Tesla Model X: Edmunds Tahoe Tow Test | Part 1


DAN EDMUNDS: Tesla changed the
game for electric vehicles. But it’s not just the
230 something mile range they came out with initially. It’s also the
supercharger network. So you can go places
in the CV, something that you can’t do with
other competitors. The Model X comes
out, and it’s got a tow hitch and a tow rating. It can tow 5,000 pounds with
20 inch wheels and 3,500 pounds with the 22 inch
wheels that we have. What we’ve got here today is a
happier camper HC1 fiberglass trailer. It weighs about 1,500
pounds, a little more than that with the
stuff we’ve got in it, and we’re going to tow it using
our Model X on the supercharger network. Let’s go camping. [MUSIC PLAYING] One of the unique features
of the Tesla is the tow mode. Now you’ve heard of other
cars having tow modes, but that’s usually something
that changes the shift points in the transmission. What tow mode does here is
there’s a little blue indicator light here, and it’s
blue, because when I plugged in the
trailer, it recognized that I plug-in the trailer,
so it’s automatically checking all your
trailer lights to make sure they’re all working and
that it’s all plugged in right. We’re towing a happier
camper HC1, which is a small single axle trailer. They’ve styled it after some
stuff that was sold in the 60s, but they’ve really
funkifide it nicely. The thing I like
about it, though, is something I didn’t really
notice when I first looked at it is it’s got Windows
front and rear that line up with my mirror, so I
can see cars right behind me. I can see my bike. And the other thing
is you may have noticed it has these
fenders on the side that give it a little flair. There’s two reasons for that. One is the fenders
make it a little wider where somebody’s sleeping, so
you got wider sleeping area. But also the fact
that they’re cut low like that means that I
can see out my mirrors here, because the trailer body
where I need to see past it isn’t as wide as
it is lower down. [MUSIC PLAYING] We made it to Mojave, our
first stop on our trip, and we have 65 miles
of range left, which is more than I thought
we’d have at this point. The trip up here was easy. I mean, there’s a lot of hills. We gained about 2,500
feet in altitude. I just set the cruise
at 55 miles an hour. I wasn’t really sure what
the range implications of towing this trailer
were going to be, so I was taking it easy. But the thing about towing
with an electric vehicle is there’s no shifting. There’s no real
noise that’s produced if it’s working harder. Going downhill, going
uphill, going flat ground, it all feels the same. There’s no difference. [MUSIC PLAYING] We just left Mojave
supercharger, the first one of the trip. We stayed there to get
it absolutely full, because this run to
Lone Pine is 118 miles. Which doesn’t sound
like it should be a problem, because this
thing has a range of 230, 240, but we’re towing a trailer. That about cuts
the range in half. We may decide to peel
off at Inyokern, which is an intermediate supercharger. It adds about 30 minutes
to our trip to pull off, a splash of electricity, if you
can call it that, and go again, But we may want to do it. But I’m looking at a graph that
started when we left Mojave, and the gray line was it’s
prediction of my consumption when we left. And now that I’m on
the road and it’s kind of seeing
how fast I’m going and the slope and
headwind or whatever, it’s made this new calculation. And it shows that I’ll make
it, but at 20% battery. And it’s turned
yellow, because it thinks 20% battery
is a little iffy, and I’m not in
disagreement with that. But if I switch to this
consumption map instead, you can see that it’s early
calculation was probably based on this peak, which was me
getting out of the parking lot and accelerating up to 55 and,
kind of, climbing a hill out of town. And now that we’re
cruising, you can see it’s actually really good. So I think if this keeps up,
I should see these lines come back to where they were. And I’m less– it actually
just went up to 21 right there and went from yellow to
green, so maybe we’re good. But again, that’s the
thing with this car. It’s a little bit
of a math problem. You have to be comfortable
looking at graphs and thinking about this stuff
and, kind of, forecasting. I did a lot of that on
other cross-country trips, and it looks like this trailer
is forcing me to do it now. [MUSIC PLAYING] So we stopped in Inyokern,
which wasn’t the plan. We were supposed
to go to Lone Pine just 118 miles up from Mojave. The battery that
looked like it was going to be just fine with 22,
23% charge started to drop. And when it got to about 16,
15% and it was in the yellow, I thought, well,
there’s a chance if it keeps dropping like
this that we won’t make it. Decided to peel off, stop
here quick like in Inyokern, probably only need 20,
25 minutes of charge, and then we’re off. So the sun is pretty
much directly overhead. It’s noon, and this
windshield/sunroof, I can feel more radiant heat. And depending on
which way I turn, the sun’s coming straight down. So we’re going to deploy– you may be thinking
there must be some kind of cover
or a sunshade, and the answer is yes
there is and this– this is it. So I’m going to pull this
thing out, and there it is. Whoa, oh, turn it over. There we go, and
that’s what you get. So we’re here in Lone Pine. We made it. It was really no problem
at all, because we had that top up charge in Inyokern. Here it’s not totally perfect,
because the supercharger here next to the
film museum, it’s in a really tight parking lot. Technically, it’s
a nose in spot, and I wouldn’t
have to disconnect. But if I did that, none of
those cars could get out. I’ve got to drop the trailer
here, pull the car in, charge, come back, hook up again, and
then it’s off to the campsite. So we just left Lone Pine where
we had some nice barbecue, and now we’re headed into
the place called the Alabama Hills where a lot
of Western movies were filmed back in the day. Now we didn’t have any problems,
but it’s not a quick way to travel, because the
supercharger time is time that you wouldn’t have to
spend in a gasoline car. We always knew
that with a Tesla. But when you’re
towing with a trailer, the charge times are just that
much longer because you’re using so much more electricity. It took us by my quick
reckoning over 6 and 1/2 hours to go 200 and 12 miles,
including the charges in there. Tomorrow’s leg is probably the
most difficult one of the trip. We’re going to leave
here and go to Mammoth. It’s 95 miles,
which isn’t so bad. But it’s almost 4,000
feet in elevation, so that’s a lot of climbing. So we’re just going to have to
take it easy and not freak out, and we should be fine. [MUSIC PLAYING]

72 Replies to “Tesla Model X: Edmunds Tahoe Tow Test | Part 1

  1. Wow 6 hours to go 200 miles?!?!? Get a truck and you can tow a real trailer and not need to waste 3 hours recharging every 80 miles. Electric cars are only practical for small daily driving, not road trips or towing.

  2. Don't have all that problem with gas or diesel. Again, unless the battery technology improves big time, all these electric stuff right at the moment is a wash. (If you've learned about battery technology, you will know what I'm talking about)

  3. Most people would be fine doing math. Tesla buyers are usually engineers, doctors, scientists, etc. who are pretty smart. Looking at a graph like that is no problem at all.

    The fact that it took 6 hours to go 200 miles was disappointing, however.

  4. 1:28 "It's got windows front and rear that line up with my mirror" — Wait, so with all this fancy technology, and this huge screen, you cannot connect a rear view camera in that trailer and connect it to the Tesla?

  5. Entire power grids were lost due to Hurricane Irma and Jose for over a week in Florida. Millions without electric power. What do you do then Tesla owners?

  6. Thanks for a real world test…e.v.simply aren't up to snuff..way too long charging vs. driving. This is a controlled test…I'd hate to have to travel at night and pull into some of these locations and sit there for a charge…seems dicey. Until e.v. can go 500 to 600 miles on a single real world charge and recharge completely understand 15 minutes, they simply won't be able to compete with i.c.e. I hope the e.v. tech gets to that point, but as of now, unless one is driving in a city or a daily commute, e.v is a toy

  7. Tesla should sell a camper with additional batteries in it. It would be expensive. It would have its own power when parked and add range to the host automobile.

  8. Bullshit. It doesn't take 6 hours. Not even in a Tesla. You may be towing a vehicle but it only takes 20 min to charge to 80% at a supercharger (bathroom break) and I also notice you didn't have the Model X in travel mode which extends the mileage for a traveler using the power more efficiently regardless of tow mode which only monitors the trailer hookup. Nice try.

  9. Funkified? Is that test/review lingo for goddy? Yeah..That range anxiety thing would not allow me to have a "relaxed" drive time! Unless and until Tesla is able to achieve far more reasonable milage, this model would not be practical as a tow rig period!

  10. Edmunds becomes irrelevant! Deceitful reviews! Did you do analysis of Model 3? The hottest car in history? Go out of business, would you?

  11. Tesla is shady and such a joke. I was about to pull the trigger for a Model X only to find out that the actual prices were 6% higher than what's advertised on the website and the sales people just stopped replying when I asked why. And since when is a car with 1300 miles on it considered a "new" car — I mean take a look at the "new" inventory on their website. On top of that it's a joke that the website still shows the CA $2500 incentive when it's only applicable to low income households (yea sure low income households will buy a $120k+ toy car…). And what's with pricing the "gas savings" into the price that's just BS. Why don't they just price the car at -$150k because the car costs $150k but you will save $300k on gas over the next 100 years… Sadly the wife still wants a Model X…

  12. Charging to "absolutely full" is senseless. It takes too much time. BTW 22" wheels are not a good idea in a car that you want to use to towing. They are vanity thing for a city dweller.

  13. That's too much charging time. You're also not counting that the charging time is simultaneous to a break (like lunch or bathroom). I just got back from a 2,400 mile trip in a Model S and the charging was inconsequential to my driving as I don't like to drive for hours on end without getting out. I drive 2-3 hours then stop for 30 minutes, which is exactly fitting with charging.

  14. If you do the math it took you about 120kwh. With a 90kwh car all it should take is a top up midway like 40-50kwh which should go in in like 30 minutes. Offcourse I say that having the final numbers in hand but anyone with a trailer should gain the experience to plan in a more effective way rather quickly with the Tesla. You just have to trust it as you said!

  15. My first reaction was : Incredible, a $80,000 SUV can tow a tiny trailer ? that's… huge !?

    Seriously, this gives a slightly more precise idea of what to expect in term of range in these conditions…

  16. This brings up a key point about truly useable range on a trip vs stated max range. Since you normally on charge to 80% and it tries to get you to recharge before it drops to 20%, you really only use 60% of the battery and have 60% of the range. This is what makes the model 3-75 a much more practical car for long trips than the model 3-50. Most people are thinking “220 miles is more than I need to make my trip across country” but in reality that’s 132 miles, 2 hrs driving between charges. The model 3-75 would allow about 200 miles between stops, so around 3 hrs, and still take the same amount of time to supercharge as the 3-50 would from 20% to 80%.

    As battery technology gets better, we can charge faster and to higher state of charge without significant battery degradation. But if you don’t own the car and only lease it, you can drive it like you stole it and charge to 100% every single time.

  17. God bless Dan Edmonds to put enough spin on why spending an hour at a "Fuel Stop" is a good thing. BTW, 300 miles in 12 hours is a 25 mph average.I'll race you towing a trailer with a Volt.

  18. Was the car charged to 100 percent or just 80 percent? Because the first 80 percent is fast, but then the last 20 percent doubles the charge time. I would try to take advantage of that where possible and save time in the long run.

    This makes for a good case to add more range in the future to Model X I'm thinking. It may not make as much sense for the sedans, 300 miles is good enough for most people, but I could see some benefit to having 500 miles of base range in the camper tugging SUV model. Would also go nicely with the planned supercharger upgrades down the road.

    That aside, there's no need to just stand there for 20 minutes, it's a camping trip, go enjoy some coffee or hamburgers lol.

    Interesting experiment for sure, and sounds like fun!

  19. Why the F would you deploy the sunshade WHILE driving?! Even if you are on self-drive mode, talk about irresponsible. Super disappointed, Edmunds. 🙁

  20. Would it have been possible to charge at your destination, after you've stopped for the night? That's how most owners charge their cars – – at night when the car is not in use.

  21. Wth really on a slow road trip if it’s a scenic type ok. But I cleared 1450 miles in on sitting at 15 hours including refueling. I can’t wait for the day you can run that hard on an electric car. Today’s not that day rental for that extreme use case I guess. But the day you can do even 800 miles in a day will be a good one.

  22. Dear Mr. Edmunds,

    The driving behavior that I witnessed just now while viewing this video may be why some folks have auto accidents while driving and even talking and while driving if you can believe it. Now how many times did you take your hands off of the steering wheel while at speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour while pulling an R.V.!
    And this little demonstration performed while driving on the freeway with the sun shade, my god man I would not ride with you anywhere and anytime ever!

    Now on a different note the little travel trailer was very cool. I liked the size and shape of the unit. Thank you for pointing out about being able to see all the way through the unit, now that was a great design element.

    I have seen other Tesla's X on the road here in Palm Springs, Ca. many times but not in that color, wow does color make a difference in a vehicle's appearance. The X's I have seen while driving around our beautiful valley have all been pretty ugly, but the color of this particular unit was most pleasing to my eyes.

    I would have liked to have been able to see the inside of the trailer as well. Perhaps that is shown in 'Part Two' of your video.

    Other than the driving behavior of the Edmunds editor the video was entertaining to watch, thank you.

  23. This shows its (vaguely) possible with current models to do this, I'd love to see a real world review though. Who wants to waste time gassing up a fossil towing rig all year long so you can save few hours on that camping trip barely anyone ever does?

  24. Tesla should make their own aerodynamic camper trailers…I bet the owners would eat that up. Maybe your next video should be how you can make that current trailer more aero efficient to see what increase in range it has

  25. The best is if rv companies started building batteries into their rvs and trailers to add extra range, or better yet add a motor to the trailers wheels that can talk to the tesla to assist. It’d be like you were pulling nothing.

  26. DreamCase for Tesla Model S is a suitcase double bed solution built in high-end quality. It's very compact, so you have lots of storage space left while travelling. Versions for Model 3 – X is coming this spring. www.dreamcase.eu

  27. I was going to ask what type of Model X this is but I read in the comments it's a P90D is that correct? I find it interesting that the type of battery it has and electronic configuration was left out of this test as those things do make a difference. If this was a 100D Model X it would have better range but it seems clear someone has to come up with a range extender for these cars that works, who knows, I'm a smart guy perhaps I'll take care of that problem for everybody 😎.

  28. This so cool man! Thank you for making this video. I live in Utah and can't wait until my outdoor adventures are all with an EV. Cheers!

  29. I see that the average effective speed was just over 26 MPH with all the charging included. I'll be that if Don had driven at 40 or 45 MPH, he could've eliminated at least one charging stop and gotten to the location faster overall.

  30. When are they adding solar panels to the roof? It certainly wouldn't add much power but maybe enough to reduce the drive/charge times a bit?

  31. Good to see you testing the towing capabilities out on this model X. Was wondering how it would handle with the extra weight on that battery.

  32. This couple drove clear across Canada, own the East coast of the US, Across the Southern route to California then back to Vancouver hauling a much larger trailer https://teslaxcanada.com/

  33. Talk about distracted driving! Not only is Dan making a video, driving, and pulling a trailer, he also finds time to open a shade screen and mount it. Mighty dumb, Dan!

  34. 555 wh/mi is pretty good for that trailer! I'm surprised. I always hear over 700+ when towing. This is good to know. I wonder if the Bowlus Road Chief does better or worst comparatively.

  35. Hey, is there a backup camera that lets you see your tow hitch as you're backing up to hook up your trailer so it's easier to get it lined up?

  36. since the free charge is free for life, you can live for free with minimal spent only for food, and a gym membership for showers.i would not do this coz i wana be a millionaire but for those who do its a great choice.

  37. Powerful but horrible in range… time will tell when electric will be just as good as gas when it comes to charging as fast as a stop at the fuel pump and range. One day 😞

  38. That little ass trailer is nothing. Tow a real travel trailer that’s like 8000 pounds and see what your range is.

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