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Preconditioning confusion

I'm awaiting delivery of my M3LR and I'm confused about preconditioning, as the term seems to be used in both the context of cabin temp and battery. Where I live it goes significantly below freezing in the winter. My questions are:

1. Is "preconditioning" the cabin the same as heating the battery, the latter with the goal of reducing the "dots" (power and regen limit) on a cold start? Or are these different things that can be done independently?
2. The owner's manual (under Mobile App/Climate) says that "Using the mobile app to precondition Model 3 also warms the Battery as needed." But it may only take 5 minutes to warm the cabin in my garage (plugged in), but possibly much longer to warm the battery in a freezing environment. Having climate on for an hour seems wasteful. Is turning the climate on the only way to also warm the battery? (I think the answer is no, and that having the car charge will cause it to first heat the battery if needed).
3. If the answer to 2 is that charging will achieve battery warming, is the only way to warm the battery effectively prior to a known departure time to use an app/service? eg. if desired charge is 80%, instead set the limit to 75% overnight, then use TeslaFi or Stats app to schedule charging up to 80% an hour or so before departure?

Bonus question to avoid creating another thread: if I want to track total $ spent on Tesla at home (not just kW added to the battery, but total used), does Tesla supply this info or would I need to use TeslaFi or an app?


Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
Riverside Co. CA
1. on a model 3 they are the same.

2. the battery does not need to be "warmed" to drive. If it gets very cold where you are, some of the battery may be locked out till the battery warms but that will, in general, happen organically and not be something you need to do on demand. Charging the car will also start warming the battery but in general, its not something to be too concerned with.

3. pretty much. You would need to do what you are talking about to try to schedule charging to 80% via some third party app.

No, tesla does not directly support providing that data, you will need to engage some third party app to do that or buy a EVSE that lets you track that.
If it gets really cold, you can use TeslaFi or Stats to automatically precondition the battery. This will increase efficiency
Thanks. Can you elaborate on the automatic part? Looking at the Stats website, I see Smart Battery Prep which appears to be schedule based. Is there something more automatic?

Wrt total energy used and not just added to the battery, it’s clear that TealaFi has this but I’m not clear on Stats. I messaged the developer but his reply isn’t clear to me: “The app records energy stored and computes cost based on energy drawn from the wall.” This could be interpreted as the app providing both pieces of data but would appreciate if a user could confirm.

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