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Charge in Standard, Drive in Range

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Aspirant, May 17, 2012.

  1. Aspirant

    Aspirant Member

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    We've all heard that range mode decreases battery life and why. But it seems to me that charging in standard mode and driving in range mode would extend battery life — so long as you don't bottom-out the battery. The increase in battery life would result from range mode's 50% power reduction, resulting in a more lightly used battery.

    Sorry if this was discussed ad nauseam elsewhere. I searched the forums for an hour but didn't find anything.
     
  2. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Technically your theory is correct. Range mode's reduced power could result in slightly lower battery temps which would in theory prolong battery life. However, Tesla very actively manages battery temperature regardless of mode so I believe the difference would be immeasurable.
     
  3. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Interesting idea and relevant to Model S as well, I bet.

    I think the power reduction is available power reduction. Therefore you could drive just the same and have equivalent efficiency. Just don't hit the go pedal very hard.

    But if you need the help in keeping your foot off the floor, then I see no harm in charging in standard and driving in range.
     
  4. Dragon

    Dragon Lightning Green Fairytale

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    Well, in hot summer days range mode will allow the battery to get hotter. I would always go with standard mode if you don't need more range, simply because it's the standard and should be the best for the car.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I believe that's something Tesla recommends against doing. You're better off staying in standard mode when you don't need the extra range.
     
  6. Aspirant

    Aspirant Member

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    Temperature is not the only factor in battery wear. There is also just plain use: charging and discharging. Fifty % less available power results in less overall battery use.
     
  7. Aspirant

    Aspirant Member

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    Tesla's recommendations amount to best practices for drivers who want to apply minimal thought to the car's operation. Those who care to understand the principles at work can optimize.
     
  8. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #8 wiztecy, May 18, 2012
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
    From what I read and learned Lithium Ion Batteries don't like always being at 100% nor being at 0-5%. Their sweet spot and where they're most stable charge is 50%.

    When you charge in Range mode you're charging up to 100% of the packs full capacity. Secondly range mode will allow discharging of the battery pack down to almost 0%. I recall a Tesla rep telling me that they had a customer who came in with 2% charge which was a little scary. Standard mode charges bring the battery up to 80-86% and only allows it to discharge down to 20%. So that's closer to the 50% sweet spot the battery cells like. Lastly when you charge your car every night don't charge it as soon as you come home nor at 12 am, all to have the car sit at 86% or 100% all night with nothing to do. Again the cell's don't like that over time sitting above 50%. Get in the habit of having the charge complete 1 hour before you're ready for your commute or depart on your trip. This was shared by a Tesla employee who contributed to technical discussion here on TMC about steps for caring and preserving the life of your battery pack as well as on other EV forums. It makes sense. If you're on a time / PG & E E-9 rate that has a discount from 12am-7am calculate so that the charging ends at 7am. Every little bit of care and planning adds up over the lifetime of the pack.

    Below are some good "general" links for understanding and caring for the battery packs:

    Eight Tips to Extend Battery Life of Your Electric Car | PluginCars.com

    Battery Information Table of Contents, Basic to Advanced

    Table of Contents for Batteries in a Portable World

    The Three Laws of Batteries (and a Bonus Zeroth Law) Cleantech News and Analysis
     
  9. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I want full power available all the time, but want the battery preservation characteristics of standard mode.
    It is important to school the muscle car guy when they appear behind you on the on ramp.
    I frequently flip the car to performance mode while driving and then back to standard for charging.
     
  10. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #10 wiztecy, May 18, 2012
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
    "It is important to school the muscle car guy when they appear behind you on the on ramp."

    I agree, that's fun :)
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I care to understand the principles at work to optimize the battery too. As wiztecy said, you then might want to keep the SOC at 50% as often as possible in that case. There are many small things you could do that might be nicer to the battery than charging and driving in standard mode as Tesla suggests but we're talking about some unknown, likely fraction of a percent difference over a few years. You're likely right that it may be nicer on the battery but I also bought the Roadster to have a little fun. You're welcome to charge in standard mode and drive in range mode but I'd rather have full power in the sports car I bought.
     
  12. strider

    strider Active Member

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    True, but you don't need to drive in range mode to do that. You can just be gentle with your right foot.

    My point being that Tesla already does everything they can to balance performance and battery life. I would just charge and drive in standard and enjoy the power when you need/want it.
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    The only time I drive in range mode is when I need to maximize miles on a road trip (like, say, to SoCal). And it helps a great deal. I've never matched the mileage using range with standard- because, yes, 'My name is Bonnie and I have a lead foot.'
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    A while back I ended up getting into the "reserve" charge range, where the Roadster no longer predicts the distance available. I wasn't too worried because I was just a few kilometers from my destination. But afterwards I noticed it affected the battery balance. It took almost two weeks for the standard mode range to return to normal. That said there appeared to be no lasting effect.
     
  15. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #15 wiztecy, May 19, 2012
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
    Good information Doug, I also read from a Tesla note in this forum as well was to fully charge in standard couple of times to get the battery back into balance:

    "Just remember that the car does benefit from being allowed to sit fully charged in Standard mode, and should be allowed to do so frequently, especially if being used on a daily basis. Leaving the car plugged in in Standard mode after it is done charging will initiate this balancing program automatically. This doesn’t take much time, 30 minutes or so should do. It may take several of these balancing cycles to bring the car back to a balanced state if it has become imbalanced, which is something that a lack of regular Standard mode top ups and subsequent balancing cycles can induce."

    Tesla Roadster Battery Care
     

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