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As electric vehicles have evolved and become a canvas for the intersection of modern design and technical ingenuity, the obvious next step with EVs is to apply this technology elsewhere. Enter Lightship, a new startup company based between San Francisco, CA and Boulder, CO that has set its sights on revamping the humble RV category with modern, futuristic camper trailers (aka fifth wheels).
With $34m in funding announced as part of their series B funding round, the sustainability and design-driven company is poised to make a big impact on the future of adventure travel.
First up is the Lightship L1 Trailer, a solar-powered fifth wheel camper set to begin production in late 2024. The futuristic pop-up design balances all the important details you’d expect from an all-electric RV, including zero-emissions, an aerodynamic built-to-last design, solar-energy harnessing roof, and an inviting interior built for comfort.
The L1 combines a Rivian's sleekness and a Tesla's efficiency into a feature-packed cabin—they’ve taken the traditional RV and flipped it on its head. The L1 maximizes efficiency; it’s three times more aerodynamic than a classic trailer, with thousands of hours spent in a virtual wind tunnel to ensure stability and ease of use. Aaero-rounded corners are a hallmark feature of the trailer, a silhouette akin to that of a spaceship.
The cabin is fully self-sustainable. An integrated solar roof can provide up to 3kW of electrical power and store 80kWh on board, which is enough to keep the L1 running for seven days if you decide to camp off-grid. If you need more power, deployable awnings double as additional solar panels, increasing power by an impressive 50%. Interestingly, you can also put the L1 to work charging your EV or as a backup home generator.
On the move, the L1 pulls its weight. From Road Mode to Camp Mode, the L1 looks drastically different. In drive mode, the L1 resembles a bullet train. It sits just 81 inches off the ground, with a driving height under seven feet, reducing overall drag behind the towing vehicle. Plus, a built-in active power train eliminates any output needed to tow the trailer, enabling near-zero battery loss to your EV.
With the push of a button, Camp Mode emerges: the entire cabin rises majestically, giving way to the spacious interior of the L1. And within the interior, conservation is inherent in the design. The flooring materials were produced using renewable energy, the stain-resistant countertops are made out of ocean waste, and the custom textiles are comprised of 70% recycled polyester.
Like any desirable piece of architecture, the L1 finds a way to blend the inside and outside worlds beautifully. The interior provides panoramic views with wall-to-wall bay windows—wherever you’re hanging out inside, you can expect to have a 360-degree view of the outdoors. The L1 includes a built-in induction stove and collapsible sink that retracts from the trailer’s flank. Above, the deployable awnings provide outdoor shelter on both sides.
As should be expected with cutting edge technology and industry-changing design, it doesn't come cheap. With production expected to begin in late 2024, the Lightship L1 Trailer will retail for $125,00. Though just $500 will reserve you on with a pre-order today.
Regardless of price, the implications of the Lightship L1 Trailer are huge and we're stoked to see which doors this may open for the future of electric overlanding and adventure vehicles.