Electric vehicles have evolved massively over the last two decades. They’re nearly silent in operation, offer great comfort, require low maintenance and more than often cost much less to drive compared to an equivalent combustion vehicle–especially when charging at home overnight.

One thing that’s yet to happen in the EV world, however, is figuring out a way to outmatch gas or diesel trucks when it comes to hauling big loads. The video embedded at the top of this page, shot and published by our friends at The Fast Lane Truck on YouTube, is proof that things can be improved on this front. 

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Towing is not an EV's forte

Towing has long been the nemesis of electric vehicles, especially if we're talking about big, heavy trailers. Even though EVs are more energy efficient compared to gas- or diesel-powered competitors, manufacturers still have to strike a delicate balancing act that's always dependent on the battery. Put a bigger pack and you get a longer driving range but also a heavier vehicle and a lackluster charging experience because of the prolonged time needed to recharge the battery.

The two vehicles that were put to the test were the highly controversial Tesla Cybertruck in all-wheel drive Foundation Series trim and the Ram 2500 powered by a Cummins diesel engine.

The AWD Cybertruck has two electric motors that make a combined 600 horsepower and roughly 1,000 pound-feet of torque, according to Car and Driver. Tesla claims a wheel torque of 7,435 lb-ft and says the dual-motor electric pickup can tow up to 11,000 lbs and can travel up to 340 miles on a full charge.

Meanwhile, the diesel-powered Ram 2500 is set in motion by a 6.7-liter straight-six engine that makes just 370 hp but makes up with a healthy torque rating of 850 lb-ft, allowing for a maximum trailer weight of almost 20,000 lbs.

Both trucks were towing identical ATC PLA 700 trailers. Each is 28 feet long and weighs about 8,000 lbs while the tongue weight is approximately 1,100 lbs.

After setting off for the test, the Cybertruck had an estimated range of 318 miles with a full battery. However, things started to go south pretty quickly. First, the driver said that with cruise control set to 70 miles per hour, he felt the trailer was pushing the truck around a bit and that he didn’t feel too comfortable. 

Gallery: 2024 Tesla Cybertruck Review

The biggest problem with Tesla’s electric pickup, though, is that it didn’t adjust the estimated range to take the massive energy consumption into account. The state of charge indicator was going down normally and the estimated SoC at the Supercharger that was put into the navigation system was close to reality, but the number of remaining miles was too optimistic, even as the test was reaching the end.

After 85 miles of towing, the Cybertruck was showing just 6% SoC left after munching through 107 kWh of energy. That means an average energy consumption of 1,252 Wh/mile or 0.8 miles/kWh.

The EV was hooked up to a Tesla Supercharger at a Buc-ee's, while the Ram pulled into a gas station to fill up with diesel.

At the end of it all, the Ram needed 8.7 gallons of diesel for almost $26. It averaged about 9.7 mpg.

Tesla Cybertruck AWD vs. Ram 2500 Cummins energy and fuel consumption figures (Source: The Fast Lane Truck)

Meanwhile, the Cybertruck needed 107 kWh of energy to get to 100% for $0.35/kWh at that particular Supercharger. That means “filling up” the EV the same way as the diesel truck would cost $37.45 and it would take over an hour, according to the car’s screen.

That’s not great, whichever way you look at it, and the Cybertruck driver even said that he wouldn’t use Tesla’s pickup truck for any kind of long-distance towing because it’s just not up to the job.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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