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Minimizing Cool Temperature Impact on Range?

khorton

Member
Jul 7, 2019
39
72
Moses Lake, WA
We will be doing our first long road trip with our Model 3 LR AWD starting on Sunday. It may be fairly cool on the morning we leave (temperature around freezing is forecast overnight), so I'm seeking advice on how to keep a warm enough temperature in the car while minimizing impact on range. I've searched the forum, and the web, but haven't struck gold yet.

My current plan, subject to change based on advice, is:

  • Preheat car interior before leaving, while the car is still plugged in. Select HVAC ON, and select a warm temperature.
  • Before unplugging, select HVAC to Manual mode, with AC OFF, Air Recirculation OFF (to avoid drawing cold exterior air inside), and a low temperature (to avoid HVAC to heat the air)
  • While driving, use seat heater as primary heat source. Only increase the HVAC temperature if max seat heat is not enough for comfort. Select Air Recirculation ON as required to avoid too much moisture inside.
  • Keep fan at a relatively low value, unless higher setting is needed to defog windscreen or windows.
  • Expect range to be 10% to 30% worse than in optimum temperatures.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,816
13,514
San Diego
We will be doing our first long road trip with our Model 3 LR AWD starting on Sunday. It may be fairly cool on the morning we leave (temperature around freezing is forecast overnight), so I'm seeking advice on how to keep a warm enough temperature in the car while minimizing impact on range. I've searched the forum, and the web, but haven't struck gold yet.

My current plan, subject to change based on advice, is:

  • Preheat car interior before leaving, while the car is still plugged in. Select HVAC ON, and select a warm temperature.
  • Before unplugging, select HVAC to Manual mode, with AC OFF, Air Recirculation OFF (to avoid drawing cold exterior air inside), and a low temperature (to avoid HVAC to heat the air)
  • While driving, use seat heater as primary heat source. Only increase the HVAC temperature if max seat heat is not enough for comfort. Select Air Recirculation ON as required to avoid too much moisture inside.
  • Keep fan at a relatively low value, unless higher setting is needed to defog windscreen or windows.
  • Expect range to be 10% to 30% worse than in optimum temperatures.

Any advice is appreciated.

Set your tires pressures to 45PSI cold. I think you mean recirc “ON”...and “OFF”

Other than that, blast that heat once you know you have margin to make the Supercharger (assuming you are hitting one) - and adjust usage to make sure the range estimator does not have to tell you to slow down (it can take a little while for the % arrival to adjust for a change in HVAC use).

I think (though I am not sure) that it also makes sense to be using the heat enough to keep you comfortable for the few miles before the Supercharger - that way the range estimates done at the Supercharger anticipating your charge level required to make the next stop will be based on a decent heating level.

Remember to turn off Smart Summon Standby Mode if you have Summon enabled. Just for when you are at destination, overnight, etc. Not a drain you will want to deal with.
 
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camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,181
Vernon, BC, Canada
Keep that battery warm:
  • Always park in a garage if available
  • Schedule all charging so that it finishes just prior to departure
Consume what you can while plugged in:
  • Preheat the cabin, perhaps more than you'd like to provide room for heat loss, including seat heaters
Use as little as possible on the road:
  • Use seat heaters
  • Keep some form of air heating on. Usually necessary for defogging and general comfort (hands get cold!), and not worth suffering
  • Choose to suffer if you encounter a delay (e.g. long slow-moving train, accident scene requiring you to be parked)
  • Dress warmly so that the car needs to provide less heat
Give yourself as much range as possible when not charging:
  • Disable Sentry mode (if acceptable -- saves maybe 20-30 miles per day)
  • Disable Summon Standby (if you have V10, keeps the car awake like Sentry mode does)
 
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SilverSp33d3r

No Longer Silver
May 23, 2018
636
449
LA
If car is cold, select a supercharger as your destination while pre-heating (from app). It should use the shore power to heat the battery. Once you get to the car change your destination to avoid using extra energy to warm battery.
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,816
13,514
San Diego
If you are not already familiar with the Energy “Trip” page, be sure to use it (the final % also shows up on the main Nav screen once you add a destination). I find it easier (more optimal) to just pick a particular Supercharger in advance and navigate to that one specifically, rather than letting it choose, but you can just do what it says as well.
 

rrolsbe

Member
Feb 18, 2017
245
133
Albuquerque
If car is cold, select a supercharger as your destination while pre-heating (from app). It should use the shore power to heat the battery. Once you get to the car change your destination to avoid using extra energy to warm battery.
If you are plugged into shore power, select a supercharger destination in the nav screen and would obviously not be driving the car, would shore power be used to heat the traction battery (via the traction motor)?? I thought pre-conditioning heated the traction battery up to somewhere around 100F to 110F to prepare for high power supercharging. If the battery was cold soaked to 30F, that could use a LOT of shore power to reach that temp range. When I charge at 240V @ 24A, it appears that shore power is only used to heat the battery until the temp reaches around 50F. Since I am now instrumented to record power supplied to the UMC2, I will have to perform some experiments.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,149
709
az
Keep that battery warm:
  • Always park in a garage if available
  • Schedule all charging so that it finishes just prior to departure
Consume what you can while plugged in:
  • Preheat the cabin, perhaps more than you'd like to provide room for heat loss, including seat heaters
Use as little as possible on the road:
  • Use seat heaters
  • Keep some form of air heating on. Usually necessary for defogging and general comfort (hands get cold!), and not worth suffering
  • Choose to suffer if you encounter a delay (e.g. long slow-moving train, accident scene requiring you to be parked)
  • Dress warmly so that the car needs to provide less heat
Give yourself as much range as possible when not charging:
  • Disable Sentry mode (if acceptable -- saves maybe 20-30 miles per day)
  • Disable Summon Standby (if you have V10, keeps the car awake like Sentry mode does)
Great suggestions
I would add disable/forget wifi to keep the car asleep.

BTWmy strategy is to rely on this forum to announce major updates that I will connect to wifi for. In the interim LTE will provide safety.
 

earthwormjim

Member
Jun 25, 2019
167
179
California
If car is cold, select a supercharger as your destination while pre-heating (from app). It should use the shore power to heat the battery. Once you get to the car change your destination to avoid using extra energy to warm battery.

Wow, that's a really good idea. I get free charging at work, so I might try that just before I'm about to leave work to drive home. I wonder if it helps on moderately cool days too, like 60F. Since I can only charge at work, I like to have as much range available as possible, in case I have an unexpected trip, which does happen quite often.

I wonder how much energy the battery heaters consume to get the battery up to optimal temperature.
 

Nocturnal

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2018
6,718
36,699
Deepening Crisis!
Wow, that's a really good idea. I get free charging at work, so I might try that just before I'm about to leave work to drive home. I wonder if it helps on moderately cool days too, like 60F. Since I can only charge at work, I like to have as much range available as possible, in case I have an unexpected trip, which does happen quite often.

I wonder how much energy the battery heaters consume to get the battery up to optimal temperature.
We don't have battery heaters really. It does something with the motors to make them run harder I think.

I don't think that would be beneficial if you aren't heading to a charger. Your best bet IMO is to crank the heat on the car while it's still plugged in and either schedule charging or adjust your charge level a little before leaving. Active charging is what really warms the battery up.

Oh, and on long/cold trips I bring a large blanket. That really helps keep you warmer without using the cabin heat as much and it's more comfortable than wearing a coat.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,706
2,682
In a galaxy far, far away
Adding some window insulation, even cardboard made, would help!

Also I recommend watching this good winter sleeping test from Bjorn Nayland.

20190810_130910-jpg.440122
 
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taraquin

Member
Jul 14, 2013
220
112
Norway
Another tip: Change to wintertires when outside temp is 5C avg or less. Summertires have much higher consumption due to hard rubber when cold. Also pick wintertires with low rolling resistance. Nokian R3 and Goodyear Ultra grip ice 2 for instance have a few percent lower consumption than many other winter tires.
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,589
Greenville Wisconsin
On the Preheat, just do from the App maybe 10-15 minutes before leaving. Near freezing isn't really that cold 10% over fair weather use.
The 30% number people toss out would be short trips or truly cold weather. I have done trips at low single digits on 55mph roads and don't think use was more than 10% over.
 

bxr140

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
2,990
4,748
Bay Area
Any advice is appreciated.

At the risk of coming across as flippant, just don’t worry about it.

Seriously, for the bell curve of trips most people will take, it’s just not going to make enough of a difference to justify altering your nominal actions, let alone to try and toe the line of uncomfortable. Do whatever you normally do with the heat and don’t waste mental power fretting over something that’s going to manifest as you having to spend a couple extra minutes at a supercharger. Don’t let range anxiety win!

For a bit of context, years ago I used to do this stuff all the time. Most of the advice and bullet points on the subject are holdovers from back in the day when we collectively had less range and way fewer chargers.
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,589
Greenville Wisconsin
"don't worry about range in cold weather" is a deeply Cali-centric statement.
My most used supercharger is 180miles and last time I used it it was low single digits.
Some of us don't consider 50f cold and don't consider 60miles between superchargers a long stretch.
That said even my old P85 with 247miles on 100% charge makes the 180mile trip in low single digits comfortably, did not have to wear a coat or set HVAC to anything but auto.
 
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bxr140

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
2,990
4,748
Bay Area
"don't worry about range in cold weather" is a deeply Cali-centric statement.

“That’s a deeply CA centric statement” is a deeply dismissive statement that does a disservice to the community.

Temps ‘near freezing in the morning’, as the OP indicated, is nothing to be worried about. Supercharger availability in central washington, where the OP is from, is no problem in any major direction.
 
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