Take the ultimate eco-friendly road trip in this solar-powered motorhome

Take the ultimate eco-friendly road trip in this solar-powered motorhome

This new e.home is just a concept for now but it could be the ideal travel companion if you want to save some trees.

Campervans have come a long way from the velour-filled caravans with engines that they used to be, but the majority of them still have a regular petrol or diesel unit chugging away under the bonnet.

VW campers may be the vehicle of choice for hippy eco-warriors the world over, but averaging less than 30mpg and throwing out more pollution than you can shake a dipstick at really won’t save the planet.

This might, though. It’s a new concept motorhome from German manufacturer Dethleffs, and underneath its bonnet you won’t find an engine at all. Instead, there’s a 107bhp electric motor and a stack of batteries allowing for silent, emission-free camping at all times.

The e.home is based on the chassis of the Iveco Daily electric van, and in standard form it’ll do 174 miles between charges. However, loaded up with the usual array of facilities you’ll find in any modern motorhome will no doubt see that range tumble – which is where the e.home’s party piece comes into play.

The van’s black rippled sides and roof aren’t just a styling feature. In fact, they’re more than 30 square metres of solar panels. And while they won’t keep the e.home going indefinitely, they’ll definitely help increase the van’s range.

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Inside, you’ll find the usual mix of luxury fittings as in any top-spec motorhome. There’s no VW camper-style fold-out beds here – instead, there’s a full-sized double that pulls down over the cab, complete with a starlight projection system over it.

A full bathroom with toilet and shower sits in the corner, while the kitchen includes a massive fridge and ceramic hob, making the best use of all that available electricity.

How much does it cost? Well, as the e.home is only a concept for now, Dethleffs hasn’t revealed a price. But a diesel-powered motorhome kitted out like this would likely set you back between £60,000 and £80,000. Add in the extra cost of the electric powertrain, plus all those solar panels, and this van would not come cheap.

Story by Tom Wiltshire

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