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Truly better to leave car plugged in for days after full charge?

Hey guys,

I've heard that if you are leaving for a trip, that it is better to leave your car plugged in even if it is at 90-100% charge. Is this true? I am leaving on a trip for 3 days this weekend and am curious as to what to do with my new Model 3.

Thanks in advance!
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
10,197
20,039
California
Plug it in, set the maximum charge to something lower, like 80%. It will bleed off energy and likely not charge at all while you’re gone, but always a good idea to have it plugged in should something happen, plans change, car goes haywire and doesn’t turn off, etc.

If it’s over 90% SoC right now, I’d probably drive it around a bit to get it under 90 before I left.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,571
23,611
Riverside Co. CA
Hey guys,

I've heard that if you are leaving for a trip, that it is better to leave your car plugged in even if it is at 90-100% charge. Is this true? I am leaving on a trip for 3 days this weekend and am curious as to what to do with my new Model 3.

Thanks in advance!

It sounds like you would rather have random people on the forums give you a different answer than the one that is in the manual for the car, which covers this exact question as so:

(page 122)
==================================

About the Battery

Model 3 has one of the most sophisticated
battery systems in the world. The most
important way to preserve the Battery is to
LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE PLUGGED IN when
you are not using it. This is particularly
important if you are not planning to drive
Model 3 for several weeks. When plugged in,
Model 3 wakes up when needed to
automatically maintain a charge level that
maximizes the lifetime of the Battery.
===================================

So, your exact question is covered without any vagueness in the user manual from the company that created the car, and the battery. Of course there are others on forums who have done plenty of research into this who come up with other answers.

It all depends on who you want to believe. The manufacturer who created the product or people who are trying to figure out what they created.

When there are no instructions, or there are vague instructions, I get it, but in this case what tesla wants everyone to do is very clearly spelled out. Now, whether one wants to listen to them or not is up to each individual person...
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,571
23,611
Riverside Co. CA
cross posting this as I typed this reply in another thread on this topic this morning and my original response sounds a bit harsher than I intended.

====================================

To be fair (as I am the one who clipped the text from the manual and posted it), as I mentioned there are a ton of discussions here about battery maintenance, how often to plug in, etc etc and tons of opinions on this topic. I have read a ton of threads, and there is no consensus in general.

The general advice from the forum would be to plug it in, set the charging threshhold to something like 70-80 percent, and the go about your business and not worry about it. Still others only plug in when their car is down to 30 percent etc.

So, if you search you will find tons of discussions about the topic. For myself, I found myself getting wrapped up in "what do I do to protect my investment in this car, as I did not lease it and I want it to last!!!" thoughts.

I read the manual (actually before I got the car, and again after, and again.. I have read the 182 page manual cover to cover at least 3 full times)... and realized that tesla is exceptionally clear about what THEY want you to do.

Of course, there are plenty of people on the forums who dont believe them, and have only plugged in "when needed" on model S and X and not had much issues over several years of ownership.

I ultimately decided I would not stress about the battery, charge to 90 percent or so, and plug in when not in use. I also decided that around 1 time per month I would run down to 20-30 percent, then charge to 100 percent to help the battery management system (BMS) re calibrate itself in my car.

I also decided that it would not hurt it at all if I left it plugged in all the time, as thats what tesla is telling me to do, and if I had a problem in the 8 years 120k miles warranty that comes with the car, tesla WILL be able to see charge cycles etc, and "doing whats in the manual" is the safest / easiest way to get warranty coverage.

your mileage may vary, of course.
 
So, your exact question is covered without any vagueness in the user manual from the company that created the car, and the battery.

^ This. Ask yourself, "what would Tesla tell me to do" and then look in the manual to see if they, in fact, tell you what to do.

I'll be the crazy one who suggests that for 3 days, unless you are parking the car in Antarctica with the heat running, it doesn't really matter if you plug it in or not. If it was 3 weeks, then yeah, plug it in.

BTW, you probably don't want to be charging above 80%-90% on a regular basis, something that Tesla hopefully communicated when you picked up the car.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,289
4,293
Buford, GA
So, you have already go the quote from the manual, from the folks that seem to suggest that you pull a generator behind the car to keep it ALWAYS plugged in.

But if you read a little more, you'll find those that are querying why, when plugged in, they dropped from 271 to 264 (or whateever) over a few days and wonder why it dropped while plugged in.

For me, the answer is just to keep it as you feel best. If you drive a lot every day, it probably makes sense to keep plugged in at home. If you don't travel that much, plug in every few days.

If you are going on a trip, feel free to make sure that your charge limit is set to 80-90% and leave it plugged in. No damage will occur and the car will be ready for you, when you get back.

When I travel, I go for weekly trips a lot. We've got a parking provider at the airport that has 120V plugs dedicated for EVs. I plug in, it gets charged overnight and then idles for the remainder of the week.
 

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