EV Pickup towing

Discussion in 'General' started by Brandon Brown, Oct 16, 2022.

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  1. Brandon Brown

    Brandon Brown New Member

    Hi Everone,

    I'm possibly in the market for a new pickup and I like the idea of an EV truck. I tow regularly and know that the EVs have plenty of power and torque when it comes to towing. My concern is I live in a very mountainous area and my concern is coming down the mountains. In my current truck, I can use the transmission to gear the truck down so I do not have to use my brakes and overheat them by the time I am down the mountains. Does anyone have any experience with EVs towing boats or RVs down two-lane twisty mountain roads? I spoke with someone at Rivian they had no answer other than the truck had trailer brake control. I have not been able to find any info on this and I cannot be the only person with this concern.
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  3. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    For an EV you don't "gear down", but you do have regenerative braking which is similar in effect, since the regenerative braking uses resistance to slow the vehicle and send the energy back into the batteries.
  4. Brandon Brown

    Brandon Brown New Member

    With Regenerative breaking is that motor braking or is that using the brakes?
    electriceddy likes this.
  5. This should help explain:
    "Regenerative braking is a mechanism found on most hybrid and full-electric vehicles. It captures the kinetic energy from braking and converts it into the electrical power that charges the vehicle’s high voltage battery. Regenerative braking also slows the car down, which assists the use of traditional brakes.

    In a conventional braking system, a car slows down due to friction between the brake pads and rotors. But this system is highly inefficient when it comes to conserving energy. Nearly all of the kinetic energy propelling your car forward is lost as heat when you apply the brakes. That’s a lot of wasted energy!

    Regenerative braking solves this problem by recapturing upwards of 70% of the kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. The amount of energy recovered depends on your car model and driving behavior."
  6. Brandon Brown

    Brandon Brown New Member

    Ok, but that's still not enough to slow the vehicle and trailer down like you could with a transmission. Where I live you cannot solely rely on your brakes.
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  8. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I don't think I would say that.

    Did you watch the video put out by TFL?

    I would think it's just the opposite. Regenerative braking would be better then a transmission.

    I would be more concerned with going up as opposed to going down.

    Domenick likes this.
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I recommend the YouTube channel:


    Reciently they did an F150 lightning vs electric Hummer tow test up to the Eisenhower tunnel in Colorado.

    Good luck!

    Bob Wilson
  10. Brandon Brown

    Brandon Brown New Member

    Yes but that is not exactly what I am concerned about its not about towing. I know these vehicles can do that but that's not the same kind of roads that I'm on. This is an example.

  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Please give the names of cities at each end of the route you are concerned about. PlugShare can show it and the TFLtrunk test route to compare.

    Bob Wilson
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  13. Brandon Brown

    Brandon Brown New Member

    for example hiawassee ga to helen ga. thats a 10% grade through those two towns.
    bwilson4web likes this.
  14. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Well-Known Member

    On what are you basing that? It sounds like an assumption. You might be surprised.
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The proposed route:


    I have a local benchmark route:

    Every new or test car:
    • From standing start at bottom to maximum speed up the hill.
      • CAUTION, first curve should be taken slower than 90 mph.
    • 2003 Prius - maximum ~100 mph at crest
    • 2014 BMW i3-REx - maximum 93 mph about 100 yards short of crest due to electronic speed control limit
    • 2010 Prius - maximum ~105 mph at crest
    • 2017 Prius - maximum ~105 mph at crest
    • 2019 Model 3 - maximum 120 mph about 100 yards short of crest, >100 mph about 100 yards after first climbing curve
    Your proposed route is not a problem. There will be a loss of battery climbing to the peak but most will be recovered by regenerative braking on the way down.

    Bob Wilson
  16. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The asterisk is that once the battery becomes fully charged, the brakes are the only option for slowing down.
  17. Brandon Brown

    Brandon Brown New Member

    Thanks, everyone for the responses. Yes, my comments are based on assumptions because I have not driven a full EV. It seems with re-gen it should work fine.
    Fastnf and bwilson4web like this.
  18. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    My only concern would be going down that steep of grade with a full battery.
    insightman likes this.
  19. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    Right. If you start your trip with a long downhill, make sure the battery is not near full so that energy has some place to go.
    insightman likes this.
  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    There is no evidence of an EV charging station at or on the peak. The battery will be well drained reaching the peak with plenty of capacity on the down slope.

    Bob Wilson
  21. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    That's good news. However, if there is a 120 volt outlet, all you need is a portable EVSE.

    Anyhow, it's a good idea to mention this, since not everyone is as savvy as you are about this issue.
    bwilson4web likes this.

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