Rivian R1T tows 10,000 pounds in subzero temperatures: this happened (+Video)

Rivian R1T tows in subzero temperatures

Electric vehicles have come a long way in a short time, but they still have some big challenges. One is a drop in range in colder weather and the other is a loss in range when towing. A YouTuber has combined both challenges in a single test with his Rivian R1T.

YouTuber Zack Nelson is from the Jerry Rig Everything channel. And his Rivian R1T tows 10,000 pounds in sub-zero temperatures as a little test run to prove the range of the winter driving of your electric. So he decided to use his Rivian to tow his Hummer H1 electromod along with some extra weight in the dead of winter to see how it would affect range. The combination did much more than simply reduce the distance the R1T could travel.

Rivian R1T tows in subzero temperatures

The electrified Hummer and the trailer itself weighed about 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 maximum towing capacity of the R1T is 4989 kg (11,000 lbs.), so it’s in the safe zone. Nelson said the maximum range he has gotten from the truck is around 280 miles (450 km).

Interestingly, once the trailer was loaded, the Rivian somehow calculated that it now had about 635 miles of total range. There’s no situation where she could get that far, even without a trailer, so it’s unknown how she got to that total. However, it turned out to be just a harbinger of miscalculations to come.

Rivian R1T tows in subzero temperatures
Rivian R1T tows in subzero temperatures

Throughout Nelson’s trip of close to 100 miles (160 km), the truck reported all sorts of different range estimates, often overestimating potential range by dozens, if not hundreds of miles. Fortunately, Nelson kept track of his range separately from the onboard computer and knew that about 70 miles (112 km) into the trip he only had about 40 miles (64 km) of range left.

After a couple of load stops, he came to the conclusion that carrying that much weight and doing it in cold temperatures results in a range reduction of approximately two-thirds. So those who plan to do a lot of long-distance travel will probably want to avoid EVs for the foreseeable future, but it’s nice to know they’re still capable enough for infrequent jobs like this.


  • How to optimize the driving range of your electric vehicle in winter
  • Rivian misses its EV production targets for 2022

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