.....tow rating. I do hope there is going to be an available factory tow package. Any thoughts or info on this?
I believe that I have seen that a tow hitch is a likely option, but I think it is more likely to be useful for accessories such as a bike rack. Towing anything will have a significant impact on range, so anything other than short trips will not be practical. Of course this is just my opinion.
No official word yet. It will be great to actually see a production version of the X!
I see alot of folks with SUV's being used to tow small utility trailers, and in some cases small boats such as a 15ft. Boston Whaler. I hope that the X could at least handle a load in the range of 3000 lbs. or less. I wouldn't think that would be asking to much from such a sophisticated AWD vehicle.....and yes, on longer trips it would certainly affect the range....especially if there are many hills to climb.
P_Dave towed a small boat in a clamshell trailer in his MS, and found it had little effect on range.
Since towing is not allowable in Model S, I assume there might be some redesign enhancement of Model X battery chemistry/pack, motor/inverter and coolant system to accomodate that task.
Pungoteague_Dave towed a small boat in a shell trailer on a long trip with his MS. It is quite possible, if the weight is not excessive.
I was thinking that a trailer with a battery pack in the floor, like Tesla, might be an idea. That way a chord connected to the vehicle could not only connect the lights but also neutralize the range loss by paralleling the trailer's battery. A small tent trailer was what I had in mind cause my gf and I love to camp but Teslas don't have hitches. Plus all RV parks already have the infrastructure for over night charging. Just a thought, cost and weight might still be an issue.
I will be very disappointed if the Model X does not have a good towing ability - reduced range accepted.
Have you seen this?
hansey@live, I was dreaming last night about a similar idea for a Tesla "utility" trailer built around an additional battery pack. The pack could, among other things, be used to extend the driving range of the tow vehicle, or just be used to power "stuff" when camping, etc. It could also be used to store energy at home, when not in use as a trailer. I think there is alot of potential for something like this. For myself, I want the benefits of AWD and increased road clearance of the X, but I still need a method to transport kayaks, skis, surfboard, garbage cans, extra luggage, you name it and a utility trailer in lieu of a pickup box might just be the ticket.
@Tam: Why do you think towing is not allowable? Before I ordered my MS, I asked Tesla that very question, and I have an e-mail which addresses the issue: it will not void my warranty. That said, it is not wise, in my opinion. I have a 2" hitch on my MS, but I only use it for mounting my bike rack.
That is a neat idea with a battery powered trailer and all the things you could do with it. However most of the things people are complaining about with not having a roof rack can be taken care of with a tow hitch and the things that can be put on a tow hitch not counting a trailer. Also I would see no reason you could not pull a small trailer of course your range would be shorter but if the inverters or anything on the car start to overheat the car will just limit the power output much like a MS driver talked about when he took his car to the track. He said that the car would start limiting power after I think he said 5-10 laps based on heat on the inverters.
The battery in the car can't suck and blow at the same time.
Brian H....are you saying that Tesla could not come up with a way for a second battery to link to the primary battery to create simply a larger battery? Or they could not come up some kind of switch that would begin drawing power out of the "trailer battery" when the main vehicle battery gets below a set threshold?
Tesla would never release a "battery trailer". This is an ugly hack that would never appeal to Tesla. Not only would you get diminishing returns on the battery due to the extra weight and aerodynamics hit, but it would be a safety hazard having the battery in such an exposed state. You would have to add a hell of a lot of protection from physical impacts, not to mention another heating/cooling system.
If Tesla wanted to give you more battery, they could offer a 95kWh option since it is my understanding that the existing battery pack isn't completely filled with batteries.
Also, there is this to consider: the 60kWh pack has better efficiency than the 85kWh due to the lower weight. You can keep adding batteries to the tesla, but the optimal size is probably between 60-85 and if you go much higher than that, you will eventually get to the point where adding one more battery will actually lower your range.
Having written the above, if the Model X doesn't come with a hitch option or if an after-market hitch will void the warranty, I will be cancelling my MX reservation. I need a hitch for a bike rack and if the MX can't physically handle a roof rack, I'll need to find a good snowboard trailer hitch rack.
Perhaps a Tesla crewcab pickup similar to the F150 supercrew will meet the needs for those of us that want a true utility/AWD BEV with a little luxury to boot.
My 02 F150 SuperCrew is indispensable to me, but I'd sure rather have an all electric truck with decent range and power. Doesn't have to be a big as the F150....a mid-size like a Tacoma would work, though an F150 sized truck might better handle larger batteries.
@sosmerc, I agree with you 100% - I'd like that too. But I can't wait that long for Tesla to build it as I have a '98 F150, which luckily is still in good shape, but won't last that long. They did indicate they had some great ideas for a pick-up truck, but it sounds like it will have to wait till after the Model-E comes out (they say in 3 years, but at this rate of delays, I wouldn't expect the next gen car to be available for 5-6 years).
Phoenix Motorcars makes electric pickup trucks (http://www.phoenixmotorcars.com/) but they only seem to make it for fleet vehicles. Too bad, I've been hoping for the past 5 years that they would sell to the general public.
The "ugly" idea was not intended for Tesla. I meant a separate entity on its own. A separate trailer company that could also be used on other EVs to add the convenience of a trailer that would not diminish but add range. It was just an idea. Btw, like the tent :)
The nick is "Tentsla".
Tesla Service Centers have installed the Eco-Hitch for customers, and TM has allowed Eco-Hitch to have a booth and present at Teslive.
Rockville Service Center said that my hitch will have no effect on warranty. Although not officially sanctioned, there is no problem installing a hitch on a Tesla.
My experience is about a 15% range reduction when using a hitch bike rack and two road bikes, but negligible impact from a small boat/trailer, which we pulled from Virginia to Florida last November. It has LED lighting, so very little draw, and is smaller (height and width) than the car, weighs only about 500 pounds with outboard motor, and hardly registered on our road trip.
Just reserved the model x. If tesla reads these please have a tow hitch option. I do not tow things just need it for my bike rack!!!!
I expect the X to have a factory hitch either standard or as an option. What I do not expect (but hope for) is an X capable of towing 6-7,000#. On a purely selfish note it would enable me to get rid of a gas guzzling truck that pulls a horse trailer.
For all of you with big boats...would help too....
Problem: The frame and suspension enhancements needed would cause serious weight gain and range loss, so it is only 'my dream'.
The Toyota RAV 4 EV uses a 41.8 kWh battery pack and drivetrain from Tesla Motors. There is no official tow rating for the vehicle. In fact, Toyota specifically tells Customer NOT to use it for towing. But, since Toyota built it using the same chassis as the I4 and V6 versions, the RAV 4 EV has all the same mounting points for a tow hitch. Naturally, people have totally ignored Toyota's warnings and are using it to tow things anyway.
I think this is a good sign for what towing may be accomplished with the Tesla Model X.
If the X doesn't come with a hitch, you might consider buying one from Torklift Central in the Seattle area which currently creates/installs no-drill hitches for the S (despite the warning in the S manual not to add a hitch) -- a Tesla employee showed me the video of the installation process here: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=kent+tesla+s+hitch+install&qpvt=kent...). Hoping that the X will come with a factory hitch as an option, as that would feel safer. We finally decided to just go with the S after all, cancelling our X reservation, because at least then we'd have the roof rack for our bikes (and, frankly, we were getting impatient with the extended wait on the X).
The towing capability is limited by the frame/suspension. I would not tow anything living (ex. horses) without it being properly
built for loads in excess of 6,000#. It might be done, but not safely done.
The Tow Hitch was not mentioned in MX newsletter today. I am little worried? Any news?
I have asked the question about a tow hitch and towing capacity to people in Freemont. Everyone is either tight lipped about it or does not know.
The tow hitch is something that was mentioned in the past, and to help with transportations of bicycles it will most certainly be an option. I think it should be standard equipment since the cost of producing and installing during manufacturing is minimal. Also, I have purchased more than one vehicle in the past, including a current Ford Flex, which I later regretted not having the receiver.
One thing that I have been able to ascertain from previous comments from Tesla is that it will not be intended for towing things that are either bulky or heavy. Rather it is intended for things like bike carriers etc. The car is simply not designed for that. Get an F150 or something bigger if you want to tow a horse trailer....
I pulled the Wells Cargo MPT 461 behind a Scion XB for years. While driving, barely could tell it was behind me. It reduced my mileage by about 20%. It's a nifty little short 4' x 6' cargo trailer...very light...only 400lbs but holds quite a bit. It's shorter and narrower than both the MS and MX. I think this would work just fine, would reduce range a bit but the Tesla wouldn't even know it's back there. Here's a link: http://wellscargo.com/wellscargo-trailers/mpt-multi-purpose-trailers/
This discussion about the tow hitch is fairly unnecessary, as Tesla has already made a statement about this:
Model X will have towing capability exceeding most SUVs in its class. With all-wheel drive, incredible torque and sophisticated traction control, it will be an excellent towing machine.
Of course, they are not explicit mentioning a tow hitch – if we are unlucky they want to disrupt towing and plan for a front mounted “super tow hitch” that is incompatible with all current trailers ☺
According to the same spokesperson, "Model X will have towing capability exceeding most SUVs in its class. With all-wheel drive, incredible torque and sophisticated traction control, it will be an excellent towing machine."
Vehicle MPG Range Tow Rating (LBS)
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
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 Tesla Model X, 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.
Red, I really hope the base X is 85 kWh and the large 100+. Tesla will need these capacities to meet or exceed MS range goals. I doubt they will release an $80k SUV with less range than the S.
MX range will be less than MS. Expect a 100kWh battery when you see it.
With my use today with my Toyota Landcruiser, I expect the X to have a towing capasity. Musk's statement of a very innovative X, them towing has to be an option.
The Tow Hitch was not mentioned in MX newsletter today.
What MX newsletter?
The status update that most reservation holders received on June 16.
Leonard: I am not expecting the X will have the frame/suspension to pull a horse trailer, just hoping for one as I have a sufficient gas guzzler to pull a 10,000# plus load.
Here is an interesting looking trailer for the Model X
I agree with a previous poster that the MX should have the option of a hitch installed at production since it would be significantly easier to do it then. And since it's competing with other large SUVs on currently on the market, one would think that Tesla would want to remain competitive for those considering the MX.
I just had a hitch installed on my BMW X3 and when I priced it at the dealership, it was going to cost me $1300. Fortunately, I found a place out in the boonies that could do it and the electrical wiring for $550 but they still have to cut out a piece from the fascia under the bumper for the receiver to stick out of.
I don't care, personally, if I don't get long range from the battery when towing as my cottage is only 30 mins from my house, but I do hope to be able to pull my 3300lbs wake board boat out of the water and up a few small hills to and from the cottage.
I sure would be nice to have confirmation on the MX's abilities since it looks like if it can't do what I need it to do, I'll have to keep the X3 and sell my Panamera :(
Today's Tesla Newsletter to the MX reservation holders notifies them that the MX will have towing capabilities, as well as a variety of trailers/racks to go with them.
Here you go...
"Dear Model X reservation holders,
Thank you for your continued patience in the Model X reservation process. We are making steady progress towards delivering a phenomenal car that defies comparison.
With Model S, we made a point of delivering a product that was even better than the show car, and we are extending that philosophy to Model X. In fact, every element of Model X – from the interior to the falcon wing doors – either lives up to or surpasses the prototype we initially unveiled.
In October, we announced dual motor all-wheel drive and Autopilot. These were important leaps forward for Model S, but we’re pleased to confirm that they will also be central to Model X. The dual motor propulsion system of Model S 85D will be the same system that powers Model X, delivering uncompromised range and control of traction. But this is not simply a scaled-up Model S – every detail of this car has been optimized for the unique mission of Model X.
Model X demand has been intense and orders are continuing to come in at a rapid rate. We’ll be spending much of 2015 building and testing production-intent prototypes before delivering the first cars to customers in North America in the third quarter. While we’ll be working through all orders as fast as possible, anyone ordering the car today should not expect delivery until well into 2016.
In the meantime, we are building beta vehicles in the factory right now, and we’ll be using them for crash testing in the near future. We’ve tested the car’s aerodynamic qualities in the wind tunnel and have achieved an unprecedented level of aerodynamic efficiency for any car of this size and carrying capacity, allowing us to maximize range potential.
We can also reveal that Model X will be the first electric vehicle with towing capability. The optional tow hitch will support accessories and racks to transport skis and bikes with the minimum effect on aerodynamics. We're also working with the best rack and accessory companies in the world to have elegant carrying solutions ready for Model X customers next year.
Thank you once again for your continued support and confidence. You are helping to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport, and you will love your Model X.
No mention of trailers. Just accessories and racks. ;-)
First off Tesla, Thank you for announcing and including the two 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 into 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'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 : (
Just came across this thread as I'm starting to think a Model X might be better for my needs come 2016 (when I intend to purchase). Will wait to see what the driving dynamics are before making a choice.
Towing would be a real deal maker for me... I tend to tow a couple of times per year. Looking at the list of competitors above - 5,500lbs or above would exceed "most" of the other cars. I think for most people this would also be enough. I know in my case I just towed a fully loaded a 10x6x5ft box trailer behind my current tow / workhorse a 2004 X-Trial. This has a 6,000lb rating (actually 2.8tonnes as I'm in UK). I can't think of many circumstances where a family vehicle would be regularly expected to tow more than this weight. I'm usually towing just a light trailer, or carry a bike rack that clamps on the tow ball. Things like Landrovers and Landcruisers have higher weight capacity but I don't think that's the market Telsa is after. It's the family bus, camping and occasional trip to the home store or dropping of waste at the recyling centre when chopping trees or home refurbishment. Towing small inland boats and ATV/motorcycles would also fit the usage profile. But horses, sail boats and 5th Wheel trailers will still be the realm of the dually for the forseable future. Until Tesla can stick a 150kWh+ pack in a large pickup style EV.
As in interesting aside to towing range... the biggest different is drag not weight. My X-trail is the 2.2DCi with about 136hp. With the box trailer on the way down with it empty... I got 22 mpg. However it was windy. My usual is about 40mpg.
On the way home with the trailer full to the roof and the car packed up to the roof I got 26mpg!! I was expecting 16 after the trip down. Despite carry approximately double the weight. Key difference was no wind. I could feel the extra weight whilst accelerating. Though accelerate would be to strong a word, more like slowly increase speed would be a better phrase.
I'm pretty sure a Model X would have mashed that journey and on a single charge. Though there might have been a bit of anxiety toward the end. It's 150 miles! The key thing is to keep to less than 55mph.
One thing that will be much much better in an EV is the lack of clutch, I almost fried mine whilst trying to reverse the trailer once I got home due to needing to almost 180 the trailer getting it into the drive. I did realise it was better to drive down the road and come into the drive the other way! I've got an awkward T-shaped drive with a tree either side of the mouth :(
@ Anemometer (November 21, 2014)
<< Model X might be better for my needs come 2016 (when I intend to purchase)... Towing would be a real deal maker for me... >>
Metal-air Battery Range Extenders (BRE), such as the Alcoa-Phinergy Al-Air BRE, are likely to be commercially available by 2016. Have you considered such a non-ICE BRE?
Tesla has a patent for the combination Metal-Air BRE + Li-ion battery and should be able to install a DC charge connector in the frunk, while Alcoa or Phinergy should be able to customize their Al-Air BRE form factor for the MX frunk.
The closest thing you will ever see to a range extender for a Tesla Motors product will be the Mr. Fusion, due to be released around October 2015.