Airstream’s Electric RV Concepts Enable Eco-Friendly Road Trips
Airstream owner Thor Industries has hinted at future plans with two new electric RV concepts, both shown in the video below.
The more notable of the two designs is the eStream trailer, which features an electric powertrain with high-capacity lithium batteries that take the strain off the vehicle towing it.
Electric motors attached to each of the eStream’s wheels turn on when it begins to move, allowing the towing vehicle to conserve battery power and maintain range (or save fuel s he does not yet have an electric vehicle).
Another neat trick is Remote Mode which allows the owner to use a mobile app to slowly (and very carefully) direct the eStream to a specific location after unhitching it from the vehicle.
But it does not stop there. Airstream’s modern travel trailer also features solar panels that allow off-grid camping for long periods of time, while the modern interior features touchscreen and voice-activated climate and light controls.
Designed and built in partnership with its European subsidiary Erwin Hymer Group and technology company ZF, Thor said the eStream “addresses the main concern of electric vehicle users – range limitation”.
The Indiana-based company explained, “Studies have shown that electric vehicles experience significant range loss even when towing a small trailer. The technology we co-developed creates a synchronized relationship between trailer and tow vehicle, allowing the trailer to move in harmony with the tow vehicle… This, in turn, greatly improves the possible range of the combination . Essentially, we transformed the trailer into an electric vehicle.
Josef Hjelmaker, Chief Innovation Officer of Thor, described the eStream’s technology as “a game-changer for our industry and others”.
Airstream’s other concept is the Vision Vehicle, a sleek and lightweight electric motorhome powered by high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that give it an impressive range of 300 miles. The digital elements of the Vision Vehicle are highlighted in the videos below.
Whether or not Thor decides to mass-produce these exact models remains to be seen, but at the very least variations on the designs seem like a distinct possibility. They won’t be cheap, of course, but for wealthy folks who want to take an eco-friendly road trip, one of these stylish RVs would definitely be an attractive option.