How to tow an electric vehicle

Tips and Guidelines to Ensure a Seamless Experience When Towing an Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining ground in terms of market share due to the fact that they are better for the environment and less expensive to run. However, just like any other car, there may come a moment when you need to pull an electric vehicle behind another vehicle. Towing an electric vehicle necessitates a number of special considerations and safety measures. This is the case whether the EV is being towed because it has broken down, it has run out of charge, or it is being moved to a new place. In this piece, we will give you with step-by-step instructions that will walk you through the process of safely and successfully hauling an electric car.

How to tow an electric vehicle

Familiarizing Yourself with Your Electric Vehicle

It is imperative that you have a solid understanding of the distinctive characteristics and parts of an electric car before you even attempt to pull one behind a trailer.

Electric Motor: [Transcription] Every electric vehicle comes fitted with an electric motor, which is in charge of transforming the electrical energy supplied by the battery into the mechanical energy necessary to turn the vehicle’s wheels.

Battery Pack: [Battery Pack] The battery pack is responsible for supplying the electric motor with power as well as storing electrical energy. It is often the most weighty part of the electric vehicle.

Braking using Regenerative Energy: When coasting or slowing down, most electric vehicles recover energy through a process called regenerative braking. There may be an effect of this technology on the braking system.

Charging Port: Electric vehicles (EVs) are equipped with a charging port that allows them to connect to charging stations and top off their batteries. When towing, it is imperative that you are aware of the position of the charging outlet on your electric vehicle.

Refer to the Instruction Manual for Owners

Please review the owner’s handbook for your electric car before attempting to tow it. This important resource offers detailed instructions on the towing techniques, restrictions, and safety considerations that are particular to the electric vehicle type you own. Because various manufacturers may have varying suggestions, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to the instructions that come with your particular car.

Establish the Maximum Allowable Towing Weight

The manufacturer places a maximum towing capacity rating on each and every vehicle, regardless of whether it is electric or conventional. When you are towing a trailer or another vehicle, it is essential that you are aware of this capacity so that you do not exceed the limitations of your car. When you exceed the permitted towing capacity, you expose yourself and others to possible dangers and you risk damaging your electric vehicle.

Choose the Appropriate Tractor-Trailer Combination

It is imperative that adequate towing equipment be used in order to ensure a risk-free experience when being towed. Take into consideration the following elements:

Tow Hitch: Check that the tow hitch that you have put on your electric vehicle is appropriate for the load that you expect to pull and is compatible with the towing equipment that you intend to use.

Towing Vehicle: The vehicle that will be used to pull your electric car (for example, a truck or SUV) should have a towing capacity that is high enough to support the weight of both your EV and any additional load.

Towing Accessories are as follows: Accessories like a trailer hitch, tow bar, safety chains, and electrical hookups for the lights and brakes on the towed vehicle may be necessary for you to tow, but this will depend on the specifics of your towing needs.

Get Ready to Carry Around Extra Weight

Because of the additional mass of the battery pack, electric cars are often significantly heavier than their gasoline-powered equivalents. Towing an electric vehicle causes the overall weight to increase by an additional amount. When preparing for your journey, take into account the increased weight you will be carrying, and be aware of how it may effect the handling, braking, and general performance of your vehicle.

Turn off the regenerative braking system

The process of regenerative braking, in which energy is captured and stored as the vehicle is slowing down, is included in many electric cars. Before you start towing, you should examine the owner’s handbook of your vehicle to find out how to turn off the regenerative braking system. Towing with the regenerative braking feature on might cause damage to the motor, thus it is essential to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer in this respect. Turning off this function allows for a more secure experience when towing and protects the various components of the EV from any potential damage.

Procedures to Follow When Hauling Electric Vehicles

Towing with a Flatbed

Towing an electric car with a flatbed is typically regarded as the option that offers the highest level of protection. When using this method, the electric vehicle (EV) is put onto a flatbed trailer or tow truck with all four wheels in the air. This is the procedure to follow:

  • Prepare the EV: Make sure that your electric vehicle is in the “Park” position and that it is switched off. For added peace of mind, make sure the parking brake is engaged.
  • Position the Flatbed: With the electric vehicle (EV) in reverse gear, back the flatbed trailer or tow truck into position so that it is parallel to the route that you wish for the EV to go.
  • Put the fuel in the EV: To safely load the electric vehicle onto the flatbed, a winch or another suitable loading device should be used. Make sure that it is safely attached to the trailer and that it is balanced there.
  • Secure the EV To keep the electric vehicle from moving while it is being stored, you should use the required tie-down straps, wheel chocks, and other safety precautions. Take precautions to prevent the electric vehicle from moving or rolling while it is being transported.
  • Make Sure That All of the Lights and Brakes Are Working Before You Start Your Trip Make sure that all of the lights and brakes on the electric vehicle are working properly before you start your trip. For both driver safety and compliance with applicable rules, having working brakes and lights is very necessary.

Towing an electric car with a flatbed is highly recommended since it prevents the tires from becoming worn out and guarantees that the whole vehicle remains elevated, hence lowering the likelihood that sensitive components will be harmed.

Towing using a Wheel Lift and a Tow Dolly

Towing electric vehicles with a flatbed is the way that is most commonly used, although some circumstances may call for the use of alternate methods, such as wheel lift towing or a tow dolly. These techniques entail elevating either the front or rear wheels of the electric vehicle off the ground while maintaining contact between all of the vehicle’s wheels and the pavement. When deciding between wheel lift towing and using a tow dolly, consider the following:

  •  Ensure that the electric vehicle is in the “Park” position, that the power is turned off, and that the parking brake is engaged.
  •  Align the wheel lift or tow dolly that will be used to lift the wheels with the wheels that are going to be lifted.
  • Raise from the ground the wheels that have been specified using the equipment, taking care to adhere to the directions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Make sure that the electric vehicle is secured in position using the necessary tie-down straps, and inspect it again to ensure that it will not move while being transported.
  • Verify that all of the electric vehicle’s lights and brakes are working properly before you attempt to tow it, as having functional lighting and brakes is essential for both safe towing and compliance with traffic regulations.

Although wheel lift towing and the use of tow dollies are feasible solutions, it is important to exercise extreme caution when employing any of these methods because of the restrictions and hazards associated with their use.

Important Safety Considerations When Towing an Electric Vehicle

When pulling an electric car behind a conventional vehicle, safety should always be your number one concern. Take into account the following preventative measures for your protection:

  • Be aware that because of the weight of the battery pack, towing an electric vehicle (EV) can be substantially heavier than towing a regular car. This is something you should keep in mind. To account for the added weight, you will need to adjust your driving habits, continue to travel at safe speeds, and allow for longer stopping distances.
  • Do not exceed the towing capacity that is specified for the EV; this information may be found in the owner’s handbook. When this capacity is exceeded, there is a potential for both damage and risk to everyone involved.
  • Throughout the trip, it is important to do routine maintenance checks on the towing equipment, including the tow hitch and the tie-down straps, to ensure that they are in good working order and that they are not compromised in any way.
  • When you are pulling anything behind you, an additional layer of protection can be provided by using safety chains.
  • In the event that there is an emergency, you should get familiar with the locations of any disconnect switches or emergency shut-off switches.
  • In the event that you experience a breakdown or an accident while you are towing, it is imperative that you adhere to the safety measures that have been established, such as setting up warning triangles or cones to notify other cars.
    As a final piece of advice, always be ready for the unexpected by carrying the necessary tools, equipment, and cell phone with you at all times.

Concluding Remarks

Towing an electric vehicle demands meticulous preparation, strict respect for the parameters provided by the manufacturer, and an unwavering dedication to safety. You may ensure a secure and trouble-free towing experience by first gaining an awareness of the exact type of electric vehicle you are towing, then making appropriate preparations, then deactivating regenerative braking when it is required, and finally adhering to the procedures that are advised. During the process of towing, you should make safety and compliance with the guidelines for towing capacity and equipment a top priority at all times. This will help safeguard your electric vehicle and guarantee the well-being of everyone else who uses the road. Towing an electric car may be a doable and risk-free endeavor provided that appropriate planning and safety measures are taken.

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