Electric Airstream concept is the RV industry’s ‘iPhone moment’

by Jo Borrás

Thor industries just revealed its new electric Airstream concept, and made every other RV on the market seem like antique relics of a distant past.

We knew what was coming, we just didn’t know what was coming. Earlier today, Thor Industries – Airstream’s parent company – revealed a travel trailer that could power itself thanks to a “revolutionary” electric drive axle developed by ZF that eliminates range penalties on EV tow vehicles and improves fuel economy for conventional ICE haulers.

We got that, as promised and on schedule… but I audibly gasped when I saw it rear up, Segway-style, and park itself next to a picnic bench.

You read that right. Using an Airstream developed app, the eStream’s electric motors can move the trailer around on its own power, making all manner of previously difficult (if not impossible) trailer parking maneuvers as easy as parking your car.

The technology we co-developed (with ZF) creates a synchronized relationship between the trailer and the tow vehicle, enabling the trailer to move in harmony with the tow vehicle, reducing the pulling effect required from the tow vehicle.

This, in turn, dramatically improves the possible range of the combination. In essence, we’ve turned the trailer into an electric vehicle. Josef Hjelmaker, THOR’s Chief Innovation Officer.

If there was any doubt before, there is none now. This latest RV from Thor Industries is a game-changer.