Luxury travel trailer features a battery pack to extend EV towing range
There are many good reasons to buy an EV rather than a legacy oil-burner, but towing capacity is not (yet) one of them. The Tesla Model X was the first EV to feature substantial towing capacity, and the new electric pickups and SUVs that are beginning to hit the market can all tow. However, it’s an inescapable fact that towing limits range. When John Voelcker recently tested the new Ford Lightning F-150 for Charged, he confirmed that towing a sizable trailer can cut the vehicle’s range in half.
Above: A Tesla Model X towing the Colorado Teardrop. Photo: Colorado Teardrop
Of course, a fossil fuel pickup will also take a huge range hit when towing, but you can always add an auxiliary gas tank. What if you could do something similar with an EV by adding a battery pack to the trailer? Colorado Teardrops, a manufacturer of high-end camper trailers, is doing just that. The company is building a new line of trailers—the Boulder, the Golden and the Denver—that will not only use aerodynamics to minimize air resistance, but will incorporate battery packs with capacities ranging from 75 kWh to 200 kWh.
The first of these, the Boulder, can be reserved now, and delivery is expected in the first half of 2023. These are luxury travel trailers, with indoor galleys, bathrooms with showers, and premium exterior and interior finishes. Prices for the Boulder start at $45,000.
The battery pack is designed to recharge the EV while en route, delivering a net gain in total range. For example, if an EV with a 300-mile range was towing the Boulder, its towing range would be expected to be greater than 300 miles, thanks to the auxiliary battery onboard the Boulder.
Colorado Teardrops has completed the first stage of product development, which uses Level 2 charging, and is now working on DC-to-DC fast charging between the trailer and the tow vehicle. The company says it has partnered with “a major automotive manufacturer,” and that purchase agreements for battery systems are “in the works.”
“With the electrification of the auto industry, solutions such as The Boulder are needed to enable the mass adoption of electric tow vehicles,” says founder Dean Wiltshire.