One of the major factors in most customers’ hesitancy of buying an electric SUV is whether or not it can handle their active lifestyle. Many SUV customers use their vehicles for towing stuff, be it a trailer, a caravan or, most commonly, a boat. Many small boat owners don’t pay to dock their boats year-round, so they keep their boat and trailer it to the water when the need it. So can the Audi e-tron oblige such needs?
According to Audi USA, the e-tron SUV is rated for a towing capacity of 4,000 lbs. That’s enough to handle the average Ski Boat or Fishing Boat. The former are extremely popular for fun water sports, especially in areas of the United States that feature great big lakes. The average Ski Boat weighs anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000 lbs, so depending on which boat you have, it’s likely the Audi e-tron can tow it.
As for a Fishing Boat, they’re usually quite small and tend to weigh in at less than 2,500 lbs. While some can obviously weigh more, it’s likely that the Audi e-tron can tow any sort of Fishing Boat that you have.
To be honest, it’s really not a question of whether or not the Audi e-tron can tow a boat but for how long.
Being an electric car, it’s actually quite capable of towing. Electric motors are extremely durable and have immense amounts of low-end torque. However, batteries struggle during towing extra weight, thus drastically reducing overall range. So we know the e-tron can tow 4,000 lbs, quite capably, but how far can it go with said 4,000 boat?
Well, Audi actually tested this just after the launch of the e-tron. The Germans stuffed a GM EV1, one of the original electric production cars, into a trailer and attached the trailer to the Audi e-tron. The electric SUV then drove 504 miles with the trailer attached, through heavy rain and poor visibility, to see how it would fare.
During its tie towing, it average 769 watt-hours per mile of energy consumption. After some maths, Audi learned that the e-tron averaged around 105 miles per full battery charge with the trailer attached. So with a 3,000-4,000 lb boat, you can expect to see a minimum of around 100 miles of range.
That’s not a ton, and it’s not going to make long-distance fishing trips easy, but it’s certainly enough to take your boat from your house to your local fishing spot and back. If your fishing spot has a charge point, that’s even better, as you can charge up while you’re on the water.
So the long and short of it is that the Audi e-tron can manage to tow a decent sized boat but it’s not going to be able to do it for long without having to charge. Still, if proves that the e-tron can function as your everyday SUV, even if you need to tow a boat or trailer, so long as you’re not towing a monster boat or trailer and you’re not doing it for more than 100 miles at a time.