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This article was published on May 21, 2021

EVs can tow too! Here’s how much it’ll affect your range though

Towing with an EV? It's going to cut your range, but by how much?

Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

You don’t see many electric cars towing caravans, do you?

On one hand, EVs make great towing machines. They can be quite weighty, so stability is never an issue. They have tonnes of torque, so pulling a load is never a struggle.

But there’s one issue, range. Attaching a trailer that’s heavy and ruins the car’s aerodynamics can have a dramatic impact on how far you can actually drive. But how much impact?

Well, the folks over at Camp365 — a company that makes folding caravan type things — gave one of their trailers to a couple of Tesla enthusiasts to see how much towing affects an EVs range.

Watch the video above to find out how they got on. But if you can’t stand that voiceover, here’s the TL;DR.

  • Two Tesla enthusiasts took their Tesla Model Y on a road trip, with a Camp365 trailer.
  • The Model Y usually gets around 326 miles (525 km) on a charge.
  • The Camp365 weighs about 900 kgs, is sleek, and quite aero for a trailer.
  • Driving at 55 mph (88 kph) the Model Y reported an estimated range of 218 miles.
  • That’s about 67% efficiency compared to the regular car,

Driver Brian said, “It tows like no ones business, it has great visibility, and its low weight and drag, make it a joy to tow.”

According to Brian, the car was using about 380 watt hours per mile, which is the equivalent to 24 kWh per 100 km. A regular EV without towing at 55 mph (88 kph) would get around 15-19 kWh per 100 km, so that’s pretty good.

As Brian says, his Model Y used 270 watt hours of power per mile unloaded, that’s 17 kWh per 100 km.

So all things considered, towing a lightweight, sleek, and aerodynamic trailer will cut an EV’s range around 25 to 30%.

In reality, towing an actual caravan, not one that folds into a compact package, will drop an EV’s range by closer to 50%.

Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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