Why Are Electric Vehicles Really Bad at Towing?

Electric vehicles offer instant access to the maximum torque offered, but somehow, they are really bad at towing. It’s not that an EV can’t tow; the problem with towing using any EV, including the pickup trucks, is the substantial drain on the batteries.

Toss efficiency out the window when towing using electric vehicles

This Ford F-150 Lightning is Towing a Camper on the highway
Ford F-150 Lightning Towing a Camper | Ford

To be completely fair, gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles lose some fuel mileage when towing a trailer, but EVs are much worse. We expect EVs to be efficient and drive for many miles between charges, but when you add a heavy trailer, the battery efficiency drops significantly.

Jalopnik tells us that EVs can carry and tow stuff, but that’s similar to saying a person who is out of shape can run a half marathon. Both can happen, but neither is a good idea. If you tow a trailer with an EV, you’ll need to recharge more often, which takes a lot of time. Compare this to the few minutes spent at the gas pump when towing with a gas-powered vehicle, and you see the difference in convenience and efficiency.

What is MPGe?

Electric vehicles don’t have actual miles per gallon rating because there aren’t gallons of fuel to power them. MPGe is the term used to stand for Miles Per Gallon equivalent to give shoppers an idea of the potential efficiency of a vehicle compared to a gasoline counterpart. This represents the number of miles a vehicle can travel using the same energy content from the electricity that one gallon of gasoline would provide.

Do electric cars have towing capacities?

The fastest-charging electric SUVs on the market
2022 Hummer EV Pickup in white | GM

Yes, electric cars do have towing capabilities and can haul stuff, but it’s not advisable to tow often if you don’t have to. Even so, Gear Junkie tells us the EVs with the best towing capacity are:

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5 – 1,650 pounds
  • Kia EV6 – 2,300 pounds
  • Polestar 2 – 2,000 pounds
  • Volkswagen ID.4 – 2,000 pounds
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge – 2,000 pounds
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge – 3,500 pounds
  • Volvo XC90 Recharge – 5,000 pounds
  • Audi e-tron – 4,000 pounds
  • Tesla Model Y – 3,500 pounds
  • Tesla Model X – 5,000 pounds
  • GMC Hummer EV – 7,500 pounds

Which electric truck has the most towing capacity?

This Rivian R1T Towing a Heavy Trailer can handle up to 11,000 pounds
Rivian R1T Towing a Heavy Trailer | Rivian

Currently, the electric truck with the best towing capacity is the Rivian R1T at 11,000 pounds. The Ford F-150 Lightning offers 10,000 pounds of towing. The Fast Lane tested the Rivian at one of the toughest towing tests in the world, the Ike Gauntlet. During the test, the team reported a comfortable and even ride, but the driving range dropped significantly.

What’s the verdict when it comes to electric vehicle towing?

When properly thought out, an EV can handle some towing but shouldn’t be looked to for this activity regularly. It’s not that an EV can’t tow; it simply takes way too long to recharge an electric vehicle compared to a gasoline model. The good news is that we’re only at the beginning of EV technology and development. Surely charging times will reduce as we move forward with this new, advance, and alternative fuel source for our vehicles.

Check out the next article and see how far you will go when towing with an electric truck.

RELATED: Kia EV6 SUV: A New Electric Vehicle That Can Tow?