What times, those of the iconic Volkswagen bus: the most popular compact camper for decades, entered our collective imagination. Virtually everywhere: in old photos, in our memories, even in Scooby Doo cartoons. Today the German company is trying a relaunch in an electric key, but perhaps it does not grasp the growing trend: that of the electric micro camper, which is advancing inexorably.
Without going too far (we stay in Germany) we find ElectricBrands, the startup that is designing and producing X-BUS, a multifunction electric vehicle that can be converted into a truck, van and micro camper. The company has just presented the first prototype of the camper version, and at least for my taste (I've seen so many) is something delicious.
What's in an XBUS?
The micro camper is just under 4 meters (156 inches) long: it is 8 centimeters shorter than my Peugeot 207! What prodigy is this? What could they have put in it?
The beautiful and the good. Especially if the roof lifts (to have standing space) and the seats become a comfortable double bed. That's all? Stand or sleep? Not at all. ElectricBrands anticipates that XBUS will be equipped with a sink, a fridge and an induction plate (which I don't actually see in the prototype): sure, the concept is in the initial phase, but this increases my expectations on this electric micro camper.
Micro electric camper, how are we going with autonomy?
The battery of the XBUS (10 kWh) has a range of 200 kilometers (125 miles), less than that of other electric motorhomes. An upgrade is possible that extends the range of the electric micro camper to 600 kilometers (372 miles): and here we are already at the level of a good electric car.
A vehicle designed for out-of-town trips, in its basic version. It's right. Those with higher demands can make more stops, or buy a larger battery separately: this is how you stay practical and cheap.
And then there are renewables
The XBUS RV will have a solar roof. Above the electric micro camper will be a solar roof capable of generating a maximum of 800 watts of electricity per hour. They will help load the vehicle first and increase its range a little, but I see it useful just in case of frequent use for tiny journeys (an office nearby, a shopping spree not far away).
Micro electric camper, micro pretensions
The new camper, and the entire XBUS series, are designed for modularity. The vehicle RV body can be removed and replaced with other body types to convert it into a pickup truck, passenger bus, and many other options. If the company succeeds in achieving this goal, it will be an exciting element that other automakers could adopt.
As mentioned, the XBUS electric micro camper is still in its design stages, but there are already price estimates. The ElectricBrands gem is expected to cost around € 35.000. With the first deliveries in 2023.
Just in time for a new Woodstock, or an Apocalypse