Electric vehicles have come a long way in a short time but they still have a few big challenges. One of those is a range drop in colder weather and the other is a loss of range when towing. One YouTuber just combined both of those challenges into one test with his Rivian R1T.
That YouTuber is Zack Nelson of the channel Jerry Rig Everything. He’s admittedly a fan of electric vehicles and as such decided to use his Rivian to tow his electromod Hummer H1 along with a bit of extra weight in the dead of winter to see how it would affect range. It turns out that the combination did far more than simply reduce the distance that the R1T could travel.
The electrified Hummer and the trailer itself weighed some 9,300 pounds (4,218 kg) so Nelson added about 1,000 pounds (435 kg) of scrap weight to tip the scales over the 10,000-pound (4,535 kg) mark. The R1T’s maximum towing capacity is 11,000 pounds (4,989 kg) so he’s in the safe zone. He says that the most range he’s gotten out of the truck is about 280 miles (450 km).
Read: The Ford F-150 Lightning And Rivian R1S Battle For Tractor Pull Superiority
Interestingly, once the trailer was loaded up, the Rivian somehow calculated that it now had some 635 miles of total range. There’s no situation where it could go that far even without a trailer so we’re not sure how it arrived at that total. It proved to be just a foreshadowing of all the poor calculations that lie ahead though.
Throughout Nelson’s journey of about 100 miles (160 km), the truck reported all sorts of different range estimates and often overstated potential range by dozens if not hundreds of miles. Thankfully, Nelson kept track of his range separately from the onboard computer and knew that about 70 miles (112 km) into the trip that he only had about 40 miles (64 km) of range remaining.
After a couple of charging stops he came to the conclusion that carrying this much weight and doing so in cold temps results in cutting range by roughly two-thirds. Those who plan to do a lot of long hauling probably want to avoid EVs for the foreseeable future but it’s good to know that they’re still capable enough for infrequent jobs like this.