The Caravan and Motorhome Club’s 'Little Green Tour' - An electric roadtrip to put EV towcars through their paces
Above: Pictured - Andrew Ditton
Above: Pictured - Mark Sutcliffe
9 August 2021 Trans-pennine route from Lancashire to Yorkshire will establish electric and hybrid vehicles’ towing performance in real-world conditions
The Caravan and Motorhome Club is supporting motoring journalist and EV (electric vehicle) enthusiast, Mark Sutcliffe, on a roadtrip across the Pennines which will establish the towing credentials of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in ‘real-world’ driving conditions.
Amid soaring caravan sales as millions of Brits again opt for a staycation this summer, two cars and caravans, towed by electric vehicles, will head from Lancashire to Yorkshire to evaluate the practicalities of towing with EVs.
The experienced caravanners and technical experts will gather data and measure the impact on the EVs’ range while towing and calculate the logistics of recharging on the open road and while on campsites.
The drivers are regular Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year judges Mark Sutcliffe and Andrew Ditton, who will be driving a Tesla Model 3 and Volvo XC40 Recharge plug-in hybrid T5 FWD respectively. Mark will tow a lightweight Bailey Discovery D4-2 behind his Tesla, while Andrew will tow a Bailey Phoenix 440+ behind the Volvo.
Monday 16 August, the road trip will start from the Club’s Burrs Country Park campsite in Bury, Lancs. The ‘Little Green Tour’ will cover some 135 miles across three days, stopping off at Beechwood Grange campsite in York before heading out to the coast and the brand new Club resort at Cayton Village near Scarborough.
All Caravan and Motorhome Club Pitches are supplied with a 13-amp power supply, making it feasible to top up electric vehicle batteries while the caravans are pitched up on site. The new site at Cayton Village also features additional fast chargers allowing guests arriving in EVs to recharge their vehicles more quickly.
The test run will evaluate rates of energy consumption with and without a caravan hitched up and calculate real world electric ranges under towing conditions. It will also gather data on recharge speeds using site electricity supplies and assess the practicalities of recharging en route at motorway service area fast chargers.
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. In September, the Club will reveal the findings of this evaluation exercise along with results of its annual Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year competition – which this year attracted a record entry of alternatively fuelled vehicles.”