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Simple Question. Better to Charge to 80% or 90%

arcus

Active Member
Aug 11, 2017
1,306
973
Denton, TX
I used to charge my car to 90%, then adjusted to 80% (my daily commute is similar to yours), but it should not really matter between the two. Both the phone app and the on-screen indicator in the car let you set the value for daily (50-90%) or trip (90-100%), so as long as you keep it within the daily threshold you will be fine.
 
I'm no tecchie by any means, so I've figured out the following way to set battery charging percentage using the Tesla (Model 3) phone app. (Trying to estimate percentage on the car interface is too difficult to figure out.)

The battery image shows bars which are in increments of 10%. Farthest right is 100%, first from right is 90%, second is 80%, and so on.

Is this correct?
 

mtndrew1

Active Member
May 12, 2015
1,431
4,116
Gardena, CA
My understanding is that the “sweet spot” to use for least degradation is the window between 30-70%. As my daily routine almost never takes me more than 75 miles I charge nightly to 70% and bump it up via the app when I know I’ll need more range.

That said I’m relatively certain that the difference between charging to 70% and 90% is probably not worth worrying about. If I didn’t have home charging I would always charge to 90% to ensure I had plenty of range for unexpected circumstances.
 
I posted this on a different forum but here it is again....

For some, they say set to 80% or even 90% and never worry about it again. That mentality probably works for leasers or people that upgrade cars often. I'm neither of those AND I happen to have a long daily commute (110 miles round-trip) . Therefore I worry about this more than the average owner. For starters, calculate your daily commute as a percentage of the 100% SOC battery range. For me, that's 35% (110 mi / 310 mi). Divide this in half, 17.5% (35% / 2). Add this to 50%. For me, 50% + 17.5% = 67.5%. So, for my daily commute, charging to 67.5% is ideal for battery longevity. Next, you apply the common sense and convenience factors. This math leaves me with 32.5% at the end of my commute for "pop ups". Everyone's lifestyle is different, some may have unpredictable things constantly. For me, having 32.5% is perfectly adequate for most pop ups and a supercharger fixes it if I'm wrong. I will round up to 70% SOC. If I know I need more mileage any particular day, I can up the SOC. Don't forget climate can significantly impact these calculations, so winter might easily drive up your SOC target. Good luck and happy charging

FWIW, I am not following my own advice yet. I am set at 80% now. I new consideration I have noticed (but not experienced yet) is what happens if you forget to charge your car one night? Does that impact you? Does picking a number to accommodate your needs for this mistake make sense? Food for thought ...
 

David99

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,971
7,666
Nomad (mostly US)
Excellent points @insaneoctane
That's I see it as well. I intend to keep my car for a long time. Living in a hot area like Southern California, batter degradation is already accelerated compared to more tempered states. So there is good reasons to spend a few minuted about what you can do to optimize this without loss of convenience.

For example I use an app that let's you enter at what time i the morning you want the charge to be done. It checks the SoC, calculates how long it will take to charge to the desired level and then starts the charge process just in time so it finishes at your desired time.

If you plug in at night when you come home and charge it will finish charging at, let's say midnight. It then sits there at the higher SoC for 7 hours before you leave at 7 am. With the app it will sit at the lower SoC for 7 hours. So every day about a third of the time the battery is at a lower SoC compared to normal which makes a significant enough difference. The good thing is the app will always finish on time no matter if you drive more or less in a day. The car's timer doesn't allow that flexibility.
 
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Having come to the S from an i3 and before that, a Volt, I love the battery size and not having to plug in every night. Such freedom. So I charge to 80% (200 miles) and then plug it back in a few days later once it's below 40% (100 miles).
Maybe I should modify it to 70/30 - 175 miles/75 miles
22 mile daily commute
 
My issue is that I live around 230 miles from my nearest super charger and my parents live around 350 miles away. In an ICE if I needed to head somewhere in a hurry I could just take off knowing I could get fuel anywhere. With the model 3, I feel like I need to have close to one SC distance away so that I can always be ready. I wouldn't want to need to leave only to have to charge at home for four hours before I could leave.

I charge to around 260 miles each day, but would prefer 280 if I didn't think it would make a big difference.

I posted this on a different forum but here it is again....

For some, they say set to 80% or even 90% and never worry about it again. That mentality probably works for leasers or people that upgrade cars often. I'm neither of those AND I happen to have a long daily commute (110 miles round-trip) . Therefore I worry about this more than the average owner. For starters, calculate your daily commute as a percentage of the 100% SOC battery range. For me, that's 35% (110 mi / 310 mi). Divide this in half, 17.5% (35% / 2). Add this to 50%. For me, 50% + 17.5% = 67.5%. So, for my daily commute, charging to 67.5% is ideal for battery longevity. Next, you apply the common sense and convenience factors. This math leaves me with 32.5% at the end of my commute for "pop ups". Everyone's lifestyle is different, some may have unpredictable things constantly. For me, having 32.5% is perfectly adequate for most pop ups and a supercharger fixes it if I'm wrong. I will round up to 70% SOC. If I know I need more mileage any particular day, I can up the SOC. Don't forget climate can significantly impact these calculations, so winter might easily drive up your SOC target. Good luck and happy charging

FWIW, I am not following my own advice yet. I am set at 80% now. I new consideration I have noticed (but not experienced yet) is what happens if you forget to charge your car one night? Does that impact you? Does picking a number to accommodate your needs for this mistake make sense? Food for thought ...
 
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Reactions: David99

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