Towing with a PHEV

May 29, 2018
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Hello again,

So we're quite possibly looking at an Outlander PHEV as a tow car. I know this has a limit of 1500KG and we have found vans that come in under that limit but just wondered if anyone has towed with a PHEV and were there any issues with motors burning out or any other problems?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Although not an Outlander PHEV I looked at a Lexus Hybrid and overall there were no significant problems with the electrical system. If you tow within the Outlanders limits why should the motors be a concern. After all I don’t worry about my auto ox, or when I had a manual the clutch/gearbox. In a previous life I actively pressed for electrical power trains as they were times more reliable than mechanical ones. Try the Outlander Owners Club that might give information to answer your query.

http://www.myoutlanderphev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3341
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Ste.

PHEVs of all makes are something of compromise, but they can make a lot of sense for some people. There Are generally two approaches to the way a PHEV is implemented, and I'm not certain how the Outlander is configured. Some only use electric motors to drive the wheels, so the inclusion of the IC engine is simply to act as a generator. Others have the option of electric drive or IC drive, And a there is another simply a hybrid approach where the electric motor is just a supplement to the IC engine to boost performance as in formula 1.

With such a variety of uses I think we could expect to hear about a lot of electric motor failures, but I can't recall reading about many problems with motors, more often it's the other equipment that has been at fault.

In general the emerging history and evidence is that the motive power electric motors are proving to be more reliable than even the manufacturer's were predicting, and the same applies to the batteries.

The foreseeable problem with the PHEV approach and caravanning, is that when thee vehicles run out of battery charge, they have to rely entirely on their IC engine to provide the power. Some makes have earned a notorious reputation for poor fuel economy. I hope the Outlander is efficient enough for you.

Please keep us informed.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There an ever increasing range of electric hybrid vehicles, this article may be helpful to you:
http://www.carbuyer.co.uk/tips-and-advice/160343/towing-with-a-hybrid-plug-in-hybrid-or-electric-car

As Prof John says electric motors and batteries do seem to be trouble free and although its not PHEV just look at the reliability stats for Toyotas Hybrid range. Would taxi drivers chose Prius if there were reliability issues? Its probably one of the most reliable cars on the road and has been around for aeons, so a well designed PHEV should have much of that development and user experience built in. The Ampera didnt go down well in UK but it was a bit ahead of its time and even BMW then chose the concept for its sports car. So the next few years will be really exciting as new electric/hybrids are released onto the market and I expect to see Chinese making serious inroads too just like the Japanese and Koreans before them, as that is where much of the electrical vehicle development is taking place.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks Clive for that link. I had not realised there were so many heavy weight options available already, it's s shame the article didn't really tell us what we want to know; what the towing range and economy figures are as a proper comparison.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I towed an 1800kg caravan with a Lexus RX400h hybrid for almost 8 years and never had a problem. The only comment that I would make is that one should not expect any benefit from the hybrid with respect to fuel consumption when towing. The benefits are really only there when driving solo in heavy city traffic with lots of stops and starts. Only there does one achieve quite phenominal fuel economy.
 

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