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How powerful is the Model 3's air conditioner?


Active Member
Mar 3, 2012
O'Fallon, IL
With summer weather firmly here, I'm wondering how strong the Model 3's AC is. If it's 140 degrees in the cabin, how long does it take to cool it off? Is the air frigid enough that it feels icy after a few minutes?

I'm really curious, because my two current cars are vastly different in their capabilities.


Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
Buford, GA
Just picked mine up yesterday in ATL, it was a relatively warm day and we did intro in the car while charging. I'll admit that it was a little warm, but once we got on the road and things better adjusted, it was working a lot better.
Because the AC is electric, they work better than ICE, because they can come down in temperature quickly, as opposed to ICE, where the engine has to have enough speed to spin the compressor.
Today in the 80's it became icebox.
Works OK here in Arizona. The only problem is the car has a huge amount of glass, so the AC fights to keep up against the solar heating. It keeps the fan blasting at full speed at slow vehicle speeds.

I added expensive tint (PhotoSync) all around and it made a HUGE difference. My car now can maintain a comfortable temperature without spinning the HVAC fan at full speed.
In “Climate” mode it cools down from 130 degrees to the 70’s in just a few minutes
I was impressed to see (in ATL last week) that when the cabin was showing 140 degrees on my phone, and I set it to pre-cool (so windows still 100% up...hoping for a feature that allows us to put down the windows a few inches), within 3 minutes it was a very tolerable 80 degrees and had achieves its 70 degree goal (setting) within 5 minutes. While parked. I don't recall the weather that day, but it was definitely sunny to be that hot inside the car. And the usual ATL summer humidity level. I've been super impressed with Model 3 AC, but do wish they'd have shipped with ventilated seats.

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