The two motors also recover energy when driving downhill.

Still in the prototype stage, this electric caravan was to undergo a full-scale test. The Dethleffs teams therefore decided to cross the Alps with a 100% electric carriage. Planned for 2020, this journey was postponed to 2021 because of Covid. It was therefore carried out last July.

Crossing the Alps with a caravan and an electric car

Anyone who has ever been camping in the Alps with a caravan knows that the altitude differences in the Alps greatly increase the fuel consumption of the vehicle. With a conventional car, the only consequence is to make a few extra stops at petrol stations along the way. To make such a journey with an electric car towing a caravan would be much more complicated. For the Dethleffs teams, the Alps were a real-life test for the E.Home caravan prototype.

The route from Dethleffs’ home region of Allgaü over the Brenner Pass to Lake Garda is well known to German caravanners who go camping in Italy. This 386-kilometre route, which takes about six hours, was therefore chosen to challenge the all-electric team consisting of the E.Home caravan and an Audi e-Tron. With or without the caravan, Audi announced a range of just over 386 kilometres. Without the electric assistance of the caravan, the team would never have made it to Lake Garda.

Successful challenge for dethleffs’ E.Home caravan prototype

After a six-hour drive, the Audi and E.Home Duo entered the town centre of Riva, on the shores of Lake Garda. No recharging was necessary to cover the 386 kilometres. On the contrary, the batteries of the caravan and the car still had some autonomy when they reached their destination. The journey was completed at an average speed of 62.3 km/h.

This first run of the E.Home prototype on such a route was therefore a real success and gives hope to drivers of electric vehicles. But also for owners of combustion engine cars who still lack the power to tow a caravan.

Following the success of the E.Home in the Alps, Dethleffs is now considering its production, as Alexander Leopold, General Manager of Dethleffs, explains: “Although there are still a few hurdles to overcome before reaching production maturity and homologation capacity, the E.HOME caravan developed by Dethleffs, the Erwin Hymer Group and ZF is already a practical and forward-looking solution for environmentally friendly caravanning for all.

Written By

It is because we love traditional camping that we thought of this site. Because we sometimes regret that the rental accommodations now occupy so much space on campsites, we wanted to highlight the sites where tents, caravans and motorhomes are still the majority. And to offer all those who share our love of the outdoor life, a site with travel ideas, technical advice and above all a choice of campsites where it is good to come and put up your caravan or tent.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *