Tesla Model X Tows Boat Up A Mountain – Video

4 months ago by Steven Loveday 30

Bjørn Nyland shows us exactly what it’s like to tow a boat up a mountain with a Tesla Model X, overtaking “fricking fossils” and all.

This is a hilarious video, due to the constant commentary by Mr. Nyland.

Being that he’s driving for quite some time in the spot, he feels the need to break the silence, and he’s definitely on a roll with his comical rambling. Let’s count the number of times he says “Sheeeeit.”

Tesla Model X

Bjørn Nyland’s Tesla Model X, “Optimus Prime,” towing a boat up a mountain in Norway.

The drive gets steep quickly, and the road is filled with tight, hairpin turns. He’s pulling 5,000 pounds (the Model X’s maximum payload) up to an elevation of about 2,000 feet. We’ve seen Bjørn do this before, but not with this much weight, and this time the scenery is outstanding. So nice, in fact, that he says he’s going to Tweet some pictures out to Elon.

The fan comes on at times, but doesn’t stay on long, and he’s not able to max out any power limits. Though the Model X can’t tow as much weight as some competing SUVs, the electric powertrain is definitely an advantage for towing. Watching him pass with ease, uphill and with maxed weight, is a sight to see.

Video Description via Bjørn Nyland on YouTube:

A rambling video of me towing a big boat up Hemsedal mountains. It was 600 m/2000 ft elevation. I was not able to provoke any power limits. Yes, I have a crack on my window. Insurance will cover 100 % of the cost.

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30 responses to "Tesla Model X Tows Boat Up A Mountain – Video"

  1. JK says:

    Well done, hope he find some water up there..
    The reason for 80-90% of Norwegian need a trailer hook on their EV-car is to 1 time a year going to the wast dump, and 1 time a year going to IKEA.
    Need only be able to pull 500-1000 kg
    Hopefully model 3 have a trailer hook so I can get sell my second car….

    1. CLIVE says:

      Just rent something twice a year and sell that Old Ox ‼️

      Bjorn is hilarious 🤣

    2. Elon did say the Model 3 would be able to Tow, but we have no hint or clue on its Tow Rating!

      1. CLIVE says:

        I bet it will require dual motor

        1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

          Dual motor/AWD is the only upgrade i’m going to add.
          All the other stuff is just flufffff…..

          1. Well, I figured adding the largest Battery would be also included – for the extra Range and Autonomy between Superchargers, and even between Level 2 Chargers, and the Winterization Package – for Canada, since I like heading North!

            For Big Boat Towing, maybe it is time to invent a Boat Trailer that is Self Propelled, or offers ‘Load Assist’ and communicates with the cars OBD2 Port via a Special Com Link connection, so it maintains a Steady 1,000 Lb or 3,000 Lb Load on the Car (That can be dialed in by selection), and via the added Battery and Motor Drive, Lowers the Trailer Center of Gravity at the same time!

  2. F150 Brian says:

    In this extra duty test, it looks like he used 80km of range to drive 39km.

    I don’t know much about the Tesla guess-o-meter but I assume it was already compensating for towing before the uphill run started.

    So maybe it used 3-4 times (definitely > 2 times) the energy for this test per km than average driving. Doing the same in an gas ICE would probably see a similar degradation; a diesel would likely not see that much range reduction over normal driving. Watch the Ike-Gauntlet videos to see how much better diesel does towing up a grade.

    In short, I’ll draw two conclusions:

    1) The Tesla Model X probably still used less energy than an ICE would for this test
    2) More evidence that doing anything other than short/light towing is not going to work well with BEVs, which makes this an interesting but pointless test

    1. F150 Brian says:

      I’m sorry, I made a mistake. He traveled only 13.6 km, which makes this a total fail in terms of being a practical tow vehicle.

      1. F150 Brian says:

        …and he averaged <60km/h (40mph) and used 1.2KWh per km.

        That is eye opening.

        1. 2013VOLT says:

          Agreed, as someone who owns a 5,000 pound camper that is shaped like a brick and regularly take 3-500 mile one way trips this vehicle would be useless to me. My current truck easily tows that load and gives me 300 miles range.

          1. randomhuman says:

            Yea because the gas tank is very big. These trucks suck up a ton of gasoline. I mean he is driving his Model X up on a mountain. Of course it uses a lot of energy. Still only 75km of range with that configuration is not really useful when you tow something big. Just rent a big truck for that event and use an electric car for everything else. Nobody needs a gas guzzling vehicle in the garage.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              2,000ft is a mountain?

              LOL. That is just a hill in the Sierra Nevad or Rockies…

              1. 2,000 Feet, just a steep 2.5 – 5 Mile Climb up some Places in B.C., as well!

                On Easy roads, out Family Farm is 1,000 Feet above town, just 5 Miles away, not what we would call a steep climb, but there are really just two spots for that climb – the first mile from town is down hill then flat, then the 2nd mile is steep climb, then flat for 2 miles, then another mile climb.

                So – if you took Mile 2 Grade, and extended it for about 4-5 miles, you would get 2,000 Feet of Climb Easily.

        2. randomhuman says:

          He gets a lot of energy back on the way down I bet that figure jumps to around 600wh/km because he would use almost no energy on the way down. In a gas car the energy is gone.

          1. Per – “In a gas car the energy is gone.” – Actually – it’s not just Gone, you have to Waste even More Energy coming down, in Braking, converting it to heat, and wear on the brakes!

      2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        <am. half the people I know that drive trucks don't pull Jack$***.
        Thes 98lb ladies pickup and drop off their on kid and commute to work in their quad cab pickups.
        Same for many of the dudes in the parking garage.
        Maybe 30% have something to pull but over half I see in the parking garage don't even have a tow hitch.
        My neighbor is single and retired and his bigaz$ Dodge RAM barely fits on his driveway and he commutes over 50 miles one way every day for his side business.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “1) The Tesla Model X probably still used less energy than an ICE would for this test”

      Probably? I don’t see how it could help but use less energy, considering how much more energy efficient an electric drivetrain is as compared to an ICE drivetrain. My napkin math suggests first-generation EVs are about 3.5 x as energy efficient as ICEVs of similar size, and second-generation EVs are possibly even more efficient.

      “2) More evidence that doing anything other than short/light towing is not going to work well with BEVs, which makes this an interesting but pointless test”

      The amount of energy contained in an EV’s battery pack, despite significant advances in battery tech over the past ~30 years, is still quite limited as compared to the energy in a tank of gasoline. Certainly if you’re towing a heavy load up a mountain, this limitation will very quickly make itself apparent.

      Google says that 1 gallon of gasoline contains 33.4 kWh. If a typical smaller CUV has a 16.5 gallon gas tank, that gives it 551.1 kWh of energy. Divide by 3.5 and we get 157.5 kWh. So actually, an X100 shouldn’t have all that much less energy available than other small CUVs.

      Of course, as has often been pointed out, a reduced range while towing with a gasmobile is less important, because you don’t have to stop to recharge for 30-45 minutes at a time when the car runs low on gas.

      In Bjørn’s previous Model X towing video, towing a medium-small trailer over more or less level terrain, he said it cut the Model X’s range in half. Obviously towing a heavier load up a mountain will reduce the range significantly more.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “Google says that 1 gallon of gasoline contains 33.4 kWh.”

        Official EPA rating is 1 gallon of gasoline = 33.7kWh.

    3. Jason says:

      I’ve got a Mazda CX-5 diesel as my other car and usually it gets about 7.2l/100km on freeway driving and 100km/h. Towing my 1500kg caravan it will get about 10l/100km, so about 50% worse economy towing a small caravan. I expect it would be worse up hills like this video.

    4. Ed says:

      Wait a second, you’re looking at the uphill. Wait till the downhill is complete. The boat represents a lot of potential energy once it’s on top of a hill!

  3. Doggydogworld says:

    Impressive power!

    Steady state climb is less than 100 kW, so he’s got plenty in reserve. Range is the real issue. He’s running 1400 Wh/km during the climb. That’s 70 km of range for a 100 kWh pack. I don’t know any climbs that maintain that grade for 70 km (over 4000m elevation gain), but Sacramento to Lake Tahoe gains 2200m over Donner Pass. Speeds are higher on I-80, also. I doubt this rig could make the 120 mile (200 km) trip.

    1. Per – “Sacramento to Lake Tahoe gains 2200 m over Donner Pass.” – Over How Many Miles is that Climb, and – is it a steady Climb, or does it have any Level Points or dips Down along the way?

  4. VS says:

    But the load uphill does not tell a complete story. He has a lot of regen available coming down again from 3300′ – with a 2250 kg load.

  5. Vexar says:

    Going through Vail Pass in Colorado, my experience is that the EPA average 300 Wh/mile drops to 600 wH/mile in sections, averaging 540 Wh/mile all the way up to Copper Mountain. From that point downward, it gets really funny. I drove 15 miles straight before my range dropped at all. This is impossible in an ICE, as the whole time, you are spending energy or brake pads. Most of my cross-country road trips in the summer, all of which pass through the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas (so far) have averaged 240-260 Wh per mile.
    Why anyone thinks Tesla isn’t doing this math, learning where people go, and placing Superchargers appropriately is sad. If you live in Minnesota and drive to a lake with a boat, you’re doing fine with a Model X. If you live in Los Angeles and drive up to Lake Tahoe, use the navigation software built into the car and don’t worry about it. So much worry here.

  6. Eco says:

    I don’t know why anyone is surprised that an electric motor can pull more load than an ICE … diesel or gas?

    Locomotives (trains) have used electric propulsion motors for decades!

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    You go, Bjørn!

    The last Model X towing video I remember from Bjørn was rather disappointing, and showed towing only a rather small trailer. It’s great that he finally demonstrates the Model X towing its maximum rated load. And up a mountain, for an extra challenge!

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    The big advantage with electric towing is that there is no power drop with elevation like traditional ICE vehicles (less so with a turbo charged vehicle).

    And the regen on the down hill part.

    Although in my experience, regen doesn’t do much in the high speed down hill cases. There is very little power recouped at 75mph going down the Sierra Nevada. But at 40-45mph, it is nearly max regen all the way down which is really cool.

    In order for EVs to be a true towing vehicle, there has to be sufficient DCFC coverage and charging fast.

  9. FISHEV says:

    “Elon did say the Model 3 would be able to Tow, but we have no hint or clue on its Tow Rating!”

    But the Model 3 won’t have towing option. It would also need the air suspension as 5″ ground clearance is too low for trailer and it would need some load leveling. And air suspension is not going to be on the spartan Model 3. You can’t even get towing on the Model S which has air suspension.

    83 mile range towing is good for local launch ramp 35 miles away to keep 10% reserve plus AC usage, boating is typically a warm weather recreation.

    More than that you’d rely on non-Tesla charging stations and the charge time on a Saturday boat trip might be too much even if there were Superchargers every 70 miles the time might be too much with car load of kids and gear.

    But not taking advantage of EV’s towing ability with instant torque is foolish. Even if you can’t use for the Saturday fishing or boarding trip, you can use it tow boat and trailer for service etc.

  10. For the record, I use about 733 Wh/mile towing my teardrop trailer (~2k lbs) behind my Model X at 65mph on “normal” mountains here in the Northeast US. So yes, that does cut your range in half, roughly… but that’s why there are superchargers at ~60mi spacing around here.

    Energy usage is very sensitive to speed. If you need to squeak out a few tens of miles more range, reduce your speed by 5mph. Or find a friendly truck to draft behind. EVs have huge torque, so there’s never any problem with the actual towing, acceleration while towing, etc.

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