Why electric cars are rarely suited to towing

By DPA | 18 October 2020

BERLIN: Electric cars, for all their advantages with cleaner mobility, come with one major drawback: They're not very good at towing.

In fact, few electric cars are at all suited to towing caravans or trailers, and barely any EV manufacturer will sell you a tow hitch for your electric, while the permissible axle load is rarely stated.

The reason why is because towing a trailer comes with massively increased power consumption in an electric car, meaning your driving range plummets accordingly.

In addition, most EVs simply aren't built, let alone approved, for the extra strain on brakes and motors that towing brings.

As a result, if you've bought a Hyundai Kona Elektro, Kia e-Niro, Nissan LEAF, Mazda MX-30 or VW ID.3, you may have noticed that the manufacturer isn't giving you much details on trailers or drawbar loads.

However, Volkswagen is now offering buyers a trailer coupling for the ID.3 for a low drawbar load, although this isn't suited to anything heavier than a bicycle carrier.

There are only 10 electric models on the European market that can be considered towing vehicles, according to Auto, Motor und Sport, and only four of then could tow a large caravan or horse box.

The Tesla Model X is the strongest electric SUV, and it's followed by the Audi e-tron, Audi e-tron Sportback and Mercedes EQC. The Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC40 are able to tow a medium-sized caravan.

Things are different with hybrids, however, and most of these are better suited to heavier loads as they can still fall back on a traditional combustion engine.