Overnight, Tesla added a trailer hitch to the Model Y design studio in North America and Europe! The only country I found that didn’t have it was China. Prices vary a bit, but all are about a thousand US dollars. That is great news for many buyers, since although the Model Y has much more room inside to carry your stuff, many people like to tow toys like boats and jet skis behind their SUVs.
Many thought when it got a trailer or tow hitch, it would have the same capacity as the Model 3, 2000 pounds or 910 kilograms. It is great news that Tesla engineered the capacity to tow 3500 pounds or 1600 kilograms with the Model Y. Its 3 big competitors (BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes) offer towing capacities that range from 1653 pounds to 7700 pounds. Tesla hasn’t yet produced the standard range model that will better compete with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, and Nissan Rouge, but those all have towing capacities of only 1100 to 1500 pounds. The RAV4 Adventure came out last year with a rated 3500 pounds towing capacity, but with only 203 horsepower, it will be tough to pull that large of a trailer. The Model Y, with 450 horsepower, will easily be able to pull the additional weight.
As I mentioned last year in my article about the tow hitch coming to the Model 3, it is an important feature in places that pickup trucks are not common.
“I’ve heard from several of my European friends that this is a much bigger deal than you might think. You see, in the US, many people either have a pickup truck or have a friend with a pickup when they need to buy some furniture or haul some dirt. In Europe, with gas prices much higher, it doesn’t really make sense to drive around a pickup that gets half the mileage of a sedan — just for the 3 times a year you need to haul something. You just buy a sedan with a tow hitch and rent (or buy) a trailer for those 3 times a year you need it. I’ve heard IKEA even has trailers to rent at its European stores, since most cars can’t hold much of the furniture you buy at IKEA.”
Just yesterday I rented a trailer from U-Haul for my son to take some furniture to his new apartment. As I mentioned in this article (which I will update soon), I’m selling my house and moving to a much smaller one, so I need to get rid of a lot of furniture. So I was glad to give it to my son. He used my Hyundai Elantra with a trailer hitch, which has been quite useful to haul things since I sold my minivan. The biggest trailer the Elantra can tow is 2000 pounds. That lets it tow the 5′ by 8′ trailer as long as the cargo isn’t too heavy.
The Model Y will be able to tow any of the above trailers with quite a bit of cargo in them safely. Now I’ll get a hitch on my Model Y. Or maybe not since the CyberTruck is an even better towing vehicle. Since I’m waiting for a 7 seat Model Y and my kids being ready to take my used Tesla vehicles, I’ll have to figure that all out.
I think this makes the already very competitive Model Y even better. Some will wonder why Tesla didn’t wait to pull this demand lever later when sales slow down, but I don’t view it as a sign of weakness — I think they had the engineering done so they released it. They already had the production experience from the Model 3, so this was an easy add-on. Why make people wait for a feature that is easy for them to add?
Now the next question is: Can you add it after you buy a Y? In the US, you can add it at a place like U-Haul and there isn’t a problem, but I’ve heard in Europe it can only be added by the manufacturer for legal and liability reasons.