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).
|Vehicle||Braked kg||Unbraked kg||Price|
|BMW iX 40 Sport||2,500||750||$169,600|
|BMW iX 50||2,500||750||$204,800|
|BMW iX M60||2,500||750||$238,900|
|Polestar 3 LR Dual||2,200||750||$154,900|
|Polestar 3 LR Performance||2,200||750||$169,990|
|BMW i7 xDrive60||2,000||750||$276,900|
|Kia EV6 GT||1,800||750||$139,900|
|Volvo C40 Recharge Twin||1,800||750||$102,900|
|Audi e-tron 55 quattro||1,800||750||$151,900|
|Audi e-tron GT quattro||1,800||750||$205,990|
|Audi e-tron Sportback||1,800||750||$171,000|
|Audi e-tron S Sportback||1,800||750||$190,400|
|Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin||1,800||750||$99,900|
|Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR RWD||1,600||750||$84,990|
|Kia EV6 Air LR||1,600||750||$79,990|
|Tesla Model Y Performance||1,600||750||$105,900|
|Kia EV6 GT-Line||1,600||750||$111,990|
|Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR AWD||1,600||750||$97,990|
|Kia EV6 Earth||1,600||750||$99,990|
|Tesla Model Y||1,600||750||$73,900|
|BMW i4 M50||1,600||750||$137,900|
|BMW i4 eDrive40||1,600||750||$109,900|
|Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited||1,600||750||$117,990|
|Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR Elite||1,600||750||$99,990|
|Polestar 2 (1st gen)||1,500||750||$76,900|
|Polestar 2 LR (1st gen)||1,500||750||$86,900|
|Polestar 2 LR Dual (1st gen)||1,500||750||$104,900|
|LDV eDeliver 3||1,500||750||$69,990|
|LDV eDeliver 9||1,500||750||$85,990|
|Volvo XC40 Recharge||1,500||750||$85,900|
|Volvo C40 Recharge||1,500||750||$87,900|
|SsangYong Korando e-Motion||1,500||500||$59,990|
|Hyundai IONIQ 6 LR RWD||1,500||750||$94,990|
|Hyundai IONIQ 6 LR AWD||1,500||750||$124,990|
|BMW iX1 xDrive30||1,200||750||$97,500|
|ŠKODA Enyaq Sportline 80||1,000||750||$92,990|
|Audi Q4 e-tron 40||1,000||750||$99,990|
|Tesla Model 3||1,000||750||$68,900|
|Tesla Model 3 LR||1,000||750||$91,200|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||1,000||750||$100,900|
|LDV MIFA 9||1,000||750||$79,990|
|Kia EV6 Air Standard Range||750||750||$76,990|
|Hyundai IONIQ 5||750||750||$79,990|
|Mercedes-Benz EQA 250||750||750||$91,800|
|Mercedes-Benz EQA 350 4MATIC||750||750||$105,900|
|BYD Atto 3||750||700||$58,990|
|BYD Atto 3 LR||750||700||$62,490|
|Mercedes-Benz EQE AMG 53||750||750||$195,000|
|Hyundai IONIQ 6||750||750||$79,990|
|Mercedes-Benz EQE 300||750||750||$132,100|
|Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4MATIC||750||750||$145,000|
|MG ZS EV||500||500||$49,990|
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).
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 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.
It does not have brakes, and the usual maximum gross weight for the trailer and load is around 750 kg.