Winnebago Industries is a 60-year-old recreational vehicle manufacturer located in Forest City, Iowa with offices in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The company has got some big things going on right now.
"This is the first ever of its kind," says Specialty Vehicles Director Jamie Sorenson, "It's the all-electric commercial vehicle built on an RV platform. And we build these vehicles about 120 to 125 a year for the specialty vehicle markets and a lot of these become mobile medical vehicles whether they're primary care, dental, vision, radiology..."
Available on commercial platforms, the 100% battery electric vehicle from Winnebago can deliver 85 to 120 miles on a full charge. It's ideal for things like bloodmobiles, law enforcement command units, and even media events. Winnebago representatives say this vehicle could help offset certain costs for companies.
Sorenson goes on to explain, "The incremental cost of the electrification of the vehicle is about $250,000. But over the course of time and operation of the vehicle, their maintenance is greatly reduced because there is no internal combustion engine to do maintenance on or to service. And then the cost of refilling the vehicle if you will, charging the vehicle is about a third of the cost of gasoline for the same amount of range."
The battery electric vehicle qualifies for a lot of federal, state and local incentives for vehicle purchase and infrastructure upgrades. Winnebago representatives say they hope in the near future, there will be parity between battery-powered vehicles and those with internal combustion engines.