• Business Business

Automakers release fully electric camper van that can charge itself — ushering in a new era of road trips

"Amazing! Let's go!"

"Amazing! Let's go!"

Photo Credit: Maxwell Vehicles

Two West Coast automotive startups — the Los Angeles-based Maxwell Vehicles and Colorado's Rossmönster — are teaming up to create a battery electric camper van that can be charged via solar panels on its roof. Maxwell is handling the EV technology, while Rossmönster is designing the van's interior.

The van, which has been named Vanacea, will be sold by Maxwell and has plenty of features that should appeal to environmentally minded outdoors lovers.

These features include a 1,560-watt charging capacity from the solar roof, which is able to harvest energy from the sun while parked or in motion, as well as a compact instantaneous hot water heater, 9,000 BTU heat pump, and kitchenette complete with induction cooktop. Maxwell says that it can charge fully in 30 minutes when connected to a DC fast charger.

The first iteration of Vanacea to be released will have a 150-mile range and a Combined Charging System hookup, but Maxwell says that an upgraded version is already in the works for 2024 or 2025 that includes a dual battery that allows for a 250-mile range, with an added North American Charging Standard port.

Maxwell 2
Maxwell 3

The vehicle is not yet for sale, but Maxwell can be contacted for a price quote. The company says that it will be available for rentals in some select areas before becoming available to purchase.

Similar products from other companies have already started making their way to market, as it tracks that people who love camping and the outdoors might be interested in a vehicle suited to the task that has as little negative environmental impact as possible. Winnebago recently showcased a new electric camper van concept, while another company recently released a line of portable solar panels that can be attached to an RV.

Electrek's commenters, though somewhat suspicious of the lack of an official price tag, were excited about the concept of Vanacea.

"AMAZING! Let's go! Also, when will it be available in Europe/Norway?" wrote one.

"UK is way behind on camper EVs. We here need improved incentives," wrote another.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider