Welcome to the next episode of “Tike Ike” with the Volkswagen ID.4.
While we have the OG Ike Gauntlet to test trucks to their absolute limits up the “World’s Toughest Towing Test”, these episodes of Tike Ike mean to test more everyday crossovers that folks tend to also use in all-around real-world situations. On paper, the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 is a solid all-around crossover. This First Edition has a single-motor, rear-wheel drive layout (all-wheel drive “Pro” versions are on the way). At 250 miles, range is respectable for a decent road trip, and a growing network of Electrify America charging stations provides infrastructure to make that happen. But how is the car’s range affected when you hook on a 1,700 pound trailer? That’s what Andre is here to find out in this episode.
It’s not the first time we’ve tried towing with EVs. The last major attempt with a Tesla Model X…well, it didn’t quite end as we were hoping. Just like with gasoline or diesel-powered towing rigs, your range tends to suffer by a huge margin once you start pulling a decent amount of weight. This ID.4, for its part, can tow up to 2,200 pounds, so long as the trailer you’re pulling has brakes. If you pull an unbraked trailer, that drops to 1,500 pounds or so. Unladen, the car might manage 250 miles or more on a charge, but what about when you have a trailer up a steep incline to 11,158 feet above sea level?
Some EV towing strengths
Fortunately, elevation and the resulting power loss won’t be an issue with electric cars. Starting off from our base in Boulder, CO — about 75 miles from the top of the Ike Gauntlet — the car’s trip computer says that it can manage 305 miles with a full charge. So, even with the massive range hit, it can still likely make it to the downhill stretch of the test. However, can it make it back over the hill and back into the Denver area, where it can charge up again?
It’s definitely a nail-biter, though you may be surprised with how the ID.4 actually did. Check out the full test below!