The road trip-meets-camping experience, a unique blend of adventure and comfort, has been gaining popularity in recent years. The compact recreational vehicles, known as camper vans, have become the epitome of this trend.
Outfitted with home-like comforts such as sleeping spaces and kitchenettes, these vehicles offer a unique way to explore the great outdoors. However, the rise of electric camper vans is adding a new, eco-friendly dimension to this trend.
According to an article by CNN, the interest in camper vans has surged in recent years, bolstered by social media streams flooded with images and videos depicting idealized, nature-immersive #vanlife travel scenes.
Yet, for the nature-loving travelers who tend to gravitate toward these outdoor adventure-ready vans, there’s a crisis of conscience at play. The traditional gas-guzzling vehicles are known for their carbon emissions, contributing to the worsening global climate crisis.
The automobile industry has seen a significant shift towards electric vehicles (EVs), with fossil fuel-powered internal combustion engines being increasingly replaced by battery-powered electric motors. This shift is now making its way into the camper van market.
The demand for these electrified camper vans is being driven largely by younger generations who are “looking for a more eco-friendly way to go camping,” says Becker. Peter Grunert, coordinating author of Lonely Planet’s new book “Electric Vehicle Road Trips—Europe,” concurs that the vehicles appeal to travelers with eco-sensibility.
Despite barriers like underdeveloped charging infrastructure and limited EV driving range, customers are drawn to electric camper vans. They are quieter than gas-powered models and enable off-grid camping. Additionally, the cost savings of recharging with electricity instead of refueling with gas make them an attractive option.
Currently, electric camper vans are available in limited locations. In North America, Quebec is one of the few regions where they can be rented. Europe offers a slightly wider inventory. Companies like Goboony in Europe and Outdoorsy in the US provide electric campervan rentals.
Gillett News also highlights the rise of electric camper vans, noting that they offer a greener way to travel. Major brands are developing electric camper vans, joining the market of custom DIY conversions. Bromont Campervan in Quebec, Canada, is aiming to convert its entire fleet to electric by 2025. Norway Overland in Norway offers fully electric overland pickups with camper shells, perfect for off-roading in the stunning Norwegian wilderness.
With the rise of electric camper vans, travelers can enjoy the benefits of a camper van vacation while minimizing their carbon footprint. These vehicles offer all-in-one convenience, immersion in nature, and the freedom of unbound travel, making them a sustainable choice for eco-conscious adventurers.
The emergence of electric camper vans marks a significant shift in the recreational vehicle industry. As more companies invest in developing these eco-friendly vehicles and infrastructure improves, it’s likely that electric camper vans will become an increasingly common sight on our roads. This shift towards sustainable travel options is not just a trend, but a reflection of a broader societal move towards environmental consciousness and responsibility.