While a Tesla Model X has been known to be able to tow quite a load, electric vehicles aren't necessarily the ideal vehicles for hauling something like a camper over long distances. They're a drain on the battery, and a lot of vehicles — even internal-combustion crossovers — aren't equipped to manage a heavy trailer. German company Dethleffs wants to put campers behind EVs, with an electric solution that helps lighten the workload.
The E.Home Coco caravan camper has a lithium ion battery pack with a capacity of about 80 kWh. A pair of 40-kW electric motors (with 347 pound-feet of torque) on the axle drive each of the trailer's wheels individually, providing extra power to relieve to the EV pulling it. The controller ensures it maintains a steady load of about 220 pounds on the hitch. The trailer is self-balancing, and the wheels even use torque vectoring to help improve stability.
When detached from the tow vehicle, the E.Home Coco trailer has a function that allows you to maneuver it remotely, which we imagine is much easier than backing it into a tight spot.
While driving or parked, the E.Home Coco replenishes its battery via solar panels on the roof. In addition to powering electronics in the camper and the motors at the wheels, the trailer can also be useful when it's just sitting unused in the driveway. It can act as backup in case of an outage, and provide extra energy for home use, lowering your electric bill.
Dethleffs' E.Home Coco is still just a concept, but, as New Atlas reports, the company plans to test it, as well as continue its sustainable camping development.