Electric cars and towing - what you need to know

Electric cars might be at the very forefront of driving technology, but an often forgotten-about aspect of their role in motoring is if they’re able to tow. Now, many electric cars do have the capacity to tow a trailer, but the weight they’re able to tow differs considerably between models.

Here, we’re going to take a look through everything you need to know about towing with an electric car.

Picture of a Tesla Model X

So can an electric car actually tow?

Absolutely. Just as with petrol and diesel cars, certain electric cars are allowed to tow things such as trailers and boats, but their capability differs between models - just as with combustion-engined cars.

If you’re looking to tow a trailer with your electric car, then it’s always worth checking with manufacturer guidelines beforehand.

Can all electric cars tow?

No. One of the key points of consideration with towing in general is weight and, with their added battery packs and components, EVs do weigh quite a lot. So if you combined an already heavy car with a weighty trailer, you could end up putting far too much stress on components such as the brakes and steering, overloading them in the process.

Is an electric car’s technology a drawback in this area?

Absolutely. All electric cars feature some kind of regenerative braking, where the electric motor converts the energy usually lost when slowing down or braking into charge for the battery. Because it’s working to collect this kinetic energy, the added weight of a trailer could seriously overload the system and cause a fault.

Though you could switch off the regenerative braking, this could work to put even more stress on the regular braking system.

Will an electric car’s range be impacted by towing?

Definitely. Just as with a petrol or diesel car - which will see its fuel consumption shoot up when towing - the added strain on the electric motor will cause the overall range to dive. Over long drives, this could mean a lot more trips to the chargers.

Front view of an audi e-tron
volkswagen id4 charging

So which electric cars are best for towing?

Tesla Model X

The big Model X SUV comes out on top when it comes to EV towing, thanks to its ability to tow up to 2,270kg with a braked trailer. It’s very impressive and adds another string to the Tesla’s bow.

Audi e-tron

Audi’s e-tron SUV is yet another big-hitter when it comes to towing. Though it can’t quite match the Tesla, its 1,800kg braked trailer towing capacity is still respectable.

Volkswagen ID.4 GTX

Volkswagen’s performance-orientated ID.4 GTX is somewhat of a surprise in this list but its braked trailer capacity of up to 1,200kg isn’t bad at all. This is also matched by its Volkswagen Group stablemates - the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Skoda Enyaq iV, when both are equipped with tip-top all-wheel-drive powertrains.

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