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Cold Weather Efficiency Impacts

WattsappMTL

Member
Nov 2, 2020
118
66
Montreal
also had an 8” plus snow storm, +1 on the need for a basic snow mode. Did fine overall, not a ton of fishtailing, but I would say it was more me knowing the roads and taking every precaution than the car being a tank. Coming from Jeep Cherokee and before that an mdx, def felt less in control...

Agree it definitely doesn't qualify as an AWD. Did you try Off-Road Assist? I saw it recommended and played with it briefly on a snowy back lane. It certainly seemed to tame the fishtailing on acceleration, don't about turning yet.
 

cdam44

Member
Jan 10, 2021
5
7
MA
Agree it definitely doesn't qualify as an AWD. Did you try Off-Road Assist? I saw it recommended and played with it briefly on a snowy back lane. It certainly seemed to tame the fishtailing on acceleration, don't about turning yet.

i did nothing different on the 5mi trip to the mountain and I did ‘chill’ on the way back and it was better. Wasn’t til I got home and read up on it did I see the off road option. Will report back but looks like no snow in the forecast for a while.
 

ajs847

Member
Jun 2, 2021
39
33
northwest illinois
Noob here, sorry to bring up such an old thread but it is the closest to the question I have. Can somebody explain terms of miles or battery charge percent (kw don't mean anything to me - call me simple LOL)....

Question: my daily commute is 15 miles each way, in the winter here in NW IL the climate is somewhat like the green bay climate a previous poster mentioned he drives through. In terms of temps, on the coldest winter days it can get under 0 degrees F during daytime hours when the car would be parked outside in my work parking lot, unplugged for 8-10 hours straight. - my company has no accomodations for EV's (heated parking garage or chargers)

What kind of battery percent or mileage could I expect as far as loss in a situation like that if I pre-set the car to start condition the battery 30-60 min before my 15 mile commute back home?
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,495
1,555
Richland, WA
Even in cold weather the car doesn't really lose that much range just sitting. It will have to keep the battery "warm" but that's not a lot. I don't get that cold, but even on the days of 20 to 25 degrees when it's in my parking lot (open air, often with a strong wind) I might see 1% or 2% battery (on the long range pack, 75kWh) lost between when I park and 8 hours later when I leave. It's the preconditioning that sucks down the energy, and that's because it's bringing the cabin up to 70 or 75F or whatever. I wouldn't run that for 30 to 60 minutes (unless the car was plugged in and I could heat soak the battery and cabin without using battery power). It brings the cabin up to temp pretty fast... I would say five minutes, maybe ten minutes and everything will be nice and toasty. Possibly up to a 5% battery drain, but I think might was more like 3% for five minutes or so of running the heater before getting to my car.


Now driving you have to think in energy usage, kWh or wh/mile. You can't say indicated range and actual range because that changes so much with different conditions. What I would say, is if you're buying a Model 3, make sure to get the Long Range or Performance. The SR+ just is a little rough to own in the winter, especially if it's not just a second car and you plan to use it for road trips. The packs are a little larger now, but lets just say 75 kWh (75,000 wh) because that's what the long range packs were at launch. I would say doing under 50 mph in those cold conditions, maybe even with some slush on the roadway or standing water, it'll be about 325 wh/mi. (This is worst case, I'm sure someone is going to comment they get much better range, blah blah blah). Do figure out how much range you have you take your energy you have in your battery (75,000 wh) and divide that by the energy used for every mile (325). That gets you about 230 miles from a totally full to totally empty battery. Much less then Tesla advertises but probably a good "worst case" for winter weather where you run the heat lots and just drive city speed or moderate highway (50mph) speeds.

Now you have to play around with how much battery you want to use. Normally you don't want to charge to 100% every day, 90% is about the max most people say you should charge to if you want the max life out of your battery. You also probably don't want to get home with 1% or 2% left. Again most people say 10% is about as low as you should routinely go. That gives you 80% of your battery that you can routinely use. Take the full capacity (75,000 wh) and times it by 80% (0.80) and you get 60,000 wh. That's now your actual daily amount you probably want to use and at 325 wh every mile, that 60,000 wh will take you 184 miles. It's not actual that hard once you start thinking like this.

If you can charge at home every night you're totally fine, don't even worry about leaving the car outside all day and using 10 minutes or so to get the car up to temp before you jump into it. If you can't charge at home and need to use a public charger, the ownership experience will be a lot less enjoyable, but still can work.
 
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ajs847

Member
Jun 2, 2021
39
33
northwest illinois
Even in cold weather the car doesn't really lose that much range just sitting. It will have to keep the battery "warm" but that's not a lot. I don't get that cold, but even on the days of 20 to 25 degrees when it's in my parking lot (open air, often with a strong wind) I might see 1% or 2% battery (on the long range pack, 75kWh) lost between when I park and 8 hours later when I leave. It's the preconditioning that sucks down the energy, and that's because it's bringing the cabin up to 70 or 75F or whatever. I wouldn't run that for 30 to 60 minutes (unless the car was plugged in and I could heat soak the battery and cabin without using battery power). It brings the cabin up to temp pretty fast... I would say five minutes, maybe ten minutes and everything will be nice and toasty. Possibly up to a 5% battery drain, but I think might was more like 3% for five minutes or so of running the heater before getting to my car.


Now driving you have to think in energy usage, kWh or wh/mile. You can't say indicated range and actual range because that changes so much with different conditions. What I would say, is if you're buying a Model 3, make sure to get the Long Range or Performance. The SR+ just is a little rough to own in the winter, especially if it's not just a second car and you plan to use it for road trips. The packs are a little larger now, but lets just say 75 kWh (75,000 wh) because that's what the long range packs were at launch. I would say doing under 50 mph in those cold conditions, maybe even with some slush on the roadway or standing water, it'll be about 325 wh/mi. (This is worst case, I'm sure someone is going to comment they get much better range, blah blah blah). Do figure out how much range you have you take your energy you have in your battery (75,000 wh) and divide that by the energy used for every mile (325). That gets you about 230 miles from a totally full to totally empty battery. Much less then Tesla advertises but probably a good "worst case" for winter weather where you run the heat lots and just drive city speed or moderate highway (50mph) speeds.

Now you have to play around with how much battery you want to use. Normally you don't want to charge to 100% every day, 90% is about the max most people say you should charge to if you want the max life out of your battery. You also probably don't want to get home with 1% or 2% left. Again most people say 10% is about as low as you should routinely go. That gives you 80% of your battery that you can routinely use. Take the full capacity (75,000 wh) and times it by 80% (0.80) and you get 60,000 wh. That's now your actual daily amount you probably want to use and at 325 wh every mile, that 60,000 wh will take you 184 miles. It's not actual that hard once you start thinking like this.

If you can charge at home every night you're totally fine, don't even worry about leaving the car outside all day and using 10 minutes or so to get the car up to temp before you jump into it. If you can't charge at home and need to use a public charger, the ownership experience will be a lot less enjoyable, but still can work.
Thanks for that, I'm deciding between a MY long range or M3 performance (similar cost, have a test drive in a week with my wife to determine which she likes more to help me decide)... so it sounds like I could calculate the "drain" on my battery either way with your calculations!
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,119
2,099
Maryland
Noob here, sorry to bring up such an old thread but it is the closest to the question I have. Can somebody explain terms of miles or battery charge percent (kw don't mean anything to me - call me simple LOL)....

Question: my daily commute is 15 miles each way, in the winter here in NW IL the climate is somewhat like the green bay climate a previous poster mentioned he drives through. In terms of temps, on the coldest winter days it can get under 0 degrees F during daytime hours when the car would be parked outside in my work parking lot, unplugged for 8-10 hours straight. - my company has no accomodations for EV's (heated parking garage or chargers)

What kind of battery percent or mileage could I expect as far as loss in a situation like that if I pre-set the car to start condition the battery 30-60 min before my 15 mile commute back home?
Your Tesla vehicle won't lose any more battery state of charge in cold weather than in milder temperatures. Unless you are preconditioning the Tesla vehicle (via the Tesla phone app or using the Scheduled Departure feature) or driving the Tesla does not warm the battery pack. Understand that nothing bad will happen to the Tesla's battery pack if it gets cold, at least until approx.-22F (-30C) (On page 184 of The Tesla Model Y Owner's Manual states "Do not expose Model Y to ambient temperatures above 140° F (60° C) or below -22° F (-30° C) for more than 24 hours at a time.")

The most efficient driving takes place with a warmed battery pack but unless you are going to be driving for at least 30 minutes you will use more energy warming the battery than you would save by just driving.

Assuming you can charge at home, preferably using 240V charging, you will want to set up Scheduled Charging and Scheduled Departure. Scheduled Charging is just like it sounds; you program the Tesla vehicle so that charging will complete by a specific time (either every day or only Monday through Friday.) The objective is to have charging complete shortly before you plan to drive the vehicle, that way the battery pack will already be partially warmed from the charging session. (Note: The Tesla will warm the battery pack to 50F (10C) before charging.)

Scheduled Departure can only be set once per day, so it should be used in the A.M. If you normally leave for work at 0700 etc. the Tesla will start preconditioning approximately 20 minutes (could be earlier) before your departure time. If you leave a little later the preconditioning will continue for an additional 30 minutes (as far as I recall from last winter.) If possible you want the Tesla vehicle to be plugged in so that preconditioning does not affect the state of charge of the battery but you can still use Scheduled Departure for preconditioning when not plugged in; this will typically use 2% to 4% of the battery depending on how long you let the preconditioning run. (Note: The Tesla vehicle will warm the battery pack to 68F (20C) while preconditioning and while driving.)

Although the vehicle may sit in the cold for 8 or more hours the thermal mass of the Tesla's battery pack is substantial and the pack won't get that cold in 8 hours. In the afternoon just set a reminder on your phone or watch to use the Tesla app to precondition the vehicle for the afternoon commute. You will have to experiment with this but at least 10 minutes and possible longer ahead of when you depart may be required especially if there may be snow and ice on the vehicle's windows.

As stated you will want to keep the battery charged to no more than 90% but most prefer to charge to no more than 80% daily unless leaving on a trip. On the low end of the battery charge I don't let the state of charge drop below 30% as a habit but nothing will happen if you have to let the battery charge drop below 20% (Preconditioning will stop if the battery state of charge drops below 20%.)
 

ajs847

Member
Jun 2, 2021
39
33
northwest illinois
Your Tesla vehicle won't lose any more battery state of charge in cold weather than in milder temperatures. Unless you are preconditioning the Tesla vehicle (via the Tesla phone app or using the Scheduled Departure feature) or driving the Tesla does not warm the battery pack. Understand that nothing bad will happen to the Tesla's battery pack if it gets cold, at least until approx.-22F (-30C) (On page 184 of The Tesla Model Y Owner's Manual states "Do not expose Model Y to ambient temperatures above 140° F (60° C) or below -22° F (-30° C) for more than 24 hours at a time.")

The most efficient driving takes place with a warmed battery pack but unless you are going to be driving for at least 30 minutes you will use more energy warming the battery than you would save by just driving.

Assuming you can charge at home, preferably using 240V charging, you will want to set up Scheduled Charging and Scheduled Departure. Scheduled Charging is just like it sounds; you program the Tesla vehicle so that charging will complete by a specific time (either every day or only Monday through Friday.) The objective is to have charging complete shortly before you plan to drive the vehicle, that way the battery pack will already be partially warmed from the charging session. (Note: The Tesla will warm the battery pack to 50F (10C) before charging.)

Scheduled Departure can only be set once per day, so it should be used in the A.M. If you normally leave for work at 0700 etc. the Tesla will start preconditioning approximately 20 minutes (could be earlier) before your departure time. If you leave a little later the preconditioning will continue for an additional 30 minutes (as far as I recall from last winter.) If possible you want the Tesla vehicle to be plugged in so that preconditioning does not affect the state of charge of the battery but you can still use Scheduled Departure for preconditioning when not plugged in; this will typically use 2% to 4% of the battery depending on how long you let the preconditioning run. (Note: The Tesla vehicle will warm the battery pack to 68F (20C) while preconditioning and while driving.)

Although the vehicle may sit in the cold for 8 or more hours the thermal mass of the Tesla's battery pack is substantial and the pack won't get that cold in 8 hours. In the afternoon just set a reminder on your phone or watch to use the Tesla app to precondition the vehicle for the afternoon commute. You will have to experiment with this but at least 10 minutes and possible longer ahead of when you depart may be required especially if there may be snow and ice on the vehicle's windows.

As stated you will want to keep the battery charged to no more than 90% but most prefer to charge to no more than 80% daily unless leaving on a trip. On the low end of the battery charge I don't let the state of charge drop below 30% as a habit but nothing will happen if you have to let the battery charge drop below 20% (Preconditioning will stop if the battery state of charge drops below 20%.)
this is excellent, thank you!

I am planning on having either a Nema 14-50 installed to use the adapter with the charging kit the car came with or might splurge for the full wall connector installation - especially if my wife decides she wants a tesla too after our next test drive.
 

TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
1,243
774
Belleville IL
And don’t forget tire pressures. I always make sure I check my tire pressures after the car has sat overnight so they are COLD and air them up to a minimum of 44 PSI, and then monitor them and make adjustments (usually upwards). And if I know I’ll be running several errands all on one trip I PRE-CONDITION and then leave the HVAC running to avoid loosing all those BTU’s I just used to warm the cabin.
 

pt19713

Member
Feb 5, 2020
920
1,116
Delaware
What kind of battery percent or mileage could I expect as far as loss in a situation like that if I pre-set the car to start condition the battery 30-60 min before my 15 mile commute back home?
each motor draws 3.5 kW for preconditioning, so a 30 minute precondition will use 3.5 kW. 15 minutes will use ~ 1.7-1.8 kW. If temps are above 30-40F, you'll only need to precondition for about 15 minutes.
 
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