In this video, the Tesla Cybertruck attempts to tow 11,000 pounds in bitter cold weather. Can it outperform the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning in towing performance and range?
We’ll answer that a bit later, but first up let’s focus on the Cybertruck and its towing abilities, as well as some observations from the YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, a channel that’s tested out all sorts of electric cars under all sorts of different conditions.
Get Fully Charged
The Tesla Cybertruck’s max towing capacity is 11,000 pounds, so how does it perform while towing that weight?
Can the Cybertruck tow 11,000 pounds with ease and what’s its range in the cold while doing so? Two questions and we’ve got the answers.
JerryRigEverything (or just Jerry) is accustomed to towing with trucks and even with electric trucks. He owns a Rivian R1T, so we can consider him experienced with both towing and towing with an EV.
Cybertruck Quirks And Dislikes
Before jumping into the Cybetruck’s towing ability, let’s first touch on a couple of things Jerry disliked about Tesla’s truck. First off, the cabin noise seems excessive. Jerry can’t quite figure out what the noise is (he says it’s not your typical electric motor noise) but even when listening to the video you can tell it’s quite loud in the truck. Additionally, Jerry says that the rearview mirror is comically small and terrible to use, noting that even the rearview camera is pretty much useless.
Towing With The Cybertruck
The Cybertruck can tow up to 11,000 pounds, which is the estimated weight of the rig that Jerry tows in this video. With the loaded trailer attached, the Cybertruck managed to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 12.4 seconds, which is actually a solid result.
However, the Cybertruck lacks a lot in terms of providing the driver with info related to towing (the Rivian R1T excels in this regard). The towing animations are poor, there’s almost no towing info provided, and even the towing range estimates are very poor. Basically, it’s as if the Cybertruck doesn’t yet have any towing software, aside from the trailer brake controller.
Lastly, Jerry was quite surprised by the fact that the rear-wheel steering still works with the trailer attached. This makes touchy back-up steering even harder to control since the Cybertruck can turn very tightly. He also thinks it might be a safety issue.
Range When Towing 11,000 Pounds In Cold Weather
This dual-motor AWD Tesla Cybertruck was able to drive only 90 miles while towing 11,000 pounds of weight in cold weather. The estimated range for this version is 340 miles, but that’s under ideal conditions without towing. The Cybertruck started the trip with a 100% state of charge and pulled into the charging station with 2% battery left, plus some unknown reserve below zero. We can assume it could’ve gone about 100 miles before dying completely.
While the 90 miles sounds really bad, it’s actually not. Under the same conditions and when towing the same load, the Rivian R1T got 100 miles of range. Meanwhile, the Ford F-150 Lightning returned 130 miles of range when towing the same load during the Summer. The real takeaway here is that the towing range for most EVs, especially in the cold, is not sufficient for broad use cases. Also, we wouldn’t advise towing down to just a few percent state of charge, so realistically, the Cybertruck had even less than 90 miles of range if you want to maintain a bit of a safety buffer.
Rivian R1T And Ford F-15 Lightning Towing Tests
And here are the tests involving the Rivian R1T, which Jerry says has about 280 miles of range in the summer and the Ford F-150 Lightning (with about 310 miles of stated range) towing the same setup. The R1T is a winter test, whereas the Lightning test is in less severe conditions.