Holidays with electric car and caravan: test drive

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular. But can you go on vacation with an electric car and a caravan on the hook? ADAC has tried it.

  • Test drive with Kia EV6 and family caravan

  • Action is required for charging options

  • Electricity: About 80 percent more consumption

By caravan in the mountains or at sea: is it possible with an electric car? So far, the question has hardly been asked, because until recently only a few premium electric cars were even approved for a trailer load required to tow a caravan. However, in the meantime, more and more electric models are coming to market, also in the mid-range price range Trailer loads from 1500 to 1600 kg Towing is permitted, as shown in the overview of the ADAC model for electric cars with a trailer towbar.

But what does such a holiday trip look like in practice? There is enough charging options? Operates Payment in DIFFERENT countries; And what do you say about that additional consumption and Range outside? The ADAC testers tested it and tested it under conditions that were as realistic as possible. Medium class electric car, the Kia EV6, and an audience family caravan (Dethleffs Aero 470 FSK, 1600 kg) by road.

The route by electronic car: Almost 1300 km by caravan

The team covered almost 1,300 kilometers in three days © adac eV

The tour led the ADAC testers in three days through four countries: From the ADAC Technical Center in Landsberg am Lech over the Brenner Pass to the Mediterranean and back via the Tauern route.

  • The first day’s journey took 532 km from Landsberg over the Fern Pass, the Brenner Pass and through the Dolomites to Cavallino-Treporti in the northern Adriatic.

  • On the second day, it was 333 km along the Mediterranean to Trieste and then through Slovenia to Villach.

  • On the third day, there was still the return journey via the Tauern, Salzburg and Munich route to Landsberg, which, including the bypass, covered 416 km.

The electric car he turned out to be excellent trailer. With 239 kW and four-wheel drive, there was never any problem with the fully loaded caravan, the team could move slightly when passing or going up and down the mountain through serpentines. It is very pleasant and relaxing that all this is done without engine vibrations, jerks of change and almost silently. Electric drive can also be used when driving, parking and maneuvering dose very sensitive, The reversing camera was useful when loading the caravan frequently.

Charging stations: With total failures

The caravan often had to be unplugged for charging © ADAC / Test and Technology

Due to Kia’s higher power consumption (see below), there was a spare battery Stages about 180 to 200 km possible. In the first day no problem: On the way to the Mediterranean, only two charging stops were needed, which were used to buy vignettes, breakfast and lunch – so there was no significant loss of time through charging. The only downside was that the caravan had to be disconnected and parked separately to reload.

Charging processes or efforts second and third day However, it has clearly shown the disadvantages and still needs significant action if e-mobility when traveling – especially in caravans – is not only possible for people who like to experiment, but also for the general public. On the one hand immediate payment failed – ie charging without a charge card, also known as an ad hoc charge – in Slovenia, and led to the other two total failures from the fast charging parks almost to the exclusion of the group. The caravan even had to be left in one place to have enough autonomy at the next charging station.

For payment options, there are solutions known throughout Europe in the form Debit / credit card payment terminals ready, these should only be connected to the charging parks by the operators. But this important charging station for days out of order or just failing completely is not acceptable. Operators urgently need to develop a better understanding of reliability.

Other interesting topics

Billing procedures and different costs

Practical: The (charged) Kia also serves as a power source for the caravan © ADAC / Test and Technology

In total, in the tour of 1281 kilometers electricity 522 kWh loaded. This required a total of eight charging procedures, six of which took place en route, one night at the Cavallino-Treporti campsite and the last after returning to the ADAC. Charging was not possible at the HPC (“High Power Charging” = fast charging station) from Porsche in Ljubljana and Ionity in Eisentratten (Austria) as they had completely failed. The Court fees for loading procedures amount to in total at 233 euros, which corresponds to 18.18 euros per 100 kilometers traveled. The cost of travel was therefore comparable to a diesel trailer.

The range of charge costs is impressive from free to quite expensive (79 cents / kWh). In the fast charger in Kozina (Slovenia), the charge was not based on kilowatt hours but on the charging time (0.43 € / minute). Due to the good fast charging technology, the Kia EV6 only took 19 minutes for 48.5 kWh, which results in a price of 16 cents per kilowatt hour.

The toll booth for roads and tunnels amounted to 76 euros – there are no advantages for electronic cars with tolls in the countries visited.

About 80 percent more caravan consumption

Electronic car with trailer: Another unusual sight in the campsites © ADAC / Test and Technology

Of course, a caravan that is towed in an electric car means more consumption and therefore less autonomy. From average consumption at 1281 km was included 36.6 kWh / 100 km on the embedded computer. Compared to the usual 20 kWh / 100 km, this means an additional consumption of the caravan of 83 percent. The potential range fell from almost 400 km to 220 km respectively. The load losses 11.3 percent does not affect the range, but it should be paid and should not be forgotten. Therefore, the actual energy consumption including charge losses was 40.7 kWh / 100 km.

The driving speed selected in the same way as an internal combustion engine as a trailer. In the Autobahn, swimming with the movement of trucks proved to be the ideal and most efficient cruising speed. slower trucks were overtaken.

The Medium speed for the net driving time on the first day it was 62 km / h due to many country roads and the speed limit of 80 km / h for the side roads in Austria and Italy. As 100 km / h is allowed in Slovenia and only a few country roads were driven, the average speed was 70 km / h. The third day involved only driving on the motorway, half in Germany at a permitted speed of 100 km / h for side trolleys. That is why the average speed on the third day was the highest at 76 km / h.

Table: This was the additional consumption with the caravans

Distance in km

Average speed (km / h)

Consumption (kWh / 100 km)

Consumption difference compared to normal consumption (20 kWh / 100 km / h)

1 day

532

62.0

33.9

70%

2 days

333

70.4

40.2

101%

3rd day

416

76.3

37.1

86%

In total

1281

68.8

36.6

83%

Conclusion: Charging infrastructure still needs action

The electric car left nothing to be desired as a caravan tow truck. With all-wheel drive and a maximum power of 239 kW, the combination was light and powerful at all times, despite the maximum load. When driving, parking and maneuvering, electric propulsion can also be metered very sensitively and the reversing camera was useful when pairing the caravan.

83 percent more consumption due to the caravan and the resulting reduced range remained within the usual range.

As much as possible Range with caravan displayed just below over 200 kilometers At first glance, it may seem quite low, but it still allows for a driving time of between two and three hours before a charging break becomes necessary. When reloaded, the Kia shows its great power and is already charging from 10 to 80 percent after 20 minutes. In addition to autonomy and efficiency, a good fast charging function is vital for an electric car when traveling.

Wall boxes in test: comparison of twelve charging stations for home use

However, the route looked great need for actionwhat the reliability and coverage travel routes with suitable fast charging stations (HPC). A breakdown could simply be avoided. The a waste of time Bypasses, authentication problems, and defective charging stations on the second and third day were significant and would not be acceptable on a vacation trip. Charging stations should be as reliable as petrol pumps and the payment process should be just as easy and transparent on the spot using common credit / debit cards.

In addition, the trip took place out of season, so the situation at the charging stations and rest areas was still very relaxed. In the peak travel period you have to take into account the fact that there is little space available for maneuvering and parking of the caravan and the charging stations are used more or even overcrowded.

Video: Road trip by electric car and caravan

What did the ADAC testers face? You can watch the full version of the above video on the ADAC YouTube channel:

Clicking on the preview image with the play button will take you to the YouTube site. The respective site operator is responsible for the content and processing of their data. ∙ Image: © ADAC Test und Technik / Matthias Zimmermann

Technical advice: Matthias Vogt and Matthias Zimmermann, ADAC Technik Zentrum

Leave a Comment