X marks the spot for £30k electro-camper

Ginny Buckley


Fancy a fully-loaded all-electric camper van for under £30,000? Or maybe a pick-up for under £17,000? Well, now you can thanks to the XBUS – a modular electric vehicle build by German start-up Electric Brands. 

Billed as the ‘most innovative and modular light vehicle in the world’ the XBUS can be specified with a variety of different body styles including an off-road bus, cargo van and a camper. The driving tech for all models is installed in a 3.65-metre long platform with customers able to choose from two chassis designs; off-road and city. 

Lightweight construction and modular bodywork allows for a practical camper conversion

Of all the models available from launch, the camper has arguably the most appeal. It features a pop-up roof, bed, fridge, television and kitchen and as with all models in the range can be specified in off-road form with a host of colour and interior options. 

Power comes from a choice of two lithium-ion battery backs. An entry-level 10kWh pack makes the XBUS eligible as an L7e heavy quadricycle (like the Citroen Ami) while a more practical 30kWh pack can be specified as an option. Electric Brands claims the XBUS has a dry weight (excluding battery pack) of between 450 and 600kg. 

It's hard not to love the idea of an off-road bus

In terms of range, Driving Brands claims that with the larger battery and optional solar roof panels, the XBUS could potentially go nearly 500 miles between charges, which seems remarkably high. However, thanks to its compact frame and ultra-lightweight construction, this may well prove possible. The motor generates a modest 20bhp and drives all four wheels. 

Driving Brands suggests that the solar roof can generate up to 13kWh power a day thanks to its 8m2 integrated solar foils. The firm is also planning to offer swappable battery packs  at retailers for customers who want to keep moving on longer journeys. Charging is via a domestic three-pin socket or a 7kWh connection. 

Production is due to start at the end of the year with reservations now open for UK customers. 

Camper interior features a kitchen and bedroom in one. Careful when you're frying bacon...
Semi pick-up surf truck is just one of many clever body options on offer from launch

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