A Detroit-based startup wants to turn General Motors electric vans into RVs.
Called Grounded, the startup on Wednesday announced the G2, an RV based on the GM BrightDrop Zevo 600 van. Grounded claims deliveries will start later this month.
The dual-motor all-wheel-drive G2 is a follow-up to the Grounded G1 launched earlier this year. But where that model had a 100-mile range, Grounded promises up to 250 miles of range from the G2, courtesy of the same 165-kwh battery pack used in the Zevo 600 donor vehicle. An additional 10-kwh “house battery” for lighting and appliances can be charged by a 640-watt rooftop solar array.
Measuring 290 inches long with a 183-inch wheelbase, the G2 has 615 square feet of living space. The interior can be fully customized, while amenities include front and rear heating and cooling, indoor shower and wet bath options, hot water, induction stovetops, and Starlink Internet connectivity.
Like the Zevo 600, the G2 has the ability to add 170 miles of range per hour of DC fast charging through the G2’s Combined Charging Standard (CCS) connector. The startup also offers an app that allows owners to monitor electricity use of onboard appliances, turn them on and off remotely, and check the charge level.
The BrightDrop warranty—eight years or 100,000 miles—for electric powertrain components carries over. Grounded adds its own one-year warranty for interior fittings. Driver aids like forward automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking assist, and active lane control also carry over from the base van.
Pricing starts at $195,000 and customers can now put down a $1,000 refundable deposit. Grounded expects to begin deliveries within the next few weeks, which could prove overly optimistic given GM’s current difficulties ramping up production production of its Ultium EVs.
GM reported production of just 333 BrightDrop electric vans—all the Zevo 600—during the first nine months of the year, including 35 of these during Q3. GM has halted production of these vans entirely at their Ingersoll, Ontario, plant due to battery supply issues.
Production of these trucks depends on the supply of batteries from Ultium LLC, at an Ohio battery plant, with two other plants in Tennessee and Michigan coming soon. Ultium is backed by a $2.5B Energy Department loan.
Grounded also has to get in line with commercial fleets also expecting BrightDrop vans. Ryder in September announced that it was delivered the first of 4,000 BrightDrop electric vans on the way to its fleet through 2025. That doesn’t mean an electric RV is a bad idea, though.
Fully electric RVs are coming, but they do have steeper range and charging challenges compared to other EVs. And several companies have proposed their own ideas about how to overcome them.
An electric Winnebago RV and Thor RV made their debut in 2022, but neither is close to the delivery stage quite yet. And some futuristic ideas have been proposed for electric RVs, like the Stella Vita solar EV. Further, concepts like the Lightship L1 might soon be towed by electric trucks with no loss of range.
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