Now even caravans go electric: first battery powered-trailer unveiled in the US

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Following in the footsteps of electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers around the world, US company Airstream has unveiled the world’s first battery-powered trailer.

The “eStream” looks very similar to the company’s classic aluminium models that have been a feature on US roads since the 1960s.

But the new trailer features a battery-electric powertrain designed to take pressure off the vehicle towing.

It also features “Drive Mode” which will allow the caravan to power itself for a period of time.

The electric motors also help distribute the weight on the towing hitch, improving mileage.

The eStream can even be controlled remotely via a smartphone in low-speed situations.

That means it can be reversed, hitched or moved around a campsite without the need for another car to be involved.

The eStream concept has a pair of electric motors at each wheel that pump out a combined 242 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.

Also the trailer’s advanced features allows regenerative braking to charge the battery pack and offer more driving range.

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The system can also apply power or braking force on either wheel for better weight distribution and stability during cornering manoeuvres.

Those two motors draw power from an 80 kWh battery pack. Combined with fitted 900-watt solar panels, the battery offers enough power for about two weeks worth of outside living.

Those batteries also power the trailer’s hi-tech electrical gadgets, including voice-activated lighting and climate controls like in a smart home.

The design is also updated with more modern features like LED lights.

Airstream’s owners, Thor Industries, also have plans for a fully-electric RV known as a TVV.

Based on a Ford Transit, the TVV has a similar powertrain to the eSteam trailer.

But it has a bigger battery to achieve around 300 miles of range and a hydrogen fuel cell to power it when camping.

The cost of each vehicle is not yet known. 

Just last week a company called Winnebago unveiled an all-electric campervan known as the e_RV.

The e-RV has all the powered features of a normal camper van, with 350v of power running a water heater and a roof-mounted air conditioner with a heat pump.

110-volt AC runs the refrigerator and induction cooktop.

The setup uses an integrated control system accessible by tablet or smartphone and offers a dual-modem system for “residential-grade” wireless internet.

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