A few weeks ago, Spanish-language website Motorpasión shared a really cool post showing us the Hyundia Staria Lounge Camper. While it’s not an EV (and thus wouldn’t normally be covered on CleanTechnica), it’s a very efficient vehicle that can normally carry a lot of passengers and/or cargo. Now, Hyundai has made a concept car showing that an RV doesn’t need to burn giant tanks of gas, and it shows us that upcoming EV vans have a lot more potential than people think for this sort of thing.
To make this happen, Hyundai had to do what most people do with camper vans: be very careful to make the most out of every cubic inch of space, often making spaces pull double duty. Things like tables and seats can transform to serve a variety of needs, from eating to sleeping, to just hanging out. This versatility means the overall vehicle can be a lot smaller (and thus get better EV range or gas mileage).
It also helps to make things expandable whenever possible. The pop-top roof (a common feature in old Westphalia VW Microbuses), a retractable awning, and even a table that comes out of the rear, all add up to mixing your living space with the great outdoors. So, you can use a relatively small vehicle as a true camper van instead of a “cramper van.”
This small size doesn’t mean that the camper doesn’t come fully featured with the things you’d expect to see in a camper. For one, it has a small kitchen with a stove, efficient fridge, and sink. Sure, it’s small, but it gives you all of the same functionality as other campers.
This might seem only suitable for short camping trips, as you’d eventually want to get a shower, right? Well, not so much. The camper has that, too. There’s a hidden compartment with a showerhead and hot water. So, you’ll be able to get clean. But, you’ll probably want to bring a little shower privacy tent along unless you want to clean up in a swimsuit.
There’s only one downside: I don’t think they’re going to sell the vehicle in the United States. Commenters over at the original post are saying that they’ve seen them in Europe, though, including the camper version at some dealerships.
On the other hand, though, it’s still a gas or diesel vehicle. The more important thing about this vehicle is that it shows just how much functionality you can fit in a small space if you get creative. We need to be pushing EV manufacturers to either offer these sorts of camper vans themselves, or work with van upfitters to offer custom versions of their EVs in such a way as to be finance-able like other EVs (upfitting often costs tens of thousands of dollars).
It’s going to be difficult and expensive to offer full-sized RVs that run on electricity, but this is something that we can do with electric vehicles today.
All images by Hyundai Global.
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