electric motorhome

Image: The Nissan e-NV200 Winter camper


We Take a Look at the Pros and Cons of Electric Motorhomes.

Electric Motorhomes

If you like to upgrade your motorhome every few years, by 2030 you will have to purchase an electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen vehicle.

The UK government’s plan to phase out new fossil-fuel vehicles won’t affect existing motorhomes though, which means they won’t be shutting down the fuel pumps anytime soon. Not to mention that, with less than 50,000 charging stations in the UK, eight years seems a little optimistic.

How Eco-Friendly will Electric Motorhomes be?

So, how environmentally friendly will electric motorhomes in the UK be if and when they are brought into production? The aspiration is that they have zero emissions, but energy is used in their manufacture, charging, and end-of-life disposal also need to be considered.

According to some accounts, they will use more energy to produce than a conventional vehicle, have a battery life of as little as ten years, and require meticulous recycling of their lithium cells for safety reasons.

Charging an Electric Vehicle

How eco-friendly the charging process is depends on the weather and time of day. The majority of EVs are charged at night when the national grid is not receiving much solar energy. So, your recharging energy might come from coal, gas, nuclear, or a number of biomass energy sources.

Even on bright, breezy days, not all of the grid's power will be green. Fossil-fuel facilities could be operating to help keep the power supply stable. This is because wind turbines do not deliver a consistent output so the remainder of the system has to be used to compensate.


Along with the amount of energy consumed during the manufacturing process and charging of an electric motorhome, you would also want to consider the number of miles driven. The greater your yearly mileage, the more environmentally friendly it becomes.

However, motorhomes often have low annual mileage and it’s not unusual for them to do less than 5,000 miles—so the energy used in creating and charging them might be more than the energy saved. In an ideal world, fossil-fuel vehicles and electric vehicles would come with a full CO2 rating based on a few thousand annual miles.

Types of Electric Vehicle

Several different types of electric vehicle are available:

  • EV Electric vehicle
  • BVD Battery electric vehicle
  • PHEV Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
  • EHV Hybrid electric vehicle 

Hybrid motorhomes would include a petrol engine that can charge the battery and increase the range. 

Charging Stations

The most obvious and cost-effective location to charge your electric vehicle at is at home. If you connect your vehicle to a standard three-pin socket, it will take between 14 to 24 hours to fully recharge.

Since the majority of motorhomes are second vehicles and may not be completely flat by the time you get them back home, this may be fine. However, if you want to charge your motorhome more quickly, you'll need to install a rapid-charging point.

Capacity will vary according to where your home is in relation to the national grid, with city homes typically having a higher capacity than rural homes. The most typical size is a 7kW type which triples charging speeds, but some homes can take up to 22kW. Chargers can cost up to £1000, but the government is currently offering subsidies of up to £500.

When it comes to charging your vehicle away from home, you'd think there would be a standard system just like the blue CEE plugs found at motorhome and caravan site hook-ups. But the EV industry has added unnecessary complexity by not standardising them and different EVs use different systems.

EV Charging Costs

Most owners will save money by charging their EV at home, as a standard 60kWh EV battery which provides around 200 miles of range should cost less than a tenner to fully recharge.

Public charging stations, such as those found in supermarkets, are frequently free to use while you shop, so it's worth taking advantage of them whenever you get the chance. 

If you’re going to travel more than 100 miles away from your home, you'll need to find a fast charger. These are either pay-per-use or subscription-based. But be prepared as recharging away from the home can be far more expensive.

Where home charging costs between seven and 20 pence per kWh, fast chargers can cost between 25 and 40 pence per kWh. Some firms charge a one-time registration cost of around £20 to use their network, while others impose an administration fee for each charge, usually between 50p to £3.50.

There are some free charging points around, but they’re popular so you could have a long wait if there are no available connections when you stop.

When you add in the extra expense of charging away from home, running an electric motorhome might not save much money, especially when you take into account the purchase price.

Range Anxiety

Lots of drivers get range anxiety when they use electric vehicles. The key to successful travel with an EV is good planning! So, if you are a well-organised person who plans trips like a military operation, you won’t have much trouble adjusting to an EV.

The majority of EVs have a range of between 150 to 250 miles. Where you’ll hit an issue is if your route lacks charging stations. When you’re planning a trip, remember to factor in recharging time. As an example, around 30 minutes of rapid charging should add roughly 100 miles to the range.

If you’d like to check where the UK charging stations are before you start your trip, take a look at Zap-Map: https://www.zap-map.com

More Information

We hope you found this article a helpful and informative look at the future of electric motorhomes. Currently. There is still a lot of work to be done before these will be available on our forecourt. We do have a selection of new and used diesel powered motorhomes for sale at our dealership. Please give our friendly team a call and we’ll be happy to help.