TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Cold Weather Supercharging

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Skotty, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I've had some opportunities now to supercharge is very cold weather.

    It should be noted that I typically charge after my car has been sitting outside for awhile. Usually I spend at least a half day at an office (sometimes as much as a full day 24 hrs) before driving a short distance to the supercharger. So most of my experiences have been on a somewhat cold soaked car. I suspect the situation is better for normal travel without the long periods of sitting out in the cold unplugged.

    The charging rates I have experienced have been anywhere from 16 kW up to about 70 kW, much lower than warm weather charging. The kW rate tends to start low and slowly climb while charging, before tapering back off when near full. Starting at about 35 to 40 kW seems common. The time it started at a measly 16 kW it was very cold and the battery was near empty. Temperature ranges during this sampling have been from about 5 F up to maybe 30 F.

    Another note: the car is regen limited when first heading out after the car has been sitting in cold weather. Regen capability slowly climbs as you drive the car, but it can start at almost nothing.

    I have a 2014 P85.

    I don't view this negatively or positively. Just interested in what can be expected.
    Would like to hear what others have experienced in this regard.
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. Chrisizzle

    Chrisizzle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, canada
    As you've noted, the car won't even let the regenerative braking charge the car when batteries are cold. So, yes... supercharging is slower when batteries are cold. You'd get better results of you warm the battery prior to charging.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Barry

    Barry Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    965
    Location:
    Colorado
    Plan your time to charge immediately after your drive, while the battery is still warm.
     
  4. Villa-Lobos

    Villa-Lobos Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Whitefish
    Traveled all thru Canada in 0-10F never a problem as the charge rates often started at 350 mi /hr but always charged right after driving the car for at least an hour. As Berry says always charge after you drive so the battery can handle what the supercharger can give it.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,049
    Location:
    USA
    When very cold, cells should be warmed up for best longevity. Battery University is a little extreme here when describing cold temp charging - but read link below. It's a good idea to keep an EV plugged in, especially in winter, so the battery TMS (temperature management system) works off the grid power.

    Charging at High and Low Temperatures
     
    • Informative x 1
  6. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    492
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Here's my experience

    "It's hard to figure out exactly how battery temperature affects supercharger rates because we don't have direct access to the battery temperature. But I learned the hard way to always supercharge right after arriving at a destination rather than waiting until the morning when it's cold outside. At rapid city, I got 120 kW for a bit, but decided to call it a night and finish the next morning. The next morning after a somewhat cold night the charge started at something like 30 kW despite a really low state of charge and maxed out at 50 kW before the taper started lowering the rate again."

    Opinions on Supercharging rates/reporting
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,049
    Location:
    USA
    wraithnot, Exactly - based on the various things I've read, there are some issues within the chemistry itself of Lithium Plating going on during very cold charging cycles. Some of these issues were all part of that infamous situation brought to light by John Broder in winter 2012-2013 and overnight range losses due to cold soaks. Don't be a "Broder" and do charge right after driving and not after a long cold soak. And here is the story: Stalled on the E.V. Highway
     
  8. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Good advice. Hard for me to personally follow though. A typical work trip for me has me staying for 2 days in a place where charging basically doesn't exist, with the exception of the supercharger station. I could charge as soon as I arrive, but it's a less efficient travel route. Might be worth it for the faster charging though. Still, I'd probably have to top off before heading back home, even if I charge after I arrive (due to 1 or 2 days of driving around town with a long trip home in the cold) and there's really no way to fix that.

    Thanks for the link to the other thread.
     
  9. Boourns

    Boourns Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Messages:
    890
    Location:
    Dallas
    According to Doug's recent post, preheating the cabin with the phone app also begins to warm the battery. It is a bit wasteful, but I wonder if the car would charge faster if you preheated the cabin for a few minutes before you left. Of course you'd want to make sure you have enough charge to get to the SC and also that the quicker supercharging speed would positively offset the extra time it took to recoup energy used to preheat.
     
  10. andrewket

    andrewket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,534
    ^ this. If possible, you would have better results driving to the SuC in the morning and then going to work.
     

Share This Page