You know the hookups RV parks offer? The electrical part of those hookups is often a subject for questions about problems in the discussion forums due to park wiring problems but that’s for another time.
Engadget says RV parks offer EV owners respite from the road (and their range anxiety, too). – EV is electrical vehicle or the latest round of trying to get practical transportation that runs off battery rather than gas or diesel. Current EV’s have a range of only 100 miles or so and a ‘fillup’ or battery charge can take hours (as it does for RV house batteries). Gas station infrastructure is well established but there isn’t any equivalent, yet, for battery powered vehicles.
Turns out the 50-amp, 240-volt RV hookups found in such places can do double duty as juice dispensers for the depleted batteries in your Volt, Leaf, or Tesla. All electric powered roadwarriors need is an adapter to plug in, a few bucks to pay for current, and a few hours of free time. It’s not as fast as fueling up the old fashioned way, but RV parks provide plenty of perks (swimming pools, lakes, and seniors who love poker, for example) not found at your average filling station.
This opens up a new market for those RV park owners. It may mean a bit more attention to getting park power pedestals maintained and correctly wired and a new type of short term visitor to the park.
A good Overview of the Benefits, Challenges, and Technologies of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles has battery energy density, efficiency, and pollutant comparisons and other good stuff about EV’s, including this comparison to gas.
a tank of gasoline contains roughly 100 times more energy than an equal mass of lead/acid batteries. Moreover, part of the IC-engine’s reactants are taken from the air, by-products are continuously discharged, rather than retained and reconstituted, and the storage and conversion system is largely unaffected by the process. The task of designing a BEV that will match the conventional vehicle’s specific energy profile is enormously challenging because of the inherent limitation of its electrochemical energy system.
A typical 20 gallon fuel tank will hold more than 100# of fuel. That means an equivalent battery store would weigh 5 tons. The table in the article says lithium based batteries might be as much as 5 times better on energy density by weight so you’d need only one ton of them to be equivalent to a tank of gas.
Or, you can figure that a typical RV might get, say, 10 mpg. Wikipedia Miles per gallon gasoline equivalent says a gallon of gas is considered to be 33.7 kWh. By that measure, 10 mpg is 10 miles per 33.7 kWh or almost 4 kWh per mile. An hour of travel at 55 MPH would then use about 200 kWh of energy. A typical RV battery has a bit less than 1 kWh of energy capacity so this hour of travel in your RV would need at least 200 typical RV batteries or about 6 tons. That much battery is likely to drag things a bit lower as well as have other implications.
That calculation also implies you need about a 200 kw to keep your RV moving at highway speeds. (here’s a calc for a Falcon: Power to move). To convert 200 kw to horsepower, multiply by 1.34 which is a bit over 250. That seems a bit high compared to the Falcon and to RV engine ratings but should be close enough for rough comparisons to the effect that an RV using batteries for motive power isn’t likely to be very practical.