TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Model S - Range in cold and driving in snow

Discussion in 'Midwest/Great Lakes' started by Aphysician, May 3, 2013.

  1. Aphysician

    Aphysician Member, Michigan Chapter

    May 3, 2013
    Metro Detroit, MI
    Hello Tesla owners, this is a great forum for owners and future owners. I joined the forum for some help with my EV purchase. I had decided on Leaf, but after consultation with Leaf owners in cold climate have come to a conclusion, it may not suit my needs. I live in Michigan, with temperature below 30 F for almost 4 months in winter, with frequent dips below 20 F. I have a commute of 50 miles RT, with close to 70% of that on highways. I was told that maximum range that I should expect is 60 miles, with compromises. I may need an EV with Thermal Management System (TMS) or with bigger range. I was browsing previous posts, and was thrilled to see many owners in cold climates and some of them have also taken their Model s out for frolic in snow. These are my limitation with Leaf.

    Limitations for EV use
    - Frigid climate with Temprature below 30 F for 4 months, with frequent dips into 20s
    - Snow covered roads for commute
    - Frequent high wind days
    - Daily commute of over 50 miles RT
    - More than 50% on highways (mine is around 66%)
    - L2 charging overnight at home only, not available at work
    - Cold soaking in parking lot for over 10 hours and sometimes overnight
    - Inability to trickle charge at workplace (to prevent cold soaking and preheat the car for return journey)

    It seems Tesla fits the bill, however I haven't figured out how to pay it's leasing bills. I have contacted Tesla team about new leasing program, but it is still an expensive affair. Recent announcement by Elon has been positive. The nearest Tesla store is in Chicago, IL and nearest Tesla service center is in Columbus, OH. I need to know few things even before I start thinking in that direction.

    (1) How to get the service? Tesla says that they will cover me with Ranger service program and car doesn't even need a service and now the service requirement has been waived off. I just wanted to ask owners how has been their experience?

    (2) I have seen only one Model S in Detroit, and couldn't catch it with my ICE. But how's the battery performance in the cold weather? It has TMS unlike Leaf, so it should fair better. Most of the Model S sales are still in CA. However Tesla was at Detroit Auto Show, and they clearly want to sell their car in all climates, and are not stupid to make car only for warmer climate. They are pursuing European sales now

    (3) Other question that I have is, how is it to drive in snow considering it is a rear wheel drive car? Tesla's answer was that, it should not be any problem with traction control system.

    (4) If you could also post your mileage in snow, and how much degradation to expect. I will be keeping my car in parking structure for 10 hours or so, and worried about loosing a lot of range.

    Thank you all in advance.
  2. Vexar

    Vexar Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    Plymouth, MN USA
    Hey there!

    Would you read my blog? I just did some winter testing here in Minneapolis and Saint Paul (yes, we had a stupidly long winter):

    Also, I parked in the MSP parking ramp for a week-long business trip and lost 10-15 miles of range per day in freezing temperatures, which is fine for me since I live 25 miles from the airport. Got home with over 100 miles left on a 60kWh battery normal charge.

    I think you're set with the Ranger service.
    Also, there are quite a number of Tesla vehicles in Minnesota, and I have yet to see one out of context (planned meeting), except for the time that one drove by our club meeting and nobody knew who it was. The simple fact that you saw one says there are more than you realize by statistical likelihood of seeing one in the first place.

    For pre-heating the car, get yourself set up with the smart phone application, you can control the climate before you get there.

    As far as driving to work and letting it sit, you are in great shape for a 50 mile daily drive. I wouldn't think anything of that. Your charging at home is met best with a NEMA 14/50 outlet, which I got installed for $250 (including parts).

    Winter driving is just fine. Leave Traction Control Stabilisation on and you won't even notice the snow. I have one addition, however: if you find yourself stuck on ice, turn TCS off and move the go pedal very slightly. Also, I advise getting it with the pneumatic suspension option and the leather seats. Those were the two options I got. The leather seats gives you seat warmers.

    Let's see, other tips: clean the windows on the inside a lot for the first few months. The new car smell actually creates a film on the glass which impacts windows fogging up.

    I think if you start out leasing, you will like it enough to buy it later. The car gets upgraded just sitting in your garage. It's really neat to go down in the morning and read what new things Tesla has done.

Share This Page

  • 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.