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HELP (or your experience) needed - problem with winter charging / long commute

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by FrederikBoivin, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. FrederikBoivin

    Sep 2, 2015
    Montreal, Qc, Canada

    we bought a 2013 S85 in April of the current year. My wife and I love the car. However...

    1. We leave in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, around 170 km (105 miles) from Montreal. Going back and forth in the same day was no problem without ever charging up to now.
    2. Winter time can be pretty harsh here around, with temperatures raging from minus 20 to minus 30 *celcius* for days
    3. I need to go, for work, to Montreal twice/3 times a week. On these 3 times, I usually spent a night or 2, and the other time I go in, then out
    4. The place where I spend the night is about 20 km from the SC, but there is always heavy traffic
    5. The place where I spend the night does not have charging possibilities. It is on a relatively heavy-traffic street, and the only place I could put the car on a 110V is in the backstreet - but the backstreet is most of the time not drivable in the winter because of the snow
    6. Where I work, I can plug on a 110V for 8 hours, so during the daytime
    7. Neither work nor the place I spend the night have garage - so the car is always outside, in minus 1000 temps... same thing at home, by the way!
    8. My 100% is 403 km
    9. The SC in Montreal is not near the route I take, but accessible if need be

    So, I was basically told: you are screwed!
    I was told... and then again I have no winter driving experience with my S85... if I leave home with a full charge, I will arrive in Montreal with not much. Then, even if I stop at the SC in the morning and charge at 80%, I will most likely loose much of it during the day (can be plugged in a 110V) and for sure during the night. Understand that I cannot go to the SC in the morning from the place I spend the night - I would loose 2+ hours!!!

    So, and I hope I was and still am clear... I am trying to figure out a way - maybe you have a similar experience / situation, to work it out... I first thought:
    a. leave home with 100% charged battery
    b. stop at the SC in Montreal and charge to 80%
    c. plug in at work in a 110V (then I was told I could barely keep the charge up when minus 30 degrees... and that happen OFTEN... is that true???)
    d. then, when I spend the night, I am screwed... if I go back to the SC (not the best idea, but still...) will I loose it all during the night??? OR let's say I could find a place with a 110V f0r the night, would that be enough to keep it up?

    Please help, otherwise, I'll have to list it for sale!!!!!!!!!


  2. mwulff

    mwulff Member

    Jan 15, 2015
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Mar 29, 2009
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    First, if you have a 20km drive from the SC to where you stay in Montreal, then I'd charge at least to 90%. You shouldn't lose any miles while plugged into 110, even in the coldest temps I've never seen that. Now, the charge rate might be very low (I've seen as low as 1MPG in very cold temps), but it should be more than enough to keep you topped up for the drive home.

    For reference I've driven 220 miles (354km) in my S85 in winter 20F (-7C) temps on a single charge in the past when the battery was new. It wasn't easy, but with heat low and slow speeds I made it. All that to say, 170km is not going to be a problem at all, even at interstate speeds with a 80-90% charge.
  4. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know all of the details of your situation, but I suspect that you're worrying too much. I had the pleasure (cough!) of driving my P85D at -25C last winter on some long trips. Here are my experiences:

    1. Yes... the range at really cold temps drops a lot. But it was never less than about 250km at the speed limit or slightly above and with limited heat. That was at -23C to -28C.
    2. When temps go up to -10C or so it gets a LOT better. I don't have the the exact numbers but it's over 320 km or so.
    3. If it's plugged into 110V at -20C, you won't lose any range over the course of the day. But you likely won't gain any either.
    4. If it's unplugged you'll lose a little bit. But I can't imagine a situation where you wouldn't make it another 20k to a supercharger.
    5. If worst comes to worst you can always slow down. The range goes up dramatically as you bring the speed down and the car does an excellent job of telling you when you're going to run dry.
    6. If you haven't play with EVtripplanner for a bit. It's pretty accurate.

    I understand the anxiety. I was pretty nervous as well until I learned the limitations of the car. There is only a very short period of the year when you have the really cold weather that really damages the range.
  5. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    Who told you that "you are screwed"?
    Is this someone from Tesla? (I doubt they would say "you are screwed")
    Is this some random person you met on the Internet?

    I think you have come to the right place here where you should be able to get reasonably accurate information.

    Others have given you good advice but here is my 2 cents in looking at your situation:
    - You have a Supercharger close by... use it! Charge at home and charge at the Supercharger. Even in cold temps you will have enough range each way.
    - If you are concerned about range and temperature, take advantage of the 110v plug in options you have. They will keep the car and battery warm and preserve your range.
  6. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

    Mar 8, 2015
    Morrison, Colorado, USA
    Could you park at a garage/lot with EV charging and hop on the Metro? I know it would add to your commute time but it could be way less than 2 hours by car depending on where you are headed, non? Can you give general locations of where you would be spending the night and where you would be working so we'd have a better idea of where you'll be in the Montreal area?

    Also, have you considered PlugShare? While it might not be intended for regular daily/weekly usage, you might be able to find a residential charging location where you could park regularly in exchange for covering part of the electrical bill. Un petit service en vaut un autre!
  7. FrederikBoivin

    Sep 2, 2015
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    #7 FrederikBoivin, Oct 8, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
    I'll look into that, thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I might worry too much!!! Cheers!

    - - - Updated - - -

    yep... ;(
    they did not use the word "screwed", of course!!! ;)

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