Electric cars are getting increasingly powerful thanks to advancements in motor and battery systems. Their increased carrying capacity lets you haul more luggage and groceries. However, should we expect these cars to haul an incredible amount of weight?
More specifically, can electric cars tow a caravan? The smallest caravan weighs up to 750 kg. The answer isn’t straightforward because towing heavy items can negatively impact electric cars.
Towing Capacity of Electric Cars
All car makers are striving to make their EVs as capable as gasoline-powered cars. This is done by increasing the number of miles covered on a single charge. However, the more load you haul, the fewer miles you can cover.
Car makers don’t like to quote a reduced battery range just to show off towing capacity. On the other hand, electric cars are known for their superior power delivery. Electric motors can deliver full power instantaneously.
This is unlike gasoline-powered cars that need revving to hit full power. Most electric vehicles are not advertised as strong tow cars. However, this is changing as more car makers strive to capture this market.
Since EVs can achieve full power instantly, they should have no problem moving caravans. Even if they move caravans at low speed, this should be a good selling point. However, very few car makers provide a towing capacity for their EVs.
You can tow a heavy load such as a caravan with an electric car. However, the EV’s battery range would be significantly impacted. This is especially true if the caravan is filled with heavy equipment. The more load you haul, the worse your EV’s fuel economy.
Electric Cars are Well Suited to Towing
You have to accept that EVs will rapidly lose their charge after towing caravans. However, EVs are better suited to towing a caravan than gasoline-powered cars.
This is because they can hit full power. But what makes electric cars useful for towing heavy loads?
It is important to introduce an important unit here – torque. To put things in perspective, diesel engines deliver higher torque than petrol cars. However, high-end turbocharged vehicles can rival the torque of diesel engines.
Torque is measured using Newton-meter (Nm). It is usually mentioned along with horsepower (hp). The latter dictates the total high engine speed produced by the car. A car with a higher Nm value will produce more torque.
Cars designed for towing can generate high torque from low speeds. This means that you won’t have to make the engine work hard to haul weight.
Another unit to be aware of is the ‘rpm’. The RPM shows the engine speed at which the torque is available. A lower RPM value means that a lower engine speed is needed to access torque. Lower RPM makes it easy for cars to haul loads at low engine speeds.
What makes EVs superior to gasoline cars is that they can produce maximum torque instantaneously. You achieve max torque as soon as the electric motor starts to turn. This is why electric cars have no need for gear or clutch. Instead, EVs have just one gear to work with.
This makes EVs equally capable of pulling caravans from a standstill.
Unfortunately, offering maximum torque at a moment’s notice does not translate to muscle. Not all electric cars can tow heavy caravans.
For example, Tesla Model Xs can pull more loads than something like a Renault Zoe. The latter is a smaller, more affordable electric vehicle.
You also have to take the car’s weight into account.
Electric cars are incredibly heavy thanks to their massive battery packs. These battery packs are needed to increase the distance that can be traveled per charge. As a result, electric cars are heavier than their gasoline-powered equivalents.
A lightweight EV can be easily overpowered by a heavy caravan when cornering or accelerating. Heavier EVs have a harder time moving as it is – much less pulling excessive weights. At the end of the day, towing capacity is all about trade-offs.
Let’s take the Tesla Model X, for example. A Model X has a curb weight of 2300kg. A Volkswagen Golf weighs in at nearly 1,300 kg. But the electric E-Golf weighs in at 1615 kg.
Hybrid cars tend to be much heavier. This is because they carry both an electric motor and a diesel engine.
Towing something heavy requires a lot of energy. This energy comes from the battery and will reduce the distance traveled per charge. The range of EVs is a major concern for most car drivers.
This explains why most car makers don’t advertise their EVs for use as towing machines. It may not be worth towing caravans if it reduces the overall distance traveled per charge.
It is also worth noting that most EV owners don’t prioritize towing. Most EVs are pitched to drivers in an urban setting where towing isn’t very common.
Looking for cars that can tow caravans without overwhelming the planet?
There are a few alternatives. You can use hybrids to tow caravans without worrying about range. Hybrids are better at towing than EV cars. Note that there are two types of hybrids: plug-in hybrids and self-charging hybrids.
The latter, as the name suggests, will never need connecting to an electrical source. This also means that they have a very short range of electric batteries.
Not all hybrid vehicles offer superior towing capacities. You will have to do your research on this subject to find the best option.
A respectable towing capacity weight is 750 kg. Cars like the Toyota C-HR and Hyundai Ioniq can haul 750 kg of weight. The higher-end like the Toyota RAV4 self-charging hybrid offers a towing capacity of 1650 kg. The popular Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid offers a towing capacity of 1500 kg.
Then there are cars that are in a league of their own with massive numbers. The Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid can pull up to 3500 kg. The Audi Q7 e-Tron can haul weights of up to 2800 kg.
Prominent Electric Vehicles and their Towing Capacities
Let’s take a look at popular electric vehicles and their towing capacities. Some of the numbers are incredibly impressive such as 2268 kg with the Model X. We can expect these numbers to improve with advancements in battery and motor technology.
The Korando e-Motion has a towing limit of 1500 kg. This is a very respectable number that is twice the industry standard of 750 kg. Its motor generates a respectable 140 kW and 360 Nm. The Korean car is very affordable and popular in the UK.
The Korando e-Motion offers a spacious interior, sleek body, and a 551-liter boot. The advertised range on a single charge is about 210 miles, which is not bad. However, the e-Motion features lackluster aesthetics that won’t be winning any car design awards.
However, if towing a caravan is a priority, then the Korando is hard to beat.
The Polestar 2 is packing a ton of stylish points. Its towing capabilities are nothing to scoff at either. The single motor model can haul up to 1500 kg of weight. This means you can attach a 6-berth caravan to the entry-level EV.
It does require a tow bar that costs about $1500 for parts and installation. However, the Polestar 2 beats most of the EVs in the market.
Besides an impressive towing capacity, the Polestar boasts a stylish finish and spacious interiors.
The BMW i4 can pull two small caravans weighing in at 800 kg each. The total towing capacity of the i4 is a massive 1600 kg. This is true for both the 536 bhp M50 xDrive and the eDrive40.
Even the least powerful trip of the i4 delivers 317lb ft without revving. Furthermore, the eDrive 40 has an advertised range of 365 miles. Slash this number by 50 percent if you are towing at maximum capacity. This still leaves you with more than 150 miles of range.
The i4 also comes with a generous 470-liter boot for storage.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
The powerful Ioniq 5 has a sleek design and packs a ton of power. It features 4WD and RWD models that are fitted with 73kWh batteries. The car can pull up to 1600 kg – which rivals that of most gasoline-powered cars.
Note that the entry-level 58kWh has a towing limit of 750 kg. This is nothing to scoff at because you can still carry a small caravan. The car offers superior handling and a spacious interior.
Tesla Model Y
The Model Y is a powerful SUV that features capable motors and batteries. The highly anticipated Model Y is marketed as a family-friendly EV. It has impressive numbers for hauling weight.
Besides being stylish and spacious, the Model Y can pull 1600 kg of weight. This means it can effortlessly pull small to medium-sized caravans.
The Model Y achieves this thanks to its twin motor 4WD that provides superior traction. The bigger boot allows you to pack in more items for camping. It can cover a distance of 331 miles on a single charge.
Expect to drop 100 miles when you are towing a caravan.
The KIA EV6 is aimed at the enthusiast market at a higher pricing point. All trims of the EV6 feature a capable 77.4 kWh battery. The pulling capacity of the EV6 is about 1600kg – this applies to all cars.
The high-end 577 bhp GT and the budget-friendly 252 bhp RWD offer similar towing capacities. Note that attaching a heavy load will significantly affect the range of the EV.
On the flip side, the EV6 features an 800V charging system. This translates into ultra-fast charging. KIA claims that the battery can charge to 80% in under 20 minutes.
Another impressive metric is the EV’s acceleration. The GT trip can go from 0-62 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
The Mercedes Benz EQA promises a strong towing capacity right out of the gate. The advertised towing capacity is a whopping 1800kg – if you upgrade.
The affordable single motor EQA 250 trim can only pull 750kg. Consider upgrading to higher-end trims if towing capacity is important to you.
The twin motor 4WD EQA 300 4Matic and the EQA 350 4Matic can tow 1800kg. This should be enough to carry a massive caravan or other heavy objects.
All versions of the EQA come with a powered towbar for a small price. They also feature a Trailer Assist function with electronic stability. The feature prevents the dangerous swaying of trailers at higher speeds. Moreover, the car automatically reduces motor torque and applies braking when things start getting shaky.
The E-Tron comes with a 402bhp engine capable of hauling 1800kg of weight. The SUV has a range of 252 miles on a single charge. You should slash this by more than half to about 100 miles if hauling weights.
All the trims of the E-Tron feature the same towing capacity. The use of air suspension keeps everything stable. Another feature is the 660 liter boot to help you pack more camping gear.
Mercedes Benz EQC
The EQC has a towing limit at 1800 kg. Its twin motor EQC 400 4Matic can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.1 secs. Note that the EQC itself is incredibly heavy at nearly 2500 kg. This puts it at a slight disadvantage compared to other EVs and limits towing capacity.
The heavier car does have improved rear suspension for stabilizing the towing platform. It also comes equipped with Trailer Assist found in the EQA.
The iX offers one of the highest towing capacities of all EVs at 2500kg. This rivals the towing capacity of powerful gasoline cars. The motor is extremely capable at 514lb-ft of torque and 516 bhp power.
It features a massive battery that can take the SUV to distances of 600 miles. The less expensive 321 bhp e40xDrive offers the same towing capacity. The car features a twin motor 4WD that provides superior traction when pulling a caravan on a slippery road.
Electric cars can haul caravans but doing so will deplete the battery relatively quickly. You can expect to reduce the battery range by half by towing at maximum capacity. We recommend consulting with your car’s user manual before connecting a caravan.
If towing capacity is a priority for you, consider buying the EVs mentioned above. Let us know if we missed any electric vehicles that can tow caravans.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.