Electric Towing Vehicles
While the Tesla Model X is the only factory-built electric car that comes with a towing package, there are a few limitations.
Edmunds.com’s Dan Edmunds did a test run for 1, 000 miles from California to Arizona and back. He reported in Edmunds.com that range was affected by the extra weight, and that it’s not easy to find charging.
Tesla says that the Model X luxury crossover SUV has the capability of towing 3, 500 to 5, 000 pounds when properly equipped. The higher 5, 000-pound rating applies to Model X models equipped with optional 20-inch wheels and tires. The trailer used in the Edmunds study was a teardrop unit that weighed 1, 260 pounds (actual photo of the tiny trailer is copyrighted, so another photo is used).
The Model X’s range was limited during the trip. The 1, 003-mile round trip took a total of 40.25 hours, of which 17.23 were spent charging along the way. The average energy consumption of the Model X with the trailer in tow reached a high of 613 watt-hours per mile, and peaked at 923 wH per mile on one leg of the trip.
One of the problems was finding a Supercharger that could fit a Model X hitched to a trailer. The majority of spots at the stations visited were too short to accommodate both a Model X and trailer.
Many of the charging stations also require cars to back in, which put the Model X too far away for the cords to be long enough to charge the electric SUV. Spots that allowed the electric vehicle to pull in nose first left the trailers sticking out into the access roads.
Tester Dan Edmunds felt it necessary to drive without air conditioning and restrict his speed to preserve range. While California and Arizona have a fair number of Supercharger sites, their spacing does not account for a Model X towing a trailer. For now, Model X drivers will need to consider unhooking their trailers to get enough charging on road trips; or find a completely empty charging site to pull sideways across multiple spaces.