Electric tow cars or The elephant in the room

Jun 19, 2014
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The Caravan and Motorhome clubs Tow Car of the Year awards are announced and for tow weights below 1,150Kg the winner is a Jaguar I Pace Electriche. costing an eye watering £76,530. More than twice the price of the other contenders in its class and can only tow 750Kg max. Now the reason for this post. They reckon (No test figures) that it can tow a 750kg caravan a staggering 115 miles before needing a recharge. For me a trip from Leicester to Glasgow at 336 miles would take 6-7 hours with breaks. Using the I-Pace it would have to be recharged 3 times at least so we are looking at a journey time measured in days.
The fact the C & M Club gave it first place means they consider this as acceptable. To me it is absolutely farcical.
This is the first time I have seen any mileage towing figures and when I do its estimated. Were they scared it would not even reach 115 miles.
I went to the C & CC NFOL last weekend (Which by the way was 168 miles) and there was a diesel camper van costing over £100,000. Why are they still selling diesel camper vans which are a long term investment when there will be more ULEZ,s than you can shake a stick at in 5-10 years time
So why isnt the industry talking about this? Are they just burying their heads in the sand hoping it all goes away?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Foggy,

The only reference online I have found to the Caravan & Motorhome Club's awards is here:
"https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/whats-on/awards/towcar-of-the-year/2020-winners/

To be fair this is just the headlines and lists the category winners, so we don't know what other models they tested, or the details if the tests they did. Or in this case may not have done.

To be fair the page does say
"Although the I-Pace is slightly limited in terms of what it can tow (max 750kg)," and they admit they haven't fully tested it, at least they have put those cards on the table.BUT I do agree it seems very strange to make such an award without having completed some real testing.

However regardless of the detail, it must always be borne in mind that such awards are purely the combined opinions of a select few people, and their criteria used for judging may not align with your own. Consequently it would be foolish to only use the results of awards to choose your next car.

You only have to look at a different set of awards to discover that the top positions are not always the same across all awards schemes, Clearly there are differences of opinion, and of course you own may well be different but no less valid than theirs.
 
Sep 5, 2016
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The only time battery powered cars will be popular with the pubic is when they are self charging , cant see why with all the money the manufacturers are pumping in to this technology they can't come up with something like a charging altermator built into each wheel hub
 
Jun 19, 2014
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Hi
I recieved the club magazine this morning and the tow car awards were included.
The other contenders in the class were Volkswagen Polo @ £21k, Volkswagen T-Cross @ £22k and the Skoda Scala @23K All 3 could tow over 1000Kg. The testers were taken with the power (0 to 60 in 7 seconds) and refinement whilst noting it was 'Slightly' limited in terms of what it can tow (A meagre 750Kg) and an off the shoulder 'We reckon you can cover 115 miles before needing a recharge'. What I found most disturbing was that a vehicle whos kerbweight is 2,133KG can only tow 750Kg with a 50Kg nose weight. What would be the range if it was towing 1000kg?
Those figures alone sound the death knell of caravaning and the Jaguar should have been declared not fit for purpose, Not! given the winners cup.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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foggydave said:
Hi
I recieved the club magazine this morning and the tow car awards were included.
The other contenders in the class were Volkswagen Polo @ £21k, Volkswagen T-Cross @ £22k and the Skoda Scala @23K All 3 could tow over 1000Kg. The testers were taken with the power (0 to 60 in 7 seconds) and refinement whilst noting it was 'Slightly' limited in terms of what it can tow (A meagre 750Kg) and an off the shoulder 'We reckon you can cover 115 miles before needing a recharge'. What I found most disturbing was that a vehicle whos kerbweight is 2,133KG can only tow 750Kg with a 50Kg nose weight. What would be the range if it was towing 1000kg?
Those figures alone sound the death knell of caravaning and the Jaguar should have been declared not fit for purpose, Not! given the winners cup.

Same here ; Ive just getting mine this morning I was going to read it tonight .... but i just have in your post !! :p
 
Nov 11, 2009
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camel said:
The only time battery powered cars will be popular with the pubic is when they are self charging , cant see why with all the money the manufacturers are pumping in to this technology they can't come up with something like a charging altermator built into each wheel hub

The newly introduced Toyota Corolla is a self charging petrol hybrid. So I guess others will go that way too. The Vauxhall Ampera had a reasonable range on battery to suit many daily trips and the petrol engine could then be used ad Infinitum but it didn’t recharge the battery. It was somewhat ahead of its time so dropped from the Vauxhall line up prematurely. But residual prices are still strong.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I think it’s time to go back to basics.

EB9-D773-B-A18-D-4888-B210-9-A4-A30767-D86.jpg
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I am tired of hearing all the talk of electric vehicles, it was alleged in the press last week that some electric cars produce a greenhouse gas that is more dangerous than CO2, I can't see why more manufacturers are not investing in hydrogen fuel cell technology, no need to recharge, can be filled as easily and quickly as petrol and produces water from the exhaust and I suspect that a hydrogen powered vehicle would tow a caravan much more easily than a pure electric or hybrid.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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As I see it the problem lies in government. They make decisions without the necessary personal knowledge to understand what they are really doing. The people they turn to for advice may have a corner to fight or a particular standpoint and/or a 'wrong' decision could affect them or their business, but those asking the questions but lacking the knowledge cannot per se know if the information they are being given is right or wrong.
Add to that that they have to be 'seen to be' taking an active part in green issues else they may loose their seat+career+income and you have the answer.

My answer would be hybrids such as the Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander whence you can use the batteries when solo but use the engine when towing. Best of both worlds?
 
Feb 23, 2018
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"Self-Charging Hybrids" is a term that Toyota seemingly coined as a way of spinning out their old Hybrid technology. Only a plug-in hybrid AKA PHEV will give useful all-electric range without having to use a petrol engine to charge the battery. Mild Hybrid is just a petrol engine with a battery assist.

I also thought that Hydrogen was the best solution back when the Honda Clarity prototype was released - but a Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle is just an electric car with extra steps. The hydrogen refuelling infrastructure just won't happen on any scale compared to the electric charging infrastructure. There are less than 20 Hydrogen stations in the UK compared to around 10,000 EV charging locations. And once you install a charger, you don't need to deliver fuel to it so it can be anywhere that is on the grid. Second benefit to a pure EV? you can charge at home if you have a driveway. And, where does the hydrogen come from?

I'll caveat my post here by saying that right now a non-petrol/diesel vehicle would not be able to replace my car - A used Outlander PHEV would be the only one in my price range capable of towing the caravan plus commute... but I don't like the Outlander.
 
May 7, 2012
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Basically the electric car has not developed enough for it to work as a tow car. Time will probably change that though.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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As above it beggars belief that the Jag should win the award-yes they are great to drive but they are not tow cars. It is totally inexcusable they simply guessed at range-and tow to a site and what then-where are you going to charge up and power your trailer tent. Yes the charging infrastructure is getting there but it has a way to go yet.
I also think self charginng hybrids pointless-buy a diesel they do nearly as many mpg!

BUT practical towing electricity is coming; The Tesla lorry comes out soon-and the Tesla model X has a range of 315 miles 0-60 in 2.7 seconds and 4wd, with a towing capacity of 2250kg-yes it'll tow just about anything and have a look at it towing a jumbo jet. Owners report however that its range when towing a heavy van drops to around 100miles-the good thing is that with a tesla you can charge in about 30mins! So the only practical fully electric tow car so far-YES in my opinion BUT at £85000 i could buy a lot of diesel and have a lot of holidays with the difference to our Navara! Until they are 30k I will wait , but I think it will happen- and campsites will gradually have to upgrade their infrastructure to have charge points-as the Caravan and motorhome club are currently doing!
BTW my father in law has a Nissan leaf-charging anywhere other than at home is a total mess of different companies/cables/charge cards subscriptions etc-blame our government for that -allowing unregulated chaos they are suddently now trying to sort! Stable horse and bolted as usual!!!!!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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JezzerB said:
As above it beggars belief that the Jag should win the award-yes they are great to drive but they are not tow cars. It is totally inexcusable they simply guessed at range-and tow to a site and what then-where are you going to charge up and power your trailer tent. Yes the charging infrastructure is getting there but it has a way to go yet.
I also think self charginng hybrids pointless-buy a diesel they do nearly as many mpg!

BUT practical towing electricity is coming; The Tesla lorry comes out soon-and the Tesla model X has a range of 315 miles 0-60 in 2.7 seconds and 4wd, with a towing capacity of 2250kg-yes it'll tow just about anything and have a look at it towing a jumbo jet. Owners report however that its range when towing a heavy van drops to around 100miles-the good thing is that with a tesla you can charge in about 30mins! So the only practical fully electric tow car so far-YES in my opinion BUT at £85000 i could buy a lot of diesel and have a lot of holidays with the difference to our Navara! Until they are 30k I will wait , but I think it will happen- and campsites will gradually have to upgrade their infrastructure to have charge points-as the Caravan and motorhome club are currently doing!
BTW my father in law has a Nissan leaf-charging anywhere other than at home is a total mess of different companies/cables/charge cards subscriptions etc-blame our government for that -allowing unregulated chaos they are suddently now trying to sort! Stable horse and bolted as usual!!!!!

Some good points but you can’t blame the Government for everything. Even fuelling up my cars the different fuel companies use different charge cards and apps so it’s not just electric that is disjointed. There are international standards groups meeting to try and rationalise charging hardware etc. But thus far it’s been driven mainly by the car makers who design their kit for competitive advantage. If the governments had stepped in and made the wrong decision then they would have drew flack. Electric is an immature transport technology as far as charging infrastructure is concerned. But it will mature as the electric cars and vehicles become more widespread.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Very true but I can pay for fuel with cash or debit card everywhere-and the government have only just twigged to that and are now trying to sort it. I am not blaming the government per se; manufacturers to blame too-but for a power source in its infancy there hasn't been enough joined up thinking to encourage people-may be they don't want to !!!
 
May 7, 2012
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Basically you do not buy an electric car for the savings as it will take forever to get them, if at all, particularly when you factor in the extra cost of the car and how long the batteries last. The other point is that as they increase in number the road tax the government receives will fall and so the electric ones will need taxing to make up for the shortfall.
The cars currently available might suit those towing lightweight trailers short distances but nothing for us so far.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Totally agree till the last bit-the Tesla X appear to be viable-a couple toured the usa (with difficulty!) and it would therefore appear to be a possible towcar; BUT no one other than the public have tested it and I wonder why the tow car awards haven't when they did the Jag. Definitely correct re the savings thing-you don't buy one to save money at the moment!!!1
 
Nov 16, 2015
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woodsieboy said:
Last week end we saw a Tessla with Buccaneer onu site at Cirencester didn't see it actually towing but it was on charge.

A Tessla and towing a Buccaneer, I think the van had self levelling as well. Well worth a photo. , nice.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Raywood said:
Basically you do not buy an electric car for the savings as it will take forever to get them, if at all, particularly when you factor in the extra cost of the car and how long the batteries last.

All the evidence so far suggests the batteries have a much longer useful life span than most commentators would like to admit.

The UK charging industry does need to get its act together, It does seem silly that you can't have the cost of a charge paid for like we pay for petrol and diesel.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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It was shown on a morning program , that travelling 300 miles across the UK in a electric car was not really possible in less than 8 hours, charge points , not compatible, different recharge companys, etc, . You may as well have a Peel electric car from the 1970 's.
If the Government, wish to bring the EV thing then the infrastuctrure has to be brought in line as well.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Lest we forget, there will be future unknown disposal costs. The latest batteries I understand are not easily recyclable. How much will that cost?

Secondly the Emergency Services are concerned about safety after an accident. Fuel spillages can be dealt with . Crashed battery cars are very dangerous and may result in electrocution. They are still working on the problem. :eek:hmy:
 
Jun 19, 2014
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I cannot see my origonal post is this normally the case?
The reason I started this post was because of an increasing frustration with the caravan/motorhome industry in which there does not seem to be a sensible discussion on the use of electric.
I live in Leicester which according to our esteemed mayor will have a ULEZ / carbon neutral zone the boundaries of which he has yet to decide by 2024 to 2026.
So I wish to purchase a new moderately priced motorhome / towcar which is a big investment. I live in an area which may or may not be within the ULEZ. To fulfill its function any towcar or motorhome I buy at the moment within my budget will be a diesel with Euro 6 engine. This is when it becomes a crap shoot. Even more so because there is talk of a Euro 7 engine being produced. In the meantime the industry is still churning out vehicles which will be obsolete in a few years time with absolutely no residual value.
This is my problem now but it will be everyones in a few years time when the car and leisure industry will still be more obsessed with 0-60 speeds + unrealistic top speeds etc to enhance our driving experience than on affordability and practicality.
I do believe especially with inner city residents that in the near future any sort of affordable driving experience will be a dim memory. The words cart and horse come to mind
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Dustydog said:
Lest we forget, there will be future unknown disposal costs. The latest batteries I understand are not easily recyclable. How much will that cost?...

It is my understanding that batteries are highly recyclable. In many cases when a battery pack is no longer good enough for EV duty, they can be re purposed for other jobs such as home storage, and even at their end of life the constituent parts are recoverable and can be reconstituted. it's the anti EV brigade who keep on claiming there's s problem.

It may not be quite as easy as putting a car through a crusher, but it is being done and it will become easier as technology advances.

The emergency services will need to careful around EVs, but they have to be careful already with house and factory fires where mixtures of combustible fuels and high voltages already exist. In not suggesting it's a walk in the park for them, and vehicle manufacturer's should be taking steps to design in safety systems that will automatically be triggered when a vehicle is involved.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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foggydave said:
I cannot see my origonal post is this normally the case?...

It seems to have recently started to happen in the last few months. And it is quite annoying as the sence of the these is lost.

However I find that if I open a thread using the index pages last post tab, the opening post is often missing, but if I then click on the threads blue title in the grey title box, the thread reopens with the opening post now visible.

It's a faff but it's a work around.
 

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