Cybertruck as a tow vehicle

AlexD

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I have been monitoring You Tube videos on Teslas towing and whilst they have all the power in the world to actually tow, their range goes out the door. Power consumption goes north of 700w/mile resulting in the effective range being reduced down to around 1/3 of the non-towing range. They are battling to tow 100 miles.... For me this is disastrous news because if the Cybertruck ends up with only about 120 miles towing range then its not going to fulfill one of my most basic requirements for a pick-up truck - the ability to tow effectively and efficiently.
A 100 to 120 mile range whilst towing is for me a deal breaker. NBGAA (no bloody good at all)





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AlexD

AlexD

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CT 1 RWD w/Powerwalls in-bed.

You are the second Towhead on the forum whose rig won’t tow without additional power-to-go. Tesla hasn’t piped up to announce Active Charging on-the-go. But that’s the solution for towing range underway
 
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AlexD

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CT 1 RWD w/Powerwalls in-bed.

You are the second Towhead on the forum whose rig won’t tow without additional power-to-go. Tesla hasn’t piped up to announce Active Charging on-the-go. But that’s the solution for towing range underway
I have just fitted a tow bar on my Model 3 dm. I fish at Lake Anna which is 65 miles from my house in Warrenton VA. There is no supercharger on route so I need to make about a 25 mile detour to get to a supercharger.
I have an F150 which I can use to tow with but I love my Model 3 as it is such a pleasure to drive so I rather want to tow with the Tesla. I can just about make it with my bass boat to Lake Anna but the whole arrangement is not ideal. I now start worrying about the Cybertruck which was to replace the F150. It starts looking like its a non-starter because of EV's poor towing performance. After the first Cybertrucks are released I shall monitor the YouTube videos to see how they perform as tow vehicles. If they are much the same as the Model X, 3 & Y in towing then I will not proceed with my pre-order. Sad, but it won't work for me and I am a big EV fan.
 

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I have just fitted a tow bar on my Model 3 dm. I fish at Lake Anna which is 65 miles from my house in Warrenton VA. There is no supercharger on route so I need to make about a 25 mile detour to get to a supercharger.
I have an F150 which I can use to tow with but I love my Model 3 as it is such a pleasure to drive so I rather want to tow with the Tesla. I can just about make it with my bass boat to Lake Anna but the whole arrangement is not ideal. I now start worrying about the Cybertruck which was to replace the F150. It starts looking like its a non-starter because of EV's poor towing performance. After the first Cybertrucks are released I shall monitor the YouTube videos to see how they perform as tow vehicles. If they are much the same as the Model X, 3 & Y in towing then I will not proceed with my pre-order. Sad, but it won't work for me and I am a big EV fan.
ICE towing ranges can vary too depending on many factors.

Looking at TCO for all activities might show Cybertruck is less costly.

If you provide more info we might be able to make an estimate.

What trim level (XL, Limited, Platinum, etc) of F-150 do you have?

What engine model?

What mpg when not towing

What mpg when towing?

When driving & not towing is the truck bed usually empty? How many miles per year driven like that?

What total miles truck driven per year?


Do you tow every week or just a couple times a year?
 

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I think it is a good point that a pickup truck should be able to tow efficiently and for long ranges with okay mileage. Where I think there is a misunderstanding here is that the Cyber truck doesn't seem to be a vehicle that is intended to be used for heavy duty towing, at least not from what I can see.

If I had to put a name on the market segment that the cybertruck is targeting it would be weekend warriors or maybe even off-roaders. To substantiate this just look at the vehicles that they seem to be comparing the CT to, the f-150, the raptor, the Ram TRX, Silverado 1500, etc. While all of these vehicles can tow, they also take a huge hit to their mileage and it is more of a secondary function. That seems to be precisely what the CT is meant to go up against. An f-350, or any other super duty vehicle will naturally outperform it in terms of towing capacity and efficiency, but that's not the Target that Tesla is shooting for in my opinion.
 

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My boat, my caravan, my wife's horsebox, my race car and my work utility trailer.
I'd love to see MPG numbers with your existing truck and trailer combinations!

I think you'll find that your existing tow vehicle loses quite a lot of range when it tows, as well.

I get about 50%-60% of my unladen range when I tow my travel trailer with my ICE vehicle, depending on the speed I choose. (MPGs drop from 18-20 when unladen to 9-12 when towing.)

This is intuitive, because my travel trailer roughly doubles the weight and frontal area of my truck. This is comparable to the range hit people have reported when towing with the Model X.

We've debated this topic extensively on this board, and the only things we can agree on is that:
  • The trailer has a big effect on the performance of the combination vehicle.
  • We won't get good numbers until someone actually does it.
  • Conventionally powered vehicles also take a big range hit when towing, but nobody seems to care.
Personally, I've bought in to the hypothesis that my GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid is the most similar vehicle on the road to the upcoming Cybertruck[0]. As such, it's the best model I have for the Cybertruck's towing performance.

I'm expecting a similar range-reduction when towing with the CT, which means the Tri-Motor CT is the best fit for my towing use-case. But I fully recognize that there are large error bars on my numbers -- the CT's towing range with my trailer might be 40% of its unladen range, or 60%. 🤷‍♂️

I humbly suggest that you precisely and accurately measure your tow vehicle's MPG with and without your trailers. A lot of us on this board are engineers (but not automotive engineers) -- and so the math gets hot & heavy long before someone goes for a drive in his/her truck and just f*cking measures the numbers.

[0] The upcoming F-150 Hybrid and F150-EVs will also be good models. However, I have yet to see either in the wild, much less tow with one.
 

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There is no supercharger on route so I need to make about a 25 mile detour to get to a supercharger.
What is location of the Supercharger you would need to detour to? Is it at Madison, VA?
 
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AlexD

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I'd love to see MPG numbers with your existing truck and trailer combinations!

I think you'll find that your existing tow vehicle loses quite a lot of range when it tows, as well.

I get about 50%-60% of my unladen range when I tow my travel trailer with my ICE vehicle, depending on the speed I choose. (MPGs drop from 18-20 when unladen to 9-12 when towing.)

This is intuitive, because my travel trailer roughly doubles the weight and frontal area of my truck. This is comparable to the range hit people have reported when towing with the Model X.

We've debated this topic extensively on this board, and the only things we can agree on is that:
  • The trailer has a big effect on the performance of the combination vehicle.
  • We won't get good numbers until someone actually does it.
  • Conventionally powered vehicles also take a big range hit when towing, but nobody seems to care.
Personally, I've bought in to the hypothesis that my GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid is the most similar vehicle on the road to the upcoming Cybertruck[0]. As such, it's the best model I have for the Cybertruck's towing performance.

I'm expecting a similar range-reduction when towing with the CT, which means the Tri-Motor CT is the best fit for my towing use-case. But I fully recognize that there are large error bars on my numbers -- the CT's towing range with my trailer might be 40% of its unladen range, or 60%. 🤷‍♂️

I humbly suggest that you precisely and accurately measure your tow vehicle's MPG with and without your trailers. A lot of us on this board are engineers (but not automotive engineers) -- and so the math gets hot & heavy long before someone goes for a drive in his/her truck and just f*cking measures the numbers.

[0] The upcoming F-150 Hybrid and F150-EVs will also be good models. However, I have yet to see either in the wild, much less tow with one.
OK by happy coincidence I can give you exact figures.
My F150 Lariat is a 2003 model, real old tech with a huge thirsty 5.4L V8. Within our family she is known as GAS-HOG! She has just north of 103000 miles on the clock.

A few weeks ago I drove Gas-hog up to Indianapolis to collect a boat I had bought on auction. Here are the exact figures from my logbook.

4/15/21 Fill up to start trip at Warrenton VA. Mileage 103354
4/16/21 Fill up 17.672 Gal $49.34 Mileage 103662 (308) Fuel consumption 17.43 MPG
4/16/21 Fill up 21.76 Gal $49.34 Mileage 104028 (366 miles) consumption 16.83 MPG
We are now at Indianapolis & hitch the boat up. Up to the first fill up I was driving at night and my speed was low. The 2nd tank to Indianapolis I'm putting foot and doing 75 to 80MPH
HITCH UP BOAT
Now we are towing a 16.5ft Bass boat and driving 75 to 80 MPH
4/17/21 Fill up 21.2 Gal $59.34 Mileage 104334 consumption 14.43 MPG
4/17/21 Fill up 21.373 Gal $57.69 Mileage 104619 consumption 13.33 MPG - but I'm speeding 80 to 85 MPH (smell home & tired of this drive!)

Summary: Not towing average consumption 17.13 MPG
Towing average consumption 13.88 MPG
Extra fuel consumption towing 3.25 MPG or 18.97% increase in fuel consumption towing. It is also overstated because when coming home towing I was driving faster.

Conclusion: The F150 Gas Hog doesn't use substantially more gas whilst towing.
 

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That's a 32% increase in fuel consumption to go from 18mpg to 13.5. I don't know where you got the 18% from.

-Crissa
 
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AlexD

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What is location of the Supercharger you would need to detour to? Is it at Madison, VA?
The Supercharger at Spotsylvania Courthouse near Fredericksburg. I now looked at the map again and I think I was being very optimistic to say its a detour of "only" 25 miles. I think its a lot worse. So look at the map travelling from Warrenton VA to the State Park at Lake Anna. Spotsylvania is really going far out of the direct route and is a serious detour. No other options.
 

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I have been monitoring You Tube videos on Teslas towing and whilst they have all the power in the world to actually tow, their range goes out the door. Power consumption goes north of 700w/mile resulting in the effective range being reduced down to around 1/3 of the non-towing range. They are battling to tow 100 miles.... For me this is disastrous news because if the Cybertruck ends up with only about 120 miles towing range then its not going to fulfill one of my most basic requirements for a pick-up truck - the ability to tow effectively and efficiently.
A 100 to 120 mile range whilst towing is for me a deal breaker. NBGAA (no bloody good at all)
I've done the math based off of other tests and I expect to get around 140 miles of range with my 10K lb Airstream with my Tri-Motor (500+ mile range) Cyber Truck. That is at 70F.

That is enough to get between just about any Supercharger gap on US Interstates.

If it's below freezing outside, I'm planning on 100 miles or less. But I don't tow much when it's cold.

The REAL problem is almost all current Supercharger stations are not setup for charging with a trailer. I'd say around 90% of Superchargers you will have to disconnect the trailer to charger the Cybertruck. So if the CT has the expected ~200kWh battery pack, a minimum of 1 hour charging while towing, and then add on another 20 minutes every time for trailer de-coupling and re-coupling.

Don't expect to get anywhere quickly.
 
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AlexD

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That's a 32% increase in fuel consumption to go from 18mpg to 13.5. I don't know where you got the 18% from.

-Crissa
Do the maths.

Add 17.43 mpg & 16.83 mpg & divide by 2 (average unloaded consumption) and you get an average non towing consumption of 17.13 mpg (not 18!)
Now take the 2 towing consumptions and add them together & divide by 2 and you get an average towing consumption of 13.88 mpg.
The difference is 3.25mpg extra consumption.
3.25/17.13 x % = 18.97% Nothing wrong with my maths.
Because of the very differing driving speeds at night & day it would be more fair to compare the last tank up to Indianapolis and the tank used leaving Indianapolis because I was driving at similar speeds and the road is pretty flat. Then you are comparing 16.83 MPG & 14.43 MPG and that is a mere 14.26% increase in fuel consumption between towing and not towing. That is closer to reality.
 

Crissa

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I did the math. You consumed 0.055 gallons per mile (18mpg). Then you put the trailer on and consumed 0.074 gallons per mile (13.6). That's an increase of 32%.

I don't know what your math was about, because it makes no sense. You consume gallons, not mpgs.

-Crissa
 

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