Kona towing article
Posted: Wed, 25 Mar 2020, 10:09
My article on towing with the Kona is here: https://thedriven.io/2020/03/25/tow-sto ... tric-kona/
The forums of The Australian Electric Vehicle Association
In part, but not entirely. I believe they did talk to the head office and head office does have concerns, albeit not clearly expressed when third hand. I am only trying to infer what might really be Hyundai's thinking through the imperfect medium of their local representatives, about whom I have no complaints.
in the RVCS listing for Kona Electric HMCA have given the Kona a 0kg tow rating interestingly..Peter C in Canberra wrote: ↑Tue, 05 May 2020, 17:00 I posted the following addendum to the article, just as a comment, then it disappeared. Not sure what happened.
Subsequent to the above article, our Kona had a problem and I took it to the dealer’s service department for investigation. In the end the problem could not be replicated and seems to have gone away, perhaps with a software update. The Hyundai dealer told me various things about Hyundai’s views on towing, I thought that these would be a useful addendum to my article.
The dealer noted the additional wiring associated with the tow bar installation and I got a fairly stern talking to. They said they had phoned the head office about it. Their key point, which was a reasonable one, was that if the problem with my vehicle turned out to be due to something done by the tow bar installer, then that would not be covered under the Hyundai warranty. Fair enough. I asked them to document things well so that I could make a claim against the tow bar installer if it turned out they had damaged something.
The dealer went on to tell me it was “illegal” to tow with this car. I pointed out that the owners’ manual only states that Hyundai “does not recommend towing”, that Hyundai did not say ‘must not’ and that Hyundai had not given it a zero kilogram tow rating. I noted that regulations in each state specify default towing limits that apply in the absence of a manufacturer’s specification. The dealer did not dispute these points and did not mention illegality again.
They also told me the trailer’s brake controller could mess with the car’s regenerative braking. They were not very specific. The controller I bought is adjustable and the mechanic said it was the same as Hyundai would supply rebadged for the petrol version. It detects deceleration and applies a proportional signal to the trailer brakes. It is not connected to the car’s braking system and can’t distinguish between deceleration due to regeneration or the mechanical brakes. The idea is that you adjust the controller so that it does just the right amount of braking for your trailer - not so much that it locks up the trailer wheels trying to stop both the car and trailer but not so little as to be ineffectual. It seemed that Hyundai’s concern might simply be that range would be reduced because one would not recover all the energy that went into accelerating the car and trailer combination. If so, this seemed to be excessive caution around ‘idiot-proofing’. Of course range will be reduced! When I said that I understood that towing a trailer would reduce range, they dropped this point as well.
They then told me another concern was to do with the “instant torque” of EVs. They were again not very specific and it was not clear what they thought might get broken or bent. I said that I thought the electric Kona had the same chassis as the petrol version. They confirmed that it did but reiterated that instant torque was a problem compared to ICE vehicles that “wind-up more gradually”. I suspect that again this might be a matter of the EV being perhaps less ‘idiot-proof’. I said that I understood that one should drive gently and not try to accelerate hard with a trailer - in any car. I recognise that it is conceivable that someone might attach an overloaded trailer to the electric Kona and then slam their right foot to the floor while facing up a hill and maybe that would damage something. Similarly one could rev the manual transmission petrol Kona up to or beyond the red line then suddenly drop the clutch. Obviously attempting to drag race either version with a trailer would constitute abuse!
One objection the dealer didn’t mention was the matter I addressed in my article, weight distribution and axle weight limits. I found this surprising, especially as a contributor to an on-line Hyundai forum wrote: “I have spoken to a Hyundai engineer about this in Sydney. 2 issues arise. It's the weight distribution (The Kona electric is biased to the back which is understandable due to the battery weight) and the bigger issue for Hyundai is the reduced range. They did confirm there was considerable interest to get the car homologated for towing though. It may still happen.”
In summary, I remain unconvinced that any of this grab bag of objections amounts to more than anxiety about towing with the electric Kona being perhaps less ‘idiot-proof’ than towing with the petrol version and anxiety about the risk of receiving poor publicity if someone gets upset about getting less range while towing.
I strongly suspect that this is just what the software puts in by default until some other number is entered in that field. So far as I know, there is no manufacturer's rating, neither zero nor any higher number. The legislation says the towing limit is whichever is lower of a number worked out by a default formula or the manufacturer's specification.reecho wrote: ↑Thu, 07 May 2020, 14:13 in the RVCS listing for Kona Electric HMCA have given the Kona a 0kg tow rating interestingly..
https://rvcs.infrastructure.gov.au/perl ... 103114.cmd
Since making the comment above, I found instructions to manufacturers to insert a zero in that field if they don't recommend towing. Hyundai's manual says "Hyundai does not recommend towing with this vehicle" with nothing further on the topic. The North American manual has the same wording but also includes a section of generic advice about towing. It seems the vehicle is not actively rated or specified at zero. Rather the zero appears as a passive default imposed bureaucratically.Peter C in Canberra wrote: ↑Thu, 07 May 2020, 14:33I strongly suspect that this is just what the software puts in by default until some other number is entered in that field. So far as I know, there is no manufacturer's rating, neither zero nor any higher number. The legislation says the towing limit is whichever is lower of a number worked out by a default formula or the manufacturer's specification.reecho wrote: ↑Thu, 07 May 2020, 14:13 in the RVCS listing for Kona Electric HMCA have given the Kona a 0kg tow rating interestingly..
https://rvcs.infrastructure.gov.au/perl ... 103114.cmd