Can You Tow With an Electric Car?
There is a thought amongst many people that towing with an EV is impossible! That it can't be done. Well, whilst towing with an electric car might have been challenging in the past, a new wave of electric cars are hot off the production line and are more than capable of towing in 2023.
When an electric car is not towing it can travel a certain distance on a single charge, known as its range. This range is affected by a number of factors including the car's battery size, driving style, weather conditions, and terrain. However, when an electric car is towing, the added weight of the trailer or caravan can reduce the car's range significantly.
In addition to the added weight, towing also creates additional wind resistance which can further reduce the car's efficiency. This is because the car has to work harder to overcome the drag caused by the trailer or caravan. The increased drag can also cause the car's battery to drain more quickly, reducing its range even further.
It's worth noting that electric cars with towing capacities are typically designed with these factors in mind, and may have additional features or settings that can help improve efficiency when towing. For example, some electric cars may have a "towing mode" that adjusts the car's power delivery and regenerative braking to help reduce the impact of towing on the car's range.
Overall, the efficiency of an electric car can be significantly affected when towing, due to the added weight and resistance. However, with proper planning and the use of features like towing mode, it is still possible to tow with an electric car and maintain a reasonable level of efficiency.
What Should I Buy?
What you need to tow will likely affect what you will buy. Check out the list below, starting with the cars with the highest towing capacity:
The BMW iX is the king of the road here in the UK right now, with a towing capacity of 2,500kg. Combined with the enormous 105kWh battery on the more expensive models, this beast of a car is more than capable. However, with prices starting at £99,785 for the larger battery, this car is certainly not the most affordable.
The large and roomy saloon car from BMW has an impressive towing capacity of 2,000kg and is the latest in the electric lineup from BMW. With a huge 101kWh battery this car is extremely capable inside, and extremely comfortable. Prices start from £110,000.
The latest from Volvo offers a generous 1,800kg towing capacity and is the most affordable so far with prices starting at £53,600. Enough to tow many caravans and boats, this will suit many families and couples alike, looking to reduce the cost of towing cross country for the summer holidays. With a large 78kWh battery and reliable tech from Volvo, expect to see an increasing number of these on the road this year.
The popular GLA is now electric and the EQA is rated to tow 1,800kg. There isn't a huge amount of space in the back if you have a family but the electric Mercedes are all fantastic quality and well built. Starts from £53,000.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Long Range
The most affordable on our list so far is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 Long Range. This large battery version does close to 250 miles without towing, so expect a generous range when towing. The Ioniq 5 is rated to 1,800kg and starts around £46,600.
Kia EV6 GT
This stunning car from Kia is their top-of-the-line model and is also rated to tow 1,800kg. The Kia vehicles are extremely efficient so expect this to be a fantastic option. Prices start at around £62,000 for this model. Note the Long Range models have a reduced towing capacity of 1,600kg - be sure to confirm which you need if you go for a test drive.
Tesla Model Y
One of only two models of Tesla on sale right now in the UK - the Model Y. This large family car has plenty of storage and can tow 1,600kg. Expect this to comfortably pull your small or mid-sized caravan and thanks to the amazing Tesla Supercharger network you will never be far from a rapid charger. The prices have recently been reduced so you can now pick up a base model Y from just under £45,000. Choose the long range for an extra battery and a range (without towing) of almost 300 miles. If you are thinking to tow with a Model Y be sure to spec one from brand new, as they can be very difficult to install aftermarket.
Mustang Mach E
The first electric Mustang can tow 1,500kg and is available from £59,000. A great option for those looking for something a little different.
Volkswagen ID4 Pure
This popular model from VW is an awesome family car and can tow up to 1,000kg. Well priced too, from around £40,000. Expect reliable tech from VW but the base models can be fairly low-equipped.
The latest from Nissan is similar to the popular Qashqai and boasts a sleek interior and large battery. An upgrade from the Leaf, the Ariya is more roomy and comes with a 63kWh battery. The Ariya can tow up to 750kg, so perhaps a small trailer tent or boat. The car is well priced and available from around £46,000.
We needed an affordable car on this list but sadly the MG4 doesn't have a huge towing capacity. At only 500kg this is also the lowest on the list but the car does start at around £26,000. This may suit you if you have a small boat or trailer.
As with any type of car, the cost of an electric car varies depending on the model and features. Generally speaking, electric cars tend to be more expensive than their petrol or diesel counterparts, but they can save you money in the long run on fuel costs. The list above is by no means exhaustive - there are plenty more makes and models out there which can tow.
An amazing resource is EV Database - so if you haven't already then check out their website, with a dedicated section on towing:
- Auto Express
- Car Magazine
- Top Gear