Show me

A towbar on your EV won’t ruin the weekend

One of the many myths about electric vehicles is that you can’t tow anything with one. Well, just like the myth that all EVs are a firebomb waiting to explode, or that they’re worse for the environment than petrol vehicles, this one’s not true either. Electric vehicles can tow, though if you’re looking for one to match the 3500kg towing capacity of a big SUV or Ute to tow your big caravan, then you could be waiting for a while.

On the face of it, EVs should be quite well suited to towing, with the massive torque available to them, making light work of the task. It’s a bit like a diesel, in fact. Having said that, there are several factors to review if you’re considering an EV as a tow vehicle.

The first of them is the prescribed maximum towing capacity of the vehicle – that’s the legal towing weight for both braked and unbraked trailers. Now, there are quite a few EVs on the market capable of towing a reasonable amount of weight. They include Volvo’s XC40 AWD and C40 Recharge AWD, which have a braked capacity of 2100kg, and the Kia EV6 GT AWD’s braked capacity of 1800kg. That’s the maximum you’re legally allowed to tow.


The second consideration is the effect of towing on range. Just like a petrol or diesel vehicle, if you’re towing a load, it’s going to reduce your range, because it takes more energy to move that load. Just how much that range is reduced will depend on factors such as the weight of the load, and the wind resistance of the trailer you’re towing.

The NRMA recently tested the towing performance of the Polestar 2, with what might be considered a typical load, under the maximum unbraked limit of 750kg. On a drive through the Southern Highlands out of Sydney through the Macquarie Pass, the Polestar went from its baseline unloaded energy consumption of 18.7kwh over the trip, to 26.5kwh loaded. That reduced the remaining range at the end of the trip from 160km, down to 70km.

The reduced range you can expect from towing with an EV is an obvious consideration if you’re planning a caravan trip, for example. The distance and location of charging stations is something you’ll have to plan for, though as charging stations become more common, that’s going to become less of a concern.


Another factor you’ll have to consider is fitting that towbar if it’s not fitted by the carmaker itself. At the recent EV Expo in Perth, I had a chat with Michael Hua of EV Stealth. His business specializes in fitting towbars to EVs. As Hua explained to me, it all started when he had difficulty finding anyone willing to fit a towbar to his Tesla, and resorted to doing it himself. From Teslas, he’s expanded into Kias, Hyundais, Polestars, Nissans and BYDs. EV Stealth now has agents around the country, and this isn’t the only business doing the job. That’s welcome news, because, anecdotally at least, some towbar installers are reluctant to work on EVs.

There is one drawback to towing with an EV, and that is the problem of recharging with a trailer, boat, or caravan attached. You may have to detach it to access the charger. But all in all, if you need a vehicle capable of towing a modest load, then there’s no need to cross an EV off your list of possible vehicles.

The sensible, budget-friendly way to get that EV, of course, is with a Fleetcare novated lease, where you can even include the cost of an optional towbar, all of which comes out of your pay before it’s taxed.

To find out more about the money-saving benefits of an EV, with or without a towbar, contact Fleetcare today on 134 333.

Written by
Mark Schneider

Mark is a successful copywriter with over 20 years of professional writing experience.

We welcome him as a guest blogger to Fleettorque.

Related articles

Get in touch with our friendly team