Interested in purchasing a powerful electric vehicle? Most electric vehicles aren’t designed to tow, so you’ll be left feeling let down.
To start, they weigh a ton (heavier than ICE cars). Also, their transmissions are already at capacity. Extra mass may cause them to collapse. While towing does reduce effective range, it also depletes the battery.
The latest electric vehicles are taking advantage of new technology to boost their towing capacity, which is good news.
Why are most EVs so bad at towing?
When it comes to energy consumption, electric vehicles are surprisingly effective. However, their performance may decrease if any additional mass is added to them.
Therefore, they are not drastically different from internal combustion engine vehicles. But towing a hefty load requires more power from an electric vehicle.
Simply put, most EVs cannot. If they do, their effective range will be severely diminished. Towing vehicles with an electric vehicle is not recommended for the following reasons:
- Power comes from battery packs that are incredibly cumbersome. Most batteries for electric vehicles weigh close to 500 kilograms.
- The transmissions and brakes were not made with trailer hauling in mind. They may be overwhelmed by further loads.
- Electric vehicles use regenerative braking systems that are designed specifically for the lighter loads of electric vehicles. There is a risk of motor and battery failure while towing big trailers.
- When it comes to electric vehicles, range anxiety is a huge issue. The car’s range will be drastically cut in half if you tow a trailer behind it.
Power Cannot Be Determined by Instantaneous Torque
Did you know that electric vehicles are superior to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles for pulling trailers? For one thing, their engines are capable of instantaneous full torque delivery.
The ability to turn or rotate in a circle is measured in terms of torque. If your vehicles are going to be doing this, you want them to do it as efficiently as possible.
To generate adequate torque, most conventional automobiles rely on enormous gasoline engines. Burning gasoline turns a crankshaft in internal combustion engine cars. As a result, their gears will be rotated before the power is transferred to the wheels.
To be fair, electric vehicles are constructed otherwise. Electric vehicles (EVs) directly transform the kinetic energy contained in the electricity they use into the rotational energy needed to propel themselves.
This means that EVs can provide peak torque virtually instantly. With an electric motor, peak torque is available instantly.
This paves the way for EVs to tow trailers easily, albeit for limited periods of time. In actual use, electric vehicles face a number of challenges.
Firstly, the battery packs in electric cars make them quite hefty. To add insult to injury, a hefty trailer can easily outrun a lightweight EV in an acceleration or a turn.
There are specific issues with heavier automobiles. For it to move, the engine will have to put forth more energy than usual. To add insult to injury, electric vehicles are heavier, making it harder to use the brakes.
The drive train and transmission system of an electric vehicle might be strained by towing. As a result, only a select few EVs can actually be towed.
The Issue with Batteries and Range
It is more draining on the body to tow a caravan. These watts will come from the battery, but they’ll come at the expense of driving distance.
It’s for this reason that EV manufacturers typically downplay their vehicles’ towing capacities. Any feature that disappears after one minute is useless.
In the absence of concern for battery life, feel free to do as much pulling as you like! The latest electric vehicles are, thankfully, able to do so.
There will soon be a noticeable increase in battery life. Because of this, the amount of weight it can pull will increase dramatically.
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Hybrids are a Better Option for Towing
Although hybrids are heavier than electric vehicles, they tow more efficiently. To go about, hybrids use both electric motors and diesel engines.
Both plug-in and self-charging hybrids are available on the market today. The self-charging Toyota RAV-4 hybrid can tow up to 1650 kg.
Just under 1500 kg of trailer weight can be pulled by a Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in. But then there are the hybrids, and these completely change the game. The Audi Q7 e-tron can pull up to 2800 kilograms.
The Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid stands out even among premium SUVs. In terms of weight, it can carry up to 3,500 kilograms.
EV Charging Is a Major Problem
Charging an electric vehicle can be a time-consuming process. Standard gas stations allow ICE vehicles to swiftly refuel and continue their journey.
This means that using EVs to haul loads requires some forethought. For Teslas, this may be less of an issue. This is because to the company’s extensive network of Supercharger locations.
Charge times are reduced and accessibility is increased using Tesla’s chargers. Take into account that different electric vehicle models have different charging times.
The majority of modern EVs have charging times of less than one hour. These fees, however, are not simple to locate. The good news is that most electric vehicles have a speedy 80% battery recharge.
Ford claims that the F-150 Lightning requires only 41 percent of a full charge. The driver can get some errands done in that amount of time.
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Tesla Cybertruck – 14,500 lb
In case you were wondering, the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck has a 14,500-pound towing capacity. Nonetheless, there are claims of a 10,000-pound towing capacity.
All indications point to these figures being extremely impressive. Both Tesla and Elon Musk have pumped up anticipation for the Cybertruck.
Supposedly, it was crafted from dent-proof stainless steel. The range of the futuristic EV is well over 500 kilometers.
The towing capacity is comparable to that of popular pickup trucks. There are three different Cybertruck models to choose from. The differences between them are unclear due to a lack of relevant data.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on the base model’s single Motor. Power, range, and towing capacity are all improved in the Double and Tri Models.
In about 6.5 seconds, the Cybertruck can go from 0-60 mph. The maximum speed is 110 miles per hour. That same task takes only 4.5 seconds when using the Dual Motor package.
In contrast, the three-motor version gets there in just 2.9 seconds. With a top speed of 130 mph, it is fast enough for almost any situation.
When asked about the Cybertrucks’ power source, Tesla has remained mum. However, we do know that the single-motor version can travel up to 250 miles without refueling. The dual-motor vehicle has a 300-mile range.
At last, the Tri motor model has a 500-mile range on a single charge. It’s great news for EV owners who wish to pull trailers.
Chevrolet Silverado EV – 10,000 lb
The Chevrolet Silverado EV, a vehicle from the future, won’t reach customers until 2024. Its huge battery pack allows it to travel up to 400 kilometers on a single charge.
Because to cutting-edge quick-charging technology, the battery can be recharged to go 100 miles in just 10 minutes. In terms of payload, it has a capacity of 1,300 pounds while towing up to 10,000 pounds.
Strong acceleration is guaranteed thanks to its two electric motors. A minimum of 664 horsepower can be found in this vehicle. The 200 kWh capacity Ultium battery from General Motors will be used.
Chevrolet has also hinted at an upcoming vehicle with a 20,000-pound towing capability.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning – 10,000 lb
The Ford F-15 is capable of pulling up to 10,000 pounds, making it one of the most outstanding vehicles on the market. It is fitted with an Extended Range battery to travel a wide distance. The F-150 can haul around 4,000 kilograms (8,800 lb.).
With the base model, you get 426 horsepower. And the innovative Extended Range battery can draw 563-hp. A whopping 775 lb-ft of torque is available in both battery configurations.
In 4.5 seconds, the SUV can go from 0-60 mph. In comparison to the Raptor, this F-150 is far quicker.
The F-150 is not only extremely quick, but also quite potent. The integrated weighing system and other towing-specific features are just the beginning.
It is ideally suited for hauling trailers thanks to cutting-edge technologies like the Pro Trailer Hitch. The curb weight of the F-150 Lighting is roughly 6,590 lb.
Rivian R1T – 11,000 lb
The maximum load that may be towed by a Rivian R1T is 11,000. However, its range will be reduced by 50% if you tow something. All told, it has a range of around 314 miles.
Switching to Towing mode will limit the range to 135 miles. This is less than half its original range. It has the potential to produce over 800 horsepower and over 900 lb-ft of torque in the right configuration.
When you hitch a trailer to your pickup, “Tow Mode” will be engaged. Tow Mode is recommended for drivers who often tow trailers. By switching to tow mode, they can make advantage of the vehicle’s built-in trailer brake controller.
Rivian R1S – 7,700 lb
The R1S, which can pull 7,7000 pounds, is well behind the R1T. Nonetheless, doing so will shorten the SUV’s driving range.
A car’s 7,700-pound weight is impressive, especially for an electric vehicle. To give you an idea of scale, the typical towing capability of a vehicle of this size in the SUV segment is 5,000 pounds.
More than 2,700 pounds separate the R1S from its nearest rival. Furthermore, for its compact size, it produces tremendous power and torque.
The vehicle can carry a whopping total of 1,800 pounds. Those riding along with you and anything you have in your automobile count.
The average cargo capacity of an internal combustion engine vehicle is less than 1,500 pounds. On the other hand, the R1S has greater towing capacity and acceleration than ICE vehicles.
This is due to the R1S’s intentional design for maximum torque use.
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GMC Hummer EV – 7,500 lb
The Hummer Truck, made by GMC, is yet another option on our list due to its large towing capacity. It has a payload capacity of 1,300 pounds and a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.
The Hummer EV has severe regenerative braking and a torque of 11,500 lb-ft. With a curb weight of 9 tons, this vehicle is no lightweight.
Because of this, it is significantly heavier than standard pickups. The Hummer EV’s towing mode increases the vehicle’s stiffness, making it simpler to handle.
While it has a claimed 329-mile range, you can count on that number being cut in half when you hitch it to a trailer. The truck has a 0-60 time of 3.3 seconds.
Additionally, IT has four-wheel steering, air suspensions that can be adjusted, and detachable roof panels. The Hummer EV is exciting to drive and indispensable because to its many convenient features.
BMW X5 eDrive 45e – 6,000 lb
Towing capacity for the BMW X5 eDrive 45e is 5,952 pounds. When compared to the vast majority of EVs, this is an acceptable figure. The 24-kWh battery is significantly larger than the one in the X5.
Why? Because BMW wants to make a Cybertruck to rival Tesla’s. The X5 has a built-in receiver hitch and seven-pin connectors for trailer lighting.
Trailer sway control is included. In doing so, the motorist will gain access to driver assistance and blind spot collision warning functions.
Because the trailer will be positioned behind the vehicle, these safety elements are helpful. The X5 will sound an alarm and flash a warning if the trailer light becomes dysfunctional.
As soon as you hook up a trailer, the car switches to “tow” mode. The X5 is an excellent option in its pricing range due to its exceptional towing capacities.
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Tesla Model X – 5,000 lb
At long last, there’s the Tesla Model X, capable of pulling roughly 5,000 pounds.
Tow Mode and the Tow Package are standard on all new Model Xs. For obvious reasons, these components actively watch the trailer.
In terms of power consumption, the Model X can utilize between 350 and 480 watt-miles. The power consumption when towing is 700 watts per mile.
In practice, this means the Model X’s range will be cut in half. Towing distance of 235 miles is an outstanding feat.
Evidently, more and more electric vehicles that can be towed are appearing on the market.
The best results were achieved by Tesla’s Cybertruck, which weighed in at 14,500 pounds. The Ford Expedition, as an example, has a towing capacity of 9,300 pounds.
This indicates that EVs are now outperforming automobiles powered by ICEs. There is a significant restriction, however: they can only travel so far.
When towing, expect a drastic drop in range. In addition, recharging your EV will take a considerable amount of time. Despite these drawbacks, EVs can be used to securely tow trailers.