The Tesla Model 3 tow hitch is a car accessory that’ll save you the price of a brand new diesel truck. No, it is not a gimmick and there are no fine prints here. In fact, the entire reason behind buying a tow hitch for the Model 3 is based on cold hard numbers.
YouTuber Ben Sullins recently uploaded a video titled Tesla Model 3 Vs WWII Trailer. In the video, he talked about how efficient the Tesla Model 3, an electric car, is at towing trailers. He compared the unladen (without trailer) weight towing efficiency of his Tesla Model 3 with its laden weight-carrying efficiency.
He found some interesting results and an equally surprising conclusion. Here’s the entire thing.
Tesla Model 3 Tow Hitch: How Will It Save You Money?
As you can see in the video, the Tesla Model 3 is quite adept at towing a 750 pound EV camping trailer.
On a normal day, the average efficiency of Tesla Model 3, which Ben drives, is around 78% or 311 wh/mile in terms of consumption. And with a total EPA claimed range of 325 miles, the Tesla Model 3 in question delivers a real-world range of 253 miles.
When you attach a trailer to the electric car, its range is expected to go down. The question remains, however, is by how much.
In the experiment, Ben attached the 750 pound EV camper trailer to his Model 3 using an aftermarket tow hitch. Then, he drove the car for around 26.7 miles with a mixture of city and highway driving.
This time around, the average efficiency of the Model 3 came out to be a mere 49%. The Tesla electric car consumed 448 wh/mile while towing the 750-pound trailer, thus lowering the total battery range to 160 miles.
A lot of numbers are being thrown here and you might be wondering how does this make the tow hitch a beneficial car accessory. Well, the answer lies in usability.
The 160 miles of tow range isn’t a lot for heavy haulers who want to travel half a thousand miles on a single trip. However, most of the people aren’t heavy haulers. Most people will use a trailer mainly for bringing furniture from IKEA or going camping in the nearby woods.
And as Ben explained that 160 miles of range are more than enough if you want to go camping 40 miles away from the city. An 80-mile round trip would be enough for the majority of users.
Ben did admit that his friend who owns a Model X was frustrated when he decided to tow his 3,000-pound trailer on a long trip. Partly because of the reduced range which the Tesla Model X delivered and partly because he had to unhook the trailer every time he wanted to charge so his trailer wouldn’t take up other parking spots.
For long-trips, no Tesla electric car is prepared to tow heavy trailers. However, for the short 100 or 150 mile trips, a Tesla Model 3 with tow-hitch is perfect.
Ben said that in Europe, Tesla provides Model 3 with a tow hitch because not many people own a big truck and most of the trips people take are short ones. Therefore buying a $30,000 truck just for towing a trailer for 100 miles would make no sense.
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And the 160 mile of battery range is more than enough for that. We have electric cars like MG ZS EV and the MINI Cooper electric, that have an unladen range of 160 and 145 miles respectively.
The performance of other electric cars severely lacks behind Tesla, when a Model 3 can go more than several of these electric cars while towing a heavy trailer.
The upcoming GM electric platform, which promises to bring a modular approach to EV manufacturing shows some promise though. Their new battery stacking technology which allows more cells to be packed in order to increase energy density could prove a real boon for heavy-duty electric vehicles.