How Does Towing Impact the Range of Electric Trucks?

Battery range takes a hit when electric trucks are towing. Is the ratio better or worse than it is for gas trucks?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
A trailer full of kayaks waiting to be towed.
pickup trucks
are the new big thing hitting the market this year. Rivian got things started in the fall of 2021 with its first model, the RT1, and Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Tesla all have their electrified pickups set for sale this year.
All of these pickups boast impressive
battery ranges
for EVs, but those numbers are calculated with empty beds and naked hitches. Towing and hauling are sure to make a big impact on how far these trucks can go on one charge.
But just how big will that impact be? Pickup owners are used to gas mileage dropping the more weight they add to their vehicles. Will range be affected at a similar rate?
dug around to find out.

How towing impacts the range of the Rivian RT1

We’re still waiting on most of the electric pickup trucks the industry has promised us to actually hit the market, so comparisons are limited to one vehicle—the Rivian RT1.
says the off-road-ready truck’s performance as a tower is mixed.
Compared to the
Toyota Tundra
, a similarly sized gas-powered model, the RT1’s range bit the dust. After towing a 2,000 lb trailer for 153 miles, it used 91% of its battery’s energy while the Tundra used only 32.5% of its gas tank.
That said, in terms of energy consumption, the RT1 was far more efficient. During the same test, it traveled 42 miles using the equivalent of a gallon of gas. The Tundra traveled only 14.8 miles per gallon.
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The cost to own an electric truck

Fuel efficiency impacts ownership costs for trucks far more than it does for regular cars, so some pickup drivers might be excited by the idea of switching off gasoline or diesel. But Rivian doesn’t actually make the transition very easy.
Rivian R1T
starts at just over $74,000—a pretty steep price for a pickup at any trim level. On top of that, it doesn’t come with features consumers can get in some of the cheapest vehicles on the market like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But the price for an electric truck will take a sharp dive in the coming months. The
Ford F-150 Lightning
is expected to start under $42,000, a much more reasonable figure. The Chevy Silverado EV should start at around the same price when it’s released for the 2024 model year.

Insurance coverage for electric pickups

Car insurance is more expensive on average for pickup trucks than other types of vehicles already, and electric powertrains don’t make rates any better. EVs are still more expensive to insure than gas-powered cars because of the expense of replacing parts.
But there are ways to save on coverage, the most effective being to shop with Jerry for
car insurance quotes online
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