The “towing credentials of pure electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids” are being tested on a road trip across the Pennines.

The trial – supported by the Caravan and Motorhome Club – is being conducted by Mark Sutcliffe and Andrew Ditton as they try the vehicles in ‘real-world’ conditions.

The test sees two caravans journey from Lancashire to Yorkshire, towed by electric vehicles.

Car towing caravan while father and son stand nearby

Mark Sutcliffe is driving the Tesla Model 3 and towing a Bailey Discovery D4-2

Data will then be used to assess what impact towing has on the EVs’ range. They will also look at the practicalities of stopping to charge while on the road and at the campsites.

Mark and Andrew are driving a Tesla Model 3 and Volvo XC40 Recharge plug-in hybrid T5 FWD respectively. In turn, Mark is towing a lightweight Bailey Discovery D4-2, while Andrew is towing a Bailey Phoenix 440+.

The tour started yesterday (16th August) from the Club’s Burrs Country Park campsite in Lancashire. Over the three trip, stop offs include Beechwood Grange campsite in York, and Cayton Village near Scarborough.

Man smiling from drivers seat of a towcar

Andrew Ditton is driving Volvo XC40 Recharge plug-in hybrid T5 FWD and towing a a Bailey Phoenix 440+

The purpose of the test is to judge the rate of “energy consumption with and without a caravan hitched, while calculating the real world electric ranges under towing conditions”. 

Data will be procured to see how long it takes to recharge from campsite electricity supplies. They will also assess how easy to it is to recharge at motorway service area fast chargers while on the road.

Caravan and Motorhome Club Director General, Nick Lomas, said, “We have been receiving an increasing number of enquiries about the technicalities and practicalities of towing with hybrid and electric vehicles. Plug-in hybrids are already proving themselves as an excellent alternative to diesel – which has been the preferred powertrain for caravanners for the last two decades.”

“Pure battery towcars remain something of a novelty among caravanners, but with the Government signalling an end to the sales of new internal combustion engine cars by 2030, it’s clear we will need to understand how to adapt to this new technology over the next few years.”

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