Hybrid power camper now production ready

Dethleffs presented at Caravan Salon Dusseldorf the first production-ready Dethleffs camper with plug-in hybrid.

The basis of the Globevan e.Hybrid is a Ford Transit Custom with drive axles whose propulsion is purely electrical. The rechargeable battery installed in the vehicle provides a range of up to 50 km of purely electrical operation. The Globevan also offers a greater range overall with the built-in “Range Extender”, a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that serves exclusively as a generator for charging the battery. 

This combination offers the advantage that the Globevan, which is suitable for everyday use, can be driven in cities just using electricity. Any city-centre prohibitions on vehicles that emit pollutants from therefore do not apply to this hybrid. At the same time, braking and stepping off the gas can generate energy through recuperation, enabling driving that is particularly energy-efficient and associated with low fuel consumption. The combustion engine always runs in the optimum speed range with maximum torque and supplies the rechargeable battery with power, which in turn supplies the electric motor with power, giving the Globevan a maximum total range of 500 km. 

The batteries can be recharged in under 5.5 hours from an ordinary household socket or within 3 hours from a fast-charging socket. The total output of the combination of electric motor and combustion engine is 92 kW (126 hp). 

“As a friend of the family, we also keep future generations in mind and therefore concern ourselves intensively with the topic of sustainability in our industry”, explains Dethleffs Managing Director Alexander Leopold. “Preservation of the natural environment is one of our most utmost goals, because caravanning and experiencing nature go hand in hand. For this reason we have been working for many years on electromobility, which will be one of the keys to this”, Leopold says with confidence. “We want to do pioneering work with our initiatives and are committed to establishing electromobility in caravanning.” The Globevan e.Hybrid, which Dethleffs is presenting for the first time at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, is the first production-ready implementation.  

 

“It’s in our nature to think ahead” 

Dethleffs’ journey into the e-mobile future began in 2017, when the first study of a motorhome propelled fully electrically, e.home, was presented to the public with extensive coverage in the media. Last year we witnessed the second great achievement with the self-propelled electric caravan e.home Coco. With its overall concept of a self-driving, autonomously propelled caravan and its use as an electricity storage unit, it represents a real paradigm shift in caravanning. And this year Dethleffs is exhibiting the first production-ready hybrid motorhome, which in turn is a premiere. “Doing foundational work is something that is part of our DNA and thinking ahead comes naturally to us, as Arist Dethleffs proved in 1931 when he invented the first caravan in Germany”, says Alexander Leopold.  

“Thanks to his invention, he was always able to have his family, which was very important to him, come along with him on his long business trips to distant countries. Family and the associated future of our children are also close to our hearts. It wasn’t by chance that we embraced the concept of “a friend of the family”. We also want to operate in accordance with this slogan in every respect. That’s why we have been very serious about finding alternatives and visions for the future of our industry for years now. The Globevan e.Hybrid and our progress in implementing the e.home Coco are important milestones along this path.” 

The topic of sustainability is on the company’s agenda in many different ways. The company located in Isny always finds smart and effective methods for protecting the environment on a sustainable basis, whether that involves bee colonies on the factory grounds, paperless production in the newly built factory hall, a combined heat and power plant fed with wood wasteproducts from in-house production, clean separation of waste in the entire company, campaigns which support commuting to work by bicycle or minimisation of waste in general.  

 

Not just holiday companions 

“For our first hybrid vehicle, we opted for a version of a motorised leisure vehicle suitable for city and daily use because the vehicle’s concept and drive are designed so that you can cover 50 km exclusively using the electric drive system”, Alexander Leopold explains. “This is a distance that many people travel every day in their vehicles, primarily in urban areas. Our Globevan is therefore able to serve not just as a holiday companion but also as a versatile first vehicle thanks to its compact dimensions and multifunctionality.” 

Vehicles suitable for urban and everyday use are not new territory for Dethleffs; for more than 15 years, so-called urban vehicles and camper vans have been developed, designed and produced for Pössl at the Isny ​​site. The birthplace of the Erwin Hymer Group’s latest brainchild – the Crosscamp – is also the Camper Van Competence Centre in Isny.  

 

Benefits and features of the city-friendly Globevan e.Hybrid 

While functioning as an everyday car for four occupants during the week, at the weekend this motorhome allows you to escape from everyday life, with the Globevan bringing along everything necessary to do so. The van, which is almost five metres long and two metres wide, gives you the impression that you are riding in a normal passenger car and fits into any standard parking space. The automatic transmission and the many assistance systems offered by Ford also contribute to a pleasant driving experience.  

The pop-up roof conceals a 190 by 110 cm bed with a comfortable mattress and plate suspension. Windows with mosquito screens for ventilation and enjoying the view also provide plenty of fresh air while you sleep. In the kitchen unit with two-burner hob and sink as well as a 16-litre compressor cooler, you can not only conjure up a delicious breakfast but also stow or refrigerate fresh ingredients and drinks. Since the gas bottle, freshwater tank and wastewater tank are not located in the kitchen unit, the small kitchen is able to feature a practical drawer and plenty of storage space. You can enjoy a meal at the table, which is easily attached to the kitchen unit when required or practically attached to the rear storage compartment when it is not in use. Thanks to the standard rotating driver and passenger seats, four people can also sit on them in comfort. Additional storage space for holiday utensils is available in the overhead locker or in the compartments in the rear furniture unit. You only need to turn the two-seat bench to convert it into an additional 190 by 90 cm bed. The bench can be adjusted lengthwise and can also be removed completely if more extensive transport tasks need to be completed.  

The floor of the Globevan is a rigid, insulated sandwich floor with a PVC coating in a dark wood look. In combination with the silver-grey furniture look with anthracite-coloured contrasts, the result is a fresh, modern interior that is well illuminated as required by LED light strips located under the roof. 

Windows in the kitchen area, the sliding door and the rear provide for ample fresh air in the vehicle. The Globevan is powered by its own on-board battery, allowing it to be used off-grid for a few days.  

 

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