THOR Industries, in partnership with the RV Industry Association (RVIA), is pioneering a crucial initiative: the development of RV-friendly EV charging stations. This move comes at a time when federal funds are being directed towards expanding the EV infrastructure, highlighting a gap in the current landscape – the need for inclusivity for recreational travelers.
As states deliberate on the allocation of these unprecedented funds, THOR’s initiative serves as a reminder that the country’s recreational travelers, a significant portion of whom are RV users, must not be overlooked.
As per the News & Insights report of the RVIA, the partnership aims to commission a report that delves into the current EV landscape, posing a critical question: Are the plans for expanding EV charging stations considerate of all drivers, including those towing RVs, boats, or utility trailers?
The partnership’s first step is the commissioning of a comprehensive report on the EV landscape. This report is expected to shed light on the inclusivity – or lack thereof – of current and planned EV charging infrastructures. It’s a move that underscores THOR’s commitment to ensuring that the expansion of EV infrastructure caters to the unique needs of RV users.
This initiative reflects a deeper understanding of the evolving needs of drivers who are increasingly turning to electric vehicles for both everyday use and recreational travel.
By focusing on the inclusivity of EV charging stations, THOR Industries is advocating for a sector of travelers often overlooked in infrastructure planning. Their efforts highlight the importance of considering all types of electric vehicle users, especially those who contribute significantly to the recreational and tourism sectors.
One of the primary challenges identified by THOR Industries and the RVIA is the prevalent design of current EV charging stations.
Most stations are equipped with pull-in charging, which, while suitable for passenger electric vehicles, poses significant challenges for vehicles towing trailers. This design oversight has left a substantial portion of the RV community without suitable charging options.
The issue at hand is more than just an inconvenience; it’s a barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles among RV users. The majority of charging stations require drivers to decouple their trailers or occupy multiple parking spaces, making the charging process cumbersome and sometimes even impossible for those towing larger trailers or RVs.
To address these challenges, THOR Industries advocates for the adoption of pull-through charging stations. This alternative design allows drivers more room to maneuver without the need to unhitch their vehicle, offering a practical and much-needed solution for RV travelers.
The concept of pull-through charging is not just about convenience; it’s about ensuring that the infrastructure evolves to meet the needs of all EV users.
The conversation around pull-through charging stations gains urgency following the U.S. Department of Transportation’s creation of the National Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.
Funded by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program is a golden opportunity to reshape the country’s EV charging landscape in a way that is inclusive of the RV community’s needs.
In response to these challenges, THOR Industries has taken a proactive approach by unveiling innovative designs for EV charging stations.
These stations are conceptualized to serve not just electric RVs but also EV tow vehicles, showcasing a deep understanding of the diverse needs within the RV community. The designs go beyond functionality, incorporating elements that enhance the overall user experience.
These proposed charging stations are a testament to THOR’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. They are designed to be more than mere charging points; they are envisioned as spaces where travelers can relax and enjoy their surroundings, potentially including amenities like solar power and natural elements. This approach reflects a shift in how infrastructure can contribute positively to the travel experience.
The opportunity extends beyond just upgrading existing facilities. It includes the potential to create new, innovative charging stations that cater to the unique needs of RV travelers.
Some locations, like KOA Campgrounds, have already begun offering EV charging, setting a precedent for others to follow. This movement towards a more inclusive infrastructure is crucial for bridging the gap between urban and rural EV charging options.
THOR Industries’ initiative for RV-friendly EV charging stations is more than just an industry-specific endeavor; it’s a significant step towards an inclusive future for electric mobility.
By addressing the unique needs of the RV community, THOR is not only advocating for a significant sector of the travel and tourism industry but also contributing to the broader shift towards sustainable travel.