The $163B electric vehicle market is taking the US automobile industry by storm.
Everywhere you look, electric vehicles are being used by consumers. You may not recognize some of these electric vehicles due to their traditional styling. However, towing companies need to be able to handle all types of vehicles regardless of their engine components.
Can you tell an electric car if it breaks down? With some basic tow truck training, the answer is yes.
There are some unique procedural aspects to towing an electric vehicle. Whether it’s a flat tire, a battery problem, or a faulty brake, tow truck operators need to know how to tow these promising vehicles.
In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about how to use an electric car tow dolly to bring these vehicles back to the shop.
Basic Tow Truck Training for Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles often need to be towed in a roadside assistance situation just like their gas motor counterparts. Whether the battery is dead, the tire has a puncture, or they simply run out of charge, tow truck operators need to have a simple solution for bringing these newer vehicles back to the shop and off the road.
It’s important to understand that you can’t simply drag your electric vehicle down the road like you can a typical car. This is because not every electric vehicle has a neutral mode. Of note, some vehicles like the Nissan Leaf do have neutral and can be towed normally.
However, many electric vehicles do not have this neutral mode, so dragging the car down the road will engage the motor and unfortunately damage the drivetrain.
This means that electric vehicle tow truck operators need to have a plan B. Read more about training for EV towers here.
They will need an additional specialized towing set up to load an electric vehicle onto a trailer.
One special consideration is that certain models of electric vehicles have a transport mode. This may sound like a dedicated mode to help electric vehicle enthusiasts in the event of a roadside problem. However, it is not safe to use this option for longer distances.
You can use the special transport mode only when loading the vehicle onto a flatbed. However, it is not suitable for longer journeys along the highway at higher speeds often used by tow truck operators.
The Most Common Solution
Ultimately, all electric vehicle manufacturers recommend towing an electric car using a flatbed truck. If you have a dedicated flat trailer, this will not engage the engine as the car is effectively sitting in park.
This helps to avoid catastrophic damage to the engine and ultimately prevents ruining your car.
You can load an electric vehicle onto a flatbed tow truck using special tow chains or a winch cable. There are special locations on the front of the electric vehicle allowing for the attachment of these devices.
It’s possible that your electric car has a tow eye, but if it does not you need to look at your vehicle manual to determine where to place the tow chains safely onto the car.
Why Can’t You Tow an Electric Car Normally?
As you now know, you can’t tow an electric car the same way that you would a gas-powered vehicle. Unless the electric vehicle has a neutral mode, you will need to tow the vehicle using a flatbed trailer. This will help to avoid damage to the drive train or worse situations resulting from activating the motor during transfer.
Basic tow truck training should provide all of the necessary information you need to know about how to bring modern electric vehicles in from off the road.
If you are interested in learning more about towing electric cars, please check out the other articles on our blog!
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