Electromobility and caravanning - what awaits us?

Mitsubishi Outlander z przyczepą na tle wiatraków

Electric cars have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. We pass the previously exotic "green" signs more and more often, at least in larger cities. In many European countries, in less than 10 years, it will not be possible to allow combustion cars as we know them to be on the road. In terms of infrastructure, Poland is (to put it mildly) poor as a country, and the network of "fast charge" chargers is almost as exotic a sight as Tesla showrooms. Although when diving into the abyss of social media and electric car fan forums, one may get the impression that Poland is no different from other civilized European countries in this respect, many times the statements of Internet users are a mere powdering of reality. In many cases, we lack solid bases to even assess the profitability of owning an electric car and the condition of the network of charging stations, not to mention the reports of daredevils traveling through the Bieszczady or Podlasie regions with an electric car and a trailer. As a skeptic of electric technology, I also ignore the argument of being "eco" raised by many, when we have to charge the vehicle with electricity often coming from coal.

However, for the purposes of this material, we decided to analyze the experiences and observations shared by our western neighbors (journalists and industry influencers) and highlight important conclusions related to caravanning and electric cars. Due to the scale of the phenomenon, these will certainly be reliable and will allow us to take a broader look at the revolution that awaits us.

We tow the trailer with an electric car

Of course, there are many cars on the market adapted to towing braked trailers weighing more than 750 kg. Below is a small excerpt from the list of models, the trailer's GVM (at a 12% slope) and the nominal range of the cars (solo without a trailer, of course):

  • Audi e-tron – 1,800 kg – 441 km
  • Audi Q4 e-tron quattro – 1,200 kg – 488 km
  • BMW iX – 2500 kg – 630 km
  • BMW i4 – 1600 kg – 590 km
  • Citroen e-Spacetourer – 100 kg – 316 km
  • Hyundai Ioniq 5 long range 72.6 kWh – 1600 kg – 481 km
  • Kia EV6 77.4 kWh – 1600 kg – 528 km
  • Mercedes Benz EQC – 1800 kg – 411 km
  • Mercedes Benz EQS – 750 kg – 740 km
  • Tesla Model 3 – 1000 kg – 602 km
  • Tesla Model X – 2268 kg – 560 km
Electromobility and caravanning - what awaits us? – image 1

Limitations and advantages

In practice, energy consumption is expressed in Watts per kilometer/mile, analogous to the combustion of a gasoline engine, where we are dealing with liters per 100 km (or miles per gallon). In the case of both technologies, we will notice terrible differences in the on-board computers, which cannot properly indicate demand under load. Testers of electric cars with caravans notice drastic limitations in the expected ranges after just a few kilometers, and the indications of the on-board electronics cannot even be treated as approximate. This means that even a trip from Munich to the Italian Dolomites is burdened with a great deal of uncertainty as to whether we will actually be able to get to the next fast charger. Of course, we don't have to charge electricity at home with 24 A, but we can also charge 12 A or even 6 A if the protection of the circuit to which we connect allows. However, this means that a break in driving from several dozen minutes turns into several hours. Compared to the availability of conventional gas stations and the refueling time, the electric car clearly loses to combustion designs. We also have to submit to significant restrictions when planning routes - the journey basically ends where there are no chargers. Wild, mountainous areas or even countries worth exploring then become inaccessible destinations.

Aspects that definitely speak in favor of electric cars are dynamics, comfort, acoustics and... driving stability. In electric vehicles with a power often exceeding several hundred horsepower, we have access to full power (torque) from the moment we touch the gas pedal - anyone who has ever traveled in an electric car will confirm that it makes an amazing impression, especially in more powerful cars (e.g. Tesla). In any case, there will be plenty of power to tow a trailer, and as long as we have enough energy, we can easily overcome even demanding hills. The lack of engine noise can undoubtedly make the journey more pleasant, and the high curb weight caused by the weight of the batteries powering the drive and their location in the lower part of the car contribute to the optimization of the center of gravity and stable handling.

Plug-in hybrids – the best alternative?

For now, the plug-in hybrid as a combination of two worlds - traditional combustion technology and modern battery technology is and remains the golden mean in our reality. Of course, the mileage on the battery will not be impressive, but the possibility of charging the vehicle at home, in the office or at a station and driving economically and environmentally friendly in the city every day is a solid argument. It is also good to be able to freely use the benefits of a traditional engine, which will cover a longer distance without significant range limitations and will take our home on wheels to a holiday destination with shorter refueling/charging breaks than in the case of a "classic" electric car.

Mitsubishi Outlander z przyczepą na campingu
Mitsubishi Outlander z przyczepą na tle wiatraków
Mitsubishi Outlander z przyczepą podczas jazdy na tle wiatraków
Mitsubishi Outlander z przyczepą podczas jazdy na tle wiatraków
Maciej Kinal
Maciej Kinal

I feel best in the form of trade fairs and meetings with enthusiasts. Technical freak. In my life I have dismantled many motorhomes for the first time. Fan of large vehicles, mountain biking and traveling without weight and financial restrictions. At CampRest, I am responsible for all publications on automotive topics.

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