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  • Writer's pictureSilvia Josten

Caravan Salon 2023 - e-mobility only as an add-on?!

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Elektroauto mit Wohnmobilanhänger, der seinen Strom über das Auto bezieht

It's that time again: The Caravan Salon 2023 in Düsseldorf opens its doors once more. At the world's largest trade fair for mobile travel, 750 exhibitors in 16 halls will present trends and useful information about caravanning. We were on site and look for innovations in e-mobility: Are there further developments in electric drives? How do electric vehicles complement the overall "sustainable travel" package? What role does e-mobility play in caravans and the like? We took a look around.

Electric drives are no longer a topic at the Caravan Salon

Last year we still saw a few studies full of electric touring campers that were supposed to point the way to an electrified future of the motorhome landscape. This year, most manufacturers have left even these studies at home and are monotonously proclaiming that electrification of drives is not feasible. The reasons:

1. the increased weight of the vehicles due to the batteries to be installed lead to several problems that do not seem to be solvable even in the near future.

due to the higher weight of the vehicles, the existing driving licence is often no longer sufficient for many users. Drivers who obtained their Class B driving licence after 1 January 1999 may only drive motor vehicles up to a maximum permissible mass of 3.5 tonnes. However, this limit is to be raised to 4.25 tonnes this autumn.

2. purely electric vehicles have too short a range for holiday trips. Batteries that would provide acceptable range performance would be far too large.

3. and lastly: The vehicles would be too expensive. They would no longer be attractive in terms of price as a motorhome for the holiday season.

This means that the topic of purely electric drives is over for the manufacturers. And no VW ID. Buzz in which you put a mattress. Even the presentation of a plug-in study of the popular VW T7 California Concept does not convince the true e-mobilist. Knaus did bring its test vehicle, but parked it far away in the back corner of the exhibition hall. The project of purely electric drives will not be pursued further.

elektrische Wohnmobil-Camper auf der Caravan 2023

But at least Knaus is presenting a world first: the Yaseo is the caravan of e-mobility. The YASEO offers gas-free electrical appliances as standard, such as an induction hob, air conditioning and refrigerator. Thanks to standard E.POWER technology, all appliances can be powered by shore power or from an electric towing vehicle with V2L technology. Simply plug in the charging cable in the towing vehicle and in the YASEO, and you have the perfect connection for energy exchange. In addition, the newly designed, narrow body reduces the frontal area by 14 % compared to conventional caravans. This ensures significantly reduced air resistance. This and the remarkable lightness of the trailer offer decisive range advantages with e-vehicles.

The trend is towards urban campers and microcamping

Campers love freedom, nature and the opportunity to move around as freely as possible even with their vehicle. And now they have the opportunity to upgrade their individual dream vehicle to a purely electric version for their own travel needs. There are numerous design options here and so the e-mobilist can configure his vehicle individually.

Elektroauto mit Campingausstattung Dachzelt und Küche

At the Caravan Salon 2023, Nissan will present the all-electric Nissan Townstar EV station wagon with camping extension for the first time. In addition to a practical kitchen module, the family electric vehicle also comes with a practical roof tent. In addition to a two-burner gas hob and a sink with water connection, a cool box with a capacity of fourteen litres is also installed. Drawers for kitchen accessories and a drawer with knives and work surface are also included. The Maggiolina Airlander Plus Black roof tent has a lying area of 130 x 210 cm and can be raised with a crank. A height-adjustable aluminium ladder provides access to the inside of the roof tent via one of the two entrances. Two adults can fit comfortably inside. Among other things, it is equipped with mosquito nets at all openings, a sound-absorbing interior canopy and a practical ceiling lamp.

The electric motor has an output of 90 kW (122 hp). The 45 kWh battery can accept AC charging up to 22 kW or DC via the CCS connection. The latter allows charging from 15 to 80 percent in just 37 minutes. In addition, the e-car is equipped with a heat pump that efficiently heats the vehicle interior. But also a battery cooling system that optimises the life of the drive battery is on board. In addition, there were numerous exhibitors who also offer individual vehicle conversions. Here, interested campers see all the possibilities: from purist variants to original vehicle concepts. A lot of emphasis is also placed on optimal transport options for light vehicles, which may then also be electric. For the safe transport of the e-moped in the rear garage, Camp&Bike now offers a scooter holder system including a drive-on rail called Moto. With the modular construction principle of BOBs Garage, fixing is now easy and flexible to implement in the motorhome garage.

mehrere Eindrücke und Bilder der Messe Caravan Salon 2023

e-mobility as complementary vehicles

On the open-air site, micromobility suppliers present their e-vehicles. Although there were fewer exhibitors overall than in previous years, I met our tried and tested partners here who made their e-scooters and e-bikes available for test drives.

In addition to the tried and tested scuddy Premium, Scuddy is also showing the new scuddy Quad, a four-wheeled variant with a rigid rear axle. The configuration possibilities of the saddle, battery, handlebar and other vehicle parts are manifold. Almost anything is possible! The vehicle can be pre-ordered now.

Steereon presents part of the colour variety of its vehicles, as the Steereon is available in up to 25 colours. New: The permissible total weight of the hybrid vehicle consisting of e-bike and e-scooter could be increased from 135 to 150 kg. And there is now the option of ordering a luggage rack. Additional baskets for the luggage carrier and handlebars expand the carry options for shopping trips and larger tours.

Moovi has a patented load carrier system, which allows a high payload. New here is the offer of a large cool box. This makes the Moovi e-Scoooter particularly interesting for delivery services and parcel delivery companies. The manufacturer announces that it will soon be possible to attach additional batteries to the back of the transport plate. Then one can briefly change the battery connections and continue the journey. A sensible extension for even more range.

Egret has arrived with the entire product range. Among them are the Egret One Limited Edition, which won the Eurobike Awards 2023, the Egret Pro and the Egret X. In just a few days there will be a new addition to the latter model: Colour will come into play. The Hamburg-based manufacturer will tell us more shortly.

Vier Beispiele elektrische Leichtfahrzeuge als Ergänzung beim Camping geeignet
Micromobility for motorhomers

My personal highlight: the SpaceCamper Bike

Finally, I enjoyed a private presentation of the SpaceCamper Bike by the co-founder and CEO of Spacecamper, Ben Wawra. Together with his colleague, he travelled from Darmstadt with the self-developed conversion of the electric "Load" cargo bike from Riese&Müller, which he also uses as an overnight accommodation in Düsseldorf. Five years ago, together with Markus Riese, the idea was born to turn a "normal e-cargo bike" into a multifunctional electric cargo bike on two wheels that can be used universally in everyday life, but is also suitable for leisure and holidays. The SpaceCamper Bike offers a bed, a table, numerous storage options and a roof over your head. It is made for digital nomads, leisure-hungry city dwellers, bicycle travellers and all other people in search of the right work-life balance. Home office in the middle of nature? No problem with the SpaceCamper Bike! "This bike is a real alternative that meets the essential needs of people. It allows you to be closer to nature and yourself, to just get down," Ben enthuses. And then I get to see it live and even try it out, because it's right behind the Spacecamper stand. And yes, it is very relaxing to lie on the variable lying surface.

Vier Ansichten eines e-Lastenrads und dessen Umbaumöglichkeiten für die Nutzung im Freien zum  Arbeiten, Schlafen, Kochen und Essen.
Camping with e-cargobike

Tickets for the CARAVAN SALON 2023:

The CARAVAN SALON in Düsseldorf is open to trade visitors and interested parties until 03 September from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. A day ticket costs €17 during the week, €19 at the weekend, reduced tickets (now also for ADAC members) cost €14 on weekdays, €16 on Saturdays and Sundays. Afternoon tickets (Mon. - Fri., 2-6pm) are charged at just €10. A children's ticket (6-12 years) is available for €6 to €8. Tickets can only be ordered online via the ticket shop.


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