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Parking outside in very cold weather and not plugged in

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by max35111, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. max35111

    max35111 Member

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    Hi guys,

    i have been searching the forum and found a fair amount of threads discussing that, but most of them were 2 or 3 years old.
    With a 90D produced in July, what would be my expected vampire loss during 48 hours parking outside in cold weather (around -10 degrees celcius, or 14 fahrenheit), not plugged in.

    Is there any risk for the battery health?

    thanks for your help!!
     
  2. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    From the manual: “Do not expose Model S to ambient temperatures above 140º F (60º C) or below -22º F (-30º C) for more than 24 hours at a time.” You're pretty far from the low temperature cited, I wouldn't worry about it.

    As for vampire loss, that varies some depending on the car's settings, but you can probably expect to see it lose 10-20 miles of Rated range in 48 hours when ambient is around the freezing mark.
     
  3. max35111

    max35111 Member

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    Thanks for that answer! Makes me feel better! So if 10-20 miles at 0 degrees celcius, probably 30-40 miles Max at -10!?
     
  4. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    you will lose significant range when the car is parked outside in sub freezing temps. my experience was about 30 miles in around 8 hours of being parked in 14f temps. if you can plug in to even a 110v plug it will help the battery keep itself warm and preserve range.
     
  5. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    YMMV, but 30 miles lost in only 8 hours sounds like it's partially a phantom loss that doesn't take into account the drop in temperature of the pack itself and the recovery of some of those miles when the pack heats back up again while driving.

    The bottom line for the OP is that while the car will lose more miles in cold temps than in warm temps due to vampire loses, there is no danger of harm to the pack unless the ambient temperature falls much lower than he anticipates.
     
  6. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    I had parked the car with around 44 miles of range left about 18 miles from a super charger, arrived at the SC after a mile of driving with the charge now message "screaming" at me. my concern was not focused on the well being of the batteries, it was making it to the SC.

    I called tech support about what happened. I live in FLA and usually don not encounter temps so low, their advice was to try and find a place to plug in to preserve range when the car is parked in sub freezing temps
     
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    When the battery and interior are cold soaked, it takes many, many rated miles (3.3 rm/kWh) to warm the battery and cabin. If getting to the charging destination is in question, put the car in range mode to limit battery heating power used, and leave the HVAC off if you can stand it. Use the seat heaters; they use an order of magnitude less power than the cabin heater. If you have to use some heat, keep the temperature set as low as it will go.
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    This is really the key. It's not the sitting in the cold that drains your battery (beyond normal vampire losses) it's the warming it up again afterwards.
     
  9. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    let me say it again, when I parked the car with 44+ miles, I returned about 8 hours later to find almost 30 miles of range gone, I don't think that the range loss I had was from warming the battery up because the loss was evident when I opened the door and had not even started the car.
    while warming up might be a drain that zaps ranges, just sitting in the cold will eat range as well.
     
  10. bhzmark

    bhzmark Active Member

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    It cld be that the car estimates that it will 1) need energy to warm up and 2) be less efficient in the cold, and deducts both factors from the range as well.
     
  11. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    I wouldn't call minus 10 degrees Celsius very cold:wink:
    To me it is normal winter weather.
    In Canada and Scandinavia we would say below -30 is very cold. And that is the warranty limit.
     
  12. grichard

    grichard Member De-Luxe

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    I have had similar experiences (although less dramatic). I agree that this isn't a function of power used to warm the car, because--as you say--the lowered range is displayed as soon as you enter the vehicle. However, I also don't think that you would continue to lose a further 30 miles of range in the next 8 hours. Rather, I think that the rated range simply drops somewhat as the battery gets cold.

    If you were driving a long distance after getting in to the cold-soaked car, you would probably get this range back as you drove and the battery warmed up. This might not be apparent, because you would be driving / consuming power at the same time, so your rated mileage would just drop a bit more slowly with driving than it would otherwise. It does not surprise me, though, that Tesla fails to anticipate this fact and use it to negate the rated range drop with cold-soaking. After all, you might turn on range mode on your next drive, or you might make several very short trips that don't give the battery time to warm.
     
  13. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    that was not apparent, I somehow was able to crawl the almost 20 miles to the SC with less than 18 miles of range showing when I started. I am not trying to showcase an inadequacy I am pointing out how range can disappear when the car is parked in the cold without being plugged in.
     
  14. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    #14 FlasherZ, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
    A couple of more thoughts:

    Battery temperature will affect the Tesla's displayed range. If you park it with 44 miles on a nice toasty battery pack, expect the range algorithm to display less miles as that pack cools. It's not all attributable to "vampire loss" from the electronics, and in some cases, isn't truly "lost".

    In addition, if you're looking to minimize the loss from the electronics, be sure energy saver is turned on, and "always connected" is turned off, in addition to "range mode" being turned on.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, there have been 1-2 other reports of this phenomenon here as well (although I couldn't find them when I did a brief search). Range mode on (so the battery doesn't heat) + no climate control (which sucks a LOT of power) + easy driving can be done in the winter.
     
  15. Candleflame

    Candleflame Member

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    The cold will afaik actually preserve the battery and reduce self d/c and increase longevity. But unless the car is in range mode it will consume a lot of power to heat up the battery. So if close to a charger, probably better to put it in range mode, drive slowish and put the heating on to warm the battery pack once plugged in.
     
  16. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    my lesson learned is to turn off range mode when parking in the cold. thanks everyone
     
  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Also make sure the "smart" (anything but) pre-conditioning is turned off. Several people have reported losing range to that one, and more so when the temperatures are less than ideal, and because you can't tell when it will do it (the not smart part) you don't know if it's doing it while you need every bit of that range.
     
  18. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Thanks for that - I don't have it turned on because we have no regular schedule at all at home. Good point.
     
  19. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    #19 ThosEM, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    I park every day all day outdoors with routine temperatures down to about 5 to 20F / -15 to -5C, seeing a 1-2% loss (4-8 km rated range) at most. Something is wrong or you are turning on the HVAC while parked. On the other hand, once you start out with a cold soaked car, the consumption is going to be 2 or 3 times normal for the first 10-20 km while the car warms up, and that will take a rapid toll on remaining range.

    This is the reason I think EVs should be available, for those needing it, with a combustion heater (with a propane or biogas bottle) that can be used to counter a cold soak without tapping the traction battery. I'd have paid a couple of grand for such a system. Such things are available as "parking heaters" for truckers, and a few folks with MiEVs are adding them to retain their limited range in winter. They are also used in electric city buses in Sweden.
     
  20. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I wonder what a webasto circulating coolant heater would do retrofitted to the battery coolant loop....
     

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