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Real world range in the North

Struja

"Fanboy"
Jun 27, 2017
1,048
1,055
Toronto, Canada
I am just curious for those in the know....Does Tesla (or any EV manufacturer) have any plans to make their cars range truly comparable to ICE cars (especially in severe cold)?

Let me explain what I mean..

I have a 90D. When new, the 100% range was 473km, however my car was CPO, so when I got it, my 90% was 425km in June 2017.

Right now, my 90% is 390km (due to battery degradation and I have been meticulous in caring for my battery), but on our coldest days (I mean -20 and colder), My real world range is actually about 250km at 90%. Truth be told, as a putter around the city, this is almost always sufficient but on the few times I have had to drive longer distances, I’ve had to charge twice.

So, when I do the math, here is what I come up with...let’s say Tesla makes a 1000km range battery at 100%. Well, we know that for practical purposes, most only charge to 90%. So, the practical range is 900km.

However, when you factor battery degradation (let’s say 15% total after 5 years) and a cold range reduction of 40%, which is what I see, we are back down in the low 500km range. Now, don’t get me wrong, that would still be amazing, but still less than the best gas cars out there. My wife’s RX gets about 600km in range and it isn’t particularly fuel efficient.

So, are there any innovations in battery tech that limit cold weather impact?
 

Casmium

Member
Sep 14, 2018
319
325
Mississauga
I think the heat pump will make a difference, haven't looked for any comparisons but I'm sure someone has done one with a model 3 by now, and shortly we'll see the new model s out, rather then the resistive heating, preheating the car when plugged in seems to make quite a difference but I don't see anything coming in the next 5 years or so that will improve the range in the cold from a battery tech perspective other then larger batteries.
 

ccudmore

Member
Jul 5, 2019
233
386
Ottawa
Does Tesla (or any EV manufacturer) have any plans to make their cars range truly comparable to ICE cars (especially in severe cold)?

I expect that every EV manufacturer has this as their goal. They're just waiting for the science to be ready to do it. Battery technology is getting a lot of R&D money lately so improvements will eventually come.
 

coolmanfever

Member
Dec 1, 2019
495
409
toronto
Well. Battery tech will be telsa 's focus for the next 5 years for sure. They are working on the next gen 4680 battery cell that will be more efficient and longer range for large vehicles like cyber trucks. Imagining sticking such battery in smaller vehicle like the rumored 20k car. There will be an inflection point that range is so large and cheap up to par to ICE car that ICE car will be secondary car option. I dunno when that will happen but I do hope soon as many TSLA investors are paying crazy amount of multiple betting that reality will arrive one day.

I am sure they already produce few cars with 4680 battery as prototype for test but they are keeping in dark right now to avoid the Osborn effect and hurt their current cad sales.

In the mean time, best to have a 2nd ice car or rent a ICE car for long road trip during the winter.
 
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Struja

"Fanboy"
Jun 27, 2017
1,048
1,055
Toronto, Canada
All good responses and the reason I posted this in the Canadian forum is because even though I love my car 100% of the time, I feel as though I have an entirely different car in the winter, where range is concerned.
 
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GtiMart

Member
Nov 13, 2019
678
553
Quebec City, Canada
I think we need a mix of technology advances and enough charging locations. When there's enough charging, Teslas are "good enough" for winter. If I can do 200km between charges in winter and there are superchargers when I must stop, it's okay. I would take more range but it can work. The problem occurs when there are long stretches between fast chargers or badly served regions. Or when you really are in such a hurry that you cannot stop 25min every couple hours...

And let's be honest, a big proportion of people don't need that daily. For most, charging at home and 200km range is more than enough apart from the occasional trip.
 

CadillacJack

Member
May 21, 2015
259
196
Mississauga, Canada
Usually warming up your battery by finishing charging just before leaving makes a huge difference with long distance range in the winter. The car also doesn't have to wait for 30+ minutes for full regen either. As a fairly early owner, I'm used to all the tips and tricks to getting more range out of my (then) 400 km max range in a P85. Having 500km of range and Superchargers seemingly everywhere now is like a massive luxury. :) Doug's article on winter driving has lots of nuggets - it's linked here somewhere.

As for battery tech, I'm sure it's going to easier to provide more range in the near term than completely having the same range in the winter. Maybe the solid state battery thing will help with that, but from where Tesla's headed that seems a far way out still from mass production.
 

rypalmer

Active Member
Aug 22, 2014
1,371
1,453
Canada
IMHO when battery technology advances in regards to weight density and charging speed, making cars lighter and cheaper will be just as important as giving them 1,000km ranges. There is a battery shortage now and I would rather there be two EV's on the road rated for 500km than one that can do twice that. It would be the very rare circumstance where vehicles should be optimized for regular 500km trips "in the North". That's potentially a lot of battery and expense to carry around the rest of the year when it's not needed. That said, I do wish the Model Y had a LR+ option about 20% bigger than the current LR option.
 
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Struja

"Fanboy"
Jun 27, 2017
1,048
1,055
Toronto, Canada
IMHO when battery technology advances in regards to weight density and charging speed, making cars lighter and cheaper will be just as important as giving them 1,000km ranges. There is a battery shortage now and I would rather there be two EV's on the road rated for 500km than one that can do twice that. It would be the very rare circumstance where vehicles should be optimized for regular 500km trips "in the North". That's potentially a lot of battery and expense to carry around the rest of the year when it's not needed. That said, I do wish the Model Y had a LR+ option about 20% bigger than the current LR option.
That is not really the issue. The issue is that I bought a car with 473km in range that is reduced to about 250km on the coldest days. While I agree that is usually enough for my day to day driving, when you explain that fact to a non-EV owner, that is a pretty unattractive future for your car.

Frankly, the issue could be to make a 500km battery that is 500km all year round. My example above didn’t say to make 1000km battery, I illustrated that even a 1000km battery is only barely better than 500km in real world range on very cold days. I have found that even when I pre-heat my battery it only marginally assists my battery performance in the severe cold.
 
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Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,241
3,948
Canada
Heh heh. Looking back on my grand Cherokee days. Our 6 cylinder grand Cherokee in winter was a pig. We would leave Vernon BC and drive to Vancouver. Tank was at a quarter by the time we got to Merritt. Interestingly enough the model 3 is about 30 percent when we arrive in Merritt in winter. I don’t know why that grand Cherokee was such a pig in winter but wow. It hated that unending hill out of Kelowna. :).
 

Struja

"Fanboy"
Jun 27, 2017
1,048
1,055
Toronto, Canada
Heh heh. Looking back on my grand Cherokee days. Our 6 cylinder grand Cherokee in winter was a pig. We would leave Vernon BC and drive to Vancouver. Tank was at a quarter by the time we got to Merritt. Interestingly enough the model 3 is about 30 percent when we arrive in Merritt in winter. I don’t know why that grand Cherokee was such a pig in winter but wow. It hated that unending hill out of Kelowna. :).
In normal times, I drive from Toronto to Warren, MIchigan regularly to visit family. On a 100% charge I can make it door to door without charging. In the winter, I charge (usually) at Woodstock and sometimes I will top up in either at Port Huron or Roseville, just to make sure I make it. It is truly an entirely different experience in the dead of winter.
 

GtiMart

Member
Nov 13, 2019
678
553
Quebec City, Canada
The thing is, consumption is also different in ICE cars but you get far enough that it's in order to pee or eat that you stop. You just put fuel in more often without realizing it. The factor might not be 50% of the summer efficiency on the highway, maybe it's 70% of summer.
EVs require a slightly different approach to planning trips, and EVs in winter require a more careful plan.
 

Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,241
3,948
Canada
In normal times, I drive from Toronto to Warren, MIchigan regularly to visit family. On a 100% charge I can make it door to door without charging. In the winter, I charge (usually) at Woodstock and sometimes I will top up in either at Port Huron or Roseville, just to make sure I make it. It is truly an entirely different experience in the dead of winter.

Yep it is. But it was with our Grand Cherokee as well.

Anyway, we count on 40 percent less range and it usually works out to about 35 ish percent. Easy to deal with. Either way I have to pee after 3 hours. :). I generally don’t stop to charge, I just charge while I’m stopped. :).
 

MD-2000

Member
May 1, 2019
541
360
Winnipeg
I have an insulated but not heated garage. This is what I posted elsewhere:
---
I keep my Model 3 in Km not %. When we first got it (Nov 2018) it would charge to almost 396km. It steadily dropped since then; now in -10C weather it charges to 335km. In cold you will also get the snowflake symbol indicating battery is not able to output full power, and the warning braking regen is limited. But - as others point out, the km number is meaningless. First of all, if you live in the real Canada (as opposed to BC :) ) where temperatures can be quite low - in stop-and-go at -20C you can use up to 3km for each 1km driven. Even at -5C you will use about 2:1; it's not quite as bad with higher speed rather than stop-and-go. Remember, cabin heat is a time dependent use, not speed or distance. I took a road trip in +20C and with a good prairie headwind flat and level, used 1.4:1 into the wind, but 1:1 back, at 105kph.

For a Model Y with their fancy heat pump, likely the power consumption for climate will be less demanding.

Since I had a Tesla service call, I asked the technician about this. Unlike a tank full of liquid, there is no simple indicator for the battery charge level. The management computer guesses based on battery output. The best way to recalibrate is to drive the battery down as low as you dare, say 10% or so. Leave it unplugged like this for at least an hour before charging. Then charge it to your normal level -some people do 90%, I do 80%. After charging is complete, let it sit for at least an hour unplugged.

(I haven't had the chance to try this fully, but I do see the other day after going down to 150km and then charging, doing the unplug thing both times, the level reported 351km; also the charge amount shown climbs after a longer highway trip, but I haven't done a long trip yet.)

Also, if you start climate while the car is plugged in (i.e. at home before you depart) it will also be conditioning the battery to warm it up which will help with regen and battery output.
----

My BMW would get maybe 400km on a tank in winter v. 600 (with careful driving) in summer. The difference is - unlike an ICE car - you start every day in an EV with a "full tank", assuming you have a home charger. If you don't - sux to be you. Maybe wait before buying an EV, get a Plug-in Hybrid. When you tell an ICE driver they have 250km range at best, they will think "I'll be filling the tank every 2 or 3 days". Not relevant for me.

While I have not had the opportunity to try a long distance road trip since the TransCanada Superchargers opened here, they are all within easy range of each other, The theory is, as time goes on charging options will get better. There are some trips I can't do... yet. The north route from Saskatoon to Edmonton for example, or the Ice Field Parkway from Banff to Jasper. But it's only a matter of time before the fast charging options are available, either with Tesla or with the ChaDemo/CCS options coming soon.
 

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