Electric vs. Diesel: Who Wins the Towing Truck Throwdown?

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Tesla Model Y (Credits: The Australian)

Electric cars have come a long way! They’re quiet, comfy, and cheap to run, especially if you charge them at home. But one thing they still struggle with is towing heavy stuff.

A new video by The Fast Lane Truck on YouTube shows that electric vehicles aren’t quite ready to take on the towing world, especially when it comes to big trailers. Even though electric vehicles are more energy-efficient, their batteries create a challenge. A bigger battery means a longer range, but it also makes the vehicle heavier and takes longer to charge.

Tesla Cybertruck Resale Value
Tesla Cybertruck Resale Value

The video compares the Tesla Cybertruck (all-wheel drive Foundation Series) to the Ram 2500 with a Cummins diesel engine. The Cybertruck boasts 600 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque, and Tesla claims it can tow up to 11,000 pounds and travel 340 miles on a full charge.

The Ram, on the other hand, uses a 6.7-liter diesel engine with 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque. This lets it tow a whopping 20,000 pounds!

Both trucks towed identical trailers that weighed about 8,000 pounds. The Cybertruck started with an estimated range of 318 miles, but things went downhill fast. The driver felt the trailer pushing the truck around at highway speeds and wasn’t very comfortable. On top of that, the battery drained much faster than expected while towing.

The Cybertruck’s biggest problem during the towing test wasn’t just its performance but its misleading information. The estimated range on the dashboard didn’t seem to consider the extra energy used while towing. The battery indicator seemed accurate, but the number of remaining miles kept showing a way too optimistic range, even near the end of the trip.

After just 85 miles of towing, the Cybertruck showed only 6% battery life remaining! It had used a whopping 107 kWh of energy during that stretch, which translates to an average of 1,252 Wh/mile (or 0.8 miles per kWh). Basically, the truck wasn’t going very far on a single charge while towing.

Hyundai vs. Ford Compact Pickup Truck Showdown at NYIAS
Hyundai vs. Ford Compact Pickup Truck Showdown at NYIAS

The Cybertruck needed to be plugged into a Tesla Supercharger at a Buc-ee’s convenience store, while the Ram filled up with diesel at a gas station. The Ram used 8.7 gallons of diesel for about $26, averaging around 9.7 miles per gallon.

The Cybertruck, on the other hand, needed 107 kWh of energy to get a full charge. At that particular Supercharger, the cost per kWh was $0.35, so “filling up” the electric truck would cost around $37.45. The even bigger downside? Charging would take over an hour, according to the truck’s display.

The test driver concluded that the Tesla Cybertruck just isn’t up to the task of long-distance towing. The battery drains too quickly, and charging takes way too long compared to filling up a gas tank.


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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