Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

How far would you charge to?

Big Dunc

Member
Jan 5, 2021
49
5
Eastbourne, UK
This is my first post on this forum, so I hope it is in the right place.

We bought a 2014 Model S about a month ago. It is our first EV, so we are a bit short on experience. I am sure in a few years or even months, the answers to my below questions will be second nature. Normal daily use is less than 20 miles, so range isn't normally a problem. We have been charging it to 80% most nights, but could easily lower that if someone says it is better for the battery. At 80% charge it thinks it has around 180 miles range available, which I guess is based on current / recent usage.

First question, is 80% the best charge to take it to, or would it increase battery life to use a different setting.

Tomorrow it will do its first long trip since buying it. It will be a round trip of 160 miles including both motor way and city sections. I will be leaving first thing when it is forecast to be -2 C and it probably wont be above +4 C all day. Obviously I will pre-heat it before leaving, but my gut feeling is that 80% won't be enough. Normal daily use for us is around town with little or no motorway / high speed driving, so the actual range may be quite reduced, and that is before any temperature effects come into play.

Question 2, would you charge to 90%, 95%, or 100% tonight?

It shouldn't be a huge problem if I get it wrong as I pass a supercharger about 40 miles before returning home and was planning on stopping and plugging in just so I know that it works etc. However, I would prefer it to be a 5 minute super charge rather than a half hour supercharge.
 

hgmichna

Member
Jun 17, 2020
295
226
Germany
Between 50% and 100% you can say, the lower, the better. However, the difference in battery degradation is small up to about 80%.

In other words, if I park the car for a month, I connect the charger and set it to 50%. If I know I will not drive any longer distance tomorrow, I set it to 60%, which is what I mostly do.

If I'm not sure or if I have to drive some medium distance tomorrow, I set it to 80%.

If 80% is not enough to reach tomorrow's destination, I charge as much as needed to reach it, up to 100% if necessary.

It is not good to frequently charge to 90% or more.

This advice is valid only for the classic NMC batteries. For the new LFP batteries in Made-in-China Model 3 Standard Range Plus cars the recommendation is different. They can and should be charged up to 100% about once a week and can generally be kept at a somewhat higher state of charge without fear of excessive degradation.
 

Big Dunc

Member
Jan 5, 2021
49
5
Eastbourne, UK
Thank you for your prompt reply.
For the journey tomorrow would you go to 100%, or is that not required or would it be better to go to 95% if I am planning on a little supercharging anyway?
What is the lowest it can regularly run to without degrading life?
 

Buddy

Member
Jul 3, 2016
661
541
Riverside County
Your going to get 10 different answers here.

I've had my model S since 2016 and charge to 90% everyday
Why? Because tesla tells me I can. The only warning is to not charge to above 90% regularly.

Its not bad to charge to 100% on occasion .

Dont take my word for it though, read your manual or talk to a Tesla Rep.

I just don't want you to think you have to handicap your car.,
 
  • Love
Reactions: Dre78

house9

Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
371
397
California
Since this is your first longer trip I would charge to 95% tonight and when you get up in the morning bump it to 100% - it will take a long time to top it off, so you might leave with 97% or 98%, no big deal.

You may be surprised with your actual range once you get into your trip, cold weather, using the heater and driving fast on the motorway may use a LOT more juice than you expect? If there is a head wind going one direction that could make things very different as well. Over 65 mph, slowing down even by 5 or 10 mph can increase range a bunch.

There is an app called PlugShare that you should download and sign up for which will let you know about alternative charging options (I assume it is used in UK ?) If you start getting too low on charge this can be a life saver when no Superchargers are nearby; make sure you have appropriate adapters in the car.

Consider plotting your route using ‘A better route planner’ just to have a better idea of what you are getting into; most likely everything will be fine but better to have contingency plans.

—-
As far battery degradation you should be fine following these guidelines: (based on my readings on this forum)
- do not let your car sit for long periods with: less than 20% or more than 90%
- do not worry about using the entire range of the battery on trips, supercharging is fastest when at low SOC but you don’t want to run out before you get there
- for daily use do what ever is convenient 40% - 90%
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: rlasry1 and Brando

Big Dunc

Member
Jan 5, 2021
49
5
Eastbourne, UK
Thank you everyone for your replies.
I am well aware that if I am short of range I need to drive slower! (& be colder)
I have zap map on my phone and have done a bit of homework regarding "emergency charging locations"....
 
Nov 3, 2019
251
280
Green Valley AZ
Big Dunc keep in mind that as with all EVs made today, Tesla's have a "safety buffer" built into their traction battery (both at the high and low end). So, at 90% shown SOC you're probably closer to the mid-80% SOC range.

Rich
 

hgmichna

Member
Jun 17, 2020
295
226
Germany
For the journey tomorrow would you go to 100%, or is that not required or would it be better to go to 95% if I am planning on a little supercharging anyway?
What is the lowest it can regularly run to without degrading life?

Is that a round trip of a total 160 miles, i.e. 80 miles there and 80 miles back? I assume it is.

Since you don't have much experience yet, I would recommend to charge fairly high, like 90%, even though you probably won't need as much.

While you drive, check the energy window, TRIP, from time to time. If you have entered your destination into the navigation, it will show you the expected charge percentage along the way, based on how you have driven so far.

Normally I aim for reaching a supercharger with just 10% remaining, because then charging is fastest, but as long as you don't know the car and its winter behavior well, I would recommend to aim for at least 20%.

Aiming for 20% will not degrade the battery considerably. If you go below 20%, you can go soft on the battery by driving a bit more slowly and avoiding strong acceleration. If you do that, even running it down to zero will not damage it much.
 

George I

Member
Oct 24, 2017
48
37
Toronto
I've only had an S for 4.5+ years. The first year or so, when there were fewer supercharges, I would charge to 100% before each long trip. This was about 1-2x month and the car would sit at 100% for at most a few hours. As I got more comfortable and the superchargers became more numerous, I would charge a to a lower level usually aided by "a better route planner". NEVER BE AFRAID TO CHARGE TO 100%!!! This is even more true if: it is very cold, this is somewhere where you have never been before, somewhere where there maybe be deviations/detours on the trip. You won't let the battery sit at 100% for days at a time! Running down to 0% or worse below zero so you're stuck will do more damage to the battery then a few hours at 100%!
I used to charge daily to 80% but decreased this to 70% with Covid, Prior to Covid I would leave the battery at 50-60% if away for a week or more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hgmichna

themorey

Member
Feb 15, 2020
89
109
USA
This is a basic question but I don't yet own a Tesla so I'm not sure how this works. People talk about not charging above some percentage, ie 80%, but how is that done? Is there a setting on the car or app that lets you set an upper charging threshold?
 

CaliSurfer

Member
Jan 8, 2021
66
62
Connecticut, USA
This is a basic question but I don't yet own a Tesla so I'm not sure how this works. People talk about not charging above some percentage, ie 80%, but how is that done? Is there a setting on the car or app that lets you set an upper charging threshold?
Yes. In the app you can set the max percentage you want the car to charge to. It even has a "Daily" area and "Trip" area. Daily goes up to 90% and Trip goes upto 100%.

In the charging app inside the car, you can also a "Start Charging" time or a "Depart Time" which will change when the car decides to charge or begin to charge. Some have reported that this feature doesn't always work but it doesn't seem to be wide spread from what I read.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: themorey

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top