Healthy and General

What’s the best electric vehicle for towing things?

3 min read

One of the most frequent protestations that’s punted back whenever you mention any sort of electric vehicle is that the person frequently has to tow something unfeasibly large across many thousands of miles. Until this particular electric vehicle can tow something unfeasibly large across many thousands of miles this person just isn’t interested. 

A common refrain, to which there are usually two replies – the first being ‘Dave, mate, this is a Fiat 500’, and the second being ‘Maybe electric cars aren’t for you right now if you have to regularly tow unfeasibly large objects many thousands of miles. Get a diesel. You can still buy a diesel that will tow something unfeasibly large across many thousands of miles. You’ll enjoy yourself more. And while you’re gone it’ll be just that little bit quieter.’

But Dave, come back son, perhaps I’m being a bit too mean, because you do have options. Options that include hiring someone else to do this miserable job for you, or indeed admitting to yourself that your day to day driving doesn’t actually reflect this bucolic roadtripping picture that you’ve built up in your mind. It’s true of all of us, we buy our cars based on the extreme examples of journeys we just don’t actually do that often.

Wouldn’t it be delightful if we could get ourselves to a utopian society where we equip ourselves with transport that suits us best for that 95 per cent of our travels that likely happens within 10 minutes of the house, that doesn’t often take in more than 20 miles in one go. Travel that sees maybe one or two of us in our cars at once? Then we can borrow the larger cars for those times when we need them. Like the library of things that the local council has just opened up the road from my house. Because I don’t need a carpet cleaner or a tile cutter sitting in the shed all year round.

Being pragmatic, however, it’s going to be a long time before we get to that position on our roads. An Englishman’s car is his castle, after all. Fortunately for Dave and many of those other people who tow unfeasibly large things for unrealistic distances, BMW’s iX is a charming all-rounder. 

All of the BMW iX models are rated to tow a magnificent 2,500kg of braked trailer, which is an impressive effort. Which means we’re free to choose our pick of the range – we’ll park the £111,905 M-badged version of the car, even with its 348 miles of WLTP range, save ourselves £34k or so and go for the entry level xDrive40 version at £77,305. Because 247 miles is realistically still plenty, even if you think it’s not Dave, and besides you’d be there for weeks even on a rapid charger with a 105kWh battery under all that BMW. 

But the BMW is an impressively fancy car, with a distinctive interior that will have everyone asking you questions about it. It’s festooned with diamante-style controls that will make you feel like you’re in a special episode of the Crystal Maze and there are touch controls hidden somehow in the wood in the centre console that will make you feel like you’re on Star Trek. Now there’s crossover television we didn’t know we wanted to see. 

Admittedly, nothing that anyone has created so far in the electric vehicle space has addressed the fact that if you’re towing something and want to charge up on the way to wherever you’re going you’re likely going to have to unhook your precious accompaniment to be able to get close to the plug. Nightmare. Might just be better to sell the caravan, get that Fiat 500 and stay in a hotel instead. 

Best EV for towing things – BMW iX xDrive40
Price: £77,305
Range: 257 miles
Engine: 322bhp e-motors
Battery: 71kWh
Top speed: 124mph
0–62mph: 6.1secs
Boot space: 500 litres