Lightship, an all-electric recreational vehicle (RV) company, today announced the launch of the Lightship L1 — an aerodynamic, battery-powered travel trailer and the first purpose-built travel trailer with a self-propulsion system that enables near zero range or mile-per-gallon efficiency loss for the vehicle towing it.
Lightship co-founders Ben Parker and Toby Kraus saw an opportunity in the RV industry that reminded them of the early days they’d seen working at Tesla. Advancements, much less genuine innovation, had stagnated in the RV industry, the result of the market being dominated by only a few large companies.
“One in 10 American families own an RV, but the RV industry hasn’t experienced innovation for decades,” said Ben Parker, Lightship Co-Founder and CEO. “Inefficient, unreliable product designs and a power experience that relies on smelly, noisy, gas or propane generators fundamentally hinder the amazing experience of traveling in the outdoors.”
Lightship is taking a clean-sheet approach to building an all-electric RV the same way Tesla disrupted the established automakers. The Lightship team, which includes alumni from Rivian, Proterra, Lucid and Zoox in addition to Tesla, is leveraging their expertise in automotive EV development and design to deliver the following:
- A hyper-efficient design that is three times more aerodynamic than a traditional travel trailer for longer range and greater efficiency, which means a 300-mile range electric vehicle (EV) used to tow it remains a 300-mile range EV, and a 25-mpg gas truck remains a 25-mpg gas truck.
- An electric powertrain with up to 80 kWh of onboard battery capacity allowing the trailer to propel itself and achieve near-zero range or efficiency loss for the tow vehicle.
- A no-compromise battery system that can provide a week of off-grid power without charging. Coupled with up to 3 kW of solar power, the RV can power the living needs of its occupants and eliminates the reliance on propane and other fossil fuels.
- An ecosystem of all-electric appliances, connected features, and modern amenities for a seamless camping experience.
- The Lightship L1 has a starting price of $125,000 or $118,400 after an available tax credit and is available now for a $500 pre-order at www.lightshiprv.com. Production is expected to begin in late 2024.
Lightship completed a Series A funding round in the summer of 2022 led by Victoria Beasley of Prelude Ventures and a Seed funding round in 2021 led by Andrew Beebe of Obvious Ventures. Other Lightship investors include Congruent Ventures, My Climate Journey, HyperGuap, Alumni Ventures, Climactic, and Tony Fadell’s Build Collective.