An EV may be your next tow vehicle — and the options just keep getting better.
If you’re looking for the best EV for towing a trailer or boat, you’re in luck. There are more electrified cars and trucks available in the automotive marketplace today than ever before, and quite a few are engineered to tow some substantial weight.
A complete compendium of those EVs offering maximum trailer weight ratings of at least 1,500 pounds could go on forever. You don’t have forever, so we rounded up a representative group of the electric vehicles available today that offer maximum trailer weight ratings ranging from 1,500 to 10,000-plus pounds. One of these smart and powerful EVs just might be your best EV that can tow.
Before We Dig In: Let’s Review the ABCs of EVs
There are different types of vehicle propulsion systems that make them an EV, and they work in different ways. There are battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).
A BEV is all-electric with power supplied by a rechargeable battery. A PHEV has a gas or diesel engine working with an electric drive system that can be plugged in to recharge like a BEV. The HEV hybrids have gas or diesel engines with electric motors to assist the powertrain and are typically charged by regenerative braking or other in-vehicle sources.
We chose to focus on BEV and PHEV electrified vehicles that can tow because they are capable of deriving power directly from an electrical source. The HEV must burn gas or diesel to create electricity.
EV Vehicle History
While other, newer arrivals have deservedly gained the EV car and truck spotlight, the first electric car was a crude electric carriage built in 1839 by Scottish inventor Robert Anderson. The first running hybrid-electric car was the Mixte developed in 1900 by Ferdinand Porsche.
The Mixte (also known as the Lohner-Porsche Elektromobil) was a 4WD series-hybrid with electric motors in the front wheel hubs of a conventional carriage and a gas engine that could recharge the batteries.
In December 1999, the Honda Insight became the first mass-produced hybrid sold in America. Toyota’s Prius was launched in Japan in 1997 but did not go on sale in the U.S. until mid-2000.
First to the table with a mass-marketed all-electric car was Nissan with its introduction of the 2010 Leaf. GM was ahead of the wave with its all-electric EV1 release in 1996, but less than 1,500 were made in its 4-year run. GM went on to launch the HEV Silverado/Sierra in 2004.
What Is MPGe?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides certified fuel-mileage figures for all vehicles sold in the United States, including electrified vehicles like the BEVs and PHEVs showcased here. These can be found at FuelEconomy.gov.
The EPA Miles Per Gallon equivalent (MPGe) helps EV shoppers compare the fuel economy of vehicles that use fuels that are not measured in gallons. The MPGe rating represents the number of miles the vehicle can travel using a quantity of fuel (electricity, natural gas, or hydrogen) with the same energy content as one gallon of gasoline.
Towing and Fuel Mileage
When it comes to towing fuel mileage, a good rule of thumb is to cut the expected driving range of an EV vehicle in half if you’re planning to tow something anywhere near its maximum rated trailer weight rating. In the almost 2 decades of testing internal-combustion-engine-powered (and a few EVs) tow vehicles for RV and boating publications, my experience has been that a 30-40% loss in range is common.
Car and Driver recently tow-tested 11 electrified vehicles, including the Audi e-tron rated at 4,000 pounds. With a 3,859-pound boat and trailer in tow, they recorded twice the normal fuel consumption (half the range) when towing.
Green Car Reports’ coverage of the R1T towing up the Davis Dam Grade in Arizona (a notorious steep towing test route) tells of a Rivian vehicle line manager noting they generally see range cut in half when towing at full weight capacity.
The Best EVs That Can Tow
Let’s start with the lightweights and build up to the heavy haulers. Scroll down if you have big towing needs and are looking for an EV for that job.
The AWD and long-range RWD models of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 BEV offer a 1,650-pound maximum trailer weight rating. Riding on a 188.1-inch wheelbase Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the Ioniq 5 benefits from the long and stable chassis, making it a good choice for towing in the 1,500-pound category. Its generous size makes it a roomy ride for the family, and its striking appearance is eye-catching.
The Ioniq 5 also provides 2VL functionality, serving as a charger on wheels for other electric vehicles, bicycles, or camping gear. One of the more energy-efficient EVs in the group, the Ioniq 5 scored an EPA 114 combined MPGe score, offering a 256-mile range in AWD trim and a 303-mile range for the long-range RWD model.
Charging is lightning fast, as well. According to Hyundai specs, going from 10% to 80% battery level takes just 18 minutes using a 350kW charger.
Hyundai also currently builds two nearly identical PHEV vehicles, the Tucson and the Santa Fe. Consider the sleek Tucson a sportcoat and the stockier Santa Fe formal attire.
Both are powered by a 1.6L turbocharged 16-valve four-cylinder gas engine working with a permanent magnet synchronous motor to produce a combined output of 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Both are rated to tow 2,000 braked pounds.
The all-new 2022 Kia EV6 BEV CUV uses the same E-GMP modular platform that underpins the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Kia and Hyundai often share vehicle platforms to maximize development efficiency.
The chassis architecture provides an adaptable foundation, in this case delivering a 114-inch wheelbase. The Kia EV6 delivers very good performance numbers, AWD availability, and ultra-fast charging times.
Dual motors (AWD version) and a 77.4kWh battery provide 576 horsepower, netting the EV6 a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. The system offers vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality. Its EPA-certified all-electric range is 274 miles. It will also tow 2,300 pounds.
The 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV features a 110.8-inch wheelbase, all-wheel-drive capability, and six-passenger three-row seating accommodations in an upscale interior. Power comes from a 1.6L turbocharged 16-valve four-cylinder gas engine hooked up to a permanent magnet synchronous motor and six-speed auto transmission.
The hybrid power system’s combined performance numbers are pretty good (261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque), and the Sorento PHEV features a 1,654-pound tow rating (unbraked). Its braked tow rating was TBD as of this report.
A combined overall range of 460 miles and a pure-electric range of 32 miles are claimed. The EPA fuel mileage numbers are 34 gas and 79 MPGe, including a charge time of 3.4 hours at 240V.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been completely redone for 2022 (scheduled for the U.S. in the second half of 2022) with a new body style that has engendered mixed reviews.
The powertrain’s gas half is a 2.4L DOHC 16-valve engine pushing out 131 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. The output of the axle motors and the drive battery was increased by about 40%. It also offers roomy three-row seating and interior space that has been upgraded and enhanced.
The Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) twin-motor system distributes power or braking to the front and rear wheels, as well as the left and right wheels, according to road and driving conditions.
Five selectable drive modes (EV, Series Hybrid, Parallel Hybrid, Snow, and Sport) adapt the AWD Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for the best performance in any situation or environment.
The Outlander PHEV’s all-electric range is 54 miles, which is as good or better than most of the PHEVS in this category. An increase in fuel-tank capacity expanded the combined hybrid driving range, getting EPA fuel mileage numbers of 26 mpg combined gas and 74 MPGe combined for gas and electric driving. It’s rated for a 1,500-pound towing capacity.
Polestar emerged as an electric high-performance EV sports sedan builder off-shoot of Volvo, and they share some technology, especially when it comes to EV and safety expertise. The Polestar 2 Long Range FWD and AWD models boast a tow rating of 2,000 pounds. Power ratings for the Long Range AWD model are a combined 408 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque.
The single-motor (FWD) Polestar 2 is rated at 265 miles, while the dual-motor (AWD) Polestar 2 has an EPA-certified range of 249 miles on a single charge. Charge time is said to be up to 8 hours at 240V.
The Polestar 2 offers all the high-end sports sedan accommodations one would expect. Inside you’ll find a modern design ethic and comfort. There’s also enough gadgetry, such as an 11.15-inch free-floating center touchscreen, a 12.3-inch driver’s digital-instrument panel, Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Active Bending Headlights with Cornering Lights to please any tech geek.
Toyota’s only plug-in hybrid scores a battery-only range of 42 miles, gas-only mpg of 38 combined, and a combined MPGe of 94 miles. Power for the Toyota RAV4 Prime comes from a highly efficient 2.5L DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine paired with an 18.1 kWh battery pack and two rear-mounted electric motors. Its combined system power output is 302 horsepower.
The Electronic On-Demand AWD system delivers traction in a wide range of terrains and road conditions through the separate electric motor for the rear wheels. A Trail Mode directs the AWD system to direct more power to wheels that are grounded. Paddle shifters allow the driver to precisely control the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (ECVT).
Upgraded comfort levels and performance systems are also available, depending on trim levels. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Prime is rated for a maximum towing capacity of 2,500 pounds.
The ID.4 is the first all-electric SUV from Volkswagen. Built on Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle platform with a 109-inch wheelbase, the ID.4 offers a modern and spacious interior in a compact SUV with surprisingly generous power.
The main motor sits directly over the rear axle. AWD versions of the ID.4 feature electric motors on both axles powered by the single battery pack mounted in the center of the chassis. Together, they make 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque.
Inside the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 is a 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit digital display attached to the steering column, replacing the traditional instrument cluster. An optional panoramic fixed-glass roof spans almost the entire length of the roof. An electric sunshade can be deployed via the touch slider above the driver or through the infotainment center.
In RWD configuration, the Volkswagen ID.4 is rated to tow 2,200 pounds; the AWD version of the ID.4 offers a 2,700-pound maximum towing capacity. The 2021 ID.4 AWD Pro S scored a 97MPGe combined and an EPA-estimated 240-mile range.
Volkswagen expects the 2022-model ID.4 to have better numbers. Charging is via the ID.4’s Combined Charging System allowing a full charge in 7.5 hours at home or a public Level 2 charger.
The Volvo XC Recharge EV family offers three beautiful and powerful vehicles from the company that successfully transformed its image from safe and sound to safe, sound, and exciting. The lineup begins with the full-electric compact SUV XC 40 Recharge.
Next is the midsize SUV XC 60 Recharge PHEV. Then there is the full-size SUV XC 90 Recharge PHEV. All three are good choices. Which is better for you depends on how you plan to use it.
A fully charged Volvo XC40 Recharge BEV scores an EPA combined 85 MPGe and has a 223-mile range. The XC 40 Recharge’s two electric motors deliver a combined 402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque. Its tow rating is 2,000 pounds.
It also goes from 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds. Sounds fun to drive untethered, and good for short hauls to the boat ramp or campground.
The Volvo XC 60 AWD Recharge PHEV gets a direct-injected 2.0L turbocharged/supercharged engine with electric motors on both axles. The combo puts out 300 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It can tow up to 3,500 pounds and is rated at EPA 27 mpg combined and a 57 MPGe combined fuel. This might be a good choice for long trips and pulling a little heavier towed load. It’s our favorite in the line.
The Volvo XC 90 AWD Recharge PHEV harbors the same powerplant found in the XC 60 AWD Recharge. However, the 90 is rated to tow 5,000 pounds, seats up to seven, and gets an EPA 27 mpg combined and 55 MPGe combined fuel mileage rating. This would be a better choice for families, long road trips, and larger towables.
The pure-electric Audi e-tron is classified as a five-seater SUV, but it looks more like a powerful sport sedan trying to bust the buttons off its SUV overcoat. Among its many attributes are a roomy interior and comfortable seating arrangements, long-range capability, and the proven traction performance of the quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Its slippery aerodynamic body styling gives it a low drag coefficient of 0.31 Cd, helping it cut through the air and squeeze every mile out of its battery’s 95kWh capacity.
In normal driving mode, the Audi e-tron twin-motor drive system provides 355 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque. When in deep doo-doo, you can activate “boost mode.” For a few seconds only, the total power output of the AWD system jumps to 402 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque.
The Audi e-tron quattro scores some pretty good mileage numbers, too. It’s EPA-certified at a combined 78 MPGe and a charge time of 10 hours at 240V. Audi claims a 212-mile range for the e-tron quattro on a full charge. The 2022 Audi e-tron quattro is rated for a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds.
Jeep now offers its ultimate adventure machine in an electrified form. The Wrangler Rubicon 4xe PHEV shines a spotlight on the off-road utility of the almost instant torque output available from the modern electric drivetrain.
The Wrangler 4xe boasts a combined powerplant output of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque coming from the 2.0L turbocharged in-line-four-cylinder gas engine mated to a motor generator up front to spin assisting the gas engine and another motor generator mounted at the front of the transmission to replace the torque converter.
Three hybrid driving modes are on offer. Hybrid is the default mode that blends engine and motor power, starting with electric and going to gas when the battery reaches minimum charge. Electric is just as it indicates — all-electric. And eSave prioritizes the gas engine, conserves battery power, and allows the driver to choose between Battery Save and Battery Charge.
Wrangler Rubicon 4xe gets the same famous off-road-capable four-wheel-drive system, fully articulating suspension, and solid axles with available locking differentials found in all Rubicon models. EPA combined numbers are 20 mpg and 50 MPGe with a range of 370 miles. Its charge time is 2.4 hours at 240V. It can also tow 3,500 pounds.
Jeep also transplanted the 4xe hybrid powertrain into the new Grand Cherokee. Luxurious and refined as one would expect the Grand to be, the 375-horsepower 4xe hybrid version also makes it a very powerful upscale midsize SUV.
It seats seven and will make long voyages easy to enjoy. Jeep broadcasts the same power numbers for the Grand Cherokee 4xe as the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe, but the Grand gets a better combined MPGe of 57 and a range of 400 miles.
The Grand Cherokee 4xe makes a nice transition into our next trailer weight category with a rating of 6,000 pounds.
Built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the BMW X5 xDrive 45e is a stunningly beautiful and potent driving machine. The BMW X5 xDrive 45e offers three hybrid driving modes.
Hybrid mode is the default on startup and is a fully automatic setting that allows the vehicle to determine the most efficient performance use of gas and electric power. Electric mode is electric-only power and can go up to 84 mph. Sport mode keeps the gas engine on tap and provides aggressive regeneration.
The BMW X5 xDrive45e features a 3.0L twin-turbocharged six-cylinder gas engine hooked up with a 24kWh battery to create a PHEV drivetrain that puts out a total combined 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.
The BMW X5 xDrive 45e offers a generous maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. It has good EPA fuel-mileage numbers too, getting a 20 mpg combined gas and 50 MPGe combined hybrid score. The BMW claims a full charge in 5 hours at 240V.
From the upscale side of the Ford/Lincoln coin comes the plug-in hybrid AWD Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring. A three-row large luxury SUV with refinements like its panoramic Vista Roof, hands-free liftgate, and leather seating, the AWD Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring comes in two trim package versions, the Grand Touring and the Grand Touring 1.
Both offer high-end audio systems, second-row dual-captain chairs, a third-row 50/50 power-folding split-bench seat, adaptive LED headlamps, acoustic-laminated first-row glass, and a multitude of driver-assist convenience and safety features.
Power for the AWD Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V-8 gas engine working in tandem with a Nano Electric motor. The PHEV powertrain kicks out a combined 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque.
Five standard drive-modes are offered; Normal (balances gas and electric), Conserve (efficiency), Excite (sporty), Slippery (maximum control), Deep (aggressive with maximum ride height), and Tow/Haul (smooth towing). Two more, Pure EV (all-electric drive) and Preserve EV (recharge battery), are unique to the PHEV.
The Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring is rated for a 460-mile range, gets an EPA 23 mpg combined and 56 MPGe combined, recharges 4 hours at 240V, and can tow up to 5,600 pounds.
Tesla cars were not the first mass-produced all-electrics. That badge goes to the Nissan Leaf, but Tesla cars have certainly changed the way people think about electrified automobiles more than any other. What was eccentric is now established and mainstream.
The Tesla Model Y AWD dual-motor gets an EPA-estimated range of 303 miles, boasts a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. According to Tesla, 240V charging will supply up to 30 miles of range per hour charging. It can also tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The Tesla Model X AWD dual-motor platform SUV offers loads of power in a matter of seconds. Even in its “mild” form, the Model X cranks out 670 horsepower, will hit 60 mph from a standing stop in 3.8 seconds, and gets an EPA-estimated 348-mile range.
The Model X Plaid rocks with a three-motor powertrain that delivers 1,020 horsepower, has an EPA-estimated 333-mile range, is almost a second quicker to the 60-mph mark.
The Tesla Model X is rated to tow 5,000 pounds. And, how can you not enjoy those rear gullwing doors?!
The Rivian R1T pickup and R1S SUV have heated up the EV market segment like no other in the last few years. Both were seen in prototype form at 2018 auto shows. Rivian R1T customers began getting their trucks in late 2021 and the news is good.
The Rivian R1T is an off-road-capable four-wheel-drive vehicle that can also tow some serious weight. Using one motor per wheel and no transmission or transfer case, the Rivian R1T’s all-electric powertrain sends a whopping power output of 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque to its tires. Its tow rating is 11,000 pounds.
Offering a load-leveling air-hydraulic suspension, nearly 15 inches of ground clearance, excellent approach and departure angles, and a water fording depth of more than 3 feet, the Rivian R1T has off-road chops. The R1T pickup nets an EPA range of 314 miles (400 with the larger optional battery), a 70 combined MPGe, and a charge time of 13 hours at 240V.
The Rivian R1S SUV boasts a 7,700-pound tow rating — first deliveries are said to be coming in mid-2022.
More Current and Future EVs That Can Tow
Some of the EVs we didn’t have time to focus sharply on are certainly worth mentioning.
The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek hybrid is a feisty little animal with a plug-in that uses a 2.0L gas engine and CVT with two integrated motor generators for a total system output of 148 horsepower and a tow rating of 1,000 pounds.
The GMC HUMMER EV is a blocky brute of an all-electric towing machine with a three-motor e4WD propulsion system with a GM-estimated system power output of 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque. Launched in a limited release “Edition 1” model for 2022, the Hummer EV can tow up to 7,500 pounds.
Land Rover/Range Rover offers a full roster of electrified models with PHEV powertrain options currently powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine mated to an electric hybrid system. They are rated at a 5,000-pound towing capacity. And Land Rover recently announced a new 434-horsepower plug-in hybrid for 2023, and an all-electric Range Rover for 2024.
Mercedes-Benz is also in the process of moving more of its fleet (already containing several examples of EVs that can tow in the 3,500- to 5,000-pound range) toward more sophisticated electrification with all-electric-first chassis design across the board beginning in 2025.
However, the most exciting new EV vehicles that can tow seem to be coming soon from two U.S.-based brands. Chevrolet has announced it will deliver an all-electric 2024 Silverado pickup truck with a 400-mile range and 10,000 pounds of towing capacity.
A later version will boost towing to the 20,000-pound mark. We may see the first model in spring 2023.
Ford beat its competition by a nose, announcing the debut of its first all-electric F-Series truck with an estimated 300-mile range and a towing capacity of up to 10,000 pounds with the extended-range battery. The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is said to have an on-sale date of spring 2022.
The future of EVs that can tow certainly seems bright from here.