There’s a lot of bad information on electric vehicles, and if you stumble onto the wrong article, you might come away thinking that EVs aren’t good at towing. The exact opposite is true, and in fact, many EVs outperform their gas-powered counterparts in towing and general performance. That said, there are so many new EVs that it can be difficult to nail down the model that delivers the right capability and towing capacity for your needs.
We’ve gathered a list of the best EVs for towing in 2023. These models do not represent every tow-ready EV on sale today, but these are the most capable and popular EVs available. Remember that many vehicles, electric or otherwise, require extra equipment to deliver their full towing capacities, so you may be faced with extra expenses before you can get on the road.
EV Towing Capacities for 2023
Ford F-150 Lightning
The F-150 Lightning is a top seller and has kept Ford busy since its introduction. With the extended-range Battery, the Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds when equipped with the available Max Trailer Tow Package. That rating only applies to the XLT and Lariat trims. The top Platinum can “only” tow 8,500 pounds, and Towing tops out at 7,700 pounds with the standard range battery.
F-150 Lightning models with the extended-range battery deliver 580 horsepower and 75 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive comes standard, and the truck’s 131 kWh battery returns up to 320 miles with the extended-range battery and XLT or Lariat trims. The Platinum extended-range model gets 300 miles, and the standard-range battery returns 240 miles.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
It may look like it rolled straight out of a video game, but the Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers legitimate towing capacity. When properly equipped, the pixelated SUV can pull up to 3,500 pounds, which is plenty for a small camper or cargo trailer. The vehicle can automatically calculate range based on trailer specifications entered by the driver, which can be a significant benefit with route and charging planning.
The most potent Ioniq 5 offers 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque with a range of 266 miles. Rear-wheel drive models with larger batteries return 303 miles, while the standard-range rear-drive model offers 220 miles of range. Once the range is exhausted, the Ioniq 5 can quick charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes on a 250kW fast charger.
Tesla Model Y
The all-wheel drive Model Y is rated at up to 3,500 pounds, but buyers have to shell out an additional $3,500 for the available towing package, which includes a high-strength steel tow bar with a two-inch hitch receiver, a trailer harness with NA 7-pin standard connector, and a tow mode software package. That’s on top of the Model Y’s ability to carry up to seven people and blistering performance.
Tesla cut the standard-range model from its catalog for 2023, but the Model Y Long Range and Performance models are more than enough for most. The Long Range offers 384 horsepower and 36 pound-feet of torque and more than 300 miles of range. At the same time, it’s quick and can easily outrun most gas-powered tow vehicles.
Rivian R1T and R1S
Up to 11,000 Pounds
The Rivian R1T and R1S offer compelling styling, tech, and performance, and both are quite capable when it comes to towing. When properly equipped, the R1T offers up to 11,000 pounds, and the R1S can pull up to 7,700 pounds, setting them eye-to-eye with some of the country’s most popular gas-powered pickups.
The R1T Launch Edition is an excellent example of Rivian’s powertrain madness. It offers four electric motors with 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque combined. The more-than-300-mile range pairs with a 3.3-second 0-60 mph time for one impressive vehicle.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
The Volvo XC40 Recharge sports a towing capacity of 3,307 pounds, thanks to its two electric motors, full-time all-wheel drive, and 402 horsepower. At the same time, the Swedish EV can run from 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds and delivers a comfortable ride in most situations. It’s equipped with a 75-kWh battery, which delivers a range of 223 miles. The Recharge gets all the clever storage spaces and a clean Scandinavian design.
The brand-new Kia EV6 offers eye-catching style and excellent performance, and it happens to bring a substantial towing capacity of 2,300 pounds. Kia offers the SUV in several configurations and up to 576 horsepower in the all-wheel drive GT model. Rear-wheel drive models get considerably less power – 167 in total – but the EV6 offers lively performance and acceleration in all its forms.
The new Volkswagen ID.4 can tow up to 2,700 pounds in its all-wheel drive format. VW added a new standard-range model with a smaller battery pack and 208 miles of range, but the top Pro S Plus delivers up to 275 miles with rear-wheel drive and 255 miles with all-wheel drive. Acceleration for the top models is brisk, at just 5.8 seconds from 0-60 mph.
Once a part of Volvo, Polestar promises a 2,000-pound towing capacity for the Polestar 2. It’s available in two- and all-wheel drive variants with up to 450 horsepower and 270 miles of range. The Polestar 2 comes with Google-powered infotainment, a gorgeous and upscale interior, and traffic-stopping style that helps justify its premium-level price tag.
Tesla Model X
Up to 5,000 Pounds
The Tesla Model X comes standard with two electric motors and all-wheel drive. In its cheapest format, the SUV delivers a 0-60 mph time of well below four seconds, and some models bring more than 1,000 horsepower to the table. It’s also rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds when equipped with the optional trailer towing equipment, and the Model X has a towing mode that can level the rear suspension and turn off parking sensors.
Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV
Up to 3,968 Pounds
The Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV isn’t scheduled until the 2024 model year, but it’ll spend a considerable portion of 2023 in buyers’ hands, so it needs to be covered. The SUV delivers up to 3,968 pounds of towing when properly equipped and with a braked trailer. Mercedes will offer a few configurations, including the base rear-drive model with 288 horsepower, the all-wheel drive 350 4Matic with more torque, and the top 500 4Matic with 616 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV
The flagship EQS SUV offers just shy of 4,000 pounds of towing capacity and can carry up to seven people in typical Mercedes comfort. The all-electric powertrain delivers up to 536 horsepower and 633 pound-feet of torque, and in certain configurations, it’s quick: acceleration from 0-60 mph takes under four seconds for some models. Buyers wanting the best range need to opt for the base EQS450+, with its 305 miles per charge, but the more powerful EQS580 drops range to 285 miles.
Depending on the configuration, the Cadillac Lyriq can tow up to 3,500 pounds, matching many of its gas-powered counterparts. GM’s newest Ultium-based EV features an upscale interior and sleek exterior styling. The EV is sold out for the foreseeable future, and it’s easy to see why. It offers up to 308 miles of range with rear-wheel drive and a massive 33-inch LED display. Higher trim levels can be upgraded with super Cruise and additional luxury features, such as a panoramic sunroof and illuminated front grille.
The Nissan Ariya faced delays due to COVID and supply chain difficulties, but now that it’s here, buyers can take advantage of its modest 1,500-pound towing capacity. Though not the quickest EV around, the Ariya delivers a calm, agreeable ride in most situations. The Ariya’s interior is luxurious, and features a gorgeous design. It also offers a stout driving range of up to 304 miles, and the advanced all-wheel drive system brings better traction in all weather conditions.
GMC Hummer EV
It might be surprising to learn that a vehicle as large and heavy as the GMC Hummer EV only offers 7,500 pounds of towing. It’s also one of the least efficient EVs on sale today, but none of that matters much to buyers, who’ve lined up in droves to get one. The Hummer EV comes with three electric motors and a massive 200-kWh battery pack that combine for 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 pound-feet of torque. Despite its almost five-ton curb weight, that powertrain can propel the Hummer EV from 0-60 mph in around three seconds.
How towing affects EV range
Towing puts a lot of stress on the vehicle, and pulling the extra weight drains range much faster than everyday driving. Some vehicles may see a 50 percent or more reduction in their range, but to be fair, the same is true for most gas-powered tow rigs as well. Many people see their average fuel economy cut in half while towing with a gas vehicle. Several other factors play a role in electric vehicle towing range, including the average road grade and the temperature. If your towing route involves hills and steep inclines, your range will be worse than towing on flat ground. Similarly, using heat and climate control systems in hot or cold weather can negatively impact range.
It’s also important to think about the trailer itself. If you’ve got a big, boxy trailer, the added aerodynamic drag will impact range, in addition to the weight of the trailer. Electric vehicles are often heavily optimized in the wind tunnel, and changes to their shape can drastically impact range.
Frequently asked questions about the best EVs for towing
Are plug-in hybrids good for towing?
Plug-in hybrids, or PHEVs, can be decent at towing, but no PHEV trucks are available now. Some offer as much as 3,500 pounds of towing, but none reach Rivian R1T levels of capability.
Does towing with EVs wear tires faster?
Electric vehicles are already harder on tires than their gas-powered counterparts because of their weight and the torque they exert. Towing can speed the wear process further, as the vehicle has to pull harder, and stronger forces are exerted when stopping and turning.
Can AAA tow my EV if it breaks down?
Yes, AAA reports that it is prepared to service and tow any vehicle type, regardless of the fuel powering it.
Are there any new EVs coming with heavy towing capacities?
Yes! The market will soon be packed with great EV towing options, including:
- 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV: 10,000 pounds
- 2024 Ram 1500 REV: Likely close to 10,000 pounds
- Canoo EV: Likely more than 7,000 pounds
- 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV: 1,500 pounds