The world is changing, transportation is changing and the adoption of electric cars is accelerating. While many people welcome the change to electric vehicles, they do come with some challenges and changes in behaviour are required. In general, changing to an electric car is/will be relatively straight forward. However, if you are looking for an electric car that can tow a trailer/camper etc there are more factors to consider. Therefore, that’s what this website is all about, showing which electric cars can tow, what they can tow and importantly how far they can tow before running out of charge. Enjoy 🙂
As the costs of electric cars continue to fall and the distances they can travel on a full charge continues to increase more and more people can rely on an electric car to meet the majority of their needs. However, when it comes to towing its more of a challenge, though the key attributes of electric cars suit them well in principle for towing.
For instance, electric motors provide a lot of torque, and they produce that torque from very low speeds, a great attribute for towing. Furthermore, as electric cars are generally heavier than ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars, that also aids their towing performance. As heavier cars are more stable tow cars, as you don’t want the tail (trailer) wagging the dog (tow car).
Through clicking the link above you will be directed to my electric tow cars list of current and upcoming electric vehicles for North America. However, before you do that please review the below. There are many terms used to describe electric vehicles, such as:
- EV (Electric Vehicle – General Term)
- BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle – 100% Electric)
- EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle – On-Board Generator)
- PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
- HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle – No Plug)
No Plug? It’s Not A True Electric Vehicle
Certain vehicle manufacturers promote the idea of a ‘self-charging hybrid’ as an electric vehicle. Just so you’re aware, of the electric tow cars you will find listed on this website I want to make this absolutely clear, if it doesn’t have a plug so the vehicle can receive electrical energy directly, I won’t be writing about it. A HEV may have an electric motor, it may even have a small battery. However, the source of energy with an HEV is only through the combustion of fuel.
Granted, a HEV can capture kinetic energy from braking, convert that kinetic energy into electrical energy to be stored into the battery for later use. However, unless you are only ever going to drive downhill in an HEV, the only source of energy comes from the combustion of liquid fuel and not an electrical outlet.
What About PHEV’s?
The main emphasis of this website is to promote pure electric tow cars. However, electric tow cars present challenges with range/charging rate above those of electric cars which are not used for towing. Therefore, I may write about some PHEV’s as electric tow cars. As they have a plug, a PHEV can receive electrical power directly as a source of energy.
However, the pure electric range of PHEV’s tends to be pretty low, add towing into the mix and the pure electric range may be pretty insignificant. Then again, electric tow cars are not used for towing all the time. Hence, a PHEV could potentially use electricity for most journeys when not towing. So here’s my compromise, if the pure electric range of a PHEV (not towing) is 50 miles or more, I might write an article on it.
What About Electric Trucks?
While the name of the website states ‘cars’, yes, I’m going to be covering the various electric trucks which are coming on the market, as many of them will be used for towing. Therefore, that obviously includes the Tesla Cybertruck along with the electric Ford F-150 and Rivian’s electric truck etc.
Aerodynamic drag/wind-resistance is a big contributor to range reduction when towing with an electric vehicle at highway speeds for instance. Therefore, what’s going to be very interesting is comparing the efficiency/consumption figures of electric tow cars and electric tow trucks.
What About Hydrogen Tow Cars?
While I believe hydrogen has applications for certain delivery/haulage vehicles and many heavy industry applications, it doesn’t appear there is much of a future for hydrogen-powered personal vehicles. There are many reasons for this, but it mainly comes down to infrastructure. Most people will/do charge their electric tow car at home most of the time. Though you can also typically charge at your destination when towing, or during the journey.
With hydrogen, you will not be able to refill at home, and its unlikely you would be able to refill with hydrogen at your destination. Hydrogen re-filling infrastructure is currently very sparse, and not expanding rapidly by any means. Hence, I think hydrogen tow cars are going to be very niche if they ever even come to market. That doesn’t mean I would never write an article on a hydrogen tow car. However, the main emphasis of this website is firmly to promote electric/battery tow cars/trucks.
The Challenges Of Electric Tow Cars
While an electric car in principle can be an excellent tow car and ultimately they will be the best tow cars ever produced, we are still in a transitional phase with the most important component of an electric car, the battery. Furthermore, the charging infrastructure in terms of charging locations and the rate of charge is also still yet to reach its full potential. These two aspects of electric tow car capabilities are very important for the following reason:
When towing, you should expect an electric cars range to be roughly 50% of its typical range when not towing.
Now, 50% is a very general estimate, and the real reduction in range will vary per vehicle depending on the size and weight of the trailer. For instance, the aerodynamics of the trailer may impact range more than its weight. As you cannot charge an electric car as quickly as you can put liquid fuel into an ICE car (yet), range and efficiency when towing are very important. Hence, that’s what this website is about. Discussing the different electric tow cars which are/will be available and looking at what their towing capabilities actually are.
Currently, there is quite a limited range of electric cars which are rated to tow, though that is set to increase considerably over the coming years. Furthermore, battery and charging technology is also developing rapidly which will reduce the challenges of towing with an electric car. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the articles on this site and I hope I can help you to find your next electric tow car! 🙂