You’ve done your research into the fuel economy and savings associated with making the switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle. You’ve made sure to figure out what would best suit your driving style. Maybe it is a Full Electric, maybe it is Plug-in Hybrid Electric or maybe it is Mild-hybrid Electric.
One thing to also do is to take your lifestyle and past time activities into consideration to make sure your new electric vehicle will be able to cope with certain activities. Do you put on your bike rack at the weekend and bring the family for a cycling adventure? Or do you have a boat that you want to bring out for a fishing trip? Or do you just need to use a trailer in your day-to-day life to move furniture or livestock from A to B?
There are a number of common misconceptions associated with electric vehicles due to the developing nature of the technology, from range anxiety to charging times. But one of the most common misconceptions, that goes hand in hand with range anxiety, revolves around towing and the towing capability of electric vehicles.
An independent survey in 2019 carried out on behalf of Ford found that 68% of Europeans believed, at the time, that electric vehicles weren’t capable enough in terms of towing and hauling. But is this completely accurate? Sure, an electric vehicle mightn’t suit your home or lifestyle needs for certain reasons but is their towing capacity one area where they might surprise you?
One of the key reasons why electric cars are better suited to towing than petrol or diesel engines is due to the torque output. The best tow cars are those that produce as much torque as possible from very low engine speeds, meaning that the driver doesn't have to work the engine hard to get a heavy load moving. Electric and hybrid cars have an advantage here because they produce maximum torque as soon as their motors start turning.
Let’s look at what people might be towing on a regular basis, a trailer. First of all, you need to be aware of the capacity and limits of your vehicle, tow hitch and trailer. You will need to calculate the Design Gross Combination Weight (DGCW) of both the trailer and vehicle. Unsure of how to do this? Check the manufacturer’s statutory plate which is normally located inside the passenger door or under the bonnet. To find the trailer weight you need to check for its statutory plate also via either the trailer itself or the manufacture/distributor website.
If we consider that the higher end of the scale for towing might be between 12ft to 14ft then you should have a trailer with a DGCW of around 3,500kg. In this instance, it might be best to go with a diesel vehicle such as a Land Rover which has a towing capability of close to 3,500kg. However, the chances that you would require a vehicle with a towing capacity this high would be limited. For instance, larger caravans would weigh, on average, around the 1,800 kg mark while a horse trailer, with two horses, would weigh, on average, around 1,800kg also. Combining this with your vehicle DGCW would mean that many full electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles could still be available for you.
A good tip to follow, while doing your research into towing capacity, is to check if the vehicle that you are looking at is rated for towing. For instance, the Jaguar I-PACE is rated for towing a maximum of 750kg whilst some other full-electric vehicles are not certified to tow. This non-certification can relate to the fact that most electric vehicles use regenerative braking and the additional weight complicates your vehicle’s onboard system’s ability to calculate the force needed to stop both the vehicle and item being towed.
Many plug-in hybrids and mild or self-charging hybrid vehicles are perfectly suitable for towing due to the wider model choice, less range anxiety and lessened impact of regenerative braking.
Add in the fact that many hybrids have high towing capacity means that they are a perfect choice for anyone looking to purchase a vehicle with towing as a potential requirement.
At Spirit Motor Group, we have a number of hybrid vehicles that are suitable for towing. These include the Land Rover Defender P400e which can tow up to 3,000kg. And the Range Rover Sport PHEV which can tow up to 2,500 kg. Both the Volvo XC90 T8 and XC60 T8 are certified for towing with weight limits of up to 2,400kg and 2,100kg respectively. And the Volvo V60 T8 recharge is certified up to 2,000kg.
The Skoda Enyaq iV, Skoda’s first full-electric vehicle, will have a towing capacity of up to 1,000kg in the rear-wheel-drive models upon launch. Their hybrid iV range also offers great towing capacity with the Superb iV having towing capacity of up to 1,900kg whilst the Skoda Octavia iV has a towing capacity of 1,500kg.
While the All-New Ford Kuga is more than capable of handling your weekend away with its impressive towing capacity of up to 2,100 kg.
If you are interested in making the switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle, contact our team today for more information.