Toyota hybrid 4×4 Eco RV makes camp hundreds of miles away from it all

Well earlier than electrical camper vans and PHEV VW pop-tops began arriving with some regularity, Scotland’s Campervan Co was busy trailblazing the hybrid RV market with some of the Western world’s most effective, eco-friendly mini-camper vans. This week, it launched its newest mannequin, the new-generation Eco Pioneer II. Based on a second-gen Toyota Alphard Hybrid van, the Pioneer II provides drivers as much as 600 miles of gas-electric vary and boondocks as an off-grid base camp that runs completely on lithium energy. Escape to the remotest shadow of the Scottish Highlands and name it residence for days on finish with out worrying about recharging or refueling.

Campervan Co’s newest Eco camper van, the Evolution, is constructed on the brand new Ford Transit Custom PHEV, however its authentic lineup of Eco fashions depends on “high-grade used vehicles” imported from Japan. The authentic Eco Pioneer was based mostly on the first-generation Alphard Hybrid produced between 2003 and 2008, and the Pioneer II steps ahead onto the second-gen (2008 to 2015) model of the van.

Using an older van mannequin does imply giving up some of the applied sciences and facilities you’d discover in a brand-new van, however the gen-2 Alphard nonetheless serves as a extremely environment friendly platform that guarantees to outperform a lot of newer vans in its mixture of gas financial system and vary. And when you’re going “eco,” it makes a lot of sense to start out out with a repurposed used van.

With its Hybrid Synergy Drive, first launched on the Prius, the Toyota Alphard Hybrid affords an estimated 50-mpg, making the Eco Pioneer II far more environment friendly than the standard gasoline camper van

Campervan Co

The Eco Pioneer II is intently associated to the Eco Explorer we checked out a couple of years in the past, however as an alternative of a five-seat/five-berth structure, it has a extra conventional small camper ground plan designed to accommodate 4 folks. Campervan Co has redesigned its furnishings for the brand new mannequin, emphasizing gentle supplies to maximise inside space and reduce conversion weight.

The kitchen block sits behind the righthand driver’s seat, stocked with an under-counter fridge and sink with flush-mount cover to match the higher strong wooden counter. Instead of the same old inbuilt dual-burner range, Campervan Co splits its cooktop into two solo induction cookers, one constructed into the counter and one other on a two-way “Omnislide” drawer that may be pulled inside or exterior. The countertop cooktop may also be readily accessed from inside or out, so campsite cooks can resolve whether or not they need to whip up dinner within the recent air or from the heat of the van cabin.

The Eco Pioneer II has two individual induction cookers, easily accessed from inside or out
The Eco Pioneer II has two particular person induction cookers, simply accessed from inside or out

Campervan Co

As the induction cookers trace, one of the foundational constructing blocks of Campervan Co’s Eco campers is an all-electric tenting setup. The Pioneer II delivers with a mixture of 200-Ah lithium battery, 150-W roof-mounted photo voltaic panel (expandable to 300 W), and a pair of,000-W inverter. The system is designed to energy onboard facilities just like the cooktops, fridge and local weather management, together with elective or user-supplied 240-V equipment like a coffeemaker, toaster or laptop computer.

Campervan Co says {the electrical} system is specced to produce days’ price of tenting energy. Should the leisure lithium battery go useless, all campers need to do is spend just a little time operating the van engine, maybe whereas exploring their environment.

Helping the Pioneer II attain the type of off-grid areas the place battery and solar energy are important, the Alphard Hybrid base provides it as much as 600 miles (966 km) of vary on a full tank of gasoline. Its 2.4-liter four-cylinder Hybrid Synergy Drive affords an estimated 50 mpg, near a 20 p.c enchancment over the 43 mpg of the unique Pioneer. The van additionally affords a slight energy bump to 170 bhp, normal E-Four all-wheel-drive, and all-electric switching for in-town zero-emissions driving.

The table breaks down and straps to the tailgate during travel, and sets up in the middle of the van to serve as a dining area or workstation
The desk breaks down and straps to the tailgate throughout journey, and units up within the center of the van to function a eating space or workstation

Campervan Co

“We have created the Alphard Pioneer II so that it leaves no trace in ecologically sensitive areas. Its incredible leisure battery system and green-power provide connectivity and zero emissions, recycling heat from the engine to provide support to the climate control, wherever you are,” says Campervan Co founder and CEO Gary Hayes. “It’s not only at home in the hills, but it’s just as happy in built-up areas, where it also meets the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards that are being introduced in many of the UK’s major cities. You can use it one day to do the shopping and take the kids to school and the next be in the remotest glen with power and kit to last you for days on nothing but purely green energy.”

The Eco Pioneer II has a two-seat bench that folds into a double bed next to the kitchen and storage console, differing from the Eco Explorer, which has a three-seat bench/full-width bed and no kitchen block or storage cabinetry (portable kitchen components)
The Eco Pioneer II has a two-seat bench that folds right into a double mattress subsequent to the kitchen and storage console, differing from the Eco Explorer, which has a three-seat bench/full-width mattress and no kitchen block or storage cabinetry (moveable kitchen elements)

Campervan Co

When it’s time to name it an evening, the Pioneer II’s A-frame like two-seat rear bench collapses right into a double mattress. The second mattress is situated up within the pop-up roof, making certain the van can comfortably sleep the 4 occupants it carried to camp. A transportable desk shops neatly within the rear lift-gate and units up within the center of the van between the rear bench and entrance swivel seat. As compact because the van is, it even manages to squeeze in a regular stow-away bathroom — yet one more approach the bundle retains the backcountry just a little cleaner.

Campervan Co introduced the Eco Pioneer II this week and is providing it at costs beginning at £39,995 (approx. US$43,450). We’re additionally glad to see the company nonetheless affords its “Tribrid” camper van possibility, an revolutionary design that provides LPG drive energy to a hybrid system to increase vary to 1,000 miles (1,600 km).

Watch the Eco Pioneer II do its factor out within the wild under.

Toyota Alphard Hybrid Eco Pioneer II

Source: Campervan Co

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