8.Tesla Cybertruck Towing

So you want to Tow with Cybertruck or model Y How much energy does it take to tow a trailer?

We can work it out in quite a simple way. Suppose we had an autonomous trailer that powered itself and simply followed along behind. Suppose we are in the mid range Cybertruck and a model 3 is our trailer. We can go 300 miles with Cybertruck's  135 KWh battery, and let us assume the model 3 could go 300 miles with a 60 kWh battery - we are not pushing the speed limit here.

So truck + trailer uses 195 kWh to go 300 miles. But we have bought the mid range option and have only got 135 kWh available in the truck for towing our tailer. That brings down the maximum towing range to about 200 miles.

We have further problems to consider. Unless our trailer is light and unbraked we get no regeneration from the trailer.

A light, unbraked trailer pushes against the tow vehicle as we slow down and the tow vehicle can get regeneration.

A heavy trailer automatically uses its own brakes when it slows down and that energy is wasted as heat in the brakes. 


Next problem is that although both Cybertruck and model Y are designed to slip through the air without turbulance, put a trailer behind either of them and you get massive turbulance. We are now estimating a maximum of 175 miles range with a trailer the size and weight of the model 3. This doesn't mean a usable range. First drive of the day, starting from 100% charge we should aim to recharge when down to 20% charge, so an effective first stage of 140 -150 miles. Not the 300 miles for the Cybertruck by itself. When we stop to recharge we take the battery back up to 80% and we will need another charger 120 to 130 miles down the road. 

Tow a larger trailer or one that is not streamlined in any way and you will need superchargers closer than 100 miles apart on your journey. That might work in the UK but probably not in the US. You will also need the time to stop and recharge several times on long journeys. 

To tow a heavy or large trailer with the Cybertruck you will need to wait for a 1000 mile battery that gives you a usable 300 to 500 miles between charges when towing, and a fast charger that gives you rates of 600 kWh in an hour. What you can tow now is a light and low unbraked trailer that is no higher than the tail end of the cybertruck, a trailer with a smooth top, smooth underneath, and wheels underneath rather than out to the sides. 

Add streamlining between Cybertruck and trailer as well, and you should keep most of your range. A hardtop cybertruck would be more efficient for towing a larger trailer - as long as the trailer matches the cross section of the hard top. A Flexible streamlining covering between hardtop and trailer would also improve the range significantly. 

If you need to tow, go for the largest battery size,  , or get a trailer with its own battery, motor and regenerative braking. 

The 1000 mile battery will arrive within a very few years, so we must hope that Tesla designs the Cybertruck to make it easy to replace the battery. 

The Cybertruck range is based on smooth paved roads. You could reduce it by half for rough tracks, and by half again for muddy farm tracks, especially hilly ones. 

These figures are no different for a diesel pickup truck. I get 40 miles per gallon cruising on a motorway, but only 5 miles per gallon on a steep farm track. Tow a horse box and it is under 20 miles per gallon on the motorway. 

Pull it out of a muddy field in 4 wheel drive and it is about 2 miles per gallon!