With their instant torque from powerful electric motors, EVs should make perfect tow cars for those who like to couple up a caravan or tack on a trailer.
Yet until recently, many battery-powered models weren’t rated to tow, a combination of their short ranges being rendered almost useless by the efforts of hauling a heavy load and their already hefty kerb weights resulting in a towing limit so low as to be virtually useless.
Improvements in battery and motor technology, however, have meant that adding a tow bar is no longer an issue, with some even matching traditional petrol and diesel machines for pulling power.
Here we rate the 10 most muscular EV tow cars based on their maximum rated capacity for a braked trailer.
=7. Tesla Model 3
Like so many aspects of Tesla cars, the Model 3’s towing capacity has recently been increased courtesy of a software update, taking the maximum figure from 910kg to 1000kg. While that looks like a decent number on paper (and on screen), it’s only really enough to pull the smallest of caravans or a medium-sized trailer, even with the most powerful Performance model.
Also worth noting is the fact that you can only specify a towbar as an official factory-fit item, which weighs in at about £1000. This means there’s no option to add a towbar at a later date, so if you’re buying second-hand and want a towbar, you will need to look for an example that had it fitted when new.
With a relatively low towing limit and such powerful electric motors, the Model 3 will comfortably handle anything you hitch-up, and when you’re not hauling a load, the five-door hatchback remains Tesla’s most appealing product, with biddable handling, a decent ride and effortless performance.
=7. Citroën ë-Spacetourer, Peugeot e-Traveller and Vauxhall e-Vivaro Life
We’ve cheated a little here in bundling this trio of van-based MPVs together, but that’s because behind the different badges, these Stellantis siblings are essentially the same.
Beneath the near-identical boxy bodywork is a 134bhp electric motor and 50kWh lithium ion battery (although a 75kWh option is on the way) that offers a WLTP range of 143 miles. Also shared is the 1000kg towing limit, which, as with the Tesla Model 3, means only small trailers and caravans need apply.
However, unlike the sleek scion of Silicon Valley, these people-carriers can be fitted with a towbar at any time (and at a very reasonable £300 on the Vauxhall).
Elsewhere, the triplets are some of the most practical EVs you can buy, with their cavernous cabins able to seat up to nine, and with their seats removed, there’s literally van-like carrying capacity.
On the move, they’re more capable and composed than they need to be, while the Citroën and Peugeot are available with an optional trick traction-control system that could help when pulling a caravan out of a muddy campsite.
On the plus side, if you’re not doing big distances, the E-tron in all its guises (496bhp S, swoopy Sportback and entry-level 50) all have the same 1800kg capacity, while all-round air suspension keeps everything on the level.
The standard E-tron also has a 660-litre boot for all that caravanning and camping overflow.
1. Tesla Model X
Resounding victory in the EV trailer towing stakes goes to the Tesla Model X, which can cope with pulling up 2268kg, rivalling many large, diesel-engined SUVs (although it’s still some way short of the Land Rover Discovery’s 3500kg limit).
This impressive figure means that it’s easily possible to hitch up a large twin-axle caravan, even if doing so will likely significantly eat into the Long Range variant’s claimed 360-mile range.
That said, with north of 800lb ft of instant torque, this SUV’s performance is unlikely to be greatly affected by hauling a heavy load.
Plus, like the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi E-tron, the Model X has air springs as standard, making it easier to hitch a trailer or caravan by raising or lowering the ride height as required and keep an even keel while on the move.
A large boot and seven-seat capability further boost its practical tow car credentials.
Its gullwing rear doors will cause a stir at the campsite, although the patchy build quality and inert driving dynamics mean it’s not without its compromises.