This Electric RV Is Covered With Solar Panels – Is This e.Home RV Feasible?

What if you never had to plug in your electric RV to recharge?

Photo: Dethleffs

Motorhomes are not very efficient…

Some people would like to find a greener way to head off the beaten path, and that’s what the EV Dethleffs e.home Solar RV is here to do. Well, if “off the beaten path” means well under 200 miles. That’s because the electrically powered Dethleffs e.home Solar RV has a maximum range of 174 miles, even less when loaded.

There is something to be said about a vehicle that can soak of the rays to aid in its charging.

Many RVs average under 10-miles per-gallon, and those are usually fairly efficient diesel RVs. The bottom line for all fuel-based vehicles is that they eventually need to stop and fuel up. Is it possible for a vehicle to sit for a bit and power up?

Photo: Dethleffs

No plug required?

Based on a Iveco Daily Electric chassis, the Dethleffs e.home Solar RV has an 80 kW motor. It also has a 228 Ah battery pack of sodium-nickel-chloride cells. No word on its solar energy output. Nor can we find how long they project the recharging time is based on solar energy alone. The Iveco Daily EV is estimated at a 90 to 130 km range at full load.

After doing some research, it could take several sunny days to recharge the batteries. Based on some estimates, those solar panels will give you under 2.5 kWh per day, even under perfect conditions. You might get around 2.3 kWh recharged per day – which is a guesstimate. It might be possible to get less than five-percent of a charge in a day. Just for perspective, an American average house uses 28.9 kWh in a day. It takes 30-60 kWh to charge a Tesla Model S.  

That’s also dependant on the occupants using no power while they wait.

Photo: Dethleffs

Here’s the builder’s perspective:

“Dethleffs knows this means a lot more then just putting bodywork on an electrically driven chassis. By implementing a fully-electric powertrain there are many challenges and equally opportunities for the entire vehicle. One significant opportunity is to do without any additional type of energy sources for the vehicle. This means that a motorhome with electric drive will also supply all the onboard services with electricity for the living area instead of gas. For example. And that is why solar power production becomes very important. At the same time. there are also a number of new technologies which will change the comfort, quality of life, plus the safety of future generations of motorhomes. Through this evolving process, systems will be further developed. And we expect rapid progress over the coming years for our e.home concept.” – Alexander Leopold, Dethleffs Managing Director

At least they are honest about this project’s need to evolve. Lots of other EV RV concepts are utter vaporware.

In time, we may see a vehicle that can realistically use solar panels to increase its range. Maybe a deployable massive solar panel could be towed as well? Of coarse, that would create even more drain on the EV. So, it’s going to be a while before this tech is perfected.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.