Never has a passenger airliner been hitched to an electric passenger vehicle for towing. Well at least until today.
On a remote taxiway at Melbourne Airport, a Tesla Model X P100D with the greatest pulling power of any electric passenger vehicle came face to face against the newest star of the Qantas fleet, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
In a world first, the all-electric SUV successfully towed the Dreamliner as part of a Guinness World Record attempt, as the heaviest tow by an electric production passenger vehicle.
While the Model X can accommodate up to seven passengers, far less than the 236 people on a Qantas Dreamliner.
The Tesla punched above its weight, towing the 130 tonne 787, well above its on road tow rated capacity of 2.5 tonnes
Its dual electric motors generated a huge amount of torque, powering the Model X with enough strength to tow the 787 almost 300 metres.
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.