Can You Tow A Caravan With An Electric Car
Many people love travelling with their caravan attached to the back of their car.
But can you tow a caravan with an electric car?
It’s an essential question to many, as their caravan allows them the freedom of staying wherever they want at anytime.
So let’s take a look, can electric cars do the job that combustion cars have done for years?
Let’s find out…
What Is Towing Capacity?
Towing capacity is how much weight a vehicle is allowed to tow according to the manufacturer. There are actually two different types of towing capacity which you can see below:
Braked Towing Capacity
This is the maximum weight you can tow when the item you are towing has access to its own brakes.
Unbraked Towing Capacity
This is the same but when the thing you are towing does not have its own brakes.
As you can see, this means braked allows you to tow a heavier mass because of the brakes on your car and the brakes on the trailer. As the trailer has its own brakes, it means there’s more stopping power. Compared to unbraked, which means your mass might overpower the car’s brakes, which ensures the car and trailer take longer to stop.
Usually, it’s larger and more expensive cars that have the highest towing weights, this doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, it just means you should plan what you intend to tow. Is it something light, or will you be towing heavy items regularly? This needs to be considered so you can plan which car is ideally suited to your towing requirements.
Can You Tow A Caravan With An EV?
Yes, electric vehicles can tow a caravan and any other heavy-duty loads. In fact, some people say that an EV is actually a better option to tow than a petrol or diesel. Whilst others argue, that using fully electric vehicles to tow is actually worse than using fossil-fuelled cars.
Cars that can produce a lot of torque with very low engine speeds are best suited for towing a caravan. This is because the driver doesn’t have to use the engine aggressively to move the car and load.
The reason people argue that electric cars are better for pulling a caravan is that they produce almost maximum torque as soon the electric motor starts running. This means you can pretty much pull away from a standstill position with a heavy load and encounter no issues.
Compare this to petrol and diesel where you are building up the torque as you increase the gears and speed. Electric cars don’t have this issue, which is one of the major benefits of towing with an EV.
You also have to factor in the weight of an electric vehicle compared to a regular car. Electric cars tend to be quite a bit heavier than their counterparts due to the large batteries that allow an electric car to travel a certain distance on a single charge.
If the car was too light, then the heavy load behind being towers could overpower the car as they go round a corner or sudden stopping. Compared to a car that is too heavy and it may only have the power to move the vehicle itself and not enough power to move the load as well.
That’s why it’s important to know what sort of weight you’re towing, so you can plan accordingly when picking a regular car or an electric vehicle.
Alternative Car Options For Towing Caravans
Plug-in hybrids and self-charging hybrids are another two great options that many people don’t think about when looking to tow cars or other heavy loads. The minimum towing capacity for hybrids is 750kg and cars that have this are the Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota C-HR.
Cars with a towing capacity of 1500kg are the Mitsubishi Outlander plug in hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 self-charging hybrid. These are both larger and heavier cars and it’s no surprise that they can tow a much heavier weight, whether that’s caravans or something else.
Electric Car Examples That Can Tow
Below are 5 electric car models that have the capability to tow should you want them to:
- BMW iX – This powerful car has the capability to tow 2500kg which is a hefty amount and one of the leading cars for heaviest towing weight among any car brand. They have a maximum estimated range of 348 miles, although you can expect this to be a lot less if you’re towing a heavy mass behind you. The cost of this car is not cheap with used deals from around £70,000.
- Kia EV 6 – A fairly new car to the market, this Kia has a towing capacity of 1600kg and a 77.4kWh battery with an estimated range of 300 miles per charge. If you are not towing, this electric vehicle is one of the most economical currently available.
- Volvo XC 40 Electric – The towing capacity on this electric vehicle is actually dependent on how many motors you have. One electric motor gives you a 1500kg towing capacity, whilst two motors give you 1800kg. The higher the towing, the more expensive the car will be, that’s just a formality. This SUV is known for its reliability and practicality and is a great family car if you have children.
- Mercedes EQC – Starting at around £54,000 for a used deal, the Mercedes is a luxury car that is never short on power and has a great-sized boot for going away on trips. This version also boasts a keyless entry and self-levelling rear suspension which is beneficial if towing.
- Polestar 2 – This is a brand you might not know much about, but they have been tuning Volvos for a number of years but now have their own standalone electric vehicle. It has a twin motor which can tow up to 1500kg and has free over-the-air updates to add new features and upgrade existing ones.
What Else To Know About Towing With A Car That’s Electric
The biggest point we think is worth remembering is to make sure before you purchase a car, that it has been approved to tow a heavy mass. It’s worth always buying a car that can tow over the limit of what you’re hoping to attach to. If you have a car with a towing capacity of 1500kg and your caravan is on that limit, it’s just going to be pushing the car to its maximum on every journey.
You would be better off buying a car with a towing capacity of 1750kg+ to give yourself that extra leeway and it reduces the strain on your EV. Also, if you decide to upgrade your caravan or trailer to a larger model, your vehicle might become useless if the new caravan is over the car towing capacity limit. This would mean you would have to upgrade your electric car as well as purchase a new caravan.
Furthermore, it’s important to buy a heavier car which is why it’s better to have some caravans attached to an electric vehicle because they are generally heavier than petrol or diesel. This is due to the lithium-ion batteries in the cars and by being heavier, they stop the trailer from swinging out as your go round corners. A lighter car may not have the power to maintain full control and this can lead to dangerous situations.
Drivers should also consider what they’re allowed to drive and what their driving license states.
Why An Electric Vehicle Might Not Be Able To Tow
There are a handful of reasons why electric cars are unable to tow a caravan or trailer. The biggest one is that the EV has to be approved for towing before it can be sold to its respective buyer, if this is not approved then it does not legally have the ability to tow.
There are many electric cars that are sold that do not have approval. The reason behind not being approved can fluctuate greatly. For example, if the car is small and the load is heavy, it may it could cause the car’s brakes and motor to struggle or pack up all together.
Another contributing factor is that electric cars are much heavier than petrol or diesel due to the weight of the batteries. Now if you add even more weight on the back, this can cause severe strain on certain parts of the car if they were not designed to withstand extra weight.
Also, it drastically affects the range an EV can travel, if the range is 300 miles per charge, this might be 240 miles now if you’re towing something. Usually, it’s heavier more luxurious models that are approved for towing and the small to medium range electric cars don’t get the approval.
We hope that helped answer any questions relating to caravans and an electric car. As you can see, electric cars are more than capable of towing but you need to make sure they have been approved and you get a car that can tow the weight your want.
It’s also vital that you take into consideration the benefits and drawbacks of using electric, for example, the range will be nowhere near its maximum limit if you’re pulling a heavy object but then electric generates more torque quicker which allows a smoother journey.
So petrol, diesel and electric all offer different things, but there’s no doubt that an electric car can pull a trailer with ease as long as you pick the correct make and model.
See this page for further information that can help electric vehicle owners on what to do to correctly maintain them.