The Lightship L1's clever aerodynamic design and 80 kWh battery means it has a near-zero loss for the tow vehicle.
Lightship, an all-electric trailer company founded by former Tesla employees, has announced the L1. This battery-powered luxury trailer claims to have nearly no effect on the MPG or electric range of the vehicle towing it.
The L1's sleek design is three times as aerodynamic as a traditional trailer. What's more, it's equipped with an 80 kWh battery pack that enables the trailer to propel itself down the road, achieving a near-zero range loss for the tow vehicle.
That means a Ford F-150 Lightning Extended Range should be able to travel the 320-mile claimed range even while towing the aerodynamic trailer.
"We are leveraging our expertise in automotive EV development and design to build a brand that creates delightful outdoor travel experiences for everyone and brings even more people into the pastime of RV-ing," said company president and co-founder Toby Kraus.
The ultra-modern, aerodynamic shape stems from the automotive world. The Lightship team comprises people who formerly worked at Tesla and Rivian, to name a few. Now, they've used their experience to create a cutting-edge trailer.
Integrated windows and taillights contribute to the wind-cheating shape, as does the clever pop-up design. While moving, the trailer is slightly taller than a truck or SUV. Park up, however, and the roof rises to accommodate occupants.
It's a large brute, measuring 27 feet long and 8 ft 6 inches from side to side. The height varies from 6 ft 9 inches in road mode to 10 inches in camp mode.
The L1 also has solar panels on the roof that can provide up to 3 kW of power. Coupled with the battery system, Lightship says its eco-friendly trailer can supply a week's worth of off-grid power without recharging.
Inside, you'll find all the accessories associated with luxury living, with space for between 4-6 people (depending on the configuration). With glass all around, owners can park and enjoy panoramic views of their desired nature spot.
Appliances include a dishwasher, and the kitchen has clever storage for pots, pans, and cooking equipment. The high-end counters make prepping easy, while an outdoor camp kitchen includes an induction cooktop and collapsible sink. The bathroom is rather luxurious and has a rain shower and porcelain flooring.
"Inefficient, unreliable product designs and a power experience that relies on smelly, noisy gas or propane generators fundamentally hinder the amazing experience of traveling in the outdoors," said co-founder and CEO Ben Parker.
So what does all of this luxury cost?
Lightship says the L1 trailer has a starting price of $125,000, but tax credits could bring the costs down to $118,400. Production is only expected to begin in late 2024, but interested customers can pre-order the L1 for a fee of $500.
While pricey, it's certainly more affordable than the Bowlus Volterra RV, which comes in at an eye-watering $310,000. Then again, the classic styling may appeal to a different clientele altogether.
Towing remains a problem for electric vehicles; some have even seen their estimated range reduced by 50% when hauling a caravan. If Lightship's claims are valid, it will make adventuring with an EV much easier. We're not sure if the Lightship can be used to top up a vehicle's battery, but that would make it a genuinely brilliant recreational vehicle for the future.
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