Can Electric Vehicles Tow?

By Sebastian Orellana

Updated Feb 18, 2024

In electric cars Feb, 2024

Until recently, a majority of electric vehicles were designed to be sleek and aerodynamic. It is because the sharper shapes reduced the level of drag the vehicles made, so there is a more efficient use of the batteries for as much range as possible. 

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    As the power capacities and range improved, the need for aerodynamics became more irrelevant. Familiar body styles like pickups are infiltrating the market resulting in more comfortable options for clients, including a tow bar.

    What Is An Electric Vehicle?

    electric vehicle

    Electric vehicles or EVs are cars that are fully powered by electricity. They can be plugged into a designated charge point using cables and store electricity in rechargeable batteries. These go on to power the electric motor that turns the wheels. Electric cars have low running costs considering they do not have emissions nor the several moving parts.

     The power gained by the motor usually produces a faster acceleration than the traditional fuel alternatives even though their range is a limiting factor. Interestingly, some vehicle owners have opted to seek electric conversion to reduce their carbon footprint. That is replacing the vehicle's engine bay and drivetrain with an electric motor and corresponding batteries. It is an arduous process but ultimately worth it if done correctly.

    Electric Car Towing Capacity (Weight & Towing Capacity)

    Electric motors within EVs generate instant torque due to the few moving parts allowing quicker power delivery. That also means you can take advantage of an electric vehicle for towing. Even if it is towing heavy loads, it does not have an issue accelerating from a stop. The power is also available on inclines as opposed to gasoline-powered cars. Its battery does add weight leading to heavier gross vehicle weight ratings. The GCWR is the gross vehicle weight and the trailer's loaded weight. It illustrates the heaviest weight the model can operate with the addition of a trailer. 

    The Tesla Model X, for example, has an EV towing capacity of 5000 pounds, while the Hummer EV can withstand 7500 pounds. These figures are above average, but the next generation of electric vehicles will offer even higher towing capacities. It will correspond with the power expectations as some models will exceed 1000 horsepower in the following years. 

    The great thing about electric vehicles is the altitude does not affect performance. That is unless the vehicle goes downhill, which is okay because of gravity and regenerative braking. The electric vehicle towing capacity improves as the energy is recycled through the braking in some models.

     Towing will affect the driving range, of course, though, due to the additional weight supplied to the vehicle. Selecting the appropriate driving range, though, should adjust the driving range accordingly as well. Optimally some models like the R1T have an estimated 159-mile range. Batteries also lose two to three percent of battery capacity on a yearly basis so they can last a decade without having to be replaced.

    Best EVs For Towing

    SUVs and trucks are the go-to alternatives for towing because of their weight and power capabilities; the same applies to electric vehicles. Electric cars that can tow include the following.

    Rivian R1T

    It is an off-road four-wheel-drive truck that was first revealed in 2018. The Rivian R1T boasts 835 horsepower making it one the highest-powered models in the market and able to pull a lot of weight. It's one motor per wheel, and no transmission powertrain allows the Rivian to tow up to 11,000 pounds.

    Hummer EV

    Hummer may be an old name, but the EV is an all-new model that is capable of 1000 horsepower. The blocky-looking pickup has an acceleration of zero to 60 within 3 seconds. GMC has quoted 11,500 pounds per feet of torque which is from the multiplying effect of the truck's gear ratios. Its towing capacity is slated at 7500 pounds.

    Tesla Model X

    The SUV version from Tesla comes with loads of power, allowing it to hit 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds. Tesla also claimed an estimated range of 348 miles. The Model X can tow up to 5000 pounds.

    Audi E-Tron AWD BEV

    The Audi e-tron is a purely electric five-seater sedan. Among the several attributes include the interior and comfortable seating arrangements as well as the traction performance. The Audi e-tron twin motor drive affords 42 horsepower and 490 pounds of torque. Audi indicates the range is 212 miles and a maximum towing range of 4000 pounds.

    Volvo XC Recharge

    The recharge is one of the most popular EVs due to its safety rating and sleek body shape. It also delivers 402 horsepower and 486 pounds per foot of torque. The XC40 Recharge manages a range of 223 miles, but the tow rating is lower than the other higher-rated models at 2000 pounds.

    Towing With An Electric Vehicle

    One of the main reasons electric car towing is good compared to traditional engines. The best tow vehicles would produce as much torque from low engine speeds, so the driver does not have to work the engine hard for a heavy load. 

    This is where electric and hybrid come in as they produce a maximum torque as soon as the motors turn. There is no need for gears, considering the car produces the most torque every time, so they are equally capable of climbing uphill from a standstill with a heavy load. The driver also does not also have to work the engine hard when there is a heavy load moving. When comparing the Nm figures, consider the RPMs as well. It illustrates the engine speed that the torque would be available.

     As such, the lower the rpm, the lower the engine speed, which would be needed to access power, and the more suitable it would be when it comes to towing. The torque level is relevant, of course, considering the motor output. For example, the models like the Rivian R1T have a high towing capacity because their torque is similarly high. The Hummer EV boasts 11500 of torque, but that is yet to be verified. Regardless, it can still tow a large load which is understandable due to the power rating.

    Can Electric Vehicles Tow? - Conclusion

    If you're looking for a reliable vehicle that will not only help you save on gas but help you carry the heaviest tows, there isn't a better choice then an electric vehicle. EVs are lifechanging in a lot of ways and with the advancement of EV technology, the choices are more prevalent then ever.

    Check out an EV's towing capacity for yourself and find out if an electric vehicle is right for you.