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Those cold New England winters are over, how did you hold up?

Discussion in 'New England' started by mrounds, May 22, 2015.

  1. mrounds

    mrounds Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Pelham, New Hampshire, United States
    Morning fellow TMCers, long time lurker and I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on a CPO. I know this has been discussed ad nauseam but I really would like to get local New Englanders (especially NH/MA) thoughts on driving your Model S thorough this most recent winter. It seems like a separate set of tires is required but above and beyond that how well did your MS hold up? Looking back any features you wish you got with your car? How did the battery hold up during those cold winter days? Any significant range loss? If anyone is so inclined to stop by this weekend I'll have plenty of food and beer :biggrin:. Thanks again everyone, can wait to join the club!
     
  2. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Redding, CT
    Second winter in CT. Drove every Saturday and Sunday to go skiing (55 mi each way) and other regular driving. No issues at all. Average energy usage between end of September and end of April was 335 Wh/mi. Drove to Boston (170 mi each way) at least 6 times and it was a complete non-issue. I have snow tires on the car between Thanksgiving and mid-April.

    Snow handling is fantastic. The only iffy moment was getting out of my driveway with 7" of fresh snow but that was more of a clearance issue. I have rear wheel drive only and feel no need for AWD. I'll let the crazy Boston guys comment about how it does in a 3' snowfall.
     
  3. anthony

    anthony Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I went through your oval a couple times this year I think. I really miss the Riverhouse Cafe, that place is great.

    Two winters now, no problems. Preheating the car is probably one of my favorite features. There is range loss, your e-bill will go up because you preheat your car and can't get as far on a charge.
    I found that driving fast on 21's and taking it easy on 19's makes me barely even notice the difference.

    Its so heavy, well balanced, and low cog its one of the best vehicles i've driven in the snow.

    I drove to the Manchester airport in a blizzard where I and a H3 were the only vehicles on the highway when it was coming down at about 4" per hour.
     
  4. Nikxice

    Nikxice Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Hudson, NH
    Welcome! If you can locate a CPO that includes the subzero package, perhaps sometime next winter your family will thank you for those 5 heated seats.

    A Model S with snows is no sweat in NH. For the cold, just add at least 20 percent to what you'll need for range. If you're driving through a couple of inches of snow you'll have to compensate even more.

    I found the biggest winter surprise was the driving experience during this past January and February. I rarely saw my regen limitation lifted. Even with a warmish garage and fresh charging, my 40 mile round trip for work required a different method of decelerating. It's a unique feel and sort of a fun experience. You'll easily adapt to using an alternate method of using your feet to maintain safe following distances. Also, it's an interesting challenge to plan stops with the least amount of actual braking. Good luck with your car search!
     
  5. notice

    notice Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Boston
    I have two winters in Boston under my belt with my S85. I've taken her on several frigid trips (below 10F) to places like Clinton NJ, Saratoga Springs NY and North Conway NH. In the extreme cold (and sometimes with headwinds) at modest highway speeds I have seen sustained consumption on the order of 375Wh/mi so about a 25% reduction from "rated range", my summer driving is more in the 325Wh/mi. What gets us here is both cold temperatures and also hills (folks in flatter places report sub 300Wh/mi regularly, I find that possible on secondary roads in the summer here but no way in the winter on highways).

    I did go with Tesla's "Winter Wheel and Tire Package" - these Winter Pirelli's are excellent cold weather tires, but I have to say they are not great in the snow/ice compared to other true snow tires. They are a nice compromise for most situations, but I did drive in a couple of our many big winter storms and I have a very steep 400 foot long driveway. With an inch of snow and the weight of the car, I couldn't make the hill. But, I am confident that I could have with different tires - There are several forum posts on winter tires and the Nokkian Hakkas seem to get a lot of praise, I would switch to those, but figure it hasn't been too bad and I'll live with the Pirellis for at least another season or two since they are otherwise perfectly adequate, especially on flatter roads.

    I also bought Tesla's winter chain package for "just in case" - and I ended up using them when I went to work during a blizzard (not realizing how bad it was going to be), bailed at noon to get home, but none of the roads were plowed and I knew I wouldn't be able to manage the hills safely, so I threw on the chains and lumbered home and up the driveway, no problem. Glad I had them, and glad I practiced installing them before I needed them.

    A final note, when I started there was no supercharger build out available for most of my trips. But since last Thanksgiving, we now have West Hartford, Auburn, Springfield, Hooksett, Kingston, Bourne, and others that have come in handy, and Albany in particular has been key for my trips to Saratoga. This really makes life a lot easier and planning less of a hassle (though I enjoyed plotting out my course and living on the edge a little).

    Cheers from Concord, MA and go ahead and pull the trigger. It's an awesome machine, welcome soon to the club.
     
  6. tliving

    tliving Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    New England, USA
    Went through my first winter (and what a start!) with my Model S85 (not D model). I'd definitely recommend the Winter tires but otherwise no worries. The car is amazing and as long as you expect range degradation in the winter and plan for it you'll be fine. The range is much shorter in very cold/inclement weather but as others said pre-heating helps (although the way you do that is still poor) and the Superchargers are well spaced to work in Winter or Summer.

    Worries about the Winter is what held me off pulling the trigger on a Model S for a while and i'm glad I finally broke down and got it. I did about 15K miles in the winter months and drove no other cars.
     
  7. mrounds

    mrounds Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
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    Location:
    Pelham, New Hampshire, United States
    Excellent advise from everyone here, thank you very much! I'll definitely plan on a separate set of wheels for winter with a set of good snow tires. My round trip commute is ~40 miles/day so I don't have any concern making it home and back. My main concern, as well as my wife was driving a rear wheel drive car in these nasty New England winters. After reading all your responses I feel confident going forward. Thanks again and look forward to seeing you out on the road soon!
     
  8. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,149
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    I got the Nokian Hakka R2s and they have been great for two winters now. Got them at Direct Tire in Watertown, and bought a second set of standard Tesla 19" wheels on eBay from a guy in CA who must have put non-Tesla wheels on as soon as he bought his car.

    In addition to suggestions to find the subzero package (didn't exist when I got my car), I would recommend the air suspension. It came in handy to clear deeper snow and ice in certain driveways and parking lots, and this year the location-based automatic adjustment made it even handier.
     
  9. RAW84

    RAW84 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2014
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Boston
    P85D here, and I received my car just before New Year's.

    I have Tesla winter tires/wheels and the car performance was impeccable through the inclement weather. I'm very pleased there.

    Battery performance was significantly impaired however. I am typically seeing ~340-350 Wh/mi here in the spring, in the winter I was routinely above 500 Wh/mi, with trips above 600 not being uncommon.

    The other negative for me was the many times I was left with no regen or substantially weakened regen thanks to the really cold weather. Power could also be limited.


    It had no problem tempering the cabin, but one caveat that I hadn't considered was the fact that there's no engine to heat up the hood so there were many times I'd have a thin layer of ice on the hood and I'd get on the highway and it would send it across the windshield. I was used to an ICE melting that ice. Not a big deal, just something I wasn't expecting.
     
  10. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    These two symptoms suggest that you weren't preconditioning your battery/car from shore power before you left in the morning. My routine coming home at night was to use time-delayed charging, set to begin so that the charging would complete just about the time I left in the morning. I also would turn on the climate control while brewing the morning coffee (to go). An important trick is NOT to use the "Eco" aka "Range Mode" heating, which greatly limits battery heating (even while on shore power).

    Between these two steps (charging just before you leave, turning on the climate control 20 min. before you leave) you should see at least 15 kW of regen and no upper power limit. It will also markedly improve your Wh/mile, because a lot of that juice was going into heating your battery.

    For the evening commute, I was lucky because there are 6 EVSE stations at my (former) employer, so I could use the same strategies (though usually I just used the preheat, because my evening work schedule was much more uncertain than my morning schedule). If you can't plug in at work, you'll have the regen limits and high power use on the way home.
     
  11. RAW84

    RAW84 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Boston
    Correct, I'll try this going forward, Thanks.

    I wasn't in Range Mode, since I heard about those issues and I don't have charging at work, but I'll try to schedule charging to end when I am about to leave. I doubt I'll remeber to preheat the cabin in the morning (although I was good about doing this in the evening leaving work).
     

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