April 16, 2024
Pebble's $100K+ EV travel trailer can live off the grid for 7 days | TechCrunch


Pebble, the California-based EV startup founded by a veteran of Apple, Cruise and Zoox, unveiled Thursday a prototype of its flagship product: an all-electric travel trailer designed for an off-grid-seeking digital nomad.

The so-called Pebble Flow, which was revealed virtually, is supposed to bring electrification, automation and the usability of an iPhone to the RV world. What that translates to is a 25-foot electric travel trailer that sleeps up to four people and comes standard with a 45 kWh lithium-ion phosphate battery, 1 kW of rooftop solar, plug-and-play ready for Starlink and AC and DC charging capability and regenerative charging that sends electrons back into the battery while it’s being towed. It even has bidirectional charging to power appliances or your home, according to Pebble founder and CEO Bingrui Yang.

Yang emphasized the lightweight construction of the travel trailer, including the aluminum frame, which helps keep the gross vehicle weight to 6,200 pounds.

Pebble Flow electric travel trailer

Image Credits: Pebble

The modern exterior includes wraparound windows that users can turn opaque for privacy, a kitchen with a 4-in-1 convection microwave and a full-size fridge and a removable induction cooktop that can be brought outside and used for outdoor cooking. A flip-up window by the kitchen completes the look.

Inside, users can turn the office area into a queen-sized bed via a Murphy bed-like feature. The dining room area, which includes a table and wraparound seating, can also convert to a bed. The bathroom includes glass doors that can be flipped to opaque for privacy.

A mobile Pebble app allows the customer to control lights, locks and unlocks the door, and sets the preferred temperature. The app is also used to remotely set up the trailer once it’s parked to deploy or retract an awning, stairs and the auto-leveling stabilizers to set up camp.

The company said that customers can preorder the Pebble Flow for a refundable $500. The travel trailer has a starting cost of $109,000.

Magic pack

For customers willing to pay $125,000, a number of other features are added, notably what it is calling the “magic pack.” Essentially, this upgraded version will come with a dual motor drivetrain, which propels the travel trailer while it’s being towed. This allows for the EV that is towing the travel trailer to preserve its own range. It can also help boost the fuel economy of a gas-powered vehicle.

This active propulsion system also allows the Pebble to be self-propelled. The company paired this capability with sensors to create a remote control hitch feature, which can be operated via the app. A user taps the app and then remotely moves the trailer into place.

The startup, which was founded in 2022, has made significant progress in its short lifetime.

Yang told TechCrunch that the travel trailer it revealed Thursday is a fully functioning “alpha” prototype. Work on a beta prototype has begun and Yang expects to begin shipping a finished product to customers by the end of 2024. Pebble plans to debut (in real life) the all-electric travel trailer at the LA Auto Show in November.

Earlier this year, the startup raised $13.6 million from Lightspeed, Vision+ and UpHonest Capital in seed and Series A rounds. Those funds are being used to finish the prototype. And even though it’s speeding along, the company faces competition from other electric RV upstarts that are putting their own spin on vans and travel trailers, including Lightship and Grounded.



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