Tesla Model X Tows Big Trailer – Video

SEP 28 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 42

Tesla Model X Towing

Tesla Model X Towing

According to Tesla Motors, with the optional $750 tow package, the Model X can tow up to 5,000 pounds.  That’s less than the “close to 10,000 pounds,” as previosuly claimed by Tesla’s VP of Regulatory Affairs, Jim Chen, but it’s still a decent figure.

But can the Model X perform well while pulling a sizable load?

In this video, the Model X is towing a decent size trailer.  We suspect that its weight is close to the max 5,000-pound rating of the Model X, yet the electric car seems to take off without struggle.

The real question is what impact towing will have on range.  We’re certain the impact will be significant, perhaps reducing range by half, but with an EPA-rated range of 250 or 257 miles (depending on version), the Model X, even while towing a full load, will still have more range than all the sub 100-mile electric cars out there today.

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42 Comments on "Tesla Model X Tows Big Trailer – Video"

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good video,cool little deflector in the back!

A trailer like this at highway speed — you might be lucky to get 100 miles. Aero is probably more important than weight. A set up like this might work for a cross town move. But city to city or state to state? …. I’m not sure that would work out. … and then there’s all the heat issues. I’m very curious to see actual results here. …maybe Tesla should market their own little “Model X aero trailer”

Who knows how much weight is in that trailer? For all we know, it’s empty and doesn’t weigh much. Now, I would guess that it probably does have a load, because towing an empty trailer isn’t a very good test of towing ability, and presumably that’s a road test we’re seeing in the video. But without knowing how heavily or lightly the trailer is loaded, that doesn’t provide us with much info.

As carcus said or implied, with a trailer that big the wind resistance is going to cut into EV range quite a bit, if the Model X towing it is driven at highway speed. Yes, the Model X can handle a load when towing. But no, you can’t ignore physics and how the increased wind resistance is going to take more energy per mile.

plus, no one would buy a tesla who tows trailers all the time. it is nice to have when you need it though and I bet you could get 150 miles at 55 mph….

There’s no anti-sway bar and no weight-distributing hitch, so the trailer is probably less than 50% of the weight of the vehicle (over 50% and you should have weight distribution).

So my guess is the trailer is under 2600 lbs.

I kept looking at the dash of the person taking the video. I think it is a Prius. But what do they have on the dash?

It is a Prius 2004-2009.

So can a Model X tow another Model X?

The weight’s going to be close. But would you really want to put up with all those “dos equis” jokes?

I don’t always tow with my electric car. But when I do, I tow another electric car! 😉

… stay electric, my friends.

This discussion thread indicates neither the Model S nor X should be towed, but rather hauled on a flatbed truck. I don’t know why.

http://my.teslamotors.com/it_CH/forum/forums/can-i-pull-it-behind-my-rv

Because the regen that is generated by the wheels

Obviously, that story about the Russian towing his Model S behind a large truck for the very purpose of using the strong regen to get some extra range, is not thd recommended norm, and towing it without a driver in it, behind a Gas or Diesel powered Motorhome, besides being a big conflict, could possibly overcharge the battery or cause other problems if not monitoring the charge.

If they had a clutch, and a true ‘Neutral’ setting they could be towed OK, but being always connected to the motor, it is not likely the advice/policy to not tow it will change.

Brilliant idea, Anthony! Connect multiple Model X vehicles together, like locomotives in multiple-unit (MU) operation, for heavy loads. Drive from the front unit and the others operate as slaves, enabled by autopilot capability.

Not very practical, but amusing nonetheless.

Supercharges about 125 miles apart so towing like this seems doable. So at 125 miles that is about 2 hrs per leg. Stretching legs, switching drivers, bathroom breaks, getting snacks on midmoring & midafternoon stops, and lunch. Obviously the 1 hr recharge time elongates the trip (80% in 40 min).

Via: http://supercharge.info/

Sure, it should be doable on any route with Superchargers, especially if you reduce your highway speed when towing. Many States have laws requiring lower highway speed if you’re towing a trailer, so if you actually obey the traffic laws, it may not be that much of a hit to range.

But great though the Supercharger network may bit, it doesn’t go everywhere, and it never will.

Backing up a Model X with an attached trailer into a Supercharger spot would be impossible. You would need an extension cable, but it appears nobody makes one, not even Quick Charge Power. Perhaps they will come out with a JLong extension cable for Supercharging, but I don’t know if Tesla would allow it or if Tesla could detect and remotely prohibit the Supercharger from giving a charge with such a setup.

Without an extension cable option it looks like you’d have to unhook the trailer, Supercharge, then hook up the trailer. This would add some time and work to each Supercharging stop.

http://insideevs.com/review-quick-charge-power-jlong/

The trip would be even smoother if that trailer was hiding and hauling an extra 3,000 lbs. of 200 kWhs of batteries.

Model X plus Trailer will not fit in a supercharger stall. Driver will have to park elsewhere, disconnect trailer, drive back to supercharger, charge, drive back to trailer location (hopefully still there), reconnect and hit the road.

Painful.

Yeah.

Frankly it will not fit in most charging spots regardless of the type. At least with AC charging an extension cord can be used.

An easy fix would be an “extension cord” charging cable which is compatible with the Supercharger system, so the Model X driver could pull into a Supercharger stall head-in instead of backing in. If Tesla doesn’t make such an extension cord available, perhaps some aftermarket vendor will.

Not really, the car plus trailer would be blocking the traffic lane in the parking lot.

Depends on the physical layout of the Supercharger station. Should be no problem at all at this station:

Looks like you’d be blocking the traffic lane in the parking lot to me.

You basically need pull through charger stations to accommodate trailers. Does Tesla have any of those?

Yes, sample is a pull through design as shown in Rocklin, CA but these types are certainly more rare.

Right. This very point has been discussed heavily on the Tesla Motors Club forum, and while there are places with pull-through Supercharger stalls, most Stations don’t have any.

carcus said:

“Looks like you’d be blocking the traffic lane in the parking lot to me.”

What “traffic lane”? The entire parking lot is a traffic lane! That’s my point: Traffic in that location — and lots of other Supercharger locations — isn’t restricted to a single lane, so there’s plenty of room to maneuver around a trailer.

Here’s another shot of the same location:

You don’t believe me? … Then google map up “Tejon Ranch Yogurt Land”, now go to satellite view and look at the supercharger location. You stick 20 ‘ plus of trailer out past the supercharger solar canopy and nobody’s getting in or out of that exit.

Are you picking’ up what I’m putting’ down here bro’?

carcus said:

“You don’t believe me?”

It’s a pretty silly argument, carcus. Yes, in the overhead satellite view on Google Maps for “Tesla Tejon Ranch Supercharger” you can see there is an “island” in the parking lot which would make it difficult for anyone to pull straight in to one of the middle supercharger stalls when pulling a long trailer. The easy way to use it would be to pull into the left-most stall, or one of the stalls near the right end, which — as you can very clearly see in the second photo I posted — has plenty of room for a Model X pulling even a rather long trailer.

Frankly, carcus, your comments read like you have no experience with driving while pulling a trailer. You’d have to be very determined indeed to manage to block traffic in that location by pulling into a stall. In fact, you’d probably have to back in and out several times to straighten up the angle of the trailer sufficiently to block traffic.

Now: There are many interesting subjects relating to the Model X and EVs in general, which are worthy of discussion. This isn’t one of them.

I would say your lack of “trailer experience” (I’ve got plenty) or just plain lack of common sense is shining through. If the trailer isn’t straight, how do you think someone is going to get in and out of the adjoining charge stall?

I’m sure you’re anxious to move on to the next subject. But consider this, if Tesla markets the X as a fully capable trailer towing SUV, how do you think unsuspecting trailer towing X buyers will react when they find their range has got the sh*t kicked out of it AND they can’t find a place to charge?

Doh! I didn’t scroll down before commenting on the same subject one post above. :-/

That trailer contains a Model 3.

But you caaaaaaaan’t see it!

Clearly, it is full of Grey Poupon.

Ha! Excellent idea! They can move the Model 3 to test areas while people think they are just testing the Model X!

It would be interesting if the X comes with 2 charging cords: one like that which comes with the S, and a long extention supercharger cord specifically for trailering, standard with the Signature models, but the extra cord optional for standard models coming. Maybe part of the Towing package.

Another idea, maybe they could make a Blog post that charts a series of trailer types and load conditions with resulting range at specified speeds and road routes.

Second, maybe the are still verifying the nearly 10,000 lbs capacity, but decided to get the vehicle out with specs set at 5,000 lbs.

So, GVWR of that trailer is most likely WAY over 5,000 lbs. sure it’s probably not loaded up that far, but it’s interesting that they’re testing it that way. Perhaps it’s overloaded for a stress test type activity.

If that is the case they shouldn’t do that on a public road. Wonder what the safety requirements really are on test vehicle use on public roads.

Instead of a trailer, it should have been a big boat… It would be fitting for a Model X owner.

Three words:

Battery Swap Stations

Another three words:

Not commercially viable.

Bunch of words: Maybe in the future when every car is electric.