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32% drop in range (winter in MN)

Mboysen

Member
Aug 31, 2020
17
5
Edina, Mn
I'm curious about your thoughts, week over a week my estimate range has gone from around 314 miles to 214 miles. This is a brand new MX LR 2020 delivered in Oct and what's changed is the weather shifted to winter (around 30-40°F) here in MN. My X is plugged in and in a garage at 45-50°F. Preheating the cabin increased the range by 1 mile.

I've read the tips to preheat the car but both the Tesla Stats App and the Energy Charge with Average Estimate Range have dropped exactly 100 miles this week. From what I've read here in the forums we should expect about a 5-15% drop in range with the cold weather but I'm tracking about a 32% drop in range with a 90% charge. Any ideas or tips to improve the range?
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ColdWeatherEV

Member
Apr 14, 2020
39
131
Northwest Wyoming
First of all, don't panic, or over think this, unless of course your daily commute is over 200 miles. I've had 3 winters under my belt with a 2017 100D in Northwest Wyoming. I've said for a long time, its the best winter car I've ever owned, as long as the trips are less than 200 miles. My winter average for the whole season is 395 wh/mi. My summer average, driving the same roads (mostly non stop secondary roads, with the average single trip around 50 miles) is 340 wh/mi. That equates to a real 100% battery range of 234 miles (winter) and 270 miles (summer). The EPA rated range for my 2017 100D was 295 miles. Those are winter / summer averages, but extreme cold, strong winds, and snow packed roads have an adverse impact on range, as much as moderate temps, smooth roads and tailwinds have a positive effect. Your are driving an improved, more efficient version of the X, so your real range will be better than my history. I just picked up a new X last week and it will be interesting to see how it compares to my old X over the course of this winter. Don't worry, just manage your expectations and adjust your charging / driving to account for the decreased winter range.
 
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DoctorVenkman

Member
Jul 29, 2018
428
520
Los Angeles
Around freezing I would expect to see a 20-30% reduction in range, so that roughly tracks with your situation. When it's really cold, I've heard of people seeing 40-50% reductions in range. The exact number depends on how warm you keep the cabin and whether or not you use the seat warmers.

Also it's important to note that the rated range will drop more in the beginning, since your car is using more energy to warm the cabin up. Once you've reached your set temperature, the heaters don't have to work as hard, so your efficiency improves. If you're doing a lot of short drives, this can really mess with your efficiency, since the car needs to warm up every time. If you're doing longer drives, the efficiency impact isn't as bad, since you're warming the car up fewer times per mile driven.

That's just an unfortunate reality of EV's - they're so efficient that they need to create their own heat in the winter time, reducing usable range. On the other hand ICE vehicles can just use waste heat to warm the cabin.
 
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VikH

Supporting Member
Nov 23, 2015
983
785
Midwest, USA
I'm curious about your thoughts, week over a week my estimate range has gone from around 314 miles to 214 miles. This is a brand new MX LR 2020 delivered in Oct and what's changed is the weather shifted to winter (around 30-40°F) here in MN. My X is plugged in and in a garage at 45-50°F. Preheating the cabin increased the range by 1 mile.

I've read the tips to preheat the car but both the Tesla Stats App and the Energy Charge with Average Estimate Range have dropped exactly 100 miles this week. From what I've read here in the forums we should expect about a 5-15% drop in range with the cold weather but I'm tracking about a 32% drop in range with a 90% charge. Any ideas or tips to improve the range? View attachment 600848

A 5-15% drop in range is incorrect for MN temps+snow. I have found in MN that my winter range drops by 20-30% when temps are around 20-40F. Range will drop further when you are driving through snow.

Tips - you should definitely preheat the car before leaving or setup Departure Charge. Drive slower. Use seat heating more over HVAC heating.

This is why Model X needs heat pump asap and I probably won't buy a new X until it gets it.
 
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DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,512
896
Indianapolis, IN
I'm curious about your thoughts, week over a week my estimate range has gone from around 314 miles to 214 miles. This is a brand new MX LR 2020 delivered in Oct and what's changed is the weather shifted to winter (around 30-40°F) here in MN. My X is plugged in and in a garage at 45-50°F. Preheating the cabin increased the range by 1 mile.

I've read the tips to preheat the car but both the Tesla Stats App and the Energy Charge with Average Estimate Range have dropped exactly 100 miles this week. From what I've read here in the forums we should expect about a 5-15% drop in range with the cold weather but I'm tracking about a 32% drop in range with a 90% charge. Any ideas or tips to improve the range?

30% is pretty normal. That 470 Wh/mile is the clue. That will drop closer to 300 when it warms up next summer. My suggestion is set the car to display "Energy." Then it will display % available (like your cell phone). It makes a ton more sense. One other thing I'll mention is when it gets really cold (single digits F) turn on the heat long before you need to drive (assuming you are on shore power), like 2 hours or more. That will heat up the battery and you will get more regen when you leave.
 
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Torqueria

Member
Nov 29, 2017
59
89
Chicago
I'm attaching the temp efficiency of my Model X 100D. You can see, there's a pretty significant effect. In my experience, outside temperature and the wind (headwind vs tailwind) have the biggest effect on efficiency. Range mode, driving with the heat set really low, not using the a/c when it's really hot — these things are very secondary in terms of overall effect on efficiency in my experience.

Efficiency vs Temp.png
 
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RxMx

Member
Mar 27, 2020
7
3
Renton, WA
I'm curious about your thoughts, week over a week my estimate range has gone from around 314 miles to 214 miles. This is a brand new MX LR 2020 delivered in Oct and what's changed is the weather shifted to winter (around 30-40°F) here in MN.

I am in the Seattle area, and noticed a big increase in WH/mile when the temperature dropped. Part of that, insofar as I recall, is that the battery cannot discharge as much when it is colder. Part is that regenerative breaking also cannot put as much back into the battery when it is cold. Use of heat also hurts; as others have noted, preheating while plugged in and using seat heaters more than HVAC heat helps. Personally, I like to have the car overall warm, not just my seat/backside. I have a 2019 Model X (Raven platform).

Driving in headwinds/snow is a mileage killer for all vehicles. Colder air is also denser, but my fluid dynamics are weak and I am not sure how to calculate that differential.

Last year I noticed a big drop in regen braking charges (my drive has a 450-foot hill I go down in the first few miles) when the temperature dropped below 60°F, without regard to preheating with the app to condition (picking a standard departure time for either charge completion or conditioning doesn't work for me as my schedule ain't that regular). This time around, the regen braking with preconditioning (turning on climate 15 - 30 minutes before I leave) seems a lot better. I wish I'd recorded information as carefully as Torqueria, but I did not, so my evaluation is very subjective...
 

Qbenjamin

Frugal But Classy!
Jan 7, 2017
1,140
675
Bravos
2 winters with my 2016 P90...If the temp is below 40F, I avg around 700 Wh/mi, which is about a 50%-60% drop in range. Doesn't matter if its on the highway or not.

One disclaimer though, all of my trips are under 10 miles.
 

Mboysen

Member
Aug 31, 2020
17
5
Edina, Mn
I'm attaching the temp efficiency of my Model X 100D. You can see, there's a pretty significant effect. In my experience, outside temperature and the wind (headwind vs tailwind) have the biggest effect on efficiency. Range mode, driving with the heat set really low, not using the a/c when it's really hot — these things are very secondary in terms of overall effect on efficiency in my experience.

View attachment 600893[/QUOT]

Torqueria Great info, do you use an app or how do track this?
 

DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,512
896
Indianapolis, IN
is there a 'go to' app for tracking the range your Tesla is actually getting?
Can someone give me the low down on how to use this?

Just use the Energy graph in the car. It's range estimate is based your actual usage over the last 5, 15 or 30 miles. If you display "Energy" in the instrument cluster, the consumption is continuously visible.
 

RedXowner

Member
Mar 24, 2020
177
97
Springfield, Virginia
I believe the OP's main issue with mileage loss is the big fat 470 Wh/mi number. That's a ton of energy to go one mile. As my car sits in the parking lot at work right now, it says 270-280 Wh/mi average over the last 30 miles. That's here in Virginia where it's unseasonably warm this week. Highs around 75-80.
 

DoctorVenkman

Member
Jul 29, 2018
428
520
Los Angeles
I believe the OP's main issue with mileage loss is the big fat 470 Wh/mi number. That's a ton of energy to go one mile. As my car sits in the parking lot at work right now, it says 270-280 Wh/mi average over the last 30 miles. That's here in Virginia where it's unseasonably warm this week. Highs around 75-80.

That 470 Wh/mi is almost entirely driven by the heating. Yes there are some efficiency losses because of less regen and a cold battery, but the cabin heaters on full blast draw like 4-5kW, plus up to 7kW for the battery warmers.

If the car is pulling 10kW to heat up the cabin and the battery, and you drive 5 miles in 6 minutes from a cold start, you've effectively added 200 Wh/mile on top of the normal power draw. Of course the longer and further you drive after each warm up cycle, the less that Wh/mile metric increases over the whole trip.

I'm guessing OP is driving short trips and blasting the heat. In that case, you have the heaters blasting for every mile you drive. If they were to drive longer trips the efficiency would stabilize into something around the mid 300's.
 
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_jmk

Member
Sep 4, 2017
316
215
Finland
A 5-15% drop in range is incorrect for MN temps+snow. I have found in MN that my winter range drops by 20-30% when temps are around 20-40F. Range will drop further when you are driving through snow.

Tips - you should definitely preheat the car before leaving or setup Departure Charge. Drive slower. Use seat heating more over HVAC heating.

This is why Model X needs heat pump asap and I probably won't buy a new X until it gets it.

Automotive size heat pump will save you 1 - 1.5 kW of constant draw. If you drive 4h, you save 4 - 6 kWh. This is mostly a legend from the original Leaf where saving every dime mattered a LOT.
 

VikH

Supporting Member
Nov 23, 2015
983
785
Midwest, USA
Automotive size heat pump will save you 1 - 1.5 kW of constant draw. If you drive 4h, you save 4 - 6 kWh. This is mostly a legend from the original Leaf where saving every dime mattered a LOT.

Is that the savings for Tesla's setup specifically (heatpump+octovalve)?
 

Fred42

Member
Dec 24, 2018
958
2,602
Pennsylvania
Today I was driving through fog and I passed a Leaf with no lights on. I hope the driver understands that the impact of lights on range is nil. Speed, heater and AC affect range but driving without lights does not help.
 

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