All Tow Ratings for NZ EVs

An increasing number of electric cars are rated to tow.

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%).

NZ EVs by Tow Capacity

Prices are RRP (before rebate).

VehicleBraked kgUnbraked kgPrice
BMW iX xDrive40 2,500750$169,600
BMW iX xDrive50 2,500750$204,800
BMW iX M60 2,500750$238,900
Volvo C40 Recharge Twin 1,800750$100,900
Audi e-tron 55 quattro 1,800750$151,500
Audi e-tron GT quattro 1,800750$197,090
Audi e-tron Sportback 1,800750$171,000
Audi e-tron S Sportback 1,800750$190,400
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin 1,800750$97,700
Hyundai IONIQ 5 LR RWD 1,600750$89,990
Kia EV6 Air LR 1,600750$78,990
Tesla Model Y Performance 1,600750$108,900
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$76,200
BMW i4 M50 1,600750$137,900
BMW i4 eDrive40 1,600750$109,900
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited 1,600750$117,990
Polestar 2 Standard Range 1,500750$76,900
Polestar 2 LR 1,500750$86,900
Polestar 2 LR Dual 1,500750$104,900
LDV eT60 1,500750$79,990
LDV eDeliver 3 1,500750$65,539
LDV eDeliver 9 1,500750$85,990
Volvo XC40 Recharge 1,500750$83,900
Volvo C40 Recharge 1,500750$83,900
SsangYong Korando e-Motion 1,500500$59,990
Tesla Model 3 1,000750$74,900
Tesla Model 3 LR 1,000750$91,200
Tesla Model 3 Performance 1,000750$103,900
LDV MIFA 9 1,000750$79,990
Kia EV6 Air Standard Range 750750$75,990
Hyundai IONIQ 5 750750$79,990
BMW iX3 750750$118,900
Kia Niro 750300$68,990
Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 750750$91,800
Jaguar I-PACE 750750$159,900
BYD Atto 3 750700$55,490
BYD Atto 3 LR 750700$59,990
MG ZS EV 500500$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 other EVs with no ‘official’ tow rating. There’s a great in-depth look at Kona tow ratings here.

There is 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

Braked

Has brakes on the wheels of the trailer that are activated when you activate the car’s brakes. Some trailers’ brakes can be activated separately from the car’s brakes.

Unbraked

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

By James Foster

James has been tracking the NZ EV transition since 2016.

Updated as at November 30, 2022