Towing Trailers with electric cars: Tesla Model X Blog

Towing Trailers with Electric Cars: Tesla Model X

Mar 19, 2019


Can you tow trailers with electric vehicles?

Many motorist today are showing more interest in electric cars or hybrid type vehicles. It’s a fairly new technology for transportation and aims to replace gasoline powered vehicles.

Transitioning to these types of vehicles raises the issue of not being able to complete everyday task we already do with gasoline powered vehicles.

In this case, we want to review the practicality of towing a trailer with an electric car, SUV, or truck.

Benefits and Capabilities of Electric Vehicles while hauling trailers

We already know electric vehicles can help us reduce the amount of pollution in the environment and it is important we take care of the world we live in.electric car charging

Not only that, electricity is cheaper than gasoline and the maintenance on the vehicles are generally less expensive too. 

So, over time electric vehicles can benefit the health of the planet and our wallets.  

However, what about completing practical task, how realistic is it with electric powered cars?

This technology will be constantly evolving and is expected to get better over time. As of today, there are just over 40 electric cars available on the market for driving according to wikipedia.

Most of them have a driving range of 50-300 miles on one charge.   

Most of them are able to accommodate smaller trailers, bicycle racks, luggage and cargo carriers.

However, should you really be hauling a trailer behind most of these?

To figure this out, you’ll want to contact your cars manufacturer and see if your vehicle is even approved for towing first and then get the towing capacity.

Also, If there’s no information about this in your cars manual then it’s best to not even consider get a hitch outfitted.


Reason to be cautious ⚠️

  1. Most of the electric cars today are not manufactured with towing in mind even though they may be physically capable

  2. The motors for these vehicles are much heavier decreasing the actual towing capacity of the vehicle. More weight means more strain on the brakes and other mechanical parts.

  3. The braking systems are typically not controlled by brake pads in electrics cars but instead the energy that moves the car gets redistributed back into the motor, slowing the vehicle down. With the added weight of a trailer, this could put an unnecessary amount strain on the brakes and motors.

Fully Electric cars able to haul a trailer today: Tesla Model X  

Currently, the only fully electric car for sale on the market today is the Tesla Model X.

  Tesla Model X with trailer

There are some hybrid SUV’s on the market such as the Toyota Highlander, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Audi Q7 e-tron, Range Rover Sport P400e, and others.

However, if we’re talking fully electric and approved for towing then the Tesla Model X is going to be your only option for now.

Tesla offers a tow package for the vehicle and allows you to haul up to 5,000 pounds on 20” wheels and 3,500 pounds on 22” wheels.

Without going into too much detail, your range is going to be affected by how much weight you are hauling and how fast you are going.

So most people recommend adjusting your speeds as you travel so you can properly calculate your distance and make it to your location.

The added weight of your trailer is going to decrease your vehicles driving range so you’ll want to make sure you’re fully charged before starting and there are locations to charge along the way.

Please consult with Tesla and the vehicle’s manual to get more information about towing with the Model X.

Future of Electric Towing

In a series of tweets around middle of 2018 Elon Musk announced the production of a pick up truck, possibly starting in the year 2019.

He is excited to manufacture a fully electric truck and continued to tweet out some of the details.

This included telling us that the truck will have a dual AWD motor, extended driving range up to 500 miles, and an insane towing capacity of 300,000 pounds.

So we can assume the future of hauling trailers with electric cars, SUV’s and trucks is looking bright. As we’ve seen, technology is capable of growing quickly over a short period of time.

The world we live in may start to transition into alternative forms of energy and innovation, so we can imagine the engineers behind the scenes will be working hard to accomplish new milestones in their products.

Even with the Model X having a 5,000 pound towing capacity for safe hauling, it has proven to be more powerful than those ratings.

Although, not recommended, the SUV has been able to free a 95,000 pound tractor trailer from being stuck on an icy road. At The Boring Company, it was able to pull 250,000 pounds of muck rail cars. Even more, it was capable of pulling a 300,000 pound Boeing 787-9 airplane.

These are impressive feats for an SUV being rated for 5,000 pounds. Keep in mind the 5,000 pound rating is for traveling speeds. Nonetheless, it’s nice to know these electric motors are already capable of moving large amounts of weight at reasonable speeds.

Conclusion  

We could imagine the positive benefits to the environment electric cars would provide to us once they are fully available for practical and public use.

This technology is on the rise, as we can see with the Tesla Model X and Elon Musk’s announcements over Twitter.

It’s expected that as technology gets better, our modes of transportation will also improve. So, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a super durable electric vehicle within the next 10 years that is more than capable of hauling trailers.

We hope you enjoyed this article about electric vehicles and what we can expect to see in the future.

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