The Tesla Model X was the first fully electric battery vehicle which came on to the market with an official tow rating from the manufacturer in 2015 (UK 2016). However, please note the specs below are for current generation Tesla Model X variants. The Model X is rated with a maximum 2,250 kg towing capacity. All new Tesla Model X cars come with the Tow Package and Trailer Mode which actively monitors trailer sway and adjusts wheel braking and speed. However, Trailer Mode doesn’t provide predicted towing range figures, yet.
Key Tesla Model X Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 2,250 kg
- Availability – Now
- Price – Starting £82,980 (Long Range) > £97,980 (Performance)
- Range (EV Database) – 290 miles (Long Range) > 280 miles (Performance)
- Estimate Towing Range (50%) – 145 miles (Long Range) > 140 miles (Performance)
- Maximum Charge Rate – 250kW at V3 Tesla Superchargers
Tesla Model X HP & Torque
- Long Range – AWD with 534 HP and 557 lb-ft of torque
- Performance – AWD with 778 HP and 841 lb-ft of torque
Tesla Model X Towing Capabilities
The Model X was not only the first Tesla with an official tow rating it was the first fully electric car to market with an official tow rating. While the Model X was first introduced in 2015 as of writing this post in October 2020 it is still the most capable Tesla at towing with a maximum towing capacity of 2,250 kg.
For reference, the Model 3 has a tow rating of 1,000 kg and the Model Y has a higher tow rating of 1,600 kg. It’s not clear when/if the Tesla Cybertruck will actually come to the UK, in its first intended iteration anyway. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, the Tesla Model X will rule the Tesla towing roost, in the UK anyway. Though, I predict the Model Y is going to be by far the most popular Tesla for towing with its much more affordable price point and a towing capacity sufficient for most people needs.
Tesla Mode X Owners Manual Towing Details
If you are seriously interested in purchasing a Tesla Model X for towing I would encourage you to read the Model X Owners Manual. Its has a whole section dedicated to information on the towing capabilities of the Model X, recommend tyre types, tyre pressures etc. It also shows how Trailer Mode operates and there are also a few little extracts that caught my eye.
Nose Weight Limit – UK vs UK Model X
The maximum nose weight on the UK Model X is 90kg. Now, the owner’s manual states ‘tongue weight’ which is a term used in the US. In other words, the maximum force the trailer hitch can place on the tow ball. Or I believe the technical description is the ‘Maximum Static Vertical Mass at the Coupling Point’.
What I find interesting about that 90 kg nose weight limit is it would appear smaller than the Model 3 which has a 100 kg nose weight limit? Its odd with the Model X being the larger car with the higher towing capacity. But the Model X also has air suspension which the Model 3 does not. With rear air suspension on vehicles usually coming in tandem with a higher nose weight limit.
If you check out the US Model X Owners Manual, the nose weight/tongue weight limit varies between 158 kg and 227 kg! Hence, the 90 kg nose weight limit for UK spec Model X cars is a bit disappointing.
Tesla Model X Range Reductions While Towing
In the Key Specs above I reference real-world range figures from the EV-database and I give 50% towing range guestimate figures. However, there are so many variables that can impact towing range with an EV, those figures are really just used as a means to compare one electric tow car against another. The actual range results when towing could be much better, or potentially even worse.
Tesla in the Model X Owners Manual states the following:
“Model X is designed primarily as a passenger-carrying vehicle. Towing a trailer puts additional load on the motor(s), drive train, brakes, tires, and suspension and significantly decreases range.” – Tesla
“Towing a trailer and carrying accessories increases vehicle weight and drag. As a result, driving range can decrease significantly. Although Trip Planner attempts to adjust estimates based on Trailer Mode, actual energy consumption may vary. Plan trip length and charging destinations accordingly.” – Tesla
In other words, we are still in the very early days of towing with EV’s. However, the rate of change is accelerating. I expect Tesla to be the first EV manufacturer to produce software specifically for calculating/predicting towing range based on the trailers size, weight, trip elevations, maybe even weather conditions. As all of those factors and more (tyre pressure) can impact EV towing range.
Tesla Model X Towing Test Results
Currently, the most detailed towing tests which have been conducted with the Model X were by Bjørn Nyland on his YouTube channel from Norway. As you can see from the short video below where Bjørn has summarised his results, consumption figures can vary quite dramatically.
I should note that Bjørn conducted the tests above with previous versions of the Model X which are no longer on sale. The current Long Range/Performance Model X variants will achieve figures similar to those of the 100D, potentially even better. As you can see from the video above, the towing range depending on what was been towed ranged from just under 110 miles up to 182 miles.
What is very important to note is Bjørn states aerodynamic drag is more of a contributing factor to range reduction than the weight of the trailer. So that is something that more focus needs to be put on when it comes to electric tow cars.
Tesla Model X Features and Reviews
So if the towing information/range figures above and importantly the price point still fit within your requirements, what is the Model X like as an electric car in general? Well, I think the current best review available of the Model X Long Range (formally 100D) is by DrivingElectric.
The other big plus point in favour of the Model X when it comes to towing is the ability to charge at the Tesla Supercharger Network. As Vicky states in the video above, while Supercharging was previously free to Tesla Model S/X owners, that’s now not the case for new customers. However, they are currently the most widely available fast chargers of any network, and the price to charge is cost-competitive.
My Thoughts On The Tesla Model X….
Ok, so I’ve got to mention the rear falcon doors. I get they have the potential to provide some access benefits over ‘traditional’ rear doors in some instances. However, in general, I can personally see them causing more problems than their worth. Generally aside from that, if you have the funds to purchase a vehicle such as this its simple the most capable/viable electric tow car currently on UK roads. Though, as I’ve stated above, once released I expect the Model Y to take up the mantel. While the Model Y will have a lower maximum towing capacity it will be significantly cheaper.
I find the 90kg noseweight a bit disappointing on the UK Model X, especially since US versions offer significantly more. Though the range/efficiency when towing along with Tesla’s Trailer Mode software which I’m sure is going to get future updates is currently hard to beat. Furthermore, Tesla offers that ace in the hole of their Supercharger network. Which when it comes to towing is going to come in very handy indeed.