Campervan fan drives all-electric camper to the North Cape
VW campervan fan, Frank Eusterholz, has driven an all-electric e-Crafter campervan from Hannover to the most northerly point in Europe accessible by road, proving that it is possible to tour in an electrically powered campervan with a limited range.
The Crafter van was kitted out with a so-called ‘Living Box’ from a company called PlugVan in Berlin. As a result of the coronavirus travel restrictions, the trip was delayed several times before finally getting under way in August.
The entire journey was 4,660 miles (7,500km), which was all done in the electrically powered van that has a range of 197 miles (173km). “But range is not an issue at all”, says Eusterholz. “You simply have to adapt yourself to it…But it became rather stressful behind the wheel up north, as the fast-charging stations became increasingly few and far between.
“You slow down, drive in a more conscious way and at the end of the day are actually more rested when you reach your destination.”
The trip had numerous highlights. But a few things especially moved him. Arriving at the North Cape, for example, was for him the most emotional moment. The greatest moment of fun was provided by the Trollstiegen serpentine mountain road – at times single-track, with a 12% gradient and split up by 11 hairpin bends, it is very demanding with practically nowhere to stop let alone turn around in a vehicle 6m long.
Starting at the bottom of the Trollstiegen with a range of 100km, Eusterholz reached the summit with 50km of range to spare. After a descent, the remaining range was 90km when he arrived back where he started thanks to regenerative braking recharging the battery on the way back down.
“As an electric vehicle driver you quickly develop a feel for this. Combined with a bit of mental arithmetic, as you're driving you increasingly learn to rely on the indicators in the vehicle and get a feel for how far you can really go.”