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What type of range hit can I expect in colder months?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by theflyer, Sep 10, 2016.

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  1. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    I'll be taking delivery of my CPO 85S very soon. The wait, which looks like it'll stretch to four weeks, is killing me.

    One thing I've been pondering is what type of range hit am I likely to take during the cold months here in Washington, DC? With our Volt, we typically lose 10-15 miles of range in comparison to the summer months (30ish instead of 45ish). DC doesn't get terribly cold, but it often gets down into the 20s (with a few really cold days).

    An average winter month driving scenario for me will look something like:
    1. Start day from a parking garage without heating. Typically it never gets below about 50 degrees in the garage.
    2. Battery should be charging via 110V right up until I unplug to leave for the day
    3. 25-30 miles of highway driving
    4. Sit outside in the cold all day for work with no charging available
    5. Reverse trip home.
    If my 90% range during the summer months is 220 miles (just to pick a number), what would readers here think my range would be during the scenario above? I often have to add side jaunts that significantly increase my daily driving totals and for the foreseeable future, I'm gonna have really crappy charging options at my condo so range is a serious question for me.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. jerry33

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

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    On really cold days, 110V just keeps the battery heated and doesn't add any range. I always pre-heat in the mornings, so I don't have first hand information on the loss without preheating. Forum members in places where it gets really cold (below -20) say between 170 and 180 miles range if there isn't any snow to plough through. Yours shouldn't be that bad, but you won't get your full 265 either. A lot depends on the wind and whether there is rain or snow on the roads. Don't forget to increase tire pressure as it will lower with the temperature.
     
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  3. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    Thankfully, there are three CHAdeMO's within five miles of where I live so I can fall back to those if I have to. A supercharger stop is also not out of the question, but that incurs a non-trivial diversion. I'm still working the politics for charging at my condo and hope I can make a breakthrough on that front soon.
     
  4. tomas

    tomas Traded in 9 rep bars for M3, used to be somebody!

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    At DC winter temps 110 will charge about 3 miles per hour. In summer, 4. Any way you slice it, you will need 240 at home or plan to stop at chademo or SC every few days.
     
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  5. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    Yeah at 60+ miles RT each work day and recovering 40, you will need to supplement. I'm basing 40 on 10 hours at 4 mph. So if you talk in rated miles, your trip in the summer might be 60 and then 70 in the winter. You will only recover 30 at night in the winter.

    All guesses of course.

    But by those guesses, you lose 20 miles a day in summer and 40 in winter. So summer might mean recovering on the weekend if you are home a lot. But winter will mean a mid week top off.
     
  6. COrental

    COrental Member

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    I live at 9000' in CO, so I would imagine that is colder on average than DC. I charge in an unheated garage with 110V and it most always adds 4 mph all winter long. It is parked outside at the Denver airport half the week, so a bit more vampire loss there than during the summer, like 4 miles per day average. Hopefully you are home for more than 10 hours per night and you would need very little supplemental charging. I had about a 10% range hit in the winter compared to the summer, I reset my trip computer and that is what I saw with softer Blizzak snow tires on.
     
  7. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    @COrental, @David_Cary, @tomas, Thank you for your insights. They are very helpful in confirming my own estimates and planning. I have a route planned to minimize the diversion on days when I may want to stop by a SC. I also have some route options that are very energy efficient for EVs and am hoping some of those will keep the wh/mile of the Model S below average. By way of example, I've successfully completed several 52 mile work loops on all electric in the Volt (though not in the winter). The Volt is rated at just 38 miles AER.

    I do expect on most days to get about 10-11 hours of charge at 12 amps but probably twice a week, my SO will need to charge the Volt, which definitely makes it almost certain I'll need to do a SC or CHAdeMO stop once and awhile. As I previously said, I'm continuing to work the condominium politics so that we can hopefully install an L2 charger soon.
     
  8. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    #8 ArtInCT, Sep 12, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
    I would strongly suggest you read this old thread.... worth your time if you live in a cold climate with a SMALL (you will have an 85 so that is good) battery.... or only 110V outlet....

    Realistic Range Expectations in Crummy Winter Weather

    the flyer... please NOTE the locations of those posting... your weather in VA, although COLD at times is nothing like the intense and prolonged sub zeros these folks endure. None the less, their input is very important to understand.

    Also here is another old thread... Canadian Centric but worth the time to read....

    Winter Range
     
  9. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    Also keep in mind 120v charging is very inefficient. The % of kWh that you're buying that end up in the battery is relatively low compared to charging at 240v/40a.
     
  10. svp6

    svp6 Member

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    On my P85D highway range is about 180 miles in winter if driven conservatively and no strong winds / snow. In town for short distances, think ~500 Wh/mi, but I have seen as high as 800-1000 Wh/mi (really bad Minesotta weather). For 10-20 mile trips you will use 5-10 KW.
     
  11. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    It is what it is for now. I'm not going to avoid using 110 when I can get approximately 40 miles a night. I'm using all of my political capital and political savvy to find a way to get L2 charging at the condo. Time is on my side as I think that condos and apartments will have no option but to providing charging within 3-4 years max, but I'd prefer sooner to later for the reason you state and many more.
     
  12. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    Whoa. That's some serious energy usage. Having grown up in Minnesota, I know what the winters there can be like. We rarely get cold to the same level here in DC. We do, however, get a fair bit of slushy mess, which will play havoc with energy use. It'll be very intereting to track the data over time. As an interesting aside, the attached graphic shows the impact of winter months on my Hybrid Camry over the last 10 years.

    Thank you for the reply.
     

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  13. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    @ArtInCT, thanks for these links. They were good reads.
     
  14. tliving

    tliving Member

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    Winter can have quite an effect on things, I looked at this early on in my ownership:
    screen-shot-2015-02-01-at-2-29-21-pm.jpg
    Source: Winter's effect on range for the Model S - Tesla Living

    Generally, allow for 20-60% impact but the 60% is basically worst case blizzard type driving (which my S85 RWD handles quite well, thank you).

    You definitely need to be more careful in the colder winter months. Turning off range mode on your heater on those really cold days when it isn't getting you warm enough kills power too. At one point my wife and I had to choose to freeze and make it to our destination versus being warm enough. But it was -20F that day.
     
  15. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    We don't really get proper winter here in the DC area, so I think you'll be fine. Range will take a hit, but not huge. I don't think 120V charging will be a big problem. When people talk about it adding zero energy because everything is going towards heating the battery, they're talking about real winters, not DC-area "oh, some stuff froze overnight" weather, and especially not in a parking garage where things are warmer than outside.

    Any chance you have a NEMA 5-20 outlet rather than the standard 5-15? (If you aren't aware, the 5-20 is the one with the T shape on one of the vertical blades.) If so, you can get Tesla's 5-20 adapter which can pull 16A instead of 12A. This can make a significant difference since there's so much charging (and heating) overhead at these slow rates.

    There are also a buttload of L2 chargers in the area. An hour or two on one of those while you have a meal or do some shopping can be another backup plan to supplement L1 at home. If you haven't already, check out plugshare.com and see if there are any spots you frequent, or might choose to frequent, with public L2 spots. Mosaic in Merrifield is my personal favorite, they have 7 charging spots (although one is perpetually broken, supposedly fixed soon) and lots of stuff to do.
     
  16. Hash Browns

    Hash Browns Member

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    One concept rarely discussed in the context of cold weather is tire pressure, which is one of the major rolling resistance factors in the car. In general, tire pressure will decrease approximately 1 psi for every 10F decrease in ambient air temperature. The inverse is also true.

    As temps drop (and road conditions permit) be sure to keep your tires inflated to the upper limit of Tesla's allowable scale. It's the easiest way to add driving range...

    Congrats and enjoy your new car!
     
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  17. tliving

    tliving Member

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    Definitely a good point. I check my tires once a week which definitely helps.
     
  18. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    @tliving thanks for the graph. I don't think I'll see worst-case scenarios often here in DC. I'll start planning for 20-30% hit so we'll see how it goes. So far, I'm using only about 230-250 wh/mile on my commute, which nets me more than the 265 EPA estimate for my S85. That should help with margin during winter months.

    @mikeash thank you for the additional context for DC. Having grown up with Minnesota winters, your thoughts match mine. Unfortunately, the politics in my building remain difficult at best. I'm just thankful I have access to any charging, even 12A. My estimates are holding up well...I net about -20 miles per workday. I remain optimistic that we can get L2 charging eventually, but I just have to keep after it. I did purchase the CHAdeMO adapter and got the $15/month evgo plan (it's a pretty cool plan actually at $0.10/minute) and have begun practicing using the Arlington CHAdeMO. It's been a rocky road so far, but I'm getting the process down. CHAdeMO is definitely finicky beast, especially with the adapter. The Woodbridge supercharger, while a bit inconvenient, is also an option should I need it.

    @Hash Browns great suggestion on the tire pressure. Thanks.

    Even though I have multiple years of joyful EV experience with the Volt, the Model S is in a league unto itself. What a joy. Autopilot in heavy DC traffic is almost worth the price of the car all by itself.
     
  19. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Ain't that the truth. My rage level is about six orders of magnitude lower compared to my pre-Tesla days.

    Good luck with your condo. I don't understand why places seem to be so resistant to this stuff. I understand that they'd want the resident in question to pay for it, but beyond that it ought to be "sure, go for it."
     
  20. alexvirital

    alexvirital Member

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    @theflyer I was thinking bout this too, given that I grew up in Boston - but yeah, winters down here just aren't bad enough for me to lose too much sleep over it. Honestly the thing I'm worried the most about is that my UWC just kinda hangs out in the weather, and if we get another multi-foot storm it's... gonna just be sitting in a pile of snow. Not ideal :/

    Also, you or @mikeash ever need a top-off in Southern Alexandria, let me know.
     

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