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my S is a different car in winter vs. summer

djinn1

Member
Apr 20, 2014
65
34
Danville, PA
This is really about behavior and experience.

Behavior: You can’t just say I want to travel to X, do I have enough gas? There are a lot more factors to figure in, including altitude, wind speed, payload, and mainly weather conditions.

Experience: the longer the trip and the colder the weather, the worse the experience. We travel every 6 weeks about 600 miles in our 2016 90D - it takes 12 hours - 2 hours of that is charging.

which is why for us the refreshed S with more range is appealing and I wish the range was even higher. We have to plan sometimes for a range loss of 40-45% in the winter - that’s a huge drop of efficiency when you factor in the consequences of extra stops and extra longer chargers. YMMV. literally.

however, safest car, most fun to drive, never looked back (Tesla driver since 2012). Just keeps getting better!
 
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arghx7

Member
Aug 6, 2019
497
506
Michigan
I did a 500 mile (each way, so 1000 mile) road trip in November where ambient temperatures were below freezing. This is in a Model 3 Long Range AWD (no heat pump) rated at 310 miles, stopping only at v2 superchargers. The biggest thing is to charge more than the navigation system tells you too. Tesla should be more conservative in winter with their estimates. They could easily look at ambient temperature and add a safety margin.

If it tells you to charge to 52% for the next step, add at least 5-10% more than they say. Or another way to look at it - if the Nav estimates you will arrive at your destination with 10 or 15%, keep charging until it says at least 25% at the destination. I realize sometimes that's not possible due to supercharging spacing etc. The estimates can be 5-10% optimistic with your destination charge %.

I don't bother with viewing battery capacity in rated miles. Those are very misleading.

Looking back at my most recent TeslaFi data To be safe you want to stop and charge every 120-160 miles (depending on supercharger spacing) in the winter and charge up to about 80% battery. If you do that, you can drive it "Normally" with heat as warm as you like, keeping up with traffic at 70-80mph, etc. It may not get there as fast as possible, but to me it's the most comfortable and least stressful way to drive.

So for least stress in winter (but not fastest trip) on high speed interstate travel:

1) Charge up to at least 80-90% before starting the trip

2) Supercharge to 70-80% almost every stop no matter what the nav says and assume the battery % at destination estimate is too optimistic. Realistically that's charging every 120-160 miles if you want a generous battery margin. You can get away with less but you're making each stop a bit of a nailbiter.

3) drive however fast you like with whatever cabin comfort climate/settings you prefer, and make up for it with longer supercharging.
 

Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,267
3,983
Canada
Cut the guy a break. He's just venting about how much more range the car uses in the cold weather, through his experience. Whether he charged "properly" according the charging experts or not, he just venting like a lot of us do.

Yes, I get that, but it shouldn’t escape us that he set out on a winter trip with less than “half a tank”. Here in Canada if you do that in bad weather and get snookered as a result you have to expect some ribbing. It’s just not done, I don’t care what your fuel source.

in those kind of conditions our old grand Cherokee would easily see a 20 percent drop in mileage if not more.

Just sayin.
 
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Jughead135

Member
Feb 19, 2020
198
89
Georgia
So for least stress in winter (but not fastest trip) on high speed interstate travel:

1) Charge up to at least 80-90% before starting the trip

2) Supercharge to 70-80% almost every stop no matter what the nav says and assume the battery % at destination estimate is too optimistic. Realistically that's charging every 120-160 miles if you want a generous battery margin. You can get away with less but you're making each stop a bit of a nailbiter.

3) drive however fast you like with whatever cabin comfort climate/settings you prefer, and make up for it with longer supercharging.


Agreed on all of this as a stand-alone process.

Question: Do you (or anyone with experience) use A Better Route Planner? Can you "trust" its numbers?

ABRP purports to take temperature into consideration (among other variables). I've found it to be pretty accurate in the summer. This is my first winter with my Tesla, but no road trips yet into truly cold weather. I've certainly noticed higher consumption with my daily driving, but I haven't gone anywhere to have to consider SC or other charging sites....
 

RAW84

Member
Oct 6, 2014
614
314
Boston
Another underrated annoyance in winter driving is how ineffective the heating system is below 50 rated miles. Not only is the range decreased because of the higher power draw, but it’s also decreased if you want to avoid an uncomfortably cold drive. At least this is true of my ‘ancient’ P85D.
 

COS Blue

Member
Oct 18, 2020
66
72
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Agreed on all of this as a stand-alone process.

Question: Do you (or anyone with experience) use A Better Route Planner? Can you "trust" its numbers?

ABRP purports to take temperature into consideration (among other variables). I've found it to be pretty accurate in the summer. This is my first winter with my Tesla, but no road trips yet into truly cold weather. I've certainly noticed higher consumption with my daily driving, but I haven't gone anywhere to have to consider SC or other charging sites....
I use ABRP and my experience in the winter (the only time I've used it) is that it is too pessimistic. It always overestimates how much energy a trip is going to take. I always put in the approximate temperature, and even if there's a headwind, and I tell ABRP there is no wind, it still is too pessimistic. Tesla nav system is always too optimistic at first (in the winter), but then within a few miles it adjusts to being close to spot-on.

I assumed this is because my car is a 2021 LR+ and ABRP says that car is in beta. Maybe they don't have enough data for this model, and maybe it's more accurate for older models.
 

arghx7

Member
Aug 6, 2019
497
506
Michigan
I think in 10 years when battery tech gets so much better, we are going to look back and laugh at these kinds of concerns. "Having to stop to charge every 150 miles just because it's winter! That's nuts! How did you put up with that???"

It's just like the 12mpg, 150 horsepower leaded fuel V8 engines from the 1960s and 1970s seem pitifully outdated and inefficient compared to today's 4 cylinder turbos making 250 hp on unleaded 87 octane gas and getting 30 miles per gallon.
 
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