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Towing with a Tesla not as bad as you might think

...Especially when you're nowhere near the Model X's estimated 5,000-pound towing capacity.


As there are only a couple thousand Tesla Model X electric SUVs on the road, there aren't too many reviews that dive deep into areas like towing capacity. That's why we're glad to see owners and other companies stepping up to provide some additional information, like trailer manufacturer Bowlus did in early April.

Bowlus posted a video of Model X owner Jack Bowers (no, not Jack Bauer) taking a 2,300-pound Bowlus Road Chief for a little tow. The video itself is light on data, but at the end, the owner says that if you stay between 50 and 55 mph, you should reach about 70 percent of the car's maximum range.

It's unclear which model Bowers owns, because Bowlus set the max video resolution at 480p, which is like looking at "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" from a distance of six inches.

The EPA rates Tesla's most popular Model X, the 90D, at 257 miles, so that would mean you could tow that trailer for about 180 miles. Opt for the lower-capacity 70D, and that number drops to 154 miles. Add a P in front of that 90D, and the number comes out to about 175 miles (P90D's range is slightly lower than 90D).

Of course, there are many variables here. 50-55 mph is at or under the speed limit of most major highways, and any additional speed might lower the range. The Bowler is also a light trailer -- as one owner saw, towing near the Model X's maximum of 5,000 pounds results in a significantly lower range.

The Model X won't tow unless it's properly equipped. The towing package is a $750 option that includes a 2-inch hitch receiver, a seven-pin electronics harness and special tow-mode software.