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Tesla Cybertruck tows Model Y with Silverado efficiency in a 5000-pound trailer test that halves its range

Cybertruck towing another Tesla in a range test (image: VoyageATX/YT)
Cybertruck towing another Tesla in a range test (image: VoyageATX/YT)
Just as Tesla's Head of Vehicle Engineering predicted, towing something not all that aerodynamic with the Cybertruck could easily slash its range by 50%. That's precisely what the first Cybertruck towing range test achieved by hauling a Model Y behind it.

Back around the Cybertruck launch festivities brouhaha, Tesla's own Head of Vehicle Engineering Lars Moravy fleetingly mentioned that the electric pickup can lose 50% of its range when towing bulky and blocky objects like some horse trailers. While that's not unlike gas-powered trucks, where aerodynamics are the deciding towing range factor, there is now a real towing test that somewhat proves Lars's point.

Cybertruck towing range test

While towing a Tesla Model Y perched on top of an U-Haul platform behind it, the dual-motor Cybertruck whose range is rated for 320 miles on a charge managed to hit consumption of 749 Wh per mile, or an 83 kWh capacity discharge for the 110 miles duration of the test. Considering that the pickup is powered by a 123 kWh battery, this would put the total Cybertruck towing range at about 160 miles per charge, or about the 50% cut that Tesla's Head of Vehicle Engineering predicted.

Granted, the Tesla SUV behind the Cybertruck makes for a rather aerodynamic load compared to the horse trailer he mentioned, but then again the tester didn't close the tonneau cover because they wanted to see behind, and greatly improved aerodynamics is exactly why the truck bed cover is there for. The Cybertruck was also on the original 20-inch rims, so with the upcoming 19-inch wheels it should fare a tad better in terms of towing range.

"With the same setup and those two variables range by my estimates should be closer to 180-200," confirmed the tester, and added that this would be "not far off from my Silverado towing and I only tow a 3000k lbs utility trailer, [while] this setup is closer to 5k lbs." A 40%-50% towing range loss is not unheard of with any truck, be it gas-powered, or electric, as any pickup owner who's had to haul something blocky and heavy behind them could attest to.

Tesla will offer an optional Range Extender for the Cybertruck later this year which is basically a 50 kWh battery pack the shape of a tool box that goes onto the truck bed and takes roughly a third of the space there. Besides that inconvenience, the Cybertruck range extender price of $16,000 also sounds problematic in terms of wider adoption.

Tesla's Head of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino, however, is on record saying that they are gunning for a 500-mile Cybertruck range with the extender, at least as a "long-term goal," and that should bring the Cybertruck's towing distance closer to the coveted 250-300 mile range then.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 01 > Tesla Cybertruck tows Model Y with Silverado efficiency in a 5000-pound trailer test that halves its range
Daniel Zlatev, 2024-01-17 (Update: 2024-01-17)