Yes, as long as an electric car is fitted with a tow bar it can nomrally pull a caravan. Towing a caravan or trailer with an electric car is most suited to high-end electric cars such as the Tesla Model X. With a trailer load of over two tons or heavier caravans then the Stromer is a good option. Other eletric cars that are well suited to towing a caravan are the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC.
It's common sense but the bigger and heavier the trailer load, the more powerful the electric car needs to be. The towing capacity of an e-car is calculed in a similar way to a petrol or diesel car - using its kerb weight and the torque of the vehicle. Before buying an e-car, consider which trailers your electric vehicle should be compatible with.
Plug-in hybrid as an alternative for heavy trailer loads
Hybrid cars are reliable towing vehicles when you want to cover long distances with a trailer. They have a so-called double engine, i.e. both an electric and a traditional combustion engine. Compared to pure electric towing cars, there are significantly more good options in the hybrid sector.
Some of the most powerful hybrid vehicles on the market which make good tow cars include:
- Audi A7 Sportback TFSI e (2.000kg towing capacity)
- BMW X5 (2,700kg towing capacity))
- Ford Explorer (2.500kg towing capacity)
- Mercedes E-Klasse (2,100kg towing capacity)
- Mercedes E-Class T-Model (2.100kg towing capacity)
- Mercedes GLE (2.700kg towing capacity)
- Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid (3,500kg towing capacity)
- Volvo XC90 (2,400kg towing capacity)
- Volvo XC60 (2,100kg towing capacity)
- Volvo V90 (2,100kg towing capacity)
- Volvo S90 (2,100kg towing capacity)
How does towing a trailer affect the battery range of an electric car?
Modern electric cars can cover somewhere between 120 to 600 kilometers without stopping to re-charge. Despite advanced battery technologies enable the ever-increasing distances, pulling a trailer can decrease the range by up to 70 percent. To counteract this, a start-up company has developed a battery trailer. It is scheduled to hit the market in 2022.
Do electric cars have a future in caravanning?
There are several factors that suggest that electric cars will increasingly be used for camping and traveling with mobile homes or caravans in the future:
1) Electric cars are ideal towing vehicles because of their performance.
2) The technology for increasing the range of e-cars is constantly evolving. In the future, electric vehicles will achieve long ranges despite their trailers.
3) More and more car manufacturers are offering the option of attaching a tow bar to their electric vehicles.
4) Most campsites have the necessary charging infrastructure for electric cars.
Are electric cars bad at towing?
No they are not. The truth is that electric cars can and are allowed to pull trailers of any kind, as long as they have the required engine torque and it is within the vehicles towing capacity.
The only downside of towing with an electric car is that the battery range is reduced because of the additional load and wind resistance which increases energy consumption significantly. Currently longer distances are only possible with several charging stops.