Electric Camper Towed By BMW i3 Shines In Düsseldorf

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Originally published on Gas2.
By Chase McCurdy

You may recall last year the release of Dethleffs E.Home electric motorhome. The first-of-its-kind all-electric camper was a veritable mobile solar generating station that would get you well over 100 miles out of the city, and charge itself while you camped for the trip back. Now the new towable E.Home Coco caravan trailer joins Dethleffs’ growing stable of ways to save and see the environment at the same time.

Just like its larger sibling, the E.Home Coco comes with a bank of solar panels for recharge and power availability on the go. This tow trailer has a neat trick, though. It is self-propelled, meaning smaller and more eco-friendly vehicles can handle the caravan. Dethleffs is aiming for an all-electric camper experience, and the electric-powered Coco can be towed by vehicles like the BMW i3.

The 80kW battery pack and twin 40kW motors on the split axel paired with a load-limiting tow tongue mean that the tow vehicle experiences only around 220 lb of tow force at a maximum. No need for a gas guzzler to pull this puppy. Electric vehicles towing the Coco will see far less range loss, meaning a trip to the country and back can be done without any range anxiety.

The perks don’t end on the roadway, either. Those solar panels mean your morning green juice is as easy as plugging in the blender, and Dethleffs has played with features like wireless phone chargers and photoelectric window shades in the past meaning going green at the campground likely brings more comfort as well. In addition, an accompanying app can even take advantage of the torque vectoring of the trailer to park itself in a tight campsite with the touch of a screen.

Interestingly, this little trailer has one more trick up its sleeve as well. Once at home and plugged in, the trailer can function as an emergency power bank in case of a power outage or as solar energy storage for charging your daily driver, further reducing emissions by keeping electric vehicles off the grid and charged up.

There are still improvements to be made, as in the coming year Dethleffs plans to further reduce workload on the tow vehicle to improve range and reduce strain. The vanilla version is out now, and hopefully, soon this concept will be a reality on the campgrounds of America.

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