That Time A Tesla Towed An Entire Qantas Dreamliner

That Time A Tesla Towed An Entire Qantas Dreamliner
Image: Qantas Newsroom

Despite a tonne of evidence to the contrary, electric cars still have a bad reputation when it comes to towing. They’re simply not powerful enough, according to certain ‘experts’.

Here’s a friendly reminder of that time a Tesla Model X P100D towed a fricking Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at Melbourne Airport. Total load: 130 tonnes. Is that enough power for ya?

In May 2018, Tesla set a new Guinness World Record by towing a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with a single Model X P100D. At the time, it made headlines as the heaviest tow by an electric production passenger vehicle. It managed to pull the 130 tonne Dreamliner almost 300 metres.

Admittedly, this was on tarmac (the P100D has the capacity to tow 2.5 tonnes on the road) and there was no cargo or passengers on board, which lightened the load. But it remains a very impressive feat.

Here’s a breakdown of how the two vehicles compare:

CAPACITY 236 seats 5-7 seats
TOP SPEED Mach. 82 250km/h
RANGE 14,500km 565km
SIZE 63m x 60m (wingspan) 5mx 2.2m

Incidentally, this wasn’t the first time Qantas used an electric vehicle to tow one of its planes. In recent years, the airline has been using electric aircraft tugs in Sydney and Canberra in a bid to reduce greenhouse emissions.

“With more than 10,000 pieces of Qantas ground services equipment like catering trucks, aircraft loaders and other vehicles all running on diesel, even just a small shift to electric power will have an enormous impact in the move to a sustainable future,” Qantas said at the time.

So the next time somebody blithely insists that electric cars can’t compete on torque, show them this video: