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Petition for tow hitch on the Model S

GSP

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,577
832
Signed. Thanks for setting up this petition.

I would expect this would not require a lot of time and effort on Tesla's part. It would make the Model S even more versatile, greatly increasing its value for many customers. Not to mention making it even more of a poster child for "EVs can do *everything* ICE vehicles can do."

GSP
 

Yggdrasill

Active Member
Feb 29, 2012
4,107
7,192
Kongsberg, Norway

kort677

Banned
Sep 17, 2015
4,801
2,996
florida.
Here in Norway, at least, that's not a legal solution for towing anything beyond bikes. If you get stopped with a trailer and an aftermarket tow hitch, that can easily be a several thousand dollar fine plus you will have to leave the trailer before continuing on your trip. Worst case scenario you'll even be charged with reckless driving.
if you want to tow something more substantial than a bicycle maybe the tesla is not the appropriate vehicle for you
 

Yggdrasill

Active Member
Feb 29, 2012
4,107
7,192
Kongsberg, Norway
if you want to tow something more substantial than a bicycle maybe the tesla is not the appropriate vehicle for you
You're right, it isn't. That's why I haven't bought one the last 3-4 years I've been an avid Tesla fan. But it could be - all it needs is the tow hitch. 2000 lbs would be fine, even better if it could take 5000 lb like the Model X.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,097
1,894
NJ
Here in Norway, at least, that's not a legal solution for towing anything beyond bikes. If you get stopped with a trailer and an aftermarket tow hitch, that can easily be a several thousand dollar fine plus you will have to leave the trailer before continuing on your trip. Worst case scenario you'll even be charged with reckless driving.


Norway doesn't allow aftermarket trailer hitches at all?
 

Yggdrasill

Active Member
Feb 29, 2012
4,107
7,192
Kongsberg, Norway
Norway doesn't allow aftermarket trailer hitches at all?
Installing a tow hitch on a car delivered without a tow hitch is only allowed if the car model is type approved with a tow hitch. (I'm not sure if you can use a completely different third party tow hitch on a car type approved with one - I suspect only manufacturer parts can be used.) I *think* these are European rules that apply to all cars that can be legally sold as new in Europe.

Edit: One small note, this is if the tow hitch is to be used for towing. It's completely legal to install any kind of tow hitch as long as you don't use it for towing, and it doesn't obstruct the view of the licence plate or otherwise interfere with the safety of the vehicle.
 
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muleferg

Active Member
Dec 15, 2013
1,454
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North Wilkesboro, NC
EcoHitch - Torklift Central: Why John Glenney mows his lawn with a Tesla Model S

attachment-1.jpg


John Boy the Farm Boy
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,711
3,219
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
I have always had trailers and tow hitches here in CA. It's allowed, and barring blatant stupidity, it's safe. I have towed with Prii and now with Model S. I have a 2000 lb tow load from Torqlift that I just put on my new 90D this week. No pictures yet, but I also had it on my old car, the Signature Model S.

The only possible downside to towing with a car which is not "approved" for towing is that if any damage occurs *due to towing*, the manufacturer *may* not cover it. Since it is acceptable on the X, which is virtually the same frame and drive train, it considerably weakens any argument against towing with the S.

Here is the Sig with trailer attached. Trailer weighs 350 lb. I haul concrete blocks, landscaping plants, rusted out water heaters, and even a casket once that may have been a tight fit inside.

If you have to wait for Tesla to approve the S trailer, it may be a while.

Trailer 002 sm.jpg
 
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Spidy

Active Member
Feb 7, 2015
1,364
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EU
Since it is acceptable on the X, which is virtually the same frame and drive train, it considerably weakens any argument against towing with the S.
I doubt it's 100% exactly the same frame. And sometimes just a 1-2mm difference in the metal sheets or a small additional bracing can make all the difference.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,711
3,219
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
I doubt it's 100% exactly the same frame. And sometimes just a 1-2mm difference in the metal sheets or a small additional bracing can make all the difference.

You are allowed to doubt. But you don't know. Neither do I. I said "virtually", and I hold to that.

Of course I expect there to be some bracing.

The people at Torqlift Central make a hitch designed for the Model S, designed to haul 2000 lb and 200 lb tongue load. All I'm saying is that it has already been done. You can buy a hitch (I did), get it mounted (it has additional bracing) and use it as designed by Torqlift. Of course, Tesla can refuse to sanction such a move: Many car companies do the same. You probably cannot get Honda to guarantee a hitch on a Civic that will pull a double horse trailer, though I have seen that done in Europe.

If you need an occasional hitch and use it intelligently and reasonably, the fact that Tesla does not recommend it causes no problems.

If you must have Tesla approval, then I guess you have to wait. For me, all my electrics have had a hitch. None of them were factory approved.
 

Yggdrasill

Active Member
Feb 29, 2012
4,107
7,192
Kongsberg, Norway
If you must have Tesla approval, then I guess you have to wait.
Yes, we must wait in Europe. We've really been waiting for it since the Model S was launched. At least I have. At the start I was waiting both for AWD and tow hitch, but Tesla has resolved one of those issues. Now that Tesla has developed a tow hitch for the Model X, it should require minimal effort to start offering it on the Model S. This could easily prop up Tesla sales in Norway, which have been on a downward trend ever since the Norwegain Krone started falling, about a year ago. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Tesla could sell an extra 1000 Model S in Norway each year by offering the tow hitch. Of course, some might be sales stolen from the Model X, but it should still boost total sales significantly.

The petition has reached 583 signatures, so things are progressing nicely.
 

Yggdrasill

Active Member
Feb 29, 2012
4,107
7,192
Kongsberg, Norway
And to explain the situation a bit better for the Americans: In Norway, about 50% of cars have a tow hitch, a statistic which includes everything from a Smart fortwo to a Tahoe. On large family cars, like the Model S, that statistic is closer to 100%. Despite this handicap, the Model S has been selling well, because people see that it's such an awesome car that they are willing to find other solutions for their towing needs. Whether this is having a second car with tow hitch, borrowing a car when the need to tow arises, renting a car, etc. Tesla should remove the handicap that the Model S has and allow it to live up to it's full potential in Norway and the rest of Europe.

Even if you yourself don't need the tow hitch, I hope you take the time to sign the petition to bring attention to the issue at Tesla. What happens when Tesla isn't helped by it's customers to find the right solutions is that they make strategic errors. One example is the premium rear seats - an option made for the Chinese market that flopped completely.
 

Whitmarsh

Member
Installing a tow hitch on a car delivered without a tow hitch is only allowed if the car model is type approved with a tow hitch. (I'm not sure if you can use a completely different third party tow hitch on a car type approved with one - I suspect only manufacturer parts can be used.) I *think* these are European rules that apply to all cars that can be legally sold as new in Europe.

Edit: One small note, this is if the tow hitch is to be used for towing. It's completely legal to install any kind of tow hitch as long as you don't use it for towing, and it doesn't obstruct the view of the licence plate or otherwise interfere with the safety of the vehicle.

It's not an EU regulation as far as I know; I bought one for a Jeep and several firms make them. The tow-hitch itself has to be approved.
 

Yggdrasill

Active Member
Feb 29, 2012
4,107
7,192
Kongsberg, Norway
It's not an EU regulation as far as I know; I bought one for a Jeep and several firms make them. The tow-hitch itself has to be approved.
Is it legal for a Model S to have a tow hitch in the UK?

(Either way, it doesn't definitely say whether it's an EU regulation. Countries do have some leeway in interpreting and implementing EU regulations. Norway is always trying to be best at implementing the regulation as intended. :/ )

- - - Updated - - -

Is it legal for a Model S to have a tow hitch in the UK?

(Either way, it doesn't definitely say whether it's an EU regulation. Countries do have some leeway in interpreting and implementing EU regulations. Norway is always trying to be best at implementing the regulation as intended. :/ )
I did some investigating, and you can not have a tow hitch on the Model S in the UK, intended for towing.

The EU regulation requires that both the vehicle and the tow hitch are type approved for towing. The Model S is type approved with a towing weight of 0 kg, and therefore the maximum towing weight is 0 kg. But my earlier suspecion that you would need a tow hitch made by the manufacturer is incorrect. It's okay that the tow hitch is made by a third party.

Basically all we need from Tesla is that they type approve the Model S with a given towing weight. That would allow us to fit third party tow hitches. Of course, it would be even better if Tesla could have this as an option from the factory, so that you get the "tow mode", the warranty, etc.
 

lklundin

Active Member
Oct 10, 2014
2,973
20,516
Bavaria
if you want to tow something more substantial than a bicycle maybe the tesla is not the appropriate vehicle for you

Why would it not be a good idea with a tow hitch for the Model S, just like there is one for the Model X?

Compared to other cars with a tow hitch, both the S and the X are heavy with a low center of gravity and have lots of power, so no problem there(*).

So what if it seriously reduces the range (maybe because the S by itself has such a low drag coefficient)?

Maybe I just want to haul my gardening waste to the recycling center on the other side of the town once a month and once in a while drive to the next town to pick up a washing machine or something like that.

In my Audi I can seat five people, put two bicycles on the roof and three on a tow hitch mounted rack, so five people can drive to some place and go cycling there. I don't see why a Model S owner should worse off than an Audi owner.

Further, any car with rear parking sensors will have their function impacted by attaching something to the tow hitch. While it may make the driving somewhat more difficult, it does not actually prevent people from driving safely, as wittnessed by the fact that this practice is indeed legal in your typical, sane jurisdiction. So that argument from Tesla appears specious to me.

Good idea with the petition, I signed it.

(*) Actually, in some jurisdictions the standard driver's license allows you to drive a vehicle + trailer with a total weight not exceeding 3500 kg. So a really heavy vehicle can put a limit on how much you can legally tow...
 
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