Two of the things electric vehicles fare worst at is delivering good range in cold weather or when towing. One YouTuber and Rivian R1T Launch Edition owner decided to combine the two when he towed his Hummer H1 with temperatures around the freezing point.
Together, the trailer and H1 weighed around 10,000 pounds. Between that weight and the cold conditions, it's interesting to see just how big an impact this would have on the range.
Now as with all these range tests conducted without accurate measurements and no real scientific method behind them, the result this one yields should be taken with a grain of salt. However, it’s still an insightful exercise that tries to look into how far a Rivian R1T could go when towing this heavy a load in the cold.
Zack Nelson, the founder of the popular JerryRigEverything YouTube channel needed to get his Hummer H1 EV conversion project to a shop in order to solve an electrical issue. He decided to use his own R1T, which is rated to tow up to 11,000 pounds, for the job.
He towed the electrified H1 in freezing temperatures through the state of Utah and even though he didn’t do any exact calculations, he estimates that between the extra weight and the cold, his vehicle lost about two-thirds of its maximum range.
Nelson claims that in summer he got up to 280 miles out of a full charge, whereas towing 10,000 pounds in winter, he estimated that the truck would go no more than 110 miles. For reference, the EPA rates this R1T configuration for a range of 314 miles while Rivian officially states that when towing over 7,700 pounds, you can expect to see a range drop of over 50 percent.
These estimates are based on the trip computer or odometer, because the R1T’s range prediction was very glitchy and it couldn't be relied upon for this trip. At one point the vehicle's computer predicted the Rivian could do over 600 miles, which it clearly is not capable of under any conditions.
In another warmer weather towing test featuring an R1T, which saw it hooked up to a large Airstream trailer weighing over 7,000 pounds, the estimated range was around 140 miles. Towing 5,000 pounds in a Rivian R1S (EPA rated for 316 miles on one charge) resulted in range estimate of around 175.5 miles.