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Range dropping much faster than odometer climbing (cold weather?)

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by FrozenCanuck, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    Hey gang,

    For about the last week I've noticed a consistent pattern in my S85. I charge at night, and wake up to an estimated range of 375km. My car is in the garage, and the temp is about 13 C. I then drive to my gym for a workout and back. I'm there an hour, and the return trip is only 5km. The estimated range drops 10km, showing me 265km range left. So basically I have a drain of 2x what I actually drive.

    A few details:

    - It has been about 3-6 degrees C in the morning when I go, so colder than my garage.
    - But range drops consistently faster than what I put on the odometer both to and from the gym.
    - Driving longer distances (my wife does 50km round trips later) does NOT produce this same drain multiplier at all.
    - Heater on or off doesn't really change anything. This morning I did it with heater off.

    I'm not really worried about the range, but I'm very curious why the estimated value would drop 2x my distance driven. The only change lately is weather. It's colder here in Ontario. But it's not freezing temps yet.
     
  2. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    warming the batteries?

    while still plugged in, try pre-heating the car 15 minutes from the App before you take off to the gym, report back
     
  3. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Preheating while not on shore power will use rated km from the battery; it just does not show in the Wh/km display.

    When I leave my Tesla out during the day in cold weather (even an hour), the energy needed to heat the cabin and battery definitely sucks capacity from the battery. An ICE produces a ton of waste heat normally thrown away from the radiator that can be used to heat the car. In an EV, there is a little waste heat from the motors and inverters, but most of the heat in cold weather comes from resistive heaters powered by the battery.
     
  4. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    #4 scottm, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
    In order to charge, the battery "HVAC" system will be maintaining a good temp for charging (i.e. batteries not too warm and not too cold). When the charge is done, your batteries start to cool in cold temperatures. If you drive away like that on a cold pack, you'll be spending the juice to warm them while on the road. (Doing some regen is a great way to warm batteries, pick a stop & start route for first few miles if you can).

    What you could try doing is turning on cabin heat 15 minutes prior to departure (starts using power and warming interior, and draining battery) AND at the same time, resume charging by hitting the "Charge" button on the app. If your car thinks it's charged, jack up to maximum range charge, and hit charge again. Now, your battery pack goes into its warming cycle drawing power from the house. You won't reach maximum range charge in 15 minutes, it just serves to warm the battery pack again.

    Try this for a day or two FrozenCanuck and report back.

    I'll soon be another frozen Canuck... in the same boots as you.

    I've heard a de-rating of range of 20-25% for Tesla S in winter, and I'm expecting that. Another reason for getting the biggest battery is for our climate.
     
  5. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    Scott - thanks for the advice. I'll definitely give this a shot and report back. I guess we're only talking about a few km hit to the range so not really a big deal, but it is a nice reminder that charging just prior to a longer road trip is a good idea in winter.

    Also FYI, side note for the Canucks here ... our winter tire package pricing just dropped significantly. I was quoted $2700 by the service center. Price was $4250 previously. I may have been mis-quoted because another guy reports pricing of $3200, which is still good. If you need the package, I'd call to book it.
     
  6. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    I'm not convinced of this. Since I've got my Tesla I've noticed that the longer it's been sitting since the charge finished the larger the Wh/m value is. That's even true when the car has been plugged in and using "shore power" the whole time since it finished charging. After you drive for a bit the initial spike gets averaged out and it doesn't matter. But it can make very short drives appear to be very expensive because there's not enough distance to negate that cost.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When the temperature is lower than about 15C it's worthwhile heating the cabin to warm the battery. If the trip is short (45 km or less) using range mode ( settings->vehicle ) helps a lot too.
     
  8. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    In addition to the above, you will notice that short trips almost always show higher than rated range consumption, even in moderate weather. On road trips, after leaving each (super)charge stop, I usually show 400-600 Wh/mi (250-400 Wh/km) for the first 5-10 mi (8-16 km). The value gradually comes down to within 10% of rated range after that. Getting a 4700 lbs Model S going is energy expensive!
     
  9. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Normally (in cold weather), the HVAC system actively heats the battery to maintain its preferred temperature, which uses a lot of energy. If you switch to range mode (not charging to a max range charge, but switching the car to range mode) the car will instead allow the battery to mostly heat passively (by using waste heat). This will save you a lot of energy.

    As others mentioned, finishing a charge soon before leaving, heating the cabin before you leave (while still plugged in) so you don't have to use the heat, and opting for seat heaters instead of HVAC heat will save a lot of range too.
     
  10. Alligator

    Alligator Member

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    The rule of thumb that I have experienced is twice as much battery usage in the winter as in the summer. It's cold here in Minnesota sometimes.
     
  11. golfski

    golfski Member

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    Is this true? Based on the message that is displayed, it seems to only indicate that the cabin comfort might suffer because of range mode - but not the battery. Does heating "passively" (or the opposite in the heat of summer) have any effect on battery longevity? I viewed range mode as setting the car to be as efficient as possible for non-critical systems.

    I mainly ask because I leave my car in range mode (S60) as I find the "range mode" maximums to be sufficient in heating/cooling the cabin. Is this OK to do?
     
  12. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    The battery heater will eventually kick on but only at a lower temperature. I trust that Tesla has the trip points for when that happens set correctly.
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It's been true in my car. I do my best to remember to take it out of range mode when charging so that the battery will preheat. Range mode is most effective [for me] on short trips in cool to cold weather. I don't bother with it in warm to hot weather because setting the climate control to auto and adjusting the temperature works well and I'm happy with the Wh/mi I get.
     
  14. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Ubetcha! :smile:
     
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    However, if planned carefully, you keep the cabin cold, etc, you can squeeze out some pretty good miles on a cold day. See my report at Realistic Range Expectations in Crummy Winter Weather - Hypermiling in the Winter...Brrr; I did 228 miles with 2,000 feet of net elevation gain in temps from 12˚F. to 40˚F. This entire thread has some pretty good info on operating a Model S in the cold.
     
  16. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    For me, it's no more than a 20 to 30% difference BUT... I typically drive longer distances. I have a 45 mile (one way) commute and over that distance the high initial energy use eventually calms down and averages out over the long drive. On the weekend, when I just drive a mile here and a mile there, my usage can be 10x higher than in the summer.

    I have noticed that once the temperature drops below about 45 F / 7 C my consumption numbers start going up.

    I expect we'll see a lot of threads like this with the number of new owners who haven't gone through a winter yet :smile:
     
  17. sundoc

    sundoc Member

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    I wonder how these numbers will correlate with the new dual drive... probably fairly similar I'd guess
     
  18. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    Probably dual or single motor will have no bearing on this discussion as it's all about battery condition/ing.
     
  19. sundoc

    sundoc Member

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    oops should've been posted in the other window... Cottonwood's range expectations link.

    but yeah i agree, the motor probably won't have a bearing on the battery
     

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