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The Lightship L1 Is A Self-Propelled EV Camper

Lightship's L1 camper aims to eliminate range drain with its onboard drivetrain and battery pack.

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This large fellow is the Lightship L1, an all-electric camper that carries its own weight with an onboard electric drivetrain and battery. Founded by a pair or ex-Tesla employees the company intends to start building its solar-assisted camper towards the end of 2024. As you might well guess, they ain't cheap.

Interior of the Lightship L1 with lots of windows giving an airy atmosphere.In It For The Long Haul
While the L1 will help gas and diesel vehicles save on fuel it's really EVs that'll benefit from the onboard electric motor. Car and Driver found that towing a 6100-lb. camper reduced the range of a Ford F150 Lightning, Hummer EV and Rivian R1T by more than half and the L1 has a gross weight rating of 7500 lbs. All the aerodynamics in the world won't stop that mass from seriously shortening an EV tow vehicle's range, which is why the L1's powertrain aims to negate any drain on range that would normally be caused by towing for up to 300 miles at highway speeds.

Image showing the Lightship L1 set up in a forest.

Speaking of aerodynamics, the L1 features a pop-up construction like many other recreational trailers. On the road it hunkers down to make itself 6'9" tall and extends to a full 10" once parked at a campsite. Battery options include 40 and 80 kWh packs, and solar panels on the roof and extendable awnings help keep it topped up with power over the seven days that Lightship says campers can enjoy off-grid outdoor living while running appliances.

Image showing the solar roof and extendable solar awnings on the Lightship L1.Related Story: Porsche-Airstream Trailer Is Designed For EVs

The L1 clocks in at 27 feet long and can sleep 4-6 adults depending on interior configuration. It also has the capacity for bidirectional charging, so it can earn its keep as a backup power source while it's sitting in your driveway at home.

The kitchen area of the Lightship L1 featuring a sink and microwave oven.

Now we come to the price, and predictably it's not small: it's $125,000 though it does qualify for a $6600 tax credit. That's certainly a lot, but people love spending all kinds of wild money on extremely niche toys and vehicles so who are we to judge? We bet there'll be more than a few buyers lined up for EV off-grid camping when the Lightship L1 enters production in 2024.

Images by Lightship licensed by CC BY 4.0.

James Walker is an Automotive Journalist at Torque News focusing on Lucid Motors. If it's got wheels he's interested, and he's looking forward to seeing what kind of cars the EV revolution brings us. Whether it's fast, slow, new, or old, James wants to have a look around it and share it in print and on video, ideally with some twisty roads involved. You can connect with James on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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