I frequently update the vehicle pages on my electric tow car list to reflect the latest/newest models available and their latest specifications. However, what that also means is if you are looking to purchase a used/second-hand electric tow car the specifications on towing capacity, range, charging speed etc from my electric tow car list may not be applicable. Therefore, I’ve created this page to show the easiest means to check the towing capabilities and range etc of used/second-hand electric cars.
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Real World EV Range & The EV-Database
As you are probably aware, giving a specific figure for the range of an electric car is extremely difficult. The average speed the vehicle is travelling, the wind speed and direction, the ambient temperature and whether the road is wet or dry all play their part.
Once you add towing into the mix that’s another variable that can significantly impact the real-world range. As I discuss in my Guides & FAQ page, when it comes to towing the aerodynamic drag of the trailer being towed can play more of a role in range reduction than the weight of the trailer.
You can find multiple different range projections for the same vehicle from different organisations, that includes the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) and the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure). However, both are overly optimistic when it comes to ‘real world’ situations.
Therefore, for my electric tow car articles, I reference the ‘Real Range’ figures provided by the EV-Database.uk. Its a range figure that factors in both cold and warm weather conditions to give a more realistic range estimate.
Well, the EV-Database also have an Archive of previous generation electric cars and you can also search for EVs with a towbar. Therefore, below I’ll show you how to use the EV-Database Archive to find specifications on used/second-hand electric cars.
How To Find Used/Second-Hand EV Specifications
If you click the screenshot image below you will go directly to the archive search page on the EV-Database. As you can see in the image below on the left under ‘More Options’ you can select Towbar. That will reduce the list of used/second-hand electric cars to those that can be fitted with a towbar.
As you can see from the screenshot above you can then further tailor your search for cars that were originally sold at a certain price bracket. However, you can also reduce this list to show electric tow cars with a specific range and rapid charging rate in mph. Both of these specifications are important when choosing an electric tow car that will best suit your needs.
How To Use The EV-Database Used/Second-Hand Archieve
As discussed above, with the search function on the second hand/used archive you can find a selection of electric cars which can have a tow bar fitted. However, you cannot currently search for a car with a specific towing capacity.
Though you can use my new electric tow car list to work out which second-hand models are likely to have the towing capacity you require. Then you can use the EV-Database archive to check out previous versions of that car to see how older versions stack up when it comes to range and charging speed etc.
You can then browse second-hand marketplaces such as Autotrader and eBay for second-hand vehicles. Check the model year of the vehicle against its listing on the EV-Database to understand what that vehicle’s capabilities were when as new.
EV Battery Degradation and Range Loss
When purchasing a second-hand/used EV, battery degradation and range loss are something you need to be aware of. With electric tow cars as the range when towing is typically half that of the vehicles normal range, range loss is an important consideration.
Some electric cars provide a battery health indicator on the dashboard. However, that’s not the case with all electric cars, and finding out the range loss of some electric cars may require more investigation.
First off, ask the seller about the range loss of the vehicle and if they have any evidence they can provide to demonstrate their claim. There are means to view the health of an EVs battery with an adapter plugged into the cars OBD port and with the help of a smartphone App which I may write an article on at some point.
Anyway, my main point being, the range figure provided for an EV in the EV-Database archive was for the vehicle when it was new and may not be representative of a second hand cars remaining range. Factors such as mileage, how often the car was rapid charged and the effectiveness of the battery thermal management system all play their part in battery degradation/range loss.