The German travel-trailer and motorhome maker Dethleffs has brought a game-changer, particularly while you bear in mind the electrical trailers are probably rented while we wanted and may interface with an extensive variety of vehicles. It’s engineered and evolved the E. Home Caravan prototype which at first was provided the concept of the E. Home Coco in 2018, with an assist from the trip-planning corporation of Erwin Hymer and the auto-industry provider ZF.
Showcasing the strategy, Dethleffs last month included a 240-mile course throughout the Alps that’s famous amongst European RV owners. Using an Audi E-Tron SUV (EPA range score of 204 miles) it towed the large travel trailer on a single charge the entire route.
The course, which commenced at the employer’s manufacturing unit in Isny im Allgäu, Germany, took them over Brenner Pass and ended at the northern shore of Lake Garda, Italy. The machine gives us acceleration equal to what the E-Tron could in any other case provide as a solo automobile, and the setup is calibrated to enhance balance. It must additionally be mentioned that the tempo at the mountain path becomes leisurely, with the group taking more than six hours to cover the 240 miles.
After pushing towards a robust headwind for a part of the journey, the E-Tron and trailer reached the destination with 82 kWh utilized by the E-Tron and 74 kWh utilized by the trailer. The E.Home Caravan prototype has battery modules, with approximately forty kWh, with one in the front of the axle and the other at the back of it. The trailer also can offer strength out for different camping needs, or guide solar cells at the roof. It may be charged as much as 7.2 kW on AC, and it’s well suited with 50-kW DC fast-charging.
The batteries are contained internally, whilst an outer body contains the inverter, charging unit, and control unit. There’s a shielding honeycomb crash shape on the rear, and the enterprise says that it’s undergone numerous simulations for stability and reliability.
The batteries and the drive system together can approximately add up to 1,320 pounds to the load of the trailer, and even though the supplier didn’t offer a total, it’s well in the E-Tron’s rated 4,000 pounds. It plans to reduce the load to approximately 880 pounds in the coming version. To compare, the E-Tron SUV’s battery percent amounts to 1,573 pounds.
Developed by ZF, the drive unit of the trailer has 2 offset EVs making 30 kW of non-stop power (40 hp) each, or a maximum of 90 kW (121 hp) each. Each motor additionally makes a maximum of 66 lb-ft of torque, however with the 16:1 diminishing ratio, it amounts to 1,062 lb-ft on the wheels. When the car is slowing, the vehicles offer mild regenerative braking and feed strength back into the battery pack. The disk brakes are hydraulically in motion and are blended.
The most complicated piece of the kit in the setup might be the active towing load function for the Trailer Mobility Control unit, which provides the most effective thrust from the trailer to hold a steady towing load on the tow bar. It’s designed to be towed with an enormously low amount of energy from the tow car which adds more regen downhills to preserve that and it detects and compensates for crosswinds or corners.
Dethleffs says that the E. Home Caravan is “a future-proof solution” and could be suitable for combustion models, as it permits models with much less effective engines to tow a greater load.
Another advantage is a smartphone app-primarily based parking system that allows guiding the trailer exactly into its spot, more effortlessly than back in with the tow car.
Audi merits props for highlighting this issue as in February 2020 it towed a 4,000-pound trailer containing a GM EV1—the first modern EV from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Austin, Texas, for an EV event. Audi averaged just 1.3 miles per kilowatt-hour in over 504 miles in 35-degree weather. Given the E-Tron’s former 83.6-kWh usable range to less than 110 miles per charge, an almost 50% reduction from the E-Tron’s predicted EPA range.
Over a 7,700-mile journey in 2019, pals of Green Car Reports noticed a range cut of 45 to 60 percent while pulling a 3,800-pound travel trailer with their Tesla Model X rated to drag 5,000 pounds amounting to a real-world range of 200 miles and bringing a few logistical challenges which include Supercharger stalls that weren’t towing-friendly that Tesla wouldn’t in any other case confront.
The E-Home Caravan isn’t yet legal in Europe, outline Dethleffs. But with the assist of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and an exploratory initiative from RV companies, the testing manner is underway and a framework might be adopted soon.
In the U.S. there could be similar hurdles with certification, even though Dethleffs hasn’t attested anything about bringing it to this continent. It isn’t the first corporation to indicate such a concept, though: Airstream introduced in February that it’s pursuing electric-powered travel trailers, Lordstown Motors last year introduced a partnership with Camping World that targets to provide an electrified travel trailer as quickly as in 2022, with an electric-powered RV to return later.
Soon, perhaps, it’ll simply be about renting an electrified trailer, connecting an interface, and getting a lift as you tow with an EV truck and get a much lighter footprint.