From all the research that has been done about electric trucks, it is apparent that although electric trucks can very well tow a lot of weight very well, it is not the best solution for towing in all cases. Cross country towing is still done best by a diesel-powered truck.
An average electric truck has a 10,000 lbs towing capacity, which means it can tow pretty much any kind of travel trailer, a dump trailer, a boat or a set of jet skis without a problem. The only thing it can’t tow is a big fifth wheel. For those you still need s diesel powered truck.
Let’s take a look at each electric truck and see more closely that their towing capacity is and how each of them is different from the rest in terms of what they can pull vs the others. Before we dive into that though, take a look at this reference table that should make it a lot more visually appealing and easier to understand.
|Trailer Type||Ford F-150 Lightning||Chevy Silverado EV||GMC Hummer EV||Rivian R1T||Tesla Cybertruck|
|Flat Bed Trailer|
|Large Utility Trailer|
|Small Travel Trailer|
|Medium Travel Trailer|
|Large Travel Trailer|
|Fifth-Wheel Travel Trailer|
|Gooseneck Flat Bed Trailer|
As you can see, most of them can do all the basic towing and the only one really standing out from them is the Hummer EV. The towing optimized version of the Chevy Silverado EV is going to be the most powerful out of the batch being able to tow up to 20,000 lbs, but we’ll take a look more at it later in this article.
How Much Weight Can A Ford F-150 Lightning Tow?
The electric Lightning truck can tow a trailer that weighs up to 10,000 lbs with a tongue weight of up to 2,000 lbs. This pretty much covers any trailer except the really large ones. An average travel trailer, a boat, utility trailer and alike. Things like 5th wheels and goose-neck trailers are off limits for this one and better left for diesel powered trucks.
How Much Weight Can A Chevrolet Silverado EV Tow?
The Chevy Silverado EV is a little less on the ability to tow a trailer coming in at 8,000 lbs and a tongue weight of 1,300 lbs. This still puts it in the same category as the Lightning, being able to pull an average travel trailer, a boat or a utility trailer. As long as you understand that this is not a heavy duty truck but more of a home use and maybe light work truck, anything you throw at it should be doable.
If you need it to do some more work than average, then opt for a towing optimized version of the truck that will get you above 20,000 lbs of towing capacity. With this option the Chevy Silverado EV should cover most use cases for light to medium duty truck needs.
How Much Weight Can A GMC Hummer EV Tow?
I think as long as you have any other version of the Hummer than the H1 from the 80’s and 90’s we all understand that it is really a toy and a status symbol an not a real “all-terrain” vehicle. So having said that the such low towing capacity of 7,500 lbs and 1,300 lbs of tongue weight capacity is due to the truck being so heavy – weighing in at 9,063 lbs, about 4,000 lbs more than an average truck in its class.
It’s not too big of a deal as it will still be able to tow most things like any other truck but it will leave a bigger dent in the road that it drives on.
We just published a report on how much it costs to charge a Hummer at home, which shows that it costs a little more per month to charge a Hummer EV than it takes to gas up a motorcycle.
How Much Weight Can A Rivian R1T Tow?
Rivian is also a heavy weight at 6,800 lbs but it comes ready to tow up to 11,000 lbs with a payload capacity of 1,760 lbs. It is serious about doing truck things even through it looks like it just wants to get up and dance like that little desk-top robot they used to have. I’m telling you that is what the Rivian reminds me off anytime I look at the front of it. I personally can’t take it seriously, but I guess that is why they made it and over-achiever and perform better than the competition.
How Much Weight Can A Tesla Cybertruck Tow?
In a class of it’s own, the Cybertruck is ready for truck work without question. In its quad-motor version, it’s ready to tow up to 10,000 lbs with a payload of 3,500 lbs. I wouldn’t expect anything less with the company’s owner shooting for the stars. Although this truck broke all the truck molds, I can see many accepting it very well and seeing this truck hauling all kinds of things on the roads in the near future.
How Much Do Trailers Weigh?
Take a look at the different trailers and what they weigh so you can have an idea what trailers can be towed behind your electric truck. These are just approximate estimates so make sure to refer to your vehicle manual for exact weight and capacity.
|Trailer Type||Dry Weight||Loaded Weight||Hitch Weight|
|Jet Ski Trailer||500 - 600 lbs||1,000 - 1,500 lbs||100 - 200 lbs|
|ATV Trailer||500 - 600 lbs||1,500 - 2,000 lbs||150 - 300 lbs|
|Side-By-Side Trailer||500 - 600 lbs||2,000 - 3,000 lbs||200 - 400 lbs|
|Car Trailer||1,500 - 2,800 lbs||10,000 - 15,000 lbs||1,000 - 2,000 lbs|
|Boat Trailer||1,500 - 2,200 lbs||5,000 - 6,000 lbs||400 - 500 lbs|
|Flat Bed Trailer||2,000 - 3,000 lbs||3,000 - 7,500 lbs||250 - 1,000 lbs|
|Horse Trailer||2,300 - 3,900 lbs||7,000 - 8,000 lbs||700 - 1,600 lbs|
|Utility Trailer||1,000 - 2,500 lbs||5,000 - 7,000 lbs||500 - 1,500 lbs|
|Large Utility Trailer||3,500 - 4,500 lbs||9,000 - 11,000 lbs||900 - 1,600 lbs|
|Small Travel Trailer||1,000 - 3,000 lbs||3,800 - 4,200 lbs||350 - 1,000 lbs|
|Medium Travel Trailer||4,000 - 5,000 lbs||6,000 - 8,000 lbs||600 - 1,600 lbs|
|Large Travel Trailer||6,000 - 8,500 lbs||8,500 - 11,000 lbs||1,000 - 2,200 lbs|
|Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer||13,000 - 16,000 lbs||16,000 - 20,000 lbs||2,500 - 3,500 lbs|
|Gooseneck Flat Bed Trailer||4,700 - 10,000 lbs||15,000 - 30,000 lbs||2,500 - 4,000 lbs|
These are approximate weights, only provided as a trough reference. Please refer to your trailer manual for exact weight and capacity of your trailer.
The table above organizes the different trailer types and their dry weight, which means this is how much it weighs right from the factory, with nothing extra inside or on it. Loaded Weight is when the trailer is loaded up with an average amount of things and up to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), which is how much weight the trailer is rated at being able to handle safely. And the last data point is Hitch Weight which is the amount of weight that can be expected on the hitch ball. It shows weight from empty trailer up to its GVWR. All these data points should let you find the approximately where your truck fits and what types of trailers it can tow.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.