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Are caravanners being ‘overlooked’ in the rush to go electric?

The Kia EV6 in ‘GT-Line’ trim is the best electric car for pulling a caravan or trailer, according to industry experts What Car?


But the magazine says there’s still improvements to be made when it comes to making charging more convenient while on the tow.

Whether you drive a traditionally-fuelled vehicle or an electrified one, when you’re pulling a heavy caravan or trailer fuel consumption increases and you’ll need to stop more often .

What Car? reckons the fuel economy in a petrol or diesel car typically drops by around a third when towing.


For an electric car, the average drop-off in range when towing was as high as 54.6%, judging by the latest batch of What Car? tests.

And the big problem that caravanners have is that many motorway service stations require you to unhitch before plugging-in at a charging point. With service station one-way systems, it’s often then ‘impossible’ to get back from the charging points to where you’ve ditched the caravan.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: 

“Electric car ranges have improved massively over the last decade, but towing is always going to reduce how far you can go on a charge, so it’s crucial that the infrastructure is in place to support those who use their cars to pull a caravan or trailer. At the moment their needs feel like an afterthought, even though the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK is just eight years away.”


For the purposes of the What Car? Tow Car Awards, a series of both internal combustion engine and electric cars were put through a series of tests, which assessed things like high-speed stability, steep hill starts, tow-friendly features.

Overall, the Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport took home the main prize, Volkswagen Multivan 2.0 TSI 204 Style DSG was named ‘Practicality Winner’.


The Kia EV6 77.4kWh GT-Line AWD lifted the Electric Car gong while the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid Premium 4WD Auto was the PHEV champ.

Meanwhile the Ford Focus Estate 1.0 Ecoboost mHEV 155 ST-Line Vignale Auto was named the best ‘estate car’.

Separate to the main awards, eight electric cars were tested for their range with and without a caravan. They were tasked with towing a caravan weighted to 85% of the car’s kerb weight.

Interestingly, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro Pure Electric had the least amount of range drop off - with just a 48.1% shortfall on its 202.5 mile range, as tested.

The BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport, on the other hand, had the steepest drop-off, with a 60.7 shortfall on its 198.8 mile range, as tested.

You can see the full results for yourself below:


What Car? Tow Car Awards

Overall winner

Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport


Up to 1400kg winner

Skoda Scala 1.0 TSI SE


1400-1549kg winner

Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI Evo SE DSG


1550-1699kg winner

Skoda Karoq 2.0 TDI Evo 150 SE L 4x4 DSG


1700-1899kg winner

Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport


1900kg+ winner

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi 3 DCT


Electric car winner

Kia EV6 77.4kWh GT-Line AWD


Plug-in hybrid winner

Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid Premium 4WD Auto


Estate car winner

Ford Focus Estate 1.0 Ecoboost mHEV 155 ST-Line Vignale Auto


Practicality winner

Volkswagen Multivan 2.0 TSI 204 Style DSG


TABLE OF RESULTS FROM THE ELECTRIC CAR TOW TEST


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