Here’s how a trailer affects an electric car’s range – there’s a difference between trailers

For all-electric cars, as well as for cars with an internal combustion engine, the consumption determined in laboratory conditions according to the WLTP measurement method is taken into account, and hence the distance traveled of the electric car model. But how much does towing a trailer affect the range of this all-electric vehicle?

Volkswagen tested the problem with its most popular electric car in Finland. When pulling a cart, it is immediately noticeable that a moderate driving speed significantly improves the working distance. Driving slower than twenty, the mileage is about 30 percent longer in summer weather.

In a test with the Volkswagen ID.4, the working distance was sufficient for up to 400 kilometers with a combination of a closed trailer and a speed of 80 kilometers per hour. Driving a hundred, the range dropped to 310 kilometers. With a battery of 77 kilowatt-hours, the distance traveled by the car can reach up to 505 kilometers without a stroller.

“The effect of a trailer on the operating range of an all-electric vehicle is often a topic of conversation both among our customers and on electric vehicle social media channels. We decided together K-Raudan mixed Juncar Oyto conduct a practical test that would provide additional information on the matter,” states Volkswagen’s passenger car product manager Tony Nieminen.

Two Muuli 1400SX trailers with a load of 200 kg were used as trailers. One buggy had a more aerodynamically shaped Juncar canopy and the other a more traditional Jaxal Maxi canopy.

“Outside of controlled laboratory conditions, conducting comparable wear tests is not entirely problem-free. Among traffic, it is difficult to get comparable data because of the many variables, but we try to standardize as many factors as possible in the test,” continues Nieminen.

The test was done on a sunny summer day in June at an outside temperature of 19 degrees. The test was conducted by driving with adaptive cruise control in 4 directions forward and backward – by using the highway, we tried to minimize the influence of other traffic on the test results. The consumption test distance is 44 kilometers, i.e. almost double the official WLTP measurement of 23.25 kilometers.

In the test, the working distances were compared to the calculated working distance of a control car running without a trailer. Based on the test, at a driving speed of 80 km, the operating distances of cars with trailers were 370 km with the Jaxal canopy and 403 km with the more aerodynamic Juncar canopy.

Increasing the driving speed to one hundred kilometers per hour had a significant effect on the consumption readings and thus on the calculated operating distances. At a running speed of 100, the mileage of the cars with trailers was 273 and 308 kilometers.

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