Octopus Electric Vehicles Logo
Electric cars The best EVs for towing a caravan
  • Jan 18, 2023

  • 7 min read

Share

The best EVs for towing a caravan

Are you thinking of buying an electric vehicle or getting a personal EV lease — but worry that it might not do everything your petrol or diesel car can do? If you're a keen holiday-maker and like getting away in your caravan, this can be a make-or-break feature when deciding what kind of car to buy.

Wondering if an electric car can tow a caravan? In the past, not all electric cars could tow caravans, but as the EV market has a grown, with lots of new makes and models being released over the years, there's now a wide range of EVs that are suitable for towing If you pick the right electric car, you'll soon be off on adventures in the countryside.

Can you tow a caravan with an electric car?

Not all electric cars are suitable for towing, so make sure that you only tow a caravan or trailer using a car that’s been approved for towing. There are a few reasons why not all EVs are suitable for towing a caravan. These issues are mainly down to the braking systems on electric cars.

In electric cars that aren’t approved for towing, attaching a caravan adds more weight to the electric car which can put more pressure on the brakes and suspension, which can cause excessive wear and tear. We don’t want this, as the brakes are there to keep you safe, so we need to make sure they’re well maintained.

Another common issue is that, with some electric vehicles, braking puts energy back into the battery, or braking happens automatically when you lift your foot off the accelerator. This could cause skidding or swerving when you are towing a caravan or trailer. As well as this, the additional kinetic energy of slowing down the trailer could damage your battery.

So, when asking if electric cars can tow a caravan, you need to consider the specific car. There are plenty of EVs that have been properly rated for towing. Make sure you're buying the right EV if you think you're going to use it to tow a caravan or trailer.

Are electric cars good for towing?

As long as you pick an electric car that has been approved for towing, you'll find that there are plenty of EVs that compare well with petrol or diesel vehicles for towing.

Towing in any car, whether it be electric or fuel-powered, will bring the same challenges. You'll find that you get less efficiency from the car when you add the extra load, meaning that you'll have to charge more often if you’re towing with an EV. This will be a familiar issue if you're used to towing caravans in fuel-powered cars. To pull a heavy weight the car needs more energy and therefore you need to fuel more often. You'll also have slower acceleration and braking, just like any other towing vehicle.

What about the benefits of electric car towing? Because electric cars don't have gears, you'll get consistent power at all speeds, which makes it very easy and smooth to handle, even when towing a heavy caravan. Plus, you can enjoy the silence and smoothness of an electric vehicle while driving on holiday - a much more relaxing experience for your well deserved time off compared to the noise of towing with a petrol car.

How much weight can electric cars pull?

Each electric vehicle will be rated to tow a different amount, so you should always check the weight of what you'll be towing against the capacity of the car. It's worth noting that the tow ratings are for the weight that the car is towing, not the total weight of the tow and the passengers. However, if you are towing and also have a heavy load in the car you might find that you lose some speed.

Most electric vehicles that are suitable for towing can tow somewhere between 1500kg and 2500kg. This is a huge range and it means that while some cars can tow a caravan, they can't tow all caravan types. Again, if you need to tow a specific caravan or trailer you should carefully check what your chosen car can handle. You'll also want to check the nose weight of the tow bar to make sure that it's suitable.

How far can an electric car tow a caravan?

Just like with the weight that a car can tow, the distance you will get when towing a caravan with an electric car will vary a lot. The main factors in the distance you get will be:

How much you are towing: Towing a heavier object will  use up more range than a lighter object.

The normal range of the car: Electric cars have different ranges anyway, so your starting range will determine how much you can travel with a tow as well.

Where you are towing: If you are primarily towing a caravan along a nice flat motorway then you can expect better range compared to towing a caravan up hills and having to stop and start a lot on rural roads.

Some sources suggest that towing a heavy caravan could reduce your car's range by up to 50%. However, this doesn't need to be an issue. Just remember to plan appropriate breaks to let you charge your car on the extensive public charging network.

What are the best electric cars for towing?

Here are some of our top suggestions for electric cars that can tow a caravan:

BMW iX: The iX series is rated for towing a huge 2500kg, making it one of the top EVs for handling heavy caravans and trailers. It's also a sturdy and comfortable car for driving on long-distance journeys. While it boasts a range of around 340 miles unladen, you can still expect a good range when towing as well.

Genesis GV70: Genesis, a relative newcomer to Europe and the EV market, has made a strong impression in the towing credentials category. Boasting a tow capacity of 1800kg the GV70 offers a smooth and linear power delivery, accurate handling, and refined, plush ride, as well as a luxurious and well-equipped cabin that rivals established premium brands.

Tesla Model Y: This is another car that can manage heavier loads, with a respectable 1600kg tow weight. This will be suitable for towing a medium sized caravan, and you'll still be able to benefit from the Tesla Supercharger Network and the comfort and style of a Tesla model.

The days are gone when electric vehicles were outmatched by petrol or diesel cars. These days, there are plenty of options for comfortable and sturdy EVs that can fit into every aspect of your lifestyle - from commuting to and from work, to living out your holidaying adventures. When you're looking for an EV for caravanning, just be sure to browse all EVs and pick one with the appropriate tow rating.