Roundup

All Tow Ratings for NZ EVs

An increasing number of electric vehicles are rated for towing.

May 31, 2023       8 min read

The towing capacity is often lower than similar petrol or diesel vehicles.

  • EVs are heavier vehicles due to the weight of the battery (making an increased combined mass).
  • Towing a heavier load will greatly decrease the range (by as much as 50%).

EVs by tow capacity

Prices are RRP (before rebate). Please check the manufacturer’s site for the most up-to-date details.

VehicleBraked kgUnbraked kgPrice
BMW iX 40 Sport 2,500750$172,100
BMW iX 50 2,500750$207,800
BMW iX M60 2,500750$238,900
BMW i7 xDrive60 2,000750$281,100
Kia EV6 GT 1,800750$139,900
Volvo C40 Recharge Twin 1,800750$102,900
Audi e-tron 55 quattro 1,800750$139,900
Audi e-tron GT quattro 1,800750$205,990
Audi e-tron Sportback 1,800750$153,900
Audi e-tron S Sportback 1,800750$169,900
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin 1,800750$99,900
Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR RWD 1,600750$78,990
Kia EV6 Air LR 1,600750$79,990
Tesla Model Y Performance 1,600750$100,900
Kia EV6 GT-Line 1,600750$111,990
Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR AWD 1,600750$97,990
Kia EV6 Earth 1,600750$99,990
Tesla Model Y 1,600750$71,400
BMW i4 M50 1,600750$137,900
BMW i4 eDrive40 1,600750$111,600
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited 1,600750$117,990
Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR Elite 1,600750$99,990
Polestar 2 (1st gen) 1,500750$76,900
Polestar 2 LR (1st gen) 1,500750$86,900
Polestar 2 LR Dual (1st gen) 1,500750$104,900
LDV eT60 1,500750$79,990
LDV eDeliver 3 1,500750$69,990
LDV eDeliver 9 1,500750$85,990
Volvo XC40 Recharge 1,500750$85,900
Volvo C40 Recharge 1,500750$87,900
Hyundai IONIQ 6 LR RWD 1,500750$94,990
Hyundai IONIQ 6 LR Limited 1,500750$124,990
Hyundai IONIQ 6 LR Elite 1,500750$104,990
Audi Q4 e-tron 50 quattro 1,200750$126,990
BMW iX1 xDrive30 1,200750$97,500
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 50 1,200750$130,990
Å koda Enyaq Sportline 80 1,000750$92,990
Audi Q4 e-tron 40 1,000750$99,990
Tesla Model 3 1,000750$66,400
Tesla Model 3 LR 1,000750$91,200
Tesla Model 3 Performance 1,000750$96,400
LDV MIFA 9 1,000750$79,990
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback 40 1,000750$103,990
Kia EV6 Air Standard Range 750750$76,990
Hyundai IONIQ 5 750750$79,990
BMW iX3 750750$118,900
Kia Niro 750300$68,990
Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 750750$93,600
Mercedes-Benz EQA 350 4MATIC 750750$102,900
Lexus RZ 450e Core 750750$141,600
Mercedes-Benz EQS AMG 53 750750$310,900
Jaguar I-PACE 750750$159,900
BYD Atto 3 750700$58,990
BYD Atto 3 LR 750700$62,490
Mercedes-Benz EQE AMG 53 750750$210,600
Hyundai IONIQ 6 750750$79,990
Mercedes-Benz EQE 300 750750$132,100
Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC 750750$145,000
Lexus RZ 450e Dynamic 750750$151,600
MG ZS EV LR 500500$64,990
MG ZS EV 500500$49,990
MG 4 Essence 500500$54,990
MG 4 Excite 500500$51,990
MG 4 Essence LR 500500$63,990

Tow ball weight

Few manufacturers list a rating for downward weight on the tow ball (sometimes called tongue load).

This is recommended to be no more than 10% of the towing load (trailer + load).

What about EVs with no official tow rating?

Many EV owners have successfully towed loads on Nissan Leafs, Hyundai Konas, and others with no ‘official’ tow rating.

There’s a great in-depth look at Kona tow ratings here, and even an NZ Facebook group devoted to EV towing.

Often tow bar installers will rate these at around 500 – 600 kg (unbraked). The downward weight on the tow bar should not exceed about 10%, which is good for carrying bike racks.

The issue is a structural one.

The instant torque and low centre of gravity of an EV mean it can tow well, but has the car been designed with an appropriate structural mounting point for a tow bar?

This is a grey area, and the EV owner should beware.

Braked vs Unbraked

Although EV manufacturers don’t have much detail on towing, many specify electrically braked trailers (e.g. Polestar).

Electrically Braked

Electric brakes are controlled electronically and activated by the tow vehicle’s brake controller.

When the driver applies the brakes in the towing vehicle, an electric current is sent to the trailer’s brakes, which in turn applies the braking force.

Surge Braked

Surge brakes are a mechanical braking system that works independently of the tow vehicle.

When decelerating, these brakes are activated by the trailer’s forward motion (surge) toward the towing vehicle.

Unbraked

It does not have brakes, and the usual maximum gross weight for the trailer and load is around 750 kg.

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