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Has any testing been done in extreme cold?

Ristake

New Member
Feb 1, 2013
2
0
Canada
Hey, I am very interested in owning a Telsa ever since they came out with the Roadster. I've been able to find a lot of information about winter usage but it has all been in fairly moderate climates. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba where the temperature can drop below -30 C in January.

Has anyone had experience with the Tesla brand at these temperatures?
 

RKM

Member
Jan 8, 2012
36
0
Manitoba Canada
There are at least two MSs in Manitoba now. I expect mine in 4-12 weeks. Range will be affected due to pack heating and cabin heating but the car should function at -30C (I'm counting on it). An insulated garage will help. Keep the car plugged in. You're welcome to come out to a MEVA (Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association) meeting on February 28. We'll have a Model S owner there with his car. PM me for more info or google Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,880
3,345
Ottawa, Canada
Thanks for the response. I have been reading through that thread for awhile. I was just looking for issues or experiences specific to this temperature since a large portion of Tesla owners are in Ontario where it is warmer.

We're not all in Toronto... we've been down to -32C recently here in Ottawa.

If the car is cold soaked, then when you start it up the pack heater will go on full blast, which does consume some range. Also the range display will read a bit low when the battery pack is very cold; however, the energy is still there. I've done several 300+ km drives at as low as -20C with the heat on (in Range mode), and we arrived with range to spare.

The worst-case scenario is doing a series of short trips with cold soaks in-between, because the pack heater is always running. In that situation your Wh/km can be huge, but you won't come close to draining an 85 kWh pack in a day.

As for cold weather operation of the car itself, it doesn't really affect it much. The car will start instantly and glide off effortlessly. The only thing you'll really notice if the pack is cold soaked, is that regenerative braking will be disabled. It comes back as the pack warms up. The power will also be limited, but in winter conditions you don't tend to hold the pedal to the floor anyway, so you don't really notice this.
 

KBF

Model X owner (formerly Cdn Signature Model S)
Jun 26, 2009
557
2
Steinbach, MB, Canada
Sorry, I've been too busy driving lately to haunt the forums as much as I was a month ago!

Yes, I've had my Model S in Manitoba for both recent horrible cold snaps (-34°, with a "standing still" windchill of -45°). Other threads mention this, but the only issue is 'fogging', which is not a problem if you use your climate control properly. I'm from the Steinbach and have driven to Winnipeg and back multiple times in poor conditions with no problems at all. Battery use is higher if you keep the heat on, but worth it IMO. Continual driving is better for range than stopping and letting the car cold-soak for an hour or two. The heater does not have a problem keeping the car warm, as long as you keep it on a higher setting; I have been getting too hot inside, so I use manual settings so I have full control.

The other thing to be aware of is regen limitation when the battery is cold. It's clearly marked on the power meter, and while it's surprising the first time, it is easy to adjust to. The only qualms I have is taking it out during a heavy-snowfall blizzard; and that has more to do with lack of clearance and 4wd.

I'm the one bringing my car to the MEVA meeting, I hope you can come out! It will put any concerns you have to rest, I'm sure.
 

Hut

Canada
Dec 7, 2012
171
55
Toronto
When the battery pack is cold, the regen will be limited.

Does this mean the regen breaking will not slow down the car as quickly when the pack is warmed up? (need to use the break more often)

Or does it just mean less energy will be recaptured to the pack?
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,880
3,345
Ottawa, Canada
Both. You will have to use the "real" brakes to slow down, and less (or no) energy will be recaptured to the pack.

It doesn't stay that way. The car heats the battery pack and regen returns - low at first, but in time you get full power.
 

KBF

Model X owner (formerly Cdn Signature Model S)
Jun 26, 2009
557
2
Steinbach, MB, Canada
Both. You will have to use the "real" brakes to slow down, and less (or no) energy will be recaptured to the pack.

It doesn't stay that way. The car heats the battery pack and regen returns - low at first, but in time you get full power.

That's right. With proper preheating (like an insulated garage, and even starting the climate control before you drive), you will regain some regen braking even in the crazy cold even while parked. So ambient temperature doesn't matter, it is your battery pack's temperature that matters. Last Thursday night after being parked for 2 hours outside with no plug in -40ish windchill I had zero regen for about 10 minutes of driving (it's kinda fun to coast occasionally), but on Sunday I had parked in the same parking lot for 3.5 hours with -30ish windchill, but I finally had the beta app, so I preheated for 10 minutes and took another 10 minutes of "Tesla Time", and regen was only limited about halfway (30ish kW? Can't quite remember). It's not a scientific study, but hopefully gives an idea of real life experience.
 

3s-a-charm

Active Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,916
821
Calgary, Canada
There are at least two MSs in Manitoba now. I expect mine in 4-12 weeks. Range will be affected due to pack heating and cabin heating but the car should function at -30C (I'm counting on it). An insulated garage will help. Keep the car plugged in. You're welcome to come out to a MEVA (Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association) meeting on February 28. We'll have a Model S owner there with his car. PM me for more info or google Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association.
Hi RKM, I'm reaching out to Tesla owners in the Winnipeg, Manitoba region who are passionate about their vehicles and helping other new owners. If you or anyone you know lives in the Winnipeg area and owns a Tesla please reach out to me via direct message on TMC or via email: [email protected] - thank you.
 

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