Wednesday, May 22, 2024
AdviceCan you tow a trailer with an electric vehicle?

Can you tow a trailer with an electric vehicle?


The short answer is “Yes, but”. As summer approaches and the camping season returns, you may be considering towing a trailer with your new electric vehicle. Before you do, make sure your vehicle will be able to do it safely.

Here’s what you need to know before towing a trailer with an electric vehicle.


Standards to comply with

In North America, automakers must comply with SAE J2807 standards. These consist of a battery of tests that ultimately determine the maximum towing capacity. The process takes into account the combined gross weight rating of the vehicle and the trailer it tows.

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Some electric vehicles that can’t tow

Towing is not recommended with many gasoline-powered vehicles, and the same applies to electric vehicles. With some small electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV or Chevrolet Bolt EV, towing is not recommended by the manufacturer.

The same applies to electric sports cars like the Porsche Taycan and even some crossovers like the Ford Mustang Mach-E. In the case of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, towing is permitted elsewhere in the world, due to different standards. It’s important to comply with the regulations applicable to your location.


Some electric vehicles that can tow

Although there are several models with which towing a trailer is not recommended, some electric vehicles do allow towing. For example, the new Kia EV9 can tow up to 5,000 lbs. Other examples include the Audi Q8 e-tron (4,000 lbs) and Q4 e-tron (2,650 lbs), Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge (2,000 lbs) and EX90 (4,850 lbs). As for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, their maximum towing capacity is set at 2,300 pounds. Finally, Tesla’s Model Y can tow 3,500 pounds, while the Model X boasts a 5,000-lb capacity.

Also, with the advent of electric trucks, towing possibilities are multiplied. The Ford F-150 Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds, while the Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck have a maximum capacity of 11,000 pounds.


An impact on energy consumption

Towing has an impact on energy consumption. A gasoline-powered vehicle towing a trailer will see its fuel consumption rise. The same principle applies to an electric vehicle when towing. Its energy consumption increases, and its range is reduced. It’s also a good idea to plan ahead for charging sessions. You mustn’t obstruct other charging stations with your vehicle and the trailer or caravan it’s towing.

As always, when it comes to towing, double-check the capacity determined by the manufacturer. Make sure your vehicle and trailer are in good mechanical condition. It’s also essential to adapt your driving style.

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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