This Electric RV Uses a Rotary Engine as a Range Extender

Image for this article titled Electric RV uses a rotary engine as a range extender

Photo: naus tabbert

Electric vehicle technology is revolutionizing everything from city cars to aircraft, but not yet RV Industry. RV Buyers Want Lots of Range for Long Road Trips But This One The hurdle one company seems to have solved with a Class-C electric RV that uses a rotary engine as a range extender.

Yes, you read that right. We’re talking about an EV with a rotary range Extender And it’s not Mazda.

rv maker Playing with battery-electric technology for a while, but campers are heavy and Aerodynamics of a brick. this is bad news for range, and why would you buy an RV if you don’t take it on long road trips? like fully electric RVs WOF Iridium exists, but is not yet widely accepted.

german camper manufacturer naus tabbert Makes some pretty distinctive campers. here in the states, its old style T@B Teardrop Camper is licensed Newcamp RV.

Image for this article titled Electric RV uses a rotary engine as a range extender

Photo: Newcamp RV

Knaus thinks there’s a solution One Electric RV that extends its range with rotary power. Its E.Power Drive Concept debuted in Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany.

e.Power Drive started with the company Naus Van Ti 650 MEG VanSation, a Class-C motorhome based on the Fiat Ducato. With the help of Naus, a racing engineering firm HWA AG, threw away Fiat’s diesel engine and manual transmission for its own EV gear

Image for this article titled Electric RV uses a rotary engine as a range extender

Photo: naus tabbert

The RV is now powered by a 241 hp electric motor running through a reduction gearbox. Top speed is very leisurely, 68 mph advertised as “over”.

The interior is what you would expect from a motorhome like this.

Image for this article titled Electric RV uses a rotary engine as a range extender

Photo: naus tabbert

Image for this article titled Electric RV uses a rotary engine as a range extender

Photo: naus tabbert

The rear of the RV is powered by a 35 kWh battery. That battery is small for applications and, surprisingly, it can only go for 56 miles before running out of juice. But when it does, the three-rotor Wankel wakes up and increases the driving range of the RV.

Image for this article titled Electric RV uses a rotary engine as a range extender

Photo: naus tabbert

This engine is a bit of a multitasker as it provides power to charge the battery, power the electric drive motor, and power the RV’s living space. And when parked, the Rotary can provide up to five days’ worth of power over a tank of fuel.

It is said to take three hours for the battery to be charged with a wall charger, even with Rotary Assist.ting, it is Able to get it down to 35 minutes.

Image for this article titled Electric RV uses a rotary engine as a range extender

Photo: naus tabbert

Knaus says the benefits of using a rotary engine for this purpose are that the engine is compact, uses fewer parts and is easier to assemble than a typical engine. The company says any engine can do the job, and its future goal is to replace that rotary with another new technology, hydrogen power.

The e.power drive is definitely an odd take on electrifying RVs, but I’m here for it. The e.Power drive seems to be just a concept for now and, sadly, Knauss doesn’t provide any data about how far an RV can drive with a range extender or specs for the rotary.

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