The media has uncovered a video from April of this year in which Jim Chen, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Tesla, told the Georgia Technology Summit that the Tesla Model X will have a towing capacity of “close to 10,000 pounds.” You can here his words for yourself if you scroll forward to the 9:40 mark of the video. That’s where he says, “This vehicle will have Class III towing capability. That means over 5,000 pounds, actually close to 10,000 pounds of towing capability.”
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Let’s clarify that, shall we? Class III towing capacity allows a gross trailer weight (GTW) of 8,500 pounds. Subtract the weight of the trailer to figure out how much of a load you can haul. Assuming a heavy duty trailer weighs about 1,500 pounds, that leaves 7,000 pounds left over for boats, motorcycles, kayaks and camping gear. That means Model X owners will be able to tow their ski boat to the lake on weekends or a medium size camping trailer to their favorite campground. Have a Class III rating would give the Model X the same towing capacity as most of the popular gas powered SUV’s on the market.
What else do we know about the Model X, based on its towing ability? For one thing, it takes big brakes to stop a car towing 8,500 pounds. And lugging all that weight around is going to generate some substantial heat from the motors. Will Tesla offer a tow package option that upgrades the brakes and powertrain cooling? And what about range? Hitching up a load is going to decrease that substantially. Will the tow package come with a more powerful battery? Rumors about a 95 kWh battery are making the rounds on the internet.
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Little by little, we are getting a clearer picture of what the Model X will be. It will have dual motors for all wheel drive, third row seats and those cool falcon wing doors. Now we can add Class III towing ability to the list of things we know. Answers to questions about brakes, range and battery size will have to wait until Tesla releases a list of options and final pricing for the Model X, probably near the end of this summer.