Electric Vehicle World Tour: An Eminent Epic VW T3 Camper Van’s Journey

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You might have noticed our small series about a UK-based company called eDub services that converts gorgeous VW T2 Camper Vans to electric propulsion, but where do you go when you have made one for yourself? Well, one simple option is to go around the world, of course! But how will you charge in the deserts of Kazakhstan? The sun is the solution!

Electric Vehicle World Tour

After I wrote about eDub services the first time, I was made aware of people who took the whole solar classic rebuilds very serious, like this fantastic solar electric VW Bus by Brett and Kira Belan, but then this guy Rémi sent me a note…

Image from the EV World Tour Press release

Engineer Remi Pillot and architect Alexandra Perfettini from France have converted their own VW T3 and put solar panels on it, and attached a trailer with more solar panels, and its own battery! This short video explains their plan for the Electric Vehicle World Tour (EVWT):

But like every other plan in the world, this plan has been disrupted by the Coronavirus, so I asked them what they would do now? Rémi told me they had taken advantage of the involuntary wait, and he explained upcoming updates on the vehicle that they call NANO:

“The NANO is a VW T3 syncro (4×4) Van from 1987, that I have been converting to electric drive, these last 2 years.

“It has a 42 kWh Tesla battery pack right now, with a 80 kW Siemens asynchronous motor, for a range of 150 km (93 miles). We will try to update the battery in the next month or so, up to 85 kWh to double the range.

“The van was homologated in Romania (EU), and we can now travel around.

“We’re currently making a solar trailer (EVE) to recharge NANO, we have 80 m2 of solar array for a total peak capacity of 15 kW.

“The trailer will recharge NANO in one day (parked) with two 7 kW inverters/chargers from Victron.

“We’ll try our best to have the production going even when while driving! (3 kWc)
The Trailer is able to store energy as well in its BMW 48V – 10 kWh battery pack.

“The goal was to go around the world in a CO2 emission free trip, only powered by the sun. However, the current state of the global pandemic, has forced us to change our plans to go only around Europe, but the goal is to show it’s possible to travel this way, and make people aware of electric retrofit and the power of renewable energy.”

These people are dedicated! I am astonished how these examples of truly innovative (and often quite young) people keep popping up more and more often. There is a real desire to tinker with these beautiful old vehicles and bring them into the new electric era. The possibilities seem endless.

We will undoubtedly get back to Rémi and Alexandra later. Until then visit their comprehensive YouTube channel and enjoy these fabulous photos of the NANO.

What an epic journey this could be. Here’s wishing you all the luck you need!

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Jesper Berggreen

Jesper had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of Lifelike.dk and a long-term investor in Tesla, Ørsted, and Vestas.

Jesper Berggreen has 243 posts and counting. See all posts by Jesper Berggreen