Towing with your Tesla

Towing with your Tesla

Wondering if you can tow a trailer with your Tesla and still have charge left to get you where you need to be? This is a concern many people have about adding extra weight that diminishes range. The Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model 3 are officially rated for towing. The capacity for by weight is not far off from a standard fuel-powered car. But the Tesla’s limitation is more about weight. Towing something heavy will reduce the range of a Tesla battery pack depending on weight, speed, and incline.

The Tesla Model X is estimated to have up to about 2,200kg towing capacity. The Model 3 has a significantly less weight capacity of 910 kg. Just in the middle of last year, the Model 3's tow rating and tow hitch kit were made available; however, as of now, the tow package is only sold in Europe. Currently, the model S is not approved for towing.

The upcoming Tesla Cybertruck is expected to feature significantly more sophisticated towing capabilities. It is said to have a tow rating of more than 14,000 pounds (6,350 kg). It's safe to assume that Tesla's truck will adhere to the pre-release specifications because it was built with heavy carrying in mind. But keep in mind that the range will still be impacted by the weight carried.

The Model X's present specifications make it distinct from other EVs, which is the first thing to keep in mind as Tesla works on improving the Model X's ability to tow. The current tow rating is fairly exclusive to Tesla considering that the majority of EVs are not yet qualified for towing, even though their performance is still not on par with internal combustion engines (ICEs).

Tesla Model X Towing an Airstream

The Model X has the highest current EV market towing capacity. Tesla promoted this by showing a video of a Tesla Model X P100D towing a Boeing. In terms of the actions taken by Tesla to attain this capacity, Model X users have had the option to purchase a tow kit that comes standard on all new Model X vehicles and consists of a high-strength steel tow bar, a replaceable 2" hitch receiver, and a 7-pin trailer electrical harness.

The package also includes a software upgrade for the Trailer Mode that allows drivers to automatically level the suspension, largely deactivate the rear proximity sensors, and monitor trailer sway to automatically adjust rear braking, all helpful towing measures.

Tesla Trailer Mode

When pulling a trailer, the Trailer Mode switch must always be engaged. The Tesla EV immediately enters Trailer Mode when you connect a trailer's electrical connection while the car is in Park. Press the screen control, select Pedals & Steering then Trailer Mode to manually enter or disengage Trailer Mode.

Commons questions about towing and a Tesla

How Do I Tow with My Tesla?

  • The most important thing to keep in mind while towing a Tesla is to simply turn on the tow setting before leaving because this will ensure that the vehicle is prepared to react to the change in handling caused by towing a cargo.
  • Additionally, you must confirm that you have taken into account the additional charge times required to finish the planned route. Although it will vary, towing at maximum capacity can require an hour of charge for every 1.5 hours on the road.
  • This will vary depending on the model, the amount of weight being carried, the gradient of the road, and the driving environment. It’s worth noting that towing may necessitate more and longer charging sessions, so be sure that charging stations are accessible along the journey.
  • Finally, by making sure that the weight being towed is as aerodynamic as feasible, charging times can be shortened. This could be challenging if the load is a caravan or something set in shape and size, like a boat. However, while hauling cargo on a trailer, it is possible to streamline the load's overall shape to complement the Tesla aerodynamic design.
  • It's crucial to be aware of how different EV's driving characteristics are when towing. Care must be given when going downhill with a weight at the back due to how electric motors move electric vehicles as opposed to an ICE. In fact, the extra load has the potential to overwhelm the vehicle's electrical system by feeding energy back into its electric components.
  • Due to the battery pack and other components, electric cars are often substantially heavier than fuel-powered ones. Making sure you will have access to enough charge outlets along the route is likely the most crucial consideration when towing in a Tesla.
  • Before embarking on a lengthy trip for the first time, it can be a good idea to test the car batteries locally to see how it handles pulling large loads.

The Model X and Model 3 can tow thanks to the extensive work Tesla put into making them capable of doing so. Both vehicles are safe for towing within the specified limits because they are both rated for towing.

Can I have my Tesla towed?

If you have to tow away your Tesla, put the vehicle onto a flatbed truck in tow mode and not dragged by the front wheels, which can overheat and harm the battery after a short distance.


Tesla refuses to release towing software to owners of non-Tesla tow bars. Tesla owners in the US and the UK who have installed aftermarket tow bars claim that Tesla instructed them to remove their modifications and purchase legitimate components while withholding towing-specific software. In the Tesla’s owner’s manual, it explicitly states, “towing capability is available only if Model X is equipped with the towing package” i.e., the Tesla genuine towbar.