The very first test of three electric cars with caravans
Three experienced BEV testers. Three powerful BEVs with caravans behind them. Three days on tour in some of the most scenic parts of Norway.
Some people tend to have strong prejudices towards battery electric vehicles (BEV) and trailers/caravans. They seem to believe a BEV is not able to tow as heavy loads as diesel cars, that the electric motor is not strong enough, or that the range will be ruined. Our goal in this world-first test: To examine if these three BEVs can do the «camping job» in style. And what an experience it was. Attractions like Dalsnibba, Geiranger, Ørnevegen, Trollstigen and the Atlantic Ocean Road in Averøy. 1.381 kilometres in just three days. We recommend spending more time than we did during this test… It all started with a crazy idea. It was time to book a test of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQC 400, and the question arose: «Why not bring the Audi e-tron 55 quattro and Tesla Model X Long Range along as well, and do a grand camping trip»? The test team consisted of BEV pioneer and longstanding board member (Norwegian EV Association) Øyvind Lunde, our jack of all trades and part-time bus driver Magne Storebø and me – as a test manager. That was the easy part. Getting hold of caravans was a bit trickier. This test is mostly about how the three BEVs delivered as tractors, the relative difference in electric consumption versus normal driving and how charging infrastructure – or lack thereof – affects a trip like the one we did. We did not spend much time discussing trim levels and options on the different cars. This was basically towing. Watch video! We utilized adaptive cruise control to a large extent during the test, especially on the long country road stretches. On the narrow and winding roads of Western Norway, we drove without any speed keeping assistance, off course. Also, we did not utilize any Eco-driving programs, except the Audi, got to keep its «Efficiency» program as it lowers the car – and does not leave an egg under the throttle. The temperatures inside the car ranged between 17-20 degrees Celsius, depending on outside temperatures, and air conditioning available throughout the trip. In short: With modern BEVs, we believe one should treat oneself to the desired level of comfort, even when towing heavy stuff. To make the cars in the test close to 100 per cent comparable, the Audi should have had 20-inch wheels, just like the Tesla and the EQC. The only problem was: The car made available lacked a tow bar. We got hold of another e-tron on 21-inch wheels, which might have affected the range negatively. After finishing the test, we are still wondering what difference one inch less would have made, although the roll circumference of the wheels was similar.