We always hear that electric cars are better than their ICE counterparts mainly because they have instantaneous torque. However, what is the effect of this torque on the towing capacity or the towing ability of these EVs? To answer this question, first, we need to see what towing capacity is.
What Is Towing Capacity?
Towing capacity means the maximum mass that a vehicle can tow. This figure is provided by the automaker to indicate how capable a vehicle is.
The towing capacity is subdivided into two main categories which are:
- Braked towing capacity;
- Unbraked towing capacity.
The difference between these two types is whether or not the object being towed has its brakes or not.
Braked towing capacity is larger than unbraked towing capacity and this is done just to keep the vehicle safe while it tows a heavy load.
What Is The Criterion For An EV For Towing?
For now, there is no such criterion. It is just that the overall range of electric vehicles takes a major hit when it starts towing.
This is not something new. Even ICE vehicles get very low fuel mileages when they tow heavy loads.
The criterion for towing with an EV has not yet been specified and no such rule exists as of now.
As towing is all about torque delivery, having more of it means you can tow a bigger and heavier load.
This means that a Ford 150 Lighting will be much better at towing stuff due to its bigger motor and higher torque figures than a small electric car like the Nissan Leaf.
Which Electric Cars Can Tow?
All electric cars can tow. However, how much they can tow is the main question. For example, an EV that has 450 lb-ft torque is better equipped to tow a heavy load like a camper.
On the contrary, a small EV like the Renault Zoe that has been designed just as a passenger transporter doesn’t have such high torque.
Besides this, bigger and brawny EVs like the Hummer EV or the Chevrolet Silverado EV have bigger and better brakes and are thus some of the EVs that can tow.
This is mainly because automakers know that owners might use them for such tasks.
While producing the Zoe, Renault is conversant that no one in the world will ever think of towing a heavy load with these vehicles.
The Tesla Model X is the only electric vehicle in the world that the automaker has offered with a towing certification.
However, starting at around €100,000, it is such an expensive vehicle that not many people will be willing to use it for this purpose.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Towing With An Electric Car?
If you have range anxiety and presently you are located far from an EV charger, you must not tow with your EV.
The reason is that as soon as you put an additional load on the EV battery, the range will drastically reduce. How much will it come down depends upon the weight that the vehicle is pulling.
However, even if it is negligible, still the battery will drain quickly as compared to a situation when the EV isn’t towing anything.
Another aspect that you need to keep in mind is that EVs are heavier than ICE vehicles due to their chunky batteries. This also affects the towing ability.
The regenerative braking system of EVs comes as additional support during the towing process. This is because, in the case of such a system, the vehicle’s motor also plays a role in stopping it.
While you can use any vehicle to tow a load, as long as it falls within its towing capacity, how efficient the process will be depends upon the vehicle under consideration.