Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Best practices for charging for a long trip in cold weather

rawn77

Member
Aug 11, 2015
34
3
Montreal, QC
I'll be leaving in mid-December (Montreal to Miami); where Montreal to Albany is one of the longer distances to travel before hitting a Super Charger.
You can be sure that the temperatures will be below freezing.
My car is always in a heated garage; but yet I notice now when leaving in the morning, my battery indicates its cold with the orange markers on the energy screen.
Even if I pre-heat the car in the garage, it doesn't seem to heat the battery; I remember reading that the battery will not get heated if the temperature is not below the 40's F; whereas my garage stays in the 60's F.
So, hear's my question: Is it better to leave the car the night before outside (plugged in); charge it to 100% starting around 4 am, and start pre-heating an hour or so before leaving? My thoughts are that the car would heat the battery (because it's f'n cold in Montreal mid-December) while being plugged in so when I'd leave at 7 am I'll be starting with no orange markers.
Any comments?
 

Ugliest1

S85: "Sparky"
Aug 19, 2013
1,401
1,645
Victoria BC Canada
I thought the process of charging the battery generates heat, and timing the start of charge so that it completes shortly before your scheduled departure time would produce the byproduct of a warm battery. Are you now charging your car as soon as you get home and plug in? If so the heat generated by the charging would be dissipated by morning, and voila orange lines (or, dotted in AP cars I understand). Have you tried a timed charge to, say, 80 or 90% starting at 4am, then pre-heat as well 30 min prior to leaving?
 

rawn77

Member
Aug 11, 2015
34
3
Montreal, QC
Google map says the distance from Montreal to Albany is 356km. Can your S travel that distance in the winter with reduced battery capacity and heating demand?

From my home to the Albany SC is about 220 miles.
My trip range now is 270 miles.
I've done the trip before and had only 10 miles left of range when getting to the SC. Granted I didn't really watch my speed, but it was much warmer then and my car now has 13 less miles of range than when I bought it in September (whole other story).
I'm trying to start my trip with the battery as temperature-optimized as possible.

- - - Updated - - -

I thought the process of charging the battery generates heat, and timing the start of charge so that it completes shortly before your scheduled departure time would produce the byproduct of a warm battery. Are you now charging your car as soon as you get home and plug in? If so the heat generated by the charging would be dissipated by morning, and voila orange lines (or, dotted in AP cars I understand). Have you tried a timed charge to, say, 80 or 90% starting at 4am, then pre-heat as well 30 min prior to leaving?

I usually charge at 11 pm; I'll use a delayed charge tonight for a morning charge and see if there are any orange energy markers.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,814
23,173
Texas
Try this:

1. Time the charging so that it stops when you are ready to leave.

2. Be sure range mode is off until you start driving. The battery will not heat more than a minimum amount if range mode is enabled.

3. Preheat the cabin so that it finishes at the time you start driving. Set temperature to HI. In a 15C garage you shouldn't need to preheat for more than one cycle. Depending upon what you are charging with (14-50 or HPWC), preheating may add extra charging time as the power is split between heating and charging.

4. Turn range mode on and reduce the temperature when you start to drive.

5. In winter count on 290 km for a full range charge with an S85.

6. You will get the regen warning when you do a range charge because the battery can't absorb any more power.

I'd start in the garage, but turn on range mode so that the battery won't do extra heating while driving. Even if you see the limiting line because the battery is cold (which I don't believe will happen if you follow the instructions above) if you turn on range mode, it will just use motor heating to warm the battery.
 

rawn77

Member
Aug 11, 2015
34
3
Montreal, QC
Try this:

1. Time the charging so that it stops when you are ready to leave.

2. Be sure range mode is off until you start driving. The battery will not heat more than a minimum amount if range mode is enabled.

3. Preheat the cabin so that it finishes at the time you start driving. Set temperature to HI. In a 15C garage you shouldn't need to preheat for more than one cycle. Depending upon what you are charging with (14-50 or HPWC), preheating may add extra charging time as the power is split between heating and charging.

4. Turn range mode on and reduce the temperature when you start to drive.

5. In winter count on 290 km for a full range charge with an S85.

6. You will get the regen warning when you do a range charge because the battery can't absorb any more power.

I'd start in the garage, but turn on range mode so that the battery won't do extra heating while driving. Even if you see the limiting line because the battery is cold (which I don't believe will happen if you follow the instructions above) if you turn on range mode, it will just use motor heating to warm the battery.

I'll give that try, thanks!
 

mikeash

Active Member
Oct 26, 2014
1,105
703
Fairfax, VA, USA
EVTripPlanner says 290 rated miles for Montreal->Albany for an 85D with 21" wheels, a speed multiplier of 1, and an outside temperature of 30F. I assume a 90D will use the basically the same amount of energy. That's really pushing it.

If you hit the Burlington supercharger on the way, you'll take longer and go a bit further, but both segments are much easier to make. Might be worth the detour for you.

If you do go direct, I'd map out a few likely backup chargers on PlugShare ahead of time and keep them in mind as you go. Watch your trip meter, and if it looks like you're not going to make Albany, stop at an L2 charger to get a little extra. L2 is not going to be fast, but you might only need 10-20 miles of extra charge to be assured of making it. I see a lot of likely candidates along the way.

If you find a likely candidate at a good spot for shopping, tourism, or dining, then you could stop there for an hour or two anyway to add a bit of a buffer, then continue on with more confidence in making Albany.
 

Cottonwood

Roadster#433, Model S#S37
Feb 27, 2009
5,088
166
Colorado
Try this:

1. Time the charging so that it stops when you are ready to leave.

2. Be sure range mode is off until you start driving. The battery will not heat more than a minimum amount if range mode is enabled.

3. Preheat the cabin so that it finishes at the time you start driving. Set temperature to HI. In a 15C garage you shouldn't need to preheat for more than one cycle. Depending upon what you are charging with (14-50 or HPWC), preheating may add extra charging time as the power is split between heating and charging.

4. Turn range mode on and reduce the temperature when you start to drive.

5. In winter count on 290 km for a full range charge with an S85.

6. You will get the regen warning when you do a range charge because the battery can't absorb any more power.

I'd start in the garage, but turn on range mode so that the battery won't do extra heating while driving. Even if you see the limiting line because the battery is cold (which I don't believe will happen if you follow the instructions above) if you turn on range mode, it will just use motor heating to warm the battery.

Good summary of best methods to prepare for a long, winter drive!

Here is a summary of one of my winter hypermile exercises. Realistic Range Expectations in Crummy Winter Weather - Page 2

I started with the above charge and heating methods before departure.
 

richardl007

Member
Jun 1, 2012
34
19
I have a 85D and live in Montreal and want to drive to NC this winter, but also fear the Montreal to Albany leg in the cold. Please let us know how it goes.
If you need some juice on your way home, I have a HPWC 80A at my office in St Hubert ( 2 minutes off the highway) just befor Montreal that you or anyone is welcome to use. The charger is on PlugShare, MetroBec 5055 rue Ramsay, St Hubert.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,868
Toronto, ON
My car has been losing 1 mile per 9 days on either 90% or full trip charge since purchase :(

It seems the cars will lose a fair chunk over the first year or so, then the degradation (or whatever it is) rate really slows down. I jumped down to around 218-220 miles @90% fairly early, but I have been at this amount for probably 1.5 years now.
 

msnow

Active Member
Jul 14, 2015
4,951
2,236
SoCal
It seems the cars will lose a fair chunk over the first year or so, then the degradation (or whatever it is) rate really slows down. I jumped down to around 218-220 miles @90% fairly early, but I have been at this amount for probably 1.5 years now.

What did you start at? There's quite a few 90D people in here that started at 258 @90% and went to 246/247 6-8 weeks later.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,868
Toronto, ON
What did you start at? There's quite a few 90D people in here that started at 258 @90% and went to 246/247 6-8 weeks later.

My S85 was 265 miles on the nose at 100% when new. Back then we didn't have the slider (just "Daily" and "Trip" or something like that), and I have heard that "Daily" was 93 %. Once the slider was introduced, I was seeing around 240 @ 90%. I now see 246 @ 100% and 220 @ 90% (all Rated numbers) and it's been around that for at least 1.5 years.
 

msnow

Active Member
Jul 14, 2015
4,951
2,236
SoCal
My S85 was 265 miles on the nose at 100% when new. Back then we didn't have the slider (just "Daily" and "Trip" or something like that), and I have heard that "Daily" was 93 %. Once the slider was introduced, I was seeing around 240 @ 90%. I now see 246 @ 100% and 220 @ 90% (all Rated numbers) and it's been around that for at least 1.5 years.

Thanks, I don't feel so bad now. [emoji3]
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top