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Model S Boston Winter Driving Wish List

Discussion in 'New England' started by Pollux, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Hi, folks,

    I'll take the results of this discussion, summarize & forward to ownership.

    What would you want to add/change about Model S to better fit the needs of winter driving in Boston?

    Here's my list, from what I imagine is relatively easy to implement to hard:

    • Have-car-ready-to-go-at-time-T app option (so car & battery are pre-heated, ready to go, no power hit against first 10-20 miles)
    • Heated windshield wipers & nozzles retrofit option (the base option is already available; I just want it for my pre-option P85+)
    • Heated headlight wipers/cleaning nozzles (retrofittable a plus for me)
    • Rear camera slush solution (ultrasound, air jets, nozzles & wipers, whatever; retrofittable a plus for me)
    • Charge port-will-always-open/close solution (heat?; retrofittable a plus for me)
    • Those Cool Windows Don't Look So Cool When They're Stuck solution (retrofittable a plus for me)
    • Door Handle solution (heat?; retrofittable a plus for me)
    • Rear-seat-accessible heating controls (to go along with the heated rear seat option already available; retrofittable a plus for me)
      • Retrofittable heated rear seats also a plus for me!
    • All-wheel drive or similar Quattro-equivalent
    • Significant additional battery capacity (e.g., 400 mile EPA-rated range, 500-600 even better)
    a. Winter sucks down additional battery juice
    b. It's embarrassing hypermiling a $130K car and being the guy doing 50mph in the right hand lane. And the trip takes longer!​

    Thanks,
    Alan
     
  2. Enadler

    Enadler Member

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    2 additional items come to mind.

    1- Ability to control front and rear defrost via remote app
    2- Ability to control heated seats via remote app

    Otherwise I think you have got it covered.

    I would also like more clarity on the proper method to pre-heat battery using shore power. There is some discussion that battery heater is not enabled when the car's HVAC is in ECO mode even when running on shore power.
     
  3. RainmakerJL

    RainmakerJL Member

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    I think both of these woyld be great and an easy software fix....
     
  4. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    Heated steering wheel.
     
  5. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    Fog lights that are heated/kept clean during slush/snow; I read here that the LED lamps may be too cool to melt snow. I would make them amber if I could (not legal I hear) since they really do work for fog and snow when they are not white.
     
  6. Tslagrl

    Tslagrl Member

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    I second the heated steering wheel. Sometimes I've just used the heated seats and kept the heating off to preserve range, and its been quite fine, apart from the frozen hands!
     
  7. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    Amen on all counts. Especially the "retrofittable" ones!

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    And someone should send this complete list to ownership and/or Will Nicholas, head of Tesla Northeast.
     
  8. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Cambridge, MA
    I agree with most (heated steering wheel and rear seats would be very nice), but think a few are beyond necessary, e.g. seats heat up very quickly so not sure app control is a priority.

    My Model S's windows and door handles have been fine, though when I took the ICE minivan on a trip over New Year's the two motorized sliding doors froze solidly shut. I had to run the heat for a while and then force them open by pushing from the inside. My charge port sometimes doesn't open from the charger button, but I don't think that has anything to do with cold because it always opens from the touchscreen. Then again I have a garage - unheated, but keeps it out of rain and snow and coldest temps.

    But the biggest one for me is to just get a few of the promised Superchargers here, soon (some were promised for Summer/Fall), and when they are most needed - in winter!
     
  9. notailpipe2112

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    Toronto, Canada
    I have to agree as a Canadian who just completed a Toronto to New Brunswick and back road trip over the holidays in -15 weather. The wipers/windows/defrost really need help in mega-cold when a person is trying to conserve energy at the same time. Also, I found I was having problems with the charge port opening and closing in mega cold. Even worse was pulling up to a destination charge (Sun Country) and trying to fit the Tesla converter on the plug. Often the plug was so cold that the connector wouldn't snap as a result of snow inside the plug and/or the plug had expanded/contracted such that the connector wouldn't quite fit to 'click'. My solution was to blow hot air from my mouth repeatedly inside the end of the Sun Country plug to warm it up and remove the snow. It worked I tell ya, but it sure looked funny. I caught some people at a restaurant checking me out through a window laughing their heads off.
     
  10. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Good list -- that rear-camera problem is quite serious. The rear of a Model S attracts dust, dirt, and snow by some quirk of its aerodynamics, and visibility out the back window is horrid. It's a shame that Tesla didn't make a auto-retracting lens cap for the rear cam.
     
  11. GSP

    GSP Member

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    I really want the heated steering wheel. I hate to pay for a new S and still have to use heated gloves, like I do in the Volt.

    To the OP: aftermarket heated rear seats would come with rear controls. Some of the other items like heated washer nozzles and maybe some of the other heaters could be installed aftermarket as well. You will have to find a good shop and ask what they can do.

    GSP
     
  12. 772

    772 Member

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    Yes, heated steering wheel should really be a standard feature. Even the Leaf has it standard on the base model. I feel like this option would make it easier to turn down/off the cabin heat significantly, when used in combination with the heated seats (e.g., on your commute).
     
  13. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    @Enadler - remote app options for rear/front defrost & heated seats, clarity on parameters affecting battery pre-heating. Thanks!

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    @woof - heated steering wheel, absolutely. Good doggie!

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    @Gwgan - fog light cleaner for slush/snow. Thanks!

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    @Tslagrl - hi!

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    @JakeP - could you please send me an email address for Will Nicholas? Thanks!

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    @PeterK - Superchargers are a *winter* issue! Yes! I experienced this round-tripping Boston/DC for Thanksgiving. Embarrassing to do 50 in the right-hand lane, range mode on, heat off, hypermiling, making sure not to let the family know that you're nervous about the range to the next SC, all in an awesome but expensive electric luxury car. I was pulling in to Newark and Darien with 30/40/50 rated miles left in the battery -- no biggie if I'm by myself, but white knuckles when I have the kids & wife. And forget about impulsive side trips! Thanks.

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    @notailpipe2112 - I think you've got an issue here but I don't know how to capture it. Fix connector to be able to handle cold weather deformation of charging plug? Find a solution to replace @notailpipe2112's mouth? :) :) Sorry, couldn't resist - funny story! Please give me a few words for this issue. Thanks.

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    @Robert.Boston - how would an auto-retracting lens cap work? If your use case is "camera available when operating in reverse", then I think I can understand. Lens cap opens up, lens was clean to begin with, you travel a short distance, lens cap returns to cover the lens when the car returns to Drive or Park. But if your use case is "camera available while you drive normally", which is what I do, then the lens cap comes off when you go into Drive and within a mile your lens is cluttered with grime. Or are you imagining something different?
     
  14. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    Pollux-

    Will is at wnicholas -at- teslamotors -dot- com.
     
  15. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    @GSP - +1 for heated steering wheel. Thanks for the pointers to other aftermarket options... I'll ask around, although I would prefer to get Tesla OEM retrofits. Thanks!

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    @772 - +1 for heated steering wheel. Thanks!

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    @JakeP - thank you, kind sir!
     
  16. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    heated steering wheel
     
  17. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The lens cover would retract whenever the image was needed, either automatically in reverse, or when the camera app is up on the screen. Personally, I don't keep the camera on while driving normally.
     
  18. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Prewarming the car >> heated steering wheel. Don't miss it one iota.
     
  19. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Agreed, but only because I've found some thin leather gloves that still work with the touchscreen.
     
  20. seanmccutchan

    seanmccutchan Member

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    Great subject!

    I would like to see an option to not heat the battery during short trips. I'd rather have an option to accept a reduced power limit.

    i've recently averaged ~700 wH/mile for a 4.5 mile trip in 14F weather. And, this was just a 60kWh vehicle. That's equivalent to achieving 41 mpg. I estimated at least 1.8 kWh to heat the car for this short low speed trip (700wH/mile-300wH/mile)*4.5 miles = 1.8 kW. If you averaged four such thermal cycles per day, this would be equivalent to driving an extra 24 miles per day at the normal 300 wH/mile. I would expected that the 85 kWh folks might experience 42% greater energy to heat their batteries just scaling on battery cell weight (Equivalent to driving an extra 34 miles per day) ! Sure some of that goes to climate control, however heating a 900 lb battery likely takes far more energy than heating the air and upholstery of the interior. I love my Tesla, but this inefficiency must be fixed before widespread adoption in northern climates.
     

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