One of the most frequent questions we get asked about electric cars is ‘can they tow’. It seems there are a few caravaners out there who are a bit worried about the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.
Well, the first thing we would say is that you don’t need to worry too much, as the ban doesn’t come in for another eight years. And a LOT can change in that time. Also, you have until 2035 until hybrids will be banned, and plug in hybrids are actually really good for towing as they have plenty of low down pulling power.
But, just say you do want to tow with an electric car. Is it possible? Yes, and in fact some are really good at it; something like an Audi e-tron can tow a maximum of 1,800kg – which is the same as a Land Rover Discovery Sport!
Audi e-tron can tow as much as a Land Rover Discovery Sport
However efficiency is going to take a real hit and you’re going to need a big battery to go any distance with a caravan behind you. Or, you’ll need to stop for charging about twice as often and we are not sure you’d be popular at a motorway charging point with a trailer.
But there are situations where you might want a towbar. Maybe you take a boat a few miles to the coast, or have a trailer you take to the tip? Everyone seems to be lugging bikes everywhere these days, and a towbar-mounted rack is more convenient that loading cycles onto the roof, especially on taller cars.
A few years ago you only had a really limited choice of electric cars that could be fitted with a towbar. But after doing the research we found that there is actually a decent selection, with a few makers actually re-engineering models to make them compatible.
Here’s a run down of all the electric cars that can pull…..
The I-Pace is now rated for towing. But not too much
BMW iX3 – 750kg capacity
Citroen SpaceTourer – and all the other van-based electric people carriers which are basically the same from Peugeot and Vauxhall – can tow up to 1,900kg.
Ford Mustang Mach-e - 750kg
Hyundai Ioniq - 750kg
Hyundai Kona - 1,200kg (But the Kia sister cars, can't oddly).
Jaguar I-Pace - Just 750kg.
Mercedes EQA - 750kg
Mercdes EQC - 1,800kg around.
Nissan Leaf - no official towing capacity, but a bar-mounted bike rack can be fitted.
Nissan Ariya - 1,500kg.
Polestar 2 - 1,500kg
Skoda Enyaq - 1,200kg
Tesla Model 3 - 1,000kg (but the Model S can't tow)
Tesla Model X - 2,250kg. That’s the biggest of any electric car.
Volvo XC40 Recharge - 1,500kg.
VW ID.4 - 1,500kg. But you can’t tow with an ID.3, despite using the same motors and other bits underneath.
Tesla's Model X can tow a trailer to the top. or a Boeing 787
If all of those are out of your price range or you just want to dip your tow in the water, how about a PHEV or a used car? There’s not much pure-electric about yet and certain cars (like the Teslas) have to be fitted with the towbar at the factory. The biggest selling PHEV is the Mitsubishi Outlander, and that can pull 1,500kg. It's four-wheel-drive too, so should be able to keep going on a slippery slip way or help get a caravan out of a muddy camp site.
If you do tow with your electric car, let us know how you get on!
PHEVs are good to dip your tow in the water