VDL Bus & Coach building the first electric motorhome for Western European market in Venlo
This year, we’ll be travelling in an electric motorhome: VDL Bus Venlo, part of VDL Bus & Coach, and Camperfixx B.V. have entered into a long-term cooperation to fulfil the ambitions of many holidaymakers. The e-Fixxter will soon be able to cover a distance of about 300 kilometres.
VDL Bus Venlo has become an industrial partner of Camperfixx, a campervan construction company from Friesland. VDL will build compact electric motorhomes based on the almost identical Peugeot Expert, Toyota Proace, Opel Vivaro and Citroën Jumpy. It is expected that at least 30 electric vehicles will be available on the Dutch market alone in 2021. The vehicles will be sold by Camperfixx.
Special Vehicles Department
"The cooperation with Camperfixx is in line with our strategy to grow our Special Vehicles department," says Mark Francot, managing director of VDL Bus Venlo. "We have already had success with the conversion of ME-buses and surveillance vehicles for the police. Our Medibus, a mobile medical practice, is also in great demand. The work we are doing in cooperation with Camperfixx perfectly matches the competences of the Special Vehicles department. It’s a great opportunity to grow within this sector. In addition, the activities fit with the philosophy of VDL Bus & Coach as a frontrunner in e-mobility."
Rising sales of motorhomes
Dutch holidaymakers are buying motorhomes en masse, according to a survey conducted by the industry organisation Bovag in July 2020. Not even the coronavirus crisis has been able to put a brake on this: many people are opting for individual transport and other types of holiday instead of, for example, flying to foreign destinations. In addition to 120,000 motorhomes and camper vans, the Netherlands also has half a million caravans, according to Bovag figures.
Anno Huidekoper, CEO of Camperfixx, recognises this clear trend: "There are actually no limits to growth at the moment. To be able to meet the demand for electric motorhomes, we would like to cooperate with VDL Bus Venlo. We are active not only on the Dutch market but also in Germany and Belgium. We focus on active young families and people who are approaching retirement and looking to enjoy their well-earned rest. Increasingly, these target groups also have the explicit desire to go on sustainable holidays. Compact electric motorhomes, suitable for 4 or 5 people, are a gap in the market and we are looking to be the first to offer such a vehicle on the Western European market together with VDL."
Charging in half an hour
The electric motorhome comes in a 4 and 5-person version. A unique feature is the choice of two lengths and, thanks to the compact design, both can also be used as "normal" cars. They have a height of less than 2 metres and the turning circle of both variants is remarkably small. The range is about 330 kilometres. The battery pack charges up to 80 per cent in half an hour. The back seat slides and can be converted into a wide bed in just 10 seconds. There is plenty of cupboard space and the kitchen is equipped with a fridge. An additional bed can be fitted in the pop-up sleeping roof.
Francot: "We are already busy converting a number of diesel motorhomes and will use that experience for the electric variant, the first of which will arrive here in February. That process is almost the same. We have a great deal of experience in converting vehicles, which enables us to build the electric camper exactly as Camperfixx wants it."
VDL Bus Venlo
VDL Bus Venlo, part of VDL Bus & Coach, produces mini and midi buses for tour and public transport, police vehicles, taxi buses, airport transport and special transport such as buses for the disabled and VIP buses in every conceivable version. Furthermore, the Medibus is being developed in Venlo. This mobile medical practice, using a VDL bus type Citea LLE-127 as a platform, is currently being used in a large-scale study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on the spread of COVID-19 in Germany.
VDL Bus & Coach bv
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