Model X

Model X Towing Ability and Capacity

edited November 2014 in Model X
For those that didn't notice, Tesla teased Model X reservation holders with included towing ability. No hint at actual tow capacity.

First off Tesla, Thank you for announcing and including the tow option. There is no question that towing will significantly reduce range (simply the physics of drag and weight), but hoping the limited tow distance doesn't scare Tesla off in lowering the tow capacity.

Let me explain
• While I'd love to be able to pull a boat over long distances, even being able to pull my boat off the water and drop it off at a nearby marina or storage facility would be a HUGE benefit in itself.
• In other words, I see the Tesla X's rigid body, smart suspension, amazing torque being able to handle heavy tow loads. As long as there is good expectations set (dynamic calculations) on what the real distances are for an individual's tow situation, then please push the limits on tongue weight and tow capacity and let the tow distance be what it is until battery tech improves.

Owner of a 3,300lb Mastercraft boat.

PS> If the Model X can tow it 130miles then i can shoot for two Teslas in the family. Otherwise I'll need an ICE beast as a second car.


  • edited November -1
    wow... you may want to get advice from Tesla on placing the rear of a Tesla in Water on a boat ramp -- Especially if Salt Water.
  • edited November -1
    @aljjr2 - Why would that be any different than driving a Tesla on salted winter roads?
  • edited November -1
    I calculated the Model X towing capacity would be 6,000-7,500 lbs, compared to competitors in class. Presuming that towing speed would be 45-55 MPH, as typically posted on US highways, it may be able to manage 150 miles with an 85 kWh battery pack in good weather. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, high winds, or mountainous terrain would all ruin that. This is why I hope for an upgraded battery pack of about 135 kWh.
  • edited November -1
    The rear view camera will size up the towed object and the MX will calculate estimated weight and drag and include those considerations in its energy usage calculations. This will be part of Release 7.0 to be downloaded soon after the availability of the MX.
  • edited November -1
    <b>@georgehawley&lt;/b>, you're on fire today with all sorts of great, patentable ideas!
  • jjsjjs
    edited November -1
    I agree with george. Unfortunately I have heard from a reliable source that Release 7.0 will be delayed.

    When asked about the future delay Tesla officials only comment came in the form of a press release that said the release would be released "soon".

    And yes that was sarcasm. Good for an emotional release.
  • edited November -1
    I would be pleasantly surprised if the X can tow more than 3,500-4000 lbs. To get towing capacity above that they would have to increase the frame/suspension components adding weight that would bring the range down considerably for all the other X owners that would never tow larger loads.

    I suspect to get up to the 7,000+ range we will have to wait for the TM truck with the 135-150 KW battery pack.
  • dbhdbh
    edited November -1
    I'm all good with 2,500 lbs and a 20 mile range when towing a boat. 150 mile range would be super fine.

    And while at it, tell me whether a RWS model S with an EcoHitch can already do it safely, if the skateboard is the same :)
  • dbhdbh
    edited November -1
    (make that RWD model S)
  • edited November -1
    I believe I heard a rumor that you will be able to hook the MX's up in tandem like diesel-electric railroad engines. Should be no practical limit on towing capacity except for sheer force resistance of the tow hitch.
  • edited November -1
    Where's jjs? I think this idea is another patent in the making! Haha!
  • edited November -1
    Happy Christmas here from Denmark!

    I have also made a reservation for the Model X. It's of course crucial that this Model X has an significant towing capacity.

    Many of us in the "SUV" segment expects high functionality - more than the Model S can offer - otherwise we would have bought a Model S.

    It simply not enough just to have the possibility of carring some bikes or small racks.

    It must be able to have the towing capacity for trailers, kayaktrailers, small boats etc.

    I really don't hope that Tesla is so obsessed with style and range and Falcon doors, that they overlook that in the SUV segment functionality, functionality and functionality is also so important.

    It's simply not the same market segment as the Model S buyers segment!

    I at least know, that many of us in Denmark will cancel our reservations for the Model X, if it hasn´t really excellent towing capabilities. Sorry to say it. Hope all the best for Tesla :-)
  • edited November -1
    Well, in the US, most SUVs are used to go to the grocery store and the kid's school. Most Jeeps never see dirt. While real towing capacity would be nice, I wouldn't hold my breath.
  • edited November -1
    @olav: I noticed that your towing capacity requirement started out as "significant", moved to trailers and small boats, and finished as "excellent" in a single post. Tesla is fast but may not be able to keep pace with your evolving needs.:-))

    The standard MX model will surely have at least 380 horsepower with over 400 pound-feet of torque. A tow hitch will be available. This is comparable, I think, to the Porsche Cayenne S. The Performance model of the MX will have more power and torque. Only you can decide whether this is significant enough or excellent enough for your needs until we get more data from Tesla.
  • edited November -1
    any updates on this? where is the original link? I would love to know more also.
  • edited November -1
    No updates. The MX specifications have not been released yet. Original link to what?
  • edited November -1
    This is from a post I made several months ago:

    <b>According to the same spokesperson, <i>"Model X will have <u>towing capability exceeding most SUVs in its class</u>. With all-wheel drive, incredible torque and sophisticated traction control, it will be an excellent towing machine."</i></b>
    <u> Vehicle MPG Range Tow Rating (LBS) </u>
    Porsche Cayenne Turbo S 16 422 7,716
    Cadillac Escalade ESV 14 434 7,600
    Mercedes-Benz GL63 14 370 7,500
    Lexus LX 570 14 344 7,000
    AUDI Q7 22 581 5,500
    Acura MDX AWD 21 410 5,000
    Lincoln MKT 18 335 5,000
    BMW X5 xDrive50i 17 381 3,500
    BMW X5 xDrive35d 26 582 3,500</pre>
    Hmmm... Interesting. The price range of these vehicles varies rather widely. Some of them are Crossovers, others are full sized SUVs. I'm not sure which would actually be considered to be a competitor to the <b>Tesla Model X</b>, though I suppose someone who is shopping might consider them all at some point.

    I listed them in descending order based upon their towing capacity. I included their fuel economy and range for the sake of comparison. At least two of them are diesel powered, though most use gasoline. None of them are hybrids.

    Based on this chart, my guess is that Tesla Motors will shoot for a 6,000-7,500 LBS towing capacity with the Model X. I still believe they will need a 100+ kWh battery pack to properly compete in this segment. They will need the increased range, even when not towing anything, just to make people more comfortable with buying their Crossover.
  • edited November -1
    Sorry, but I don't see any way it could be an "excellent towing machine". It might have plenty of power. It might have great road handling capability. It might have plenty of weight. They might be able to engineer a frame reinforcement that can handle it all.

    But put a big square box that weighs 5000 pounds behind it, and it won't make it between superchargers.

    So, you have a vehicle that can tow your boat about 60 miles to the launch and 60 miles back. (yes, I made those numbers up, too many variables to possibly estimate)

    It will, indeed, be "excellent" within that range, though!
  • edited November -1
    Latest post from Tesla re: trailer hitch on the MX mentions only a hitch-mounted bike rack, not an actual trailer.
  • edited November -1
    Correction: the email from Tesla also mentions a ski rack and <i>towing ability</i>, but doesn't provide capacity info.
  • What is Tesla incorporated an additional battery back for a "Towing Variant." Like, if a customer knew they'd like to tow things frequently, say a small business...a general contractor/carpenter..etc.

    What is there was a way to integrate "onboard" the X...additional "mission specific" battery capacity.

    OR...offer...standard towing accessories and or a trailer...that has integrated power storage.

    Having the thing being towed, bring with it, the additional capacity would be kinda slick. And as the Model S DOES have "two" trunks available, once could have a optional "battery well/towing unit upgrade/integration option."

    Or so I speculate whimsically in public forum.


  • *if (to be applied in the above post)
  • edited November -1
    An official towing package would likely require the highest capacity battery pack by default.
  • Hello Red Sage!

    Red Sage: "An official towing package would likely require the highest capacity battery pack by default."

    Right. It would seem so. I was just wondering if they'd consider incorporating additional capacity "in parallel" with "On board" storage in the X. You know? Like say, an additional 25kw in a boot well and an additional 60-120+ depending on what you are towing?

    One could imagine a very sleek purpose built/paired "Secondary recreational vehicle" that would offer an interesting opportunity for storage...provided that additional storage is engineered for/integrated into the design of the X.

    Like a port near a traditional "trailer hitch-ball" or something...maybe under it for aesthetics?

    I don't know. Just wondering if Tesla has considered some the the advantages of towing something you know? A problem as an asset kinda thing.

    Cheers RS!

  • edited November -1
    If we presume that towing would require 600 Wh per mile at a constant 55 MPH, when the vehicle's interior passenger and cargo space was filled to the maximum GVWR, while hauling at the maximum GVTR... You will definitely need a larger battery pack than 85 kWh to make it from one Supercharger to the next. They are likely to be around 150 miles apart, but really, it's probably best to allow a 50 mile buffer, at least, to allow for inclement weather and detours.

    200 miles at 600 Wh per mile is... a lot. 120 kWh. For the sake of comfort, we'll say that be 70% of the usable battery pack capacity of ~171 kWh... And make that 90% of full battery pack capacity, for an ~190 kWh battery pack capacity.

    That would be truly awesome, but I have doubts that such a large battery pack would be offered within the next five or six years. By that time it might be better to have a 220 kWh capacity instead.

    Thus, if we make the same calculations using 450 Wh per mile instead, we may be closer to what might be possible prior to 2016. 90 kWh, as a usable 70% of a battery pack... Comes to ~129 kWh for a stated 90% full charge. And an absolute ~143 kWh including all reserves. Probably within spitting distance of what might be called a 135 kWh battery pack in practice. Thereby achieving at least ~270-to-~285 miles unladen and ~189-to-~200 miles towing.

    It really just depends upon how great a buffer between laden and unladen range you are willing to offer customers, and what they are willing to pay for it, if given the option.
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