- Image: Tesla

    How to charge a Tesla Model 3 with a tow rope

    Instant torque makes EVs quite powerful towing machines. But what is it like the other way round? This is a physics lesson that's actually fun.

    2y ago


    TechForum published a video on YouTube where a Tesla Model 3 gets towed and has its energy consumption and range monitored. The result is, unsurprisingly, that the Tesla displays a range analogous to infinite during towing, while the towing vehicle's consumption increases. But beside seeing physical laws of energy transfer working, in the end, the batteries were charged while not being chained to a stationary charging point.


    The regenerative braking system works like a dynamo. Energy is used to turn the generator which then charges the Tesla's batteries. In the video, this energy comes from a Ford C-Max hybrid, while a considerable amount of the afforded energy is lost due to friction and heat production.

    Now, what to do with this information?

    If you own a Tesla and you need some recharging, but you do not have time to wait at a charging point, call a friend with a tow hitch on his or her car. If you get towed half the way, the odds are in your favour, that you can drive the other half of your way on your own.

    But don't forget to pay the fuel that your Tesla consumed that way.

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    Comments (15)

    • Petrolheads that help EV's to get unstuck should immediately burn their drivers license and feel a foot breaking up their anus...for giving stupidity a chance to continue...period.

        2 years ago
      • Very radical. And painful.

          2 years ago
      • he`s surely rough on them, but honestly doing long distance trips with EV`s is asking to get stuck on the side of the road without charge, you can store fuel on a can and keep on driving if you ever run out of fuel, but in a EV you can`t just grab a...

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          2 years ago
    • I would highly recommend a Ram 1500 or one of those Hennessy V8 Ford raptors for for Tesla charging. You might even decide you only need the tow vehicle.

        2 years ago
      • Yes and fuel consumption is most reasonable to charge something. Hahaha

          2 years ago
    • I think towing electric cars might put wear on the motor, not 100% sure though.

        2 years ago
    • Honestly this isn`t anything new, hybrids recharge the batteries when they are coasting to a stop in neutral, just like a dynamo, I don`t know why they say it`s something innovative when the basic concept of the recharging via pulling is pretty old and simple, The Tesla while towed doesn`t use any power after all, its practically coasting as a hybrid without using any power, that`s why it recharges so easily.

        2 years ago
      • Just like a dynamo, exactly. And it uses a lot of fuel, which isn't ideal at all. The man in the video is quite enthusiastic about it, but in my article I say that isn't a surprising result. It is in fact a way to burn fuel while driving a Tesla....

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          2 years ago
      • quite defeats the purpose for a ev haha.

          2 years ago
    • Good bit of research and writing, which makes me think of a possible James May Grand Tour challenge.....using a skysail kite to tow an electric car across open country, to recharge the batteries ? I've had a bit of practice sailing with a spinnaker on various boats - they provide a lot of power. So the higher altitude Skysail is an interesting economics proposition.

        2 years ago


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