Tesla Cybertruck Gets Worse Towing Range Than Model X With the Same Trailer

Don’t confuse high towing capacity with high towing efficiency.

byJames Gilboy|
Tesla Cybertruck tows a Bowlus Volterra


We've known since the Rivian R1T launched that towing isn't what electric pickup trucks are best at. The Tesla Cybertruck is no different, as a recent test has shown it gets worse range towing than a Model X dragging the exact same trailer.

This weakness was discovered by luxury trailer manufacturer Bowlus. The company's CEO, Geneva Long, said in a LinkedIn post that the test involved Bowlus's Volterra trailer, a low-drag camper similar to an Airstream in shape. With a 17 kilowatt-hour LFP battery, solar panels, and the ability to give an emergency charge to an EV, it's exactly the kind of trailer a Cybertruck might want in place of Tesla's shabby popup tent. Provided they can justify the $310,000 it costs, that is.

Tesla Model X with a Bowlus Volterra trailer. Bowlus

Bowlus hooked this trailer up to a Model X AWD before dragging it down the highway, where EVs tend to perform poorly. Nevertheless, Bowlus claimed to achieve a 235-mile range on a charge, or 71% of the 330-mile range Tesla claims for the SUV. Naturally, you'd expect that the powerful Cybertruck—which more than doubles the Model X's 5,000-pound towing capacity at 11,000 lbs—would do considerably better. Right?


Bowlus linked the same trailer to a dual motor Cybertruck, and then sent it down a mix of highway and "rural" roads. Highway speeds disadvantage EVs, particularly ones shaped like the Cybertruck, so this represented a near best-case, real-world towing scenario for the pickup. Still, it didn't do well: Bowlus said it only got 160 miles of range, which is roughly in line with some of the better results the Cybertruck has achieved in other towing tests so far.

Tesla Cybertruck tows a Bowlus Volterra. Bowlus

The issue here isn't with the fact that electric trucks can't tow for long ranges. That's been well established already, and it doesn't diminish what these vehicles are good at. The point is that Tesla's ostensible workhorse, its most capable vehicle of all, was shown up by its own nine-year-old SUV. No matter how you feel about EVs, Tesla, or its increasingly unhinged CEO, one thing is clear: The Cybertruck isn't the paradigm-shifter the Model S was.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com

News by BrandTesla NewsTrucks