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Cascade Road Trip in Extreme conditions

Car: Model 3 2020 Dual motor 40k Miles

Trip: Seattle to Central Washington ~300-mile round trip in the cascades mountains.

Weather: Winter Weather Advisory with artic winds in the Northwest. High of 25°F in Seattle and snowing when we left with about 5 inches on the ground.
The forecast for the mountains was sub 0 lows and wind chills of -20° F!

I have had the car for two years, and have driven over 40k miles, so I have pushed my car to the limits both hot and cold. The biggest winter test prior was a trip to SLC from SEA during January last year but the weather was clear and dry. This was the first time I was gonna drive a long distance in the mountains with snow, extra weight, and EXTREME COLD in the Model 3. I have new tires so I was very confident in the handling and ability of the car performance-wise, but the range anxiety was real. We had two adult passengers, a dog, beer, food, 2 snowboards on the roof rack, and of course all our gear and luggage for a 4-day ski trip. the car was MAXed out lol.

So I left with 70% SOC in Seattle, topped off at a Supercharger before the pass to 97% (just to give a massive buffer); SOC at arrival was 50%. about 100miles trip uphill.

My efficiency was terrible going up HWY 2 ~600 wh/mi but evened out at about 390-450 wh/mi and ended the first 100-mile leg to Leavenworth, WA with 40%!(10% difference than projection) I was doing about 40-65mph most of the way and kept the heat at 72 auto! Temps outside were around 10-20° F the whole way. I was impressed how much charge I had left in Leavenworth that we did the last leg about 50 miles without charging and I maxed the heat and arrived with about 15%.

The lodge we stayed in had a built-in 80 amp charger

I would preheat my car for 30 minutes before we went skiing in the morning on the charger which is huge, tried it without it the first morning there, and would use about 10% in 25 minutes. I tried the trickle charger and it really didn't do much of anything with those temps.

Going home downhill was a breeze, all in all, this car is a tank in the snow, the range is doable in most cases in the mountains and this trip really helped ease range anxiety in the snow and extreme cold.

Cant wait for my 500mi CT.... 🙏

Cheers All!


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Nice. I did a couple day trips skiing in my 3 with Michelin IceX tires and agree the car is great in snow. I wonder in percentage of SOC how much the heat pump would have affected your efficiency?
Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I’ve considered trading up to the model y or a new m3 to get heat pump also performance model to actually be able to drift in the snow 🤣
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Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I’ve considered trading up to the model y or a new m3 to get heat pump also performance model to actually be able to drift in the snow 🤣
Ha! I was really close to getting a performance 3 just so I could use track mode to drift in the snow. Was ready to do it and had spousal approval but then all the talk of BBB coming and with it a chance at a 8k federal rebate on the table but sedans capped at 55k put the performance 3 off the table. I sold my '18 LR 3 for 47k on 12/23 and have a new M3LR order in and delivery date in January. Figured, how could I not upgrade to a new car that is four model years newer and with many updates for very little out of pocket and maybe if BBB does pass and is retroactive to all of '22 then with with money back?
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