Yes, electric cars can tow a trailer or caravan. But there is a very big problem whether for Tesla, BMW or Mercedes

JVTech News Yes, electric cars can tow a trailer or caravan. But there is a very big problem whether for Tesla, BMW or Mercedes

Published on 05/25/2024 at 10:30

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Although increasingly popular, electric cars still have some problems. Among them: being able to tow heavy loads. Our colleagues at 01Net have devoted an excellent file to this question!

A historical update on the tracking capabilities of electric vehicles (EV)

You know as we do, progress in the world of EVs is happening extremely quickly. It’s a booming sector, and everyone has their own opinion on the matter. So let’s start with a historical point.

The first modern electric cars popular with the general public were small city cars. Since the market is exploding more and more, manufacturers have sought to respond to all kinds of demands, in particular that of being able to carry heavy loads behind you. Today, around half of the models in circulation in Europe offer a towing hook: 200 references is enormous.

From small city cars, we have moved on to huge vehicles. Today, we have lots of electric sedans, SUVs and pick-ups on the market. Most large models can tow loads between 1.5 and 2.5 tonnes and the monstrous Tesla Cybertruck that we presented to you live at the Vivatech show can drag trailers and caravans of… 5 tonnes behind it. This huge pick-up cannot be driven in Europe, but we will still give you the figure as it speaks volumes.

Weight and autonomy, the brakes on enthusiasm

Intuitively, it is quite easy to understand why electric cars are not the most efficient for tracking: each additional kilo to be driven means more energy to spend, therefore less range. The huge batteries found at the heart of these products already weigh extremely heavy, and that poses a problem. The famous Cybertruck that we were talking about earlier, for example, weighs around 3 tonnes, it’s monstrous.

On the other hand, the range of electric vehicles is strongly impacted by towing a trailer. The ADAC established that in motorway use, the consumption of a Kia EV6 towing a 1,600 kg caravan reached 36 kWh/100 km, compared to 20 kWh/100 km in normal times. In other words, the range of an electric car with a caravan is halved on the motorway. Add to that the fact that you have to stop regularly to “refuel” and you easily understand why attaching your caravan to your EV is hell.

A promising future, but challenges ahead

The state of the market is changing. More and more electric models are being used for towing and the towing capacities of electric vehicles will improve, for sure. If there is one area in which EVs are making progress, it is that of autonomy and battery volume after all.

Another avenue of exploration: motorized trailers and caravans. By integrating a motor and batteries, they could relieve the towing vehicle and remove part of the load. Enough to reduce consumption, increase autonomy and facilitate parking and recharging.

Source: Hadrien Augusto, for



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