Towing a Caravan with an Electric Car: Is it Possible?


can electric cars tow a caravan

Electric vehicles are among many of the innovations spurred by a fairly global push toward environmentalism and sustainability in recent years. Electric vehicles are already becoming the norm in the automotive industry. However, electric cars have yet to match gasoline-powered cars in regard to certain areas of practicality and functionality, such as the ability to tow.

Most electric cars are unable to tow caravans, trailers, or other towable vehicles. There are four electric cars that can tow upward of 750 kilograms: Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC, and Jaguar I-Pace. There are manufacturers who are working on electric vehicles with towing capabilities.

In addition, there are also plenty of hybrid vehicles that are able to tow the weight of a caravan. Keep reading to learn more about the four electric vehicles that can currently tow the weight of a caravan, the hybrid vehicles that can do so as well, and the future of electric vehicles that can potentially tow the weight of a caravan and beyond.

Electric Cars That Can Tow a Caravan

There are currently 13 BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles), 18 if model variants are included, available in the United States, so the sample size is limited. Thus far, only four of these vehicles can tow over 750 kilograms, which is roughly the weight of a small caravan. These are the four electric vehicles that are currently able to achieve this feat.

  • Tesla Model X
  • Audi e-tron
  • Mercedes EQC
  • Jaguar I-Pace

Although each of these models is capable of towing, at the very least, a small caravan, these models are all fairly discrepant in their maximum towing capability.

The Tesla Model X is capable of towing up to 2,270 kilograms, far and away from the greatest towing strength of any electric vehicle. The Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC are tied for second place with an 1,800-kilogram limit to their towing capability. In last place is the Jaguar I-Pace, with a maximum towing strength of just around 750 kilograms.

Small caravans and campers can weigh under 750 kilograms, so the Jaguar I-Pace is technically capable of towing the weight of a caravan. However, larger 4 to 6 berth caravans tend to average between 1,300 and 1,800 kilograms. Thus, the Jaguar I-Pace is not a suitable towing option for all caravans, and the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC barely achieve the required strength.

Hybrid Cars That Can Tow a Caravan

Although PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles) are not completely electric vehicles, there are 25 different models of PHEVs, and the majority of them are capable of towing the weight of a caravan. Here are some of the more impressive hybrid models in regard to their towing capabilities.

  • Volvo XC60 Recharge
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE
  • Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
  • BMW X5 Hybrid

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Volkswagen Golf GTE both can pull a respectable 1,500 to 1,600 kilograms. The Volvo XC60 Recharge is a tad brawnier, pulling up to 2,100 kilograms. The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and BMW X5 Hybrid are both in a league of their own regarding their towing capabilities.

The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid can pull up to 3,500 kilograms, and the BMW X5 Hybrid is capable of towing all the way up to 5,952 kilograms. Thus, many automotive experts contend that the best towing options for those currently looking for an environmentally friendly option are hybrid vehicles. 

The Future of Electric Vehicles and Their Towing Capabilities

Currently, there are no electric vehicles that possess the towing strength to rival purely gasoline-powered vehicles. Even when including plug-in hybrid vehicles, gasoline-powered pickup trucks and SUVs possess far greater towing strength than electric vehicles. However, within the next decade, this paradigm will likely shift in favor of electric vehicles.

In just a few years, there will likely be a half-dozen electric pickup trucks and SUVs with towing strength that rivals that of gasoline-powered pickup trucks and SUVs. Here is a list of some of the fully electric pickup trucks and SUVs slated to be released to the public over the next several years.

  • Tesla Cybertruck
  • Rivian R1T
  • GMC Hummer EV
  • Bollinger B1 and B2
  • Lordstown Endurance

Each of these electric vehicles will reportedly possess greater towing strength than most pre-existing electric vehicles on the market. The Tesla Cybertruck will supposedly be able to tow a maximum of 14,000 pounds, roughly 6,350 kilograms. The Rivian R1T has been reported to possess a maximum towing strength of about 11,000 pounds or about 5,000 kilograms. 

The Bollinger B1 and B2 will each tow around a maximum of 7,500 pounds or 3,400 kilograms. The Lordstown Endurance is reported to possess a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds or around 2,700 kilograms. 

The towing capacity of the GMC Hummer EV has yet to be revealed, but with a reported 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pounds per foot of torque, it should surely place among the upper echelon of these vehicles.

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Which Electric Vehicle Should You Choose?

Now, with the currently available electric and hybrid vehicles laid out next to the intriguing electric vehicles of the future, you might be wondering whether you should purchase an electric vehicle now or wait until the options have increased.

It certainly makes sense to wait for an electric vehicle with greater towing capability. Still, it is worth pondering how important an excessive amount of towing strength is to your caravanning needs. Other factors are important to consider when choosing the right electric vehicle, or any vehicle, for yourself.

This section will take a deeper look at each of the electric vehicles mentioned in this article and ultimately convey which electric vehicle is the right choice for your specific needs and desires.

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X was the first electric vehicle to be towing capable, but since more electric vehicles have become towing capable, let’s take a look at how it stacks up against its competitors. 

  • Range: The 2020 Tesla Model X features an EPA estimated 341 miles of range.
  • Weight: The 2020 Tesla Model X weighs approximately 5,498 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2020 Tesla Model X accelerates at a rate of 2.6s from 0 to 60mph.
  • Horsepower: The 2020 Tesla Model X possesses up to 503 hp.
  • Price: The 2020 Tesla Model X costs $79,990
tesle model x can tow a caravan

Audi e-tron

The Audi e-tron is the first electric vehicle created by the German automotive company. The e-tron bears a striking resemblance to most other Audi midsize SUVs, but let’s take a look at what sets it apart from other electric SUVs.

  • Range: The 2019 Audi e-tron features an EPA-estimated 204 miles of range.
  • Weight: The 2019 Audi e-tron weighs about 5,754 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2019 Audi e-tron reaches 60mph from 0 at a rate of 5.5s.
  • Horsepower: The 2019 Audi e-tron possesses up to 355 hp.
  • Price: The 2019 Audi e-tron costs $75,795.

Mercedes EQC

The Mercedes EQC, based on the Generation EQ concept that was displayed at the Paris Motor Show back in 2016, is the first electric vehicle created by the German automotive company. Let’s take a look at how it stacks up against its competitors.

  • Range: The 2020 Mercedes EQC features an EPA-estimated 220 miles of range.
  • Weight: The 2020 Mercedes EQC weighs about 5500 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2020 Mercedes EQC accelerates at 4.9s from 0 to 60mph.
  • Horsepower: The 2020 Mercedes EQC has 402 hp.
  • Price: The 2020 Mercedes EQC costs $67,900

Jaguar I-Pace

The Jaguar I-Pace’s first model was released in 2018, making it the second oldest electric vehicle on this list. This has given Jaguar more time to refine their product, so let’s take a look at whether that additional time has paid off.

  • Range: The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace has 234 miles of range (EPA).
  • Weight: The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace weighs 4,700 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace reaches 60mph in 4.5s.
  • Horsepower: The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace has 394 hp.
  • Price: The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace costs $69,850.

Volvo XC60 Recharge

The Volvo XC60 Recharge, part of Volvo’s Recharge line of electric and hybrid vehicles, is an important step in Volvo’s shift toward producing solely hybrid and electric vehicles. Let’s take a look at whether or not this focus has put the Volvo XC60 Recharge a step ahead of its competitors.

  • Range: The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge has 32 miles pure electric range.
  • Weight: The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge weighs 4,700 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge reaches 60mph at 5.9s.
  • Horsepower: The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge has 310 hp.
  • Price: The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge costs $53,500.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the first plug-in hybrid vehicle ever released back in 2013, is also the best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle. Let’s take a look at whether that success in sales and endurance is due to a qualitative superiority.  

  • Range: The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has 22 miles pure electric range.
  • Weight: The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV weighs 4,222 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV reaches 60mph at 10.5s.
  • Horsepower: The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has 117 hp.
  • Price: The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV costs $36,295

Volkswagen Golf GTE

The Volkswagen Golf GTE, which is currently not being sold in the United States, has been a fairly popular plug-in hybrid option in Europe. Let’s take a look at whether or not this European PHEV stacks up well against its US-traveled counterparts. 

  • Range: The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTE has 37 miles pure electric range.
  • Weight: The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTE weighs about 3,100 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTE reaches 60mph at 6.7s.
  • Horsepower: The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTE has 228 hp.
  • Price: The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTE costs $28,695.

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is one of the most powerful and luxurious, plug-in hybrid vehicles currently on the market. Let’s take a look at how it’s power and luxury compared to other plug-in and battery electric vehicles. 

  • Range: The 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid has 13 miles pure electric range.
  • Weight: The 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid weighs around 5,500 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid reaches 60mph in 5s.
  • Horsepower: The 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid has up to 670 hp.
  • Price: The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid costs $81,800.

BMW X5 Hybrid

The BMW X5 Hybrid is even more powerful than the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and is slightly less pricey. Let’s take a look at how the BMW X5 Hybrid stacks up against the rest of its competitors.

  • Range: The 2021 BMW X5 Hybrid has 30 miles pure electric range.
  • Weight: The 2021 BMW X5 Hybrid weighs 5,646 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2021 BMW X5 Hybrid reaches 60mp in 5.3s.
  • Horsepower: The 2021 BMW X5 Hybrid has 389 hp.
  • Price: The 2021 BMW X5 Hybrid costs $65,400.

Tesla Cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck, scheduled to be released in late 2021, is the most revolutionary electric vehicle on this list in regard to its polygonal design. Let’s take a look at if this vehicle will surpass its competitors in functionality as well. 

  • Range: The 2022 Tesla Cybertruck will have 250+ miles of range (EPA).
  • Weight: The 2022 Tesla Cybertruck will weigh around 5,000 to 6,500 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2022 Tesla Cybertruck reaches 60mph in less than 6.5s.
  • Horsepower: The 2022 Tesla Cybertruck will have 800 hp.
  • Price: The 2022 Tesla Cybertruck will cost $39,900

Rivian R1T

The Rivian R1T, scheduled to be released during the summer of 2021, is arguably the biggest threat to the success of Tesla’s Cybertruck. Let’s take a look at why so many are excited by the Rivian R1T as the electric truck of the future.

  • Range: The 2021 Rivian R1T will have around 230 to 300 miles of range (EPA).
  • Weight: The 2021 Rivian R1T will weigh 5,886 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2021 Rivian R1T will reach 60mph in just 3s.
  • Horsepower: The 2021 Rivian R1T will have 750 hp.
  • Price: The 2021 Rivian R1T will cost $75,000.

GMC Hummer EV

The GMC Hummer EV, scheduled to be released in 2022, is the vehicle on this list that we know the least about. Let’s take a look at what we do know about this vehicle and see how it stacks up against its current and future competitors. 

  • Range: The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will have 350 miles of range (EPA).
  • Weight: This statistic is undisclosed.
  • Acceleration: The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will reach 60mph in just 3s.
  • Horsepower: The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will have 1000 hp.
  • Price: The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will cost $112,595.

Bollinger B1

The Bollinger B1, scheduled to be released in 2021, is the only vehicle on the list of future EV’s that is not a pickup truck but rather an SUV. Let’s take a look at how this SUV stacks up against its pickup truck competitors.

  • Range: The 2021Bollinger B1 will have 200 miles of range (EPA).
  • Weight: The 2021Bollinger B1 will weigh 5,000 pounds.
  • Acceleration: The 2021 Bollinger B1 will reach 60mph in 4.5s.
  • Horsepower: The 2021 Bollinger B1 will have 614 hp.
  • Price: The 2021 Bollinger B1 will cost $125,000.

Bollinger B2

The Bollinger B2, also scheduled to be released in 2021, is the pickup truck option that Bollinger is releasing along with the B1, its SUV option. Let’s take a look at how the B2 stacks up against its competitors and its own sibling model.

  • Range: The 2021 Bollinger B2 will have 200 miles of range (EPA).
  • Weight: The 2021 Bollinger B2 will weigh 5,000 pounds.
  • Acceleration: 2021 The Bollinger B2 will reach 60mph in 4.5s.
  • Horsepower: The 2021 Bollinger B2 will have 614 hp.
  • Price: The 2021 Bollinger B2 will cost $125,000.

Lordstown Endurance

The Lordstown Endurance, scheduled to be released in 2021, will be the first commercial vehicle to feature four in-wheel hub motors. Let’s take a look at what else the Lordstown Endurance has to offer that sets it apart from its competitors.

  • Range: The Lordstown Endurance will have 200 miles of range (EPA).
  • Weight: This statistic is undisclosed.
  • Acceleration: The Lordstown Endurance reaches 60mph in 5.5s.
  • Horsepower: The Lordstown Endurance will have 600 hp.
  • Price: The Lordstown Endurance will cost $52,500.

Why Are Most Electric Vehicles Not Towing Capable?

The process of making a vehicle towing capacity is slightly more nuanced than installing a trailer hitch under its rear bumper. There are several reasons why a vehicle may be deemed unsuitable for towing, and they tend to be a result of the way the car is manufactured.

One of the most important steps to manufacturing a towing capable vehicle is to get the vehicle “type-approved.” A type of approval essentially certifies whether or not the vehicle in question is approved for towing. This certification process involves several key factors, notably the vehicle’s weight, the brakes of the vehicle, and the range of the vehicle.

Electric vehicles particularly falter in regard to the necessary weight and range for achieving type approval for towing capability. Most electric vehicles are much heavier than gasoline-powered cars due to their batteries. Thus, any added weight being towed behind the vehicle could affect the effectiveness of its brakes.

This additional weight also creates a strain on the motors of electric vehicles, which means that towing a caravan or other form of trailer could severely reduce an electric vehicle’s range of travel. Electric vehicles already possess a slightly more limited travel range than gasoline-powered vehicles, so this can be a major concern, particularly on long trips.

Related article: Electric Cars vs Hybrids: What is Right for You?

Jordan Fromholz

I'm an electric car owner, enthusiast, and founder of the Plugin Report. As a Chemical Engineer with over 14-years in the energy industry, I've made my passions be renewable energy, batteries, and electric cars. My family lives on Maui where we drive our 2017 Nissan Leaf and share everything there is to know about electric cars.

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