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EV Energy Usage while towing

Discussion in 'Technical' started by constraint, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. constraint

    constraint Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I have personally been asked many questions around EV power trains and how having so much torque would be great for an EV pickup (or model x) for towing. I personally am interested in this topic but have found lacking any credible and useful information around the subject.

    Was wondering if anyone had any credible knowledge of how much extra energy is used for different size towing loads. Specifically I am thinking of an F150 sized truck (basically the only truck people think about when talking about the subject) and how much extra energy for a 5,000 lbs load. Based on rough guesses I have been telling people 50 kwh per 100 miles (may be optimistic) with no load but have no idea on the 5,000 lbs boat senario. Obviously there is a lot of variables including wind resistance but just looking for ball park numbers.

    Are we talking about 30%, 50% or even double the energy?
     
  2. Bearman

    Bearman Member

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Sweden
    An electric vehicle will need the same amount of energy to tow a load as a regular F-150, it just uses the smaller amount of energy in the batteries more efficiently.
    You can look at how regular trucks do when towing and compare them when not under load to get an idea, there are differences between engines and their efficiency under load but its a good estimate.

    Here is an example i got from a quick search:
    He doesn't mention speed, temperature or elevation changes but lets use this as a rough estimate.

    So with a 5000 lbs load on the HWY he gets around 10 mpg and 18 mpg when not towing, that's 80% more fuel to go the same distance and hence 80% more energy used when towing 5000 lbs on the HWY.

    Hope this helps :smile:
     
  3. constraint

    constraint Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Minnesota
    So i have an F150 for reference, and when towing 5000 lbs i get around 45 percent decrease in fuel efficiency in my 5.4L (8.5 MPG FTW), but having a friend in a 3/4 diesel only decreases his efficiency by 20-25 percent. Just towing an 8ft utility trailer at 2000 lbs in a car i owned dropped my efficiency by 60 percent. On gassers efficiency goes down on load (more then diesel's) from my experience so wondering if it the same with electric or if it is more linear in nature. As an example, TopGear did a segment where a Prius raced around a race track and a BMW M3 followed yet (according to the script) got better fuel efficiency then the prius.
     

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