The engine pulled the trailer with an electric and combustion engine car – That’s how much consumption increased

Towing a trailer increases the car’s energy consumption, but with which power source more, an electric or a combustion engine?

Pulling electric cars is a topic that is relevant to Finns. With some you can’t pull at all, with some you can only carry ridiculously small kilos, and you can hardly get to Lapland without urinating anywhere.

It is often forgotten that, due to its nature and power output, a four-wheel-drive electric vehicle in particular is the most suitable driving partner for a standard cabin load.

Naturally, the operating distance drops. But the consumption also increases when pulling a cart with a combustion engine car. Which one has the more dramatic increase in consumption?

This has been cleared up Moottori.fi. Our competent colleagues tested how pulling a light trailer empty, loaded, with and without a canopy affects the range of the rear-wheel drive Škoda Enyaq 85 iV electric car.

Cheaper with an electric car, faster with fuel

In 2020, the engine did a similar test with a Škoda Octavia Combi equipped with a 1.5-liter TSI gasoline engine. The cart increased its fuel consumption by 1.8–3.1 liters per hundred kilometers, or 38–54 percent.

In Sähkö-Škoda, the consumption increase for the trailer was 19–71 percent. But let’s take a closer look at the broad scale.

A liter of gasoline contains more than nine kilowatt hours of energy. Converted to kilowatt-hours, the consumption increase of the gasoline car tested in this way was 16.2–27.9 kWh, while it was only 3.6–15.8 kWh in the electric car.

However, it is good to note that the effect of a trailer on fuel consumption may vary greatly between different cars and even between different engine versions of the same car model.

Based on consumption alone, driving an electric car is cheaper than a combustion engine car, both with and without a cart.

One essential factor in whether an electric car is usable when pulling a cart is, according to the test report, the effect of the increased energy consumption on the operating distance and thus on the number of charging breaks.

It’s not a good idea to charge an electric car until it’s full with a fast charger, because charging usually slows down considerably during the last twenty percent. Fast charging from 20 to 80 percent during the test typically took 30 minutes, which was used to calculate the travel time.

With the highest measured consumption, Enyaq’s operating distance dropped to 202 kilometers. If charging were always started with a 20 percent charge, the first charge should be done at 162 kilometers. With half an hour of charging, the range would increase by 121 kilometers. After this, the charger should be stopped approximately every 120 kilometers for half an hour. Therefore, charging over a distance of 500 kilometers would increase the travel time by about 90 minutes.

“If there is no need to constantly pull a trailer over long distances, then an electric car is perfectly suited as a towing vehicle. However, caravaners and those who regularly tow a trailer should think carefully about how an electric car fits their needs”, Moottorin’s delivery manager Jussi Saarinen says.

By Editor

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