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Is 350 miles enough for towing 10k pounds?

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
I’ve pulled 2 campers (had airstream now ORV) well over 100k miles over the last 15 years. If your truck is Tate’s Weight doesn't matter that much. Last summer I moved my buddies 17’ 3800 lb camper 400 miles and I see the same MPG pulling my 6800 lb 22BHS. Aero drag matters more then weight. My current tow rig is a LX570. I get ~16mpg on the highway, towing my camper at 55-60 mph I get 9 mph, 65-70 mph I get 7.5-8mpg, at 75 mph I get 7 mpg (so 25% less then 55-60). I’ve done some estimates of what to expect based on my towing up to 10k miles a year. Pulling my ORV 22BHS I’m estimating 50% range running 55-60 mph and 60-70% reduction running 70 mph.

also I noticed almost no difference in mpg from my Airstream I had for 9 years to my ORV we’ve had for almost 6 years. Also Both campers were almost the same size and weight.
 
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CaptMhack

Member
Mar 4, 2020
37
26
Tampa
I am a tri motor trim pre order holder since unveiled.

But given recent financial insights, I understand that saving money for retirement is more important than wasting on new cars, yet I still want the CT, so I am thinking, what if I go with the dual motor trim when configuration time comes?

I guess that 350 miles is really 150 miles between charges.
I currently live in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, the first two superchargers seem to be within that range.

Is the entire network set to allow me to travel and explore the continent with the dual motor trim towing a trailer?

I think 10k is enough for any boat, camper trailer for 6-10 people.. I am not sure at all what does the third motor do.

I would keep it forever, so battery degradation after warranty period is something that I have to think about...

Although paying say, 10k for replacing the battery after say 10 years, is cheaper than giving the 20k to Tesla and pay interest over that financing..

I might as well put 10k for 10 years in stocks, and with compounding interest, I will have about $22,196.40 with average market returns of 8% annually.

So, please tell me, is driving around with 150 miles between charges viable?


You will get about 120 miles..
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,489
3,756
NE Tennessee
I have towed a 2000lb Aliner with my Model 3 and I am lucky to get 150 miles at 65 mph with a FULL charge. So about half. And as a comparison my Volts range and MPG also dropped in half when pulling it.
 
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uujjj2

Member
Aug 11, 2020
487
1,880
San Jose, CA
I have towed a 2000lb Aliner with my Model 3 and I am lucky to get 150 miles at 65 mph with a FULL charge. So about half. And as a comparison my Volts range and MPG also dropped in half when pulling it.

According to the Uujjj rule, 2000lb trailer -> 200Wh/mi extra consumption. The Model 3 itself uses around 230Wh/mi, so according to the Uujjj rule you should be using around 430Wh/mi with the trailer.
 

Zybane

Member
Oct 22, 2015
377
119
Washington D.C.
Most people here and in general will seriously over-estimate range towing a trailer with the CT. ESPECIALLY when it's cold outside/you live in Northern Climates.

Based on my calculations; my Tri-Motor CT will tow my 10,000 lb 30' Airstream Classic a maximum of ~140 miles at 80F and ~90 miles at 20F.

Considering you generally do not want to drop down below 20% battery for both safety and battery preservation, those numbers fall to ~110 miles at 80F and ~70 miles at 20F.

People are going to get a big reality check on the limitations of towing with an EV.
 

uujjj2

Member
Aug 11, 2020
487
1,880
San Jose, CA
Based on my calculations; my Tri-Motor CT will tow my 10,000 lb 30' Airstream Classic a maximum of ~140 miles at 80F and ~90 miles at 20F.

First off, most people don't tow in sub-freezing weather. Some do, but most don't.

Second, your calculation implies going from ~1400Wh/mi to ~2100Wh/mi. That's not realistic. Range loss in cold weather is mostly a result of energy used for climate control. Your cabin/battery heater is not going to use 700Wh/mi. In a Model 3, the cabin/battery heat uses around 100Wh/mi at 50mph. A Cybertruck won't use much more than that. In fact, if you're towing, the load is going to keep your battery warm and toasty without using a battery heater at all. A Model 3 (pre-heat pump) can see a huge drop-off in range in cold temps, but a Cybertruck with a huge trailer will see only a small range loss.
 

Zybane

Member
Oct 22, 2015
377
119
Washington D.C.
Real world testing is going to prove me correct. Hell, an advertised 500+ mile range on the CT will be closer to low 400's in real world testing right off the bat. Even less if the CT has any sort of tires that have off-road traction.

A tiny little 4,600 lb trailer cut a Model X's range to 1/3rd during testing. A model X that has better coefficient of drag, is lighter and has highway tires on it compared to the CT.
 
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alexgr

Member
Aug 13, 2019
816
752
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Most people here and in general will seriously over-estimate range towing a trailer with the CT. ESPECIALLY when it's cold outside/you live in Northern Climates.

Based on my calculations; my Tri-Motor CT will tow my 10,000 lb 30' Airstream Classic a maximum of ~140 miles at 80F and ~90 miles at 20F.

Considering you generally do not want to drop down below 20% battery for both safety and battery preservation, those numbers fall to ~110 miles at 80F and ~70 miles at 20F.

People are going to get a big reality check on the limitations of towing with an EV.

Temperature will have a much less noticeable effect on CT consumption than on, say, M3 or MY consumption because it is a smaller fraction of the overall consumption than in smaller cars. The critical effect on the consumption will be due to the air drag; going 50 mph vs 70 mph will make a dramatic difference. If the tri-motor CT has 500 miles of range, I would not be surprised you can tow a 10,000 trailer for over 250 miles if you do so gently not exceeding 50-55 mph and accelerating slowly.
 

RMS149

Member
Nov 12, 2020
7
2
NY
I'm not sure where everyone is getting their "numbers" and info but conservation of energy/momentum, is the situation where towing is concerned. For those of us that have tow vehicles and tow regularly, whatever we are towing now and our Fuel millage change is what we are going to see in the CT. To expect any better or worse is to assume that there is some sort of magic based on power source. There isn't.

I tow a 4500 pound boat and trailer combo with a Chevy Silverado 5.3L engine. When not towing I'm averaging 18MPH. Hook that boat up and I'm seeing 12 MPG. Yes if I drive 75 things get worse. but my average for any 200 miles of towing is 12MPG. Now some of this is because when towing my shift points change and I have to run slightly higher RPMs, but that is towing. In the CT I will not have to run through variable transmission as I accelerate or climb a hill but I will have to put more electrons in.

If the real world driving is 500 miles on a tri motor unloaded, then for my boat trailer combo I'm going to see right around 330 Miles/charge. If you have a big 32 foot travel trailer then look at your current millage difference on your existing tow vehicle and you will get that same drop off on the CT.

There is a bunch of discussion about tires, heating, cabin heat, deep winter, etc. if you are towing a couple snowmobiles 2500 pounds you are going to see some drop off (use your ICE tow vehicle to get you close) and you already know the penalty for cold weather. If 500 miles is at 75 degrees look at the penalty to the X for driving in cold weather and calculate that. then reduce the 500 miles by that same amount then take your existing towing penalty. Bobs your uncle and you know your range.

Trying to calculate usage on something that doesn't exist and with an unknown battery capacity and an as yet unknown rolling resistance, motor configuration is crazy. Just use what you know.
 
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alexgr

Member
Aug 13, 2019
816
752
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I tow a 4500 pound boat and trailer combo with a Chevy Silverado 5.3L engine. When not towing I'm averaging 18MPH. Hook that boat up and I'm seeing 12 MPG. Yes if I drive 75 things get worse. but my average for any 200 miles of towing is 12MPG.

If the real world driving is 500 miles on a tri motor unloaded, then for my boat trailer combo I'm going to see right around 330 Miles/charge.
NO!!! :)

Here is a crude explanation.
The issue is that a gasoline (and diesel) engine is usually less than 40% efficient. That means that 60% of your gallon per 18 miles heats the air, that is 0.6 gallon fuel wasted per 18 miles. So, your fuel consumption for driving is actually 0.4 gallons per 18 miles or 45 MPG. When you tow, about the same 0.6 gallons will be wasted per 18 miles. This is 0.6*12/18=0.4 gallons wasted per 12 miles, so the real consumption now is 0.6 gallons per 12 miles, or 20 MPG. The true consumption goes down for you from 45 MPG to 20 MPG, more than 50%.
Electric cars are a lot more efficient, like 85% efficient. So, the wasted energy is much smaller, and you will see a lot more dramatic increase in consumption than the increase you see on gasoline or diesel cars.
 
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coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
I'm not sure where everyone is getting their "numbers" and info but conservation of energy/momentum, is the situation where towing is concerned. For those of us that have tow vehicles and tow regularly, whatever we are towing now and our Fuel millage change is what we are going to see in the CT. To expect any better or worse is to assume that there is some sort of magic based on power source. There isn't.

I tow a 4500 pound boat and trailer combo with a Chevy Silverado 5.3L engine. When not towing I'm averaging 18MPH. Hook that boat up and I'm seeing 12 MPG. Yes if I drive 75 things get worse. but my average for any 200 miles of towing is 12MPG. Now some of this is because when towing my shift points change and I have to run slightly higher RPMs, but that is towing. In the CT I will not have to run through variable transmission as I accelerate or climb a hill but I will have to put more electrons in.

If the real world driving is 500 miles on a tri motor unloaded, then for my boat trailer combo I'm going to see right around 330 Miles/charge. If you have a big 32 foot travel trailer then look at your current millage difference on your existing tow vehicle and you will get that same drop off on the CT.

There is a bunch of discussion about tires, heating, cabin heat, deep winter, etc. if you are towing a couple snowmobiles 2500 pounds you are going to see some drop off (use your ICE tow vehicle to get you close) and you already know the penalty for cold weather. If 500 miles is at 75 degrees look at the penalty to the X for driving in cold weather and calculate that. then reduce the 500 miles by that same amount then take your existing towing penalty. Bobs your uncle and you know your range.

Trying to calculate usage on something that doesn't exist and with an unknown battery capacity and an as yet unknown rolling resistance, motor configuration is crazy. Just use what you know.
You are making the assumption that there is a rational comparison to the reduction mpg and Wh/mi towing. This does not work since ICE engines have a huge amount of energy wasted (in the form of heat) and EVs are highly efficient.

One gallon of gas is ~36,111 Wh of energy. So using your numbers above and some rough math your truck not towing (18mpg) is using ~2000 Wh/mi energy. Then towing (12mpg) it is using ~3000 Wh/mi. So it takes an additional ~1000 Wh/mi to tow your boat. Physics is physics and energy is energy regardless of ICE or EV. With your truck you see a 50% increase in energy consumption.

Now let’s look at the CT. Let’s assume that the 500 mile will have a 200kw battery, then to get 500 miles it will need to get 400 Wh/mi. It will take very close to the same ~1000 Wh/mi increase to tow your boat with a CT as your ice truck. So then you go from 400 Wh/mi to 1400 Wh/mi or a 250% increase in energy consumption. This takes the 500 mile CT to ~140 mile range given rough numbers and your data.
 
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RMS149

Member
Nov 12, 2020
7
2
NY
You are making the assumption that there is a rational comparison to the reduction mpg and Wh/mi towing. This does not work since ICE engines have a huge amount of energy wasted (in the form of heat) and EVs are highly efficient.

One gallon of gas is ~36,111 Wh of energy. So using your numbers above and some rough math your truck not towing (18mpg) is using ~2000 Wh/mi energy. Then towing (12mpg) it is using ~3000 Wh/mi. So it takes an additional ~1000 Wh/mi to tow your boat. Physics is physics and energy is energy regardless of ICE or EV. With your truck you see a 50% increase in energy consumption.

Now let’s look at the CT. Let’s assume that the 500 mile will have a 200kw battery, then to get 500 miles it will need to get 400 Wh/mi. It will take very close to the same ~1000 Wh/mi increase to tow your boat with a CT as your ice truck. So then you go from 400 Wh/mi to 1400 Wh/mi or a 250% increase in energy consumption. This takes the 500 mile CT to ~140 mile range given rough numbers and your data.


Cole
Wasted energy in the form of HEAT has nothing to do with this You should only use the 18-20% turned into motion. Look at it after you have turned Fuel to motion. How much of my gas is turned into heat energy has NOTHING to do with the calculations. There is energy to move how efficient I turn gas into movement has nothing to do with it. I have a tank full of energy I get 1/3 less movement out of the tank. It makes NO difference if my source is electrical stored energy or in the form of fuel. So taking my 2000 and 3000Wh/mile and comparing it to an electrical motor is NOT applicable you are using the entire energy in gas when only 18% gets used...

Again you do not know the battery yet, you do not know the Wh/mile you cant make an assumption of any of this.
 

RMS149

Member
Nov 12, 2020
7
2
NY
NO!!! :)

Here is a crude explanation.
The issue is that a gasoline (and diesel) engine is usually less than 40% efficient. That means that 60% of your gallon per 18 miles heats the air, that is 0.6 gallon fuel wasted per 18 miles. So, your fuel consumption for driving is actually 0.4 gallons per 18 miles or 45 MPG. When you tow, about the same 0.6 gallons will be wasted per 18 miles. This is 0.6*12/18=0.4 gallons wasted per 12 miles, so the real consumption now is 0.6 gallons per 12 miles, or 20 MPG. The true consumption goes down for you from 45 MPG to 20 MPG, more than 50%.
Electric cars are a lot more efficient, like 85% efficient. So, the wasted energy is much smaller, and you will see a lot more dramatic increase in consumption than the increase you see on gasoline or diesel cars.


Alex, Don't look at the ICE and let that cloud the discussion. it doesn't matter how much is lost to heat that is a constant Towing doesn't change those losses...

I fully understand electric cars are ABSOLUTELY more efficient in turning energy into motion. I DO NOT disagree here. What you all are missing is you have situation where the towing reduces efficiency. Weather my truck is 20% or 40 % efficient doesn't matter. What matters is that a a change to a system (Towing) causes 1/3 less movement on my vehicle. The same change on an electric vehicle will cause the same reduction. If you take the electric motor and the engine out of the equation and just call it an energy converter One gallon gets X miles and 1000Wh gets Y miles. Attach my boat to each and I'm telling you both will have a 33% reduction in distance traveled.
 

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
Cole
Wasted energy in the form of HEAT has nothing to do with this You should only use the 18-20% turned into motion. Look at it after you have turned Fuel to motion. How much of my gas is turned into heat energy has NOTHING to do with the calculations. There is energy to move how efficient I turn gas into movement has nothing to do with it. I have a tank full of energy I get 1/3 less movement out of the tank. It makes NO difference if my source is electrical stored energy or in the form of fuel. So taking my 2000 and 3000Wh/mile and comparing it to an electrical motor is NOT applicable you are using the entire energy in gas when only 18% gets used...

Again you do not know the battery yet, you do not know the Wh/mile you cant make an assumption of any of this.
No offense, but You are completely wrong.

Also Look at other things that increase energy I’m consumption like headwinds and going uphill. Both have a dramatic effect on my Tesla(s) and very little effect on my ICE. In my model 3 when I drive home uphill ~1000 vertical feet I get 900-1000 Wh/mi, that from an around town baseline of 250 Wh/mi. In my LX570 I get 10 mpg on my drive home from a around town baseline of 12 mpg. That is a 300% increase for the Tesla and a 17% increase for my ICE.
 
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coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
Alex, Don't look at the ICE and let that cloud the discussion. it doesn't matter how much is lost to heat that is a constant Towing doesn't change those losses...

I fully understand electric cars are ABSOLUTELY more efficient in turning energy into motion. I DO NOT disagree here. What you all are missing is you have situation where the towing reduces efficiency. Weather my truck is 20% or 40 % efficient doesn't matter. What matters is that a a change to a system (Towing) causes 1/3 less movement on my vehicle. The same change on an electric vehicle will cause the same reduction. If you take the electric motor and the engine out of the equation and just call it an energy converter One gallon gets X miles and 1000Wh gets Y miles. Attach my boat to each and I'm telling you both will have a 33% reduction in distance traveled.
Yeah it doesn’t work that way. The amount of energy needed to exert a force is the same no matter what is exerting it, Physics 101
 

alexgr

Member
Aug 13, 2019
816
752
42
What matters is that a a change to a system (Towing) causes 1/3 less movement on my vehicle. The same change on an electric vehicle will cause the same reduction.

The change on an electric vehicle will always be larger than the change on an ICE vehicle. You will NOT be able to achieve the same 1/3 (or any similar) consumption reduction factor on an electric truck as you see on an ICE truck. The problem is that wasted energy on an ICE vehicle is masking the relative consumption change under additional load.
 

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