- Lightship’s L1 integrates an electric drivetrain and a large-capacity battery pack.
- Integrated solar panels help the L1’s battery pack retain a charge.
- Deliveries of the approximately $125,000 L1 will begin in late 2024.
There are many questions that keep us awake at night. Does extraterrestrial life exist? Is peace possible on earth? How would we be able to haul a camper long distances with an electric vehicle?
The latter question is one that may soon have a solution, as various recreational vehicle manufacturers work to integrate battery-electric propulsion into their products. The latest company to throw its hat into this ring is a startup called Lightship.
Founded by Ben Parker and Toby Kraus, both of whom spent half a decade working at Tesla, Lightship intends to begin production of its solar-powered battery-electric L1 camper trailer in late 2024. With an available 80.0-kWh battery pack (this is the usable capacity, per lightship), the L1 can motor itself without taxing the electric motor(s) or internal combustion engine of the vehicle attached to it.
In theory, this means that an EV or ICE vehicle connected to L1 will see no reduction in energy efficiency or driving range. We won’t really know how it works in the real world until we get our hands on an L1 of our own.
Regardless, Lighthouse estimates that the L1’s large-capacity battery pack has enough energy to push this camper an estimated 300 miles on a full charge at “highway speeds” (we suspect that estimate is 55 miles). assumes a speed of 10 miles per hour or more, and at 70 mph the figure would probably come to 180 miles). The company also plans to equip the L1 with multiple solar panels, which Lightship claims can generate up to 3 kW of power.
Although the solar panels can charge the battery pack, we suspect most L1 buyers will be charging the rig’s batteries either on a Level 1 or Level 2 charger, or on a DC fast charger on the road. Those towing an L1 with their EV may find it difficult to charge both their tow vehicle and the L1 simultaneously – or one after the other, most chargers only tow so far – on a fast charger, and doing so There may be some glare from other EV drivers looking for the fee. Nonetheless, it’s nice to know that L1 owners won’t need to wait hours to charge this camper on a slow AC charger or via its solar panels on long road trips.
The L1’s electric drivetrain could benefit gas-, diesel- and battery-powered tow vehicles alike, but America’s nascent electric charging infrastructure means it can expect little additional interest from low-slung sleeper EV drivers. Will do those who want to travel far with him. camper in tow. As we found in our testing, for a Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV pickup, and Rivian R1T hitting a 6100-pound camper, respectively, each electric truck’s driving range decreased by more than 50 percent relative to their unloaded results. fell more on our 75 mph highway test.
If the sleek look of the solar-powered L1 plus the accompanying electric drivetrain is a combination that appeals to you, this camper can be yours for around $125,000 – and that doesn’t include the $6600 tax credit that Lightship claims is that L1 is qualified. Tax credits or not, the L1 is no small purchase.
On the plus side, interested buyers only need to put $500 down to secure a reservation for the L1. Given that deliveries are still more than a year away, reservation holders have some time to figure out a way to come up with the remaining funds needed to buy the L1.
Despite their shared last name, Greg Fink is not related to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s infamous Rat Fink. Finks, however, are best known for their love of cars, car culture, and weirdly-monogrammed one-piece bathing suits. Greg’s career in the media industry spans over a decade. His previous experience includes stints as an editor at publications US News & World Report, The Huffington Post, motor1.comAnd motortrend,