EVs Are Transforming How Americans Go Camping

A recent survey by America’s biggest campground operator has revealed that electric vehicles are quite popular in the camping community. The poll by Kampgrounds of America found that 4% of regular campers in the country own battery electric vehicles (BEVs) compared to only 1% of Americans.

Although the Biden administration has made significant investments in boosting electric-vehicle adoption in the country, BEVs still make up a tiny portion of total vehicles. Their high prices coupled with insufficient public-charging infrastructure have kept most drivers from transitioning to electric cars, even drivers who are interested in EV technology.

Even so, the Kampgrounds of America survey indicated that electric cars may have found a home in the camping community. Unlike internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions and run extremely quietly. Transmitting electricity from their batteries straight to their wheels grants even basic-level EVs greater torque and faster acceleration.

This makes them great at towing camper trailers because they can tow strongly at both high and low speeds with limited driver intervention. Campers who use electric cars to pull their camper trailers do not have to shift gears or strain while operating their vehicles. According to Matt Linn from the Hill Country in Texas, camping with his electric pickup truck, the Ford F-150 Lightning, means he doesn’t have to constantly watch the transmission or motor temps when he tows his camper trailer across hilly terrain.

For EV-inclined campers such as Linn, one of the main concerns before using an electric car for towing purposes is range. Pulling a heavy trailer consumes a lot of range in both electric and conventional vehicles. Petrol and diesel-powered cars can pull into one of the innumerable gas stations across the country, refill, and be on their way in minutes. However, America’s insufficient and often unreliable public-charging infrastructure means that EV drivers have to meticulously plan out long-distance travel routes to ensure there are enough functional charging stations at regular intervals.

Linn says his electric truck can travel 150 miles while towing a trailer while Rivian R1S owner Mike Kowal says he can tow his Airstream trailer for 200 miles. He also takes advantage of wind direction on his return trip to limit air resistance and energy drain on his R1S.

McKay Featherstone, head of product development at RV and camper manufacturer Thor Industries, says the company is focusing on aerodynamics research to make its vehicles as aerodynamic as possible to target the EV driving market. Kampgrounds of America has installed EV chargers on around 5% of its camping grounds and is expected to reach 50% over the next decade.

With more people enjoying their camping trips and using EVs to tow their campers, some skeptics could be won over by this revolution and make the switch to electric vehicles from manufacturers such as ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. Ltd. (NASDAQ: SOLO) for their everyday motoring needs.

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