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Can an electric car tow a caravan?

Can an electric car tow a caravan?

On the surface, yes, electric cars can tow caravans, and technically, many are probably capable of doing so. However, it depends on the EV model type and whether you are legally allowed to. Why? Because unfortunately, only a handful of electric cars have been typed-approved to tow.

But what is type approval, and why does it affect EVs and caravans?

With the introduction of any new vehicle, including electric ones, they have to be rigorously tried and tested by the government before they can be approved for road usage and go to market. This vehicle approval process is called homologation, and EV manufacturers can put forward their new model for towing approval as part of this procedure.

Unfortunately, many electric vehicle manufacturers have opted not to put forward their EVs to be tested for towing approval, which is why the number of legally approved EVs for towing is limited.

Why are electric cars not suited for towing?

The short answer is that electric cars are not designed and engineered with towing in mind.

For example, you’d think that with technologically advanced regenerative braking, EVs would be more than capable of towing, but that’s not the case. In fact, the heavy load of a caravan to an already heavy-bodied car (EV battery packs weigh on average 1000 pounds, making them comparatively heavier than petrol and diesel cars) will not equal a smooth ride. The additional weight could add more strain on the brakes and, in worst-case scenarios, could cause mechanical issues.

Not only are brakes at risk from the added weight, but your EV range will be significantly reduced. And so the more weight in your caravan, the more your range will be decreased even further.

It’s thought that the reason why so many EV manufacturers haven’t put their models forward for homologation could be because of range anxiety. If the ranges are diminished with towing, manufacturers may not be keen to support the stigma.

How do I know if my electric car can tow?

Firstly, you should check your car manual. If towing capacity is mentioned (the maximum weight you can legally tow), you should be safe to tow. On the other hand,  if limits and towing, in general, are not mentioned, it’s highly unlikely that your EV will be able to tow. You can contact your EV manufacturer if you want to be certain.

Which electric cars can tow a caravan?

Some EVs from popular manufacturers can tow a trailer, including Tesla, Polestar and Jaguar. However, it varies depending on the model.

Below are some of the best type-approved battery EVs with the biggest towing capacity:

  • BMW iX – 2,500 kg
  • Tesla Model X – 2,300 kg
  • Audi e-tron – 1,800 kg
  • Mercedes EQC – 1,800 kg
  • Hyundai Ioniq 5 – 1,600 kg
  • Polestar 2 – 1,500 kg

The Tesla Model X was the first EV capable of towing; however, recently, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y have been opened up to towing, with the 3 obtaining a towing capacity of 1,000kg and the Y having a towing capacity of 1,600kg. The advantage of using a Tesla for towing is that they come with a Tow Package and Trailer Mode, which can help aid in a smoother and safer journey.

What hybrid cars can tow a caravan?

If towing is essential for you, it might be worthwhile considering a hybrid instead of a fully electric vehicle. A plug-in hybrid is a great alternative as it contains an electric motor and an internal combustion motor, meaning you don’t have to stress too much about decreased range or straining your electrics. What’s more, while it depends on the model, hybrids can offer a higher towing capacity.

Below is a list of hybrid cars with higher-end towing capacity:

  • Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid – 3,500 kg
  • Range Rover Sport P400e HSE Dynamic – 2,500 kg
  • Volvo XC60 Twin Engine/Recharge – 2,100 kg
  • Lexus RX450h – 2, 000 kg
  • Volvo XC90 T8 – 2,100 kg
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – 1,500 kg

How far can an electric car tow a caravan?

On average, an EV will offer somewhere between 100 miles to 300 miles of range. However, you can expect that range to significantly decrease when towing a caravan, trailer or horsebox.

While the numbers aren’t conclusive, how far your EV car can tow a caravan depends on your usual range, in addition to the weight of the caravan that you’re towing.

One thing for certain is that you will need to watch your battery charge when towing. To ensure a range anxiety-free trip, it’s best practice to follow our tips, such as checking tyre pressure frequently and avoiding harsh breaking, so you can preserve as much range as you can.

Additionally, when it comes down to the decreased range, it would be wise to plan your journey ahead of time and pre-plan your EV charging stops with Zap-Map. Moreover, as you will likely be re-charging more often with the additional weight dragging you down, you might want to use a higher charging rate than your standard 7kW fast chargers, such as a 22kW or 50kW rapid charging point, so you can charge quicker. But be careful – we do not recommend using rapid chargers regularly as they can degrade your battery quicker.

Is it worth purchasing an electric car solely for its towing capabilities?

Unfortunately, if you are wanting an electric vehicle that is capable of towing, it’s going to set you back more than a standard electric vehicle, and you may be missing out on other benefits of EV driving if you do so.

The positive is, with the constant industry improvements and technological developments, it’s highly likely that fully electric vehicles will become more adept at towing as time goes on, and in turn, more options and price points will become available.

In fact, there has already been the introduction of fully electric caravans, so who says you need to be able to tow a caravan with an EV when you could invest in an electric caravan?

Ultimately, it’s a personal choice as to whether you should purchase an electric vehicle that can tow purely for its towing, but in our honest opinion, you may be better off with a hybrid.

Can you tow an electric car?

Of course, you can tow an electric vehicle; whether you’ve got a flat tyre or other mechanical problems, you can be towed to safety, just like a petrol/diesel car.

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

Spread over a 60 month period.

Tenants and homeowners are eligible for finance.

You decide the amount of months.

Minimum of £1000.

We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 13.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.

Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.

Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation. 

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.

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