A Guide to Towing with an EV and Hybrids

Hybrid and EV towing guide - caravan holiday

When choosing your new EV, there’s lots of factors you need to bear in mind about everyday driving and how it’ll work as you get used to a new way of powering your car.

But you also need to think about the less frequent uses and what impact switching to electric will have on them.

One classic example can be seen on the motorways at the start of every bank holiday weekend or school holiday - the caravan. We love them in this country, but can electric cars pull caravans?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Towing with an EV

You might assume that an EV is just like any other car but the reality is that not all electric vehicles have been designed to be able to tow something like a caravan. The extra weight one would add is too much strain on some models, drastically reducing range, which is the last thing you need when you’re planning on heading to the Lake District for the weekend.

There’s a process called homologation that is used to determine how much a vehicle can pull and this is required before they can be approved to tow. At the moment many manufacturers of EVs don’t put them forward for these tests because it’s not considered a priority as something electric cars are needed to do.

Another factor is the weight of EVs which are generally much heavier than their combustion-powered rivals, putting more pressure on the brakes and suspension, particularly when adding the additional weight of a trailer or caravan.

However, the situation is changing. Manufacturers know that, for electric cars to replace combustion engine powered cars, they need to be able to do everything that we use our current vehicles for.

So, can you tow with an electric SUV? You certainly can if it's the Tesla Model Y, which can pull up to 1,600kg, putting it alongside similarly-sized diesel cars if not quite making it a Land Rover Discovery. The BMW iX can pull even more with 2500kg worth of power, while models by Kia, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz and Polestar also have towing capabilities.

Towing with a Hybrid

At this stage in the development of EVs, you have a better chance of finding a hybrid that offers towing capabilities, with Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV model and Volvo XC90 T8 both very powerful.

If you’re looking for cheaper options, the VW Golf GTE and Audi A3 e-tron are also good for pulling power. The Volkswagen Arteon is another popular option.

So it is technically possible to use an EV or hybrid to tow your caravan while heading off on holiday, you just need to do your research beforehand, finding out first if the model is approved for towing in your country and if so, what the towing capacity is.

Then you’ll be ready for your road trip adventure!

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