SpaceX alums beat RV establishment to first electric camper van in US• https://newatlas.com, By C.C. Weiss
That's set to change with a little push from outside the old guard in Elkhart (and Minnesota). Founded just last year by ex-SpaceX and Tesla engineers, Detroit-based Grounded RVs has presented a Ford E-Transit camper van it plans to have ready for delivery in a few weeks' time. More than just a silent, zero-emissions camping coach with loads of solar power, the Grounded G1 is an impressive smart RV with a modular interior design that lets buyers customize their ideal floor plan before heading off on a cleaner style of road trip.
Like recent electric camper van concepts on both sides of the Atlantic, the G1 relies on the Ford E-Transit as its basis. A reason we haven't seen a US-market production E-Transit camper van is because that platform tops out at 126 miles (203 km) per charge. Base your camper on the high-roof version for more headroom and volume, as Grounded does, and that number drops to 108 miles (174 km), a paltry figure when leaving close-knit urban centers for anything resembling the open road.
Grounded is already planning to remedy the problem, and buyers looking for more mileage will want to wait for the 250-mile (402-km) G2 camper it intends to introduce this US summer – sounds like a camper van based on the new Mercedes eSprinter to us, but we'll see. Road trippers who don't mind short excursions or slow, methodical trips with plenty of stops along the way can declare themselves "First!" with the 108-mile G1, available for preorder now.
Grounded uses modularity as the basis of its manufacturing paradigm, offering a full ecosystem of modules and components from which each buyer can shop and build up a floor plan. The company says that this system allows it to offer customized floor plans without the long lead times that fully custom vans often entail.