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Rent It or Own It, the Electric RV Has Arrived: Startup Grounded Brings Us the G1

While this off-grid house on wheels costs $125,000, Grounded will also offer a year-long rental and annual lease options.

grounded g1 electric RVMeet the Grounded G1 electric RV, available for purchase this April; (photo/Grounded)
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Between rising gas prices and worries about climate change, there are plenty of reasons for van lifers to want an electric vehicle. 

Yet it’s only recently that the RV industry has begun offering fully electric options. Of the scant few coming to market, most have an outrageous price or still aren’t available (looking at you, Winnebago). 

So it’s no small thing that a 2022 startup called Grounded is launching a fully electric vehicle. Unlike the competition, Grounded’s G1 RV should be available for purchase in April. It also offers options for those who can’t afford the $125,000 price tag upfront. Individuals can “subscribe to” or rent the vehicle for a year (but without any option of renting to own). There’s also an annual lease option for rental companies.

Founded by a group of engineers with experience at Tesla and SpaceX, Grounded claims to offer a fully customizable layout, solar power, and zero emissions. It’s manufactured at Newlab’s Michigan Central Mobility Studio in Detroit and aims to let owners “live, work, and explore anywhere,” according to a press release. 

“I started Grounded to redefine what’s possible in an industry rife with offerings that are both dated and out-of-reach,” Grounded CEO Sam Shapiro said in the release. “The G1 features innovations inside and out, providing RVers the best possible user experience.”

The Grounded G1, rear view; (photo/Grounded)

Grounded G1 Features

The G1 is built on Ford’s E-Transit platform and has a battery with a likely range of 108 miles. 

Both the powertrain and the living systems of the G1 are fully powered by electricity, much of which comes from the 650-watt solar capacity. A modular interior allows owners to shape the space with personalized layouts — skipping the time and cost of many conversions. 

Grounded’s proprietary software connects all of the electronics. The Grounded+ app lets RVers view usage patterns, control surroundings, and diagnose potential issues.

Grounded G1 interior; (photo/Grounded)

“Imagine finishing up a cold hike and using your Grounded+ app to start your van and heat up the cabin before you get back,” said Shapiro. 

For the interior design, Grounded called the G1 “fresh and minimal,” with aluminum and sustainably-sourced Baltic Birch used throughout the vehicle. Optional components include a queen-sized bed, a kitchen with a convection oven, a dry-flush toilet, seating for anywhere from two to eight occupants, and an outdoor shower. 

Another view of the Grounded G1 interior; (photo/Grounded)

Grounded G1 Pricing and Availability

With an overall price tag of $125,000, the Grounded G1 will likely stack up well against the competition. While Winnebago still hasn’t announced an official price for its electric RV, the total cost will likely start between $150,000 and $200,000, according to The Autopian. And the Winnebago eRV2 still only has a range of 125 miles — not much more than the Grounded G1. 

For either vehicle, making a trip of 500-1,000 miles will require several stops to recharge. Perhaps that’s why Grounded already plans to start manufacturing the G2 this summer. With a bigger battery and an estimated range of 250 miles, that model will likely cost quite a bit more as well. 

That being said, the rental option for the G1 might interest those looking for a 12-month getaway. It still costs $2,300 a month to ride off with the G1, with a one-year minimum rental period. Altogether, that amounts to nearly $28,000 for a rental that you have to return — without any credit toward future purchases. But maybe that deal sounds tempting to someone paying high rent in a major U.S. city. And Grounded lets subscribers “renew” at the end of their rental period for the following year’s model.

“The contract is not rent to own, but allows people the freedom to rent the vehicle directly from Grounded, then either return the van or subscribe to a newer model after 12 months,” a Grounded spokesperson said.

Interested? You can begin your purchase or subscription for the G1 with a $100 fully refundable deposit, with the first deliveries starting in April 2023.

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