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NewsThe Lightship L1 is an RV Trailer That Propels Itself to Help...

The Lightship L1 is an RV Trailer That Propels Itself to Help Towing with an EV

Lightship believes self-propelled trailers are the future of camping.

  • This trailer is powered by an 80-kWh battery pack and electric motors.

  • The trailer can fold down to only 6 feet 9 inches tall to improve aerodynamics.

  • Starting price is set at $125,000 in the United States.

Towing with electric vehicles is impractical for many drivers due to the significant impact the weight and aerodynamics of the trailer have on the range of the tow vehicle.

In order to help EV drivers reach farther destinations, Lightship developed a new RV trailer that is equipped with its own electric powertrain.

The Lightship L1 is a 27-foot-long RV trailer that puts focus on aerodynamics and renewable energies in order to allow off-the-grid camping without the use of polluting and noisy generators.

Lightship L1 | Photo: Lightship

Since the goal of this trailer is to limit the effect of towing on the range of EVs or the fuel consumption of gasoline-powered vehicles, it features a specialized design that is different from most other trailers.

Indeed, this trailer is constructed in a way that allows it to measure only 6 feet 9 inches tall when on the road, and expand up to 10 feet tall once parked to allow adults to walk inside it.

Combined with angled front and rear ends, this helps the trailer fit inside the draft area behind most trucks without causing a disturbance in the flow of air.

Lightship L1 | Photo: Lightship

In addition, an 80-kWh battery and electric motors power the wheels of the trailer in order to limit the effort required from the tow vehicle during acceleration and while going up hills.

This same battery is also used to provide power to the trailer once installed on a campsite that doesn’t feature electrical hookups. To avoid campers having to use a gasoline generator to recharge this battery, the roof is covered in solar panels which can provide up to 3 kW of power, helping the energy supplies last for up to a week according to the company.

While actual images of the prototype are provided to show the exterior of the trailer, its interior is only revealed in renderings.

Lightship L1 | Photo: Lightship

A look inside shows a spacious dinette area which forms an elongated U-shape around the front, a square kitchen sink, and an integrated oven and cooktop on the left side, while the right side is occupied by a long counter over cupboards and drawers.

A bathroom occupies the width of the trailer at the rear and the very large and numerous windows all around the L1 provide a large amount of light to the interior. Some of the large picture windows on both sides also open upward, which should provide lots of ventilation.

One of the drawbacks created by the folding design of this trailer is that everything that is solid has to be installed in the bottom half of the trailer, which means no cupboard can be hung from the ceiling and a residential-size fridge doesn’t fit.

Lightship L1 | Photo: Lightship

Another peculiarity is that the 4 to 6 people who can sleep in the Lightship L1 will have to share one large bed made by converting the dinette.

Of course, combining RV trailers and electric vehicles doesn’t come cheap, and Lightship announced a starting price of $125,000 in the United States.

Since the trailer is considered a dwelling for tax purposes, buyers will be able to benefit from a tax credit due to the presence of solar panels and a battery, which should reduce its price down to $118,400.

Lightship L1 | Photo: Lightship

Preorders have already begun and those interested are invited to put $500 down in order to be on the list to receive their trailer once production starts late next year.

Lightship is not the only company to unveil a futuristic RV trailer recently, since Airstream collaborated with Porsche to develop the Studio F.A. Porsche Concept.

This trailer is a fairly small 16.4 feet long unit designed to sleep two people and be towed by electric vehicles or smaller gasoline-powered models.

Airstream Studio F.A. Porsche Concept | Photo : Airstream

Due to its small shape and its adaptive suspension which can lower and raise to improve aerodynamics and access, this trailer is also capable of entering standard residential garages.

Other distinctive features include a raisable roof section that contains solar panels and a rear split tailgate which opens to reveal two seats and an unobstructed view outside.

Airstream Studio F.A. Porsche Concept | Photo : Airstream
Airstream Studio F.A. Porsche Concept | Photo : Airstream

Source: Electrek

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