Tesla Model Y Towing Capacity: What You Need to Know

Tesla Model Y Towing Capacity

The Tesla Model Y is a stylish electric crossover SUV that has been gaining popularity among car enthusiasts since its release in 2020. While the model is known for its incredible acceleration and range, it also has another standout feature; its towing capacity.

The Model Y is equipped with a hitch receiver, and it can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. This is a significant towing capacity for an electric vehicle, especially when compared to other electric SUVs on the market.

But what does this mean for potential buyers who are considering the Model Y as a tow vehicle? Here’s all you need to know about the Tesla Model Y towing capacity.

Factors Determining Towing Capacity Of Tesla Model Y

When it comes to towing, the “ability” of a car to handle a certain weight is an important consideration. The towing capacity of an electric vehicle (EV) like the Tesla Model Y is determined by several factors, including:


Heavier cars typically have a higher towing capacity because they are better equipped to handle the added weight of the trailer or caravan. Tesla Model Y has a curb weight of 4,416 lbs, which is relatively heavy for a midsize SUV.



Electric motors are known for producing high torque, which is important when towing heavy loads. The torque produced by an EV’s motor is typically proportional to the car’s towing capacity. For example, Tesla’s Model Y has a dual-motor setup that produces 384 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. This allows it to tow a much heavier trailer than, say the Model 3.

Battery Capacity

Battery Capacity

Larger battery packs provide more energy to the motor, which allows for greater power output and range when towing. The Model Y has a 75 kWh battery pack, which is larger than those of many EVs in the market. This additional capacity helps the Model Y achieve a decent towing capacity, while also providing a sufficient range for long-distance towing.

Cooling System

Cooling System

When towing, EVs can experience increased stress on the motor and battery, which can cause them to heat up. A well-designed cooling system can help dissipate this heat and prevent damage to the vehicle.

The Tesla Model Y features an advanced liquid cooling system that helps regulate the temperature of the motor and battery. This allows it to sufficiently handle the added stress of towing.

Note: For the Tesla Model Y, the maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. is based on a braked towing setup. While towing a non-braked trailer, the towing capacity will be greatly reduced due to the added strain on the vehicle’s braking system.

What Can You Tow with a Model Y?

With a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, the Model Y can tow a wide variety of trailers and equipment. This includes small boats, jet skis, pop-up campers, and even small travel trailers.

To get started, you must first install a hitch receiver on the vehicle. Tesla offers an official hitch kit that can be installed at a Tesla Service Center. You can also have a third-party installer do the job.

Additionally, you must also connect the trailer’s lights and brakes to the vehicle. The good news is that Tesla also sells a 7-pin wiring harness and high-strength steel tow bar. 

However, it’s important to note that towing with an electric vehicle is different from towing with an ICE vehicle.

For instance, towing a heavy load can drain the battery faster than normal driving, which means you have a slightly lower range while towing. It can also put a strain on the Model Y’s motor and other components, causing mechanical failure.

In a worst-case scenario, overloading the vehicle can make it more difficult to control, especially when braking or turning. This can increase the risk of accidents or collisions. 

It is therefore important to adhere to the Model Y’s towing capacity and other manufacturer guidelines. 

Safety Tips for Towing

When towing with a Model Y, there are several safety tips that you can follow to ensure a safe and successful trip. These include:

  • Always double-check the weight of the trailer and its contents to ensure that it does not exceed the Model Y’s towing capacity.
  • Check and ensure that the hitch and wiring are properly installed and secure.
  • Take extra caution when braking, as the weight of the trailer can affect the vehicle’s stopping distance.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, especially when braking or turning.
  • Use the Model Y’s built-in trailer sway control system, which helps to prevent the trailer from swaying or fishtailing.
  • Always wear a seatbelt and ensure that all passengers in the vehicle and trailer do as well.
  • Be aware of the Model Y’s reduced range when towing, and plan for charging stops accordingly.

Take Away:

The Tesla Model Y’s towing capacity of 3,500 pounds is an impressive feat for an electric vehicle. 

With the proper hitch and wiring installation, the Model Y can effectively tow a wide variety of trailers and equipment. This effectively makes it a versatile choice for outdoor enthusiasts and small businesses alike.

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