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Cybertruck range can drop to 160 miles when towing as Tesla guns for 500 miles with extender battery

Tesla is aiming for 500-mile range with extender pack (image: Tesla)
Tesla is aiming for 500-mile range with extender pack (image: Tesla)
Tesla will keep working on the Cybertruck efficiency rate with the ultimate goal to hit 500 miles of range on a charge with the extender battery in its current footprint. It better, since its chief engineer said the range can be cut in half while towing.

In case future owners are wondering about the exact Cybertruck range loss while towing, it can apparently go down to only 160 miles on a charge, according to none other but Lars Moravy, Tesla's Head of Vehicle Engineering.

When asked about it by Sandy Munro during a Cybertruck engineering walkthrough, he mentioned that the Cybertruck's range can be cut by up to 50% when towing something less aerodynamic like a big horse trailer. Because of the Cybertruck's design and tonneau cover, however, it gets good aero efficiency and laminar flow which reduce the range loss to no more than 20%-30% when towing something more aerodynamic, added Lars.

Cybertruck towing range

Unfortunately, in the worst case scenario of a tri-motor Cyberbeast pulling a towering horse trailer, its official "up to 320 miles" range specs can actually dive down to a 160-mile Cybertruck towing range. Needless to say, the range loss is not surprising for any truck owner who has had to pull heavy blocky things, but it's worth knowing in order to plan the charging route in case someone decides to hit the boondocks with a big trailer in tow.

Needless to say, that is why Tesla also decided to offer a Cybertruck range extender accessory with which it can cover 470 miles on a charge. The optional 50 kWh battery pack that mounts behind the cabin like a tool box is not cheap at $16,000, but it is meant for people who really need to "tow heavy things up mountains," as per Elon Musk.

There is no point of lugging around and paying for all these extra 4680 battery cells, added Lars Moravy, as the Cybertruck's range has been calculated to match the vast majority of pickup needs otherwise.

500-mile Cybertruck extender range

Here Drew Baglino, Tesla's Head of Powertrain and Energy, mentioned something very interesting about the automaker's future plans for the range extender. First, he explained the thought process behind his decision to offer a range extender as an add-on instead of incorporating more 4680 batteries in the chassis.

Both he and Lars were of the opinion that those cells would see a wiser use if they go towards making more Cybertrucks or Model Ys in Texas instead, so that's why Tesla decided to offer an optional extender battery pack. "If you want extra range, you can buy it," said Lars.

What's more, Tesla is working to hit the coveted 500-mile Cybertruck range with the current extender, disclosed Drew. He didn't specify how would Tesla hit that "long-term goal," though.

To go from the current 460-470 miles of total Cybertruck range with the extra 50 kWh battery, to the 500 miles it promised back in 2019, Tesla would have to lower the powertrain draw by about 10% or increase the energy density of its 4680 cells further. It will have plenty of time to figure it out, as the Cybertruck range extender release may be a year from now, and Tesla is pretty adept at finding efficiency opportunities.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 12 > Cybertruck range can drop to 160 miles when towing as Tesla guns for 500 miles with extender battery
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-12-12 (Update: 2023-12-12)