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Winter Battery Heating

If this has been discussed elsewhere here, I haven't been able to find it.

I have a new Tesla Model 3 Long Range as of June. My primary use of it is to travel the 190 miles between my homes in Boston and northern Vermont. I will often be leaving the car garaged in Vermont in winter for 2 weeks or more at a time, with temps below zero for months on end and sometimes falling to -15F. I can leave it plugged in here (not so easily in Boston, where the charging station at my condo needs to be shared with others). But it seems to me that warming a battery for two weeks of non-use is highly wasteful. All that I've read seems to indicate that the warming is needed to have the battery in shape for use. Can't I achieve that by turning charging on several hours before intended use (or maybe even the prior day)?

Is there a way to shut off the warming while leaving the battery charged at 50% or so? And can someone explain how the battery can be harmed by falling to a lower temp when not being used?
 
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The battery will only warm itself while asleep when the battery temp gets very low. It will not keep itself at a high temp like when it's driving or charging. I would try to at least keep the car plugged into a wall outlet so it can warm itself from the grid and not the battery energy. When you plug in the car just hit "stop charging" on the app and it'll go to sleep then only warm the battery from the grid energy when the battery temp gets close to freezing temp.
 
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From Tesla's Winter Driving Tips page: Winter Driving Tips
 
Amped412, thanks for posting. I do understand the points you made. What I was hoping to do was turn of the warming completely, whether from the grid or the battery. Keeping the battery warm for two weeks in very cold weather is going to use a fair amount of power. I don't understand what harm would come to it if it drops in temp to -15, as long as I don't then try to drive it while that cold. I'm happy to start warming it back up well before using it again.
 
Amped412, thanks for posting. I do understand the points you made. What I was hoping to do was turn of the warming completely, whether from the grid or the battery. Keeping the battery warm for two weeks in very cold weather is going to use a fair amount of power. I don't understand what harm would come to it if it drops in temp to -15, as long as I don't then try to drive it while that cold. I'm happy to start warming it back up well before using it again.
Unfortunately there's no way to turn the battery warming off. Tesla's battery management system does what it thinks it needs to do to keep the battery healthy. I'm not sure what leaving the battery at a temp below 0 without warming would do. I'm sure it has to do with whatever type of chemistry they use for their batteries. They do state in their owners manual not to leave the car in weather down to -22F for 24hr because it could brick the battery. It might damage the chemical process in the battery.
 
Unfortunately there's no way to turn the battery warming off. Tesla's battery management system does what it thinks it needs to do to keep the battery healthy. I'm not sure what leaving the battery at a temp below 0 without warming would do. I'm sure it has to do with whatever type of chemistry they use for their batteries. They do state in their owners manual not to leave the car in weather down to -22F for 24hr because it could brick the battery. It might damage the chemical process in the battery.
Thanks again. It rarely gets to -22F, and the garage is a bit warmer inside, but we got to -35 one night a number of years ago. I guess I'd have to cover the car in blankets and run electric heaters under it.

I do think they should be a bit more forthcoming about this sort of thing before purchasing. I did ask the salespeople several times about issues with very cold weather - I was particularly trying to find out how much range I'd lose if driving in sub-zero weather. Their info only went down to about zero degrees.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,212
1,529
Syracuse, NY
If this has been discussed elsewhere here, I haven't been able to find it.

I have a new Tesla Model 3 Long Range as of June. My primary use of it is to travel the 190 miles between my homes in Boston and northern Vermont. I will often be leaving the car garaged in Vermont in winter for 2 weeks or more at a time, with temps below zero for months on end and sometimes falling to -15F. I can leave it plugged in here (not so easily in Boston, where the charging station at my condo needs to be shared with others). But it seems to me that warming a battery for two weeks of non-use is highly wasteful. All that I've read seems to indicate that the warming is needed to have the battery in shape for use. Can't I achieve that by turning charging on several hours before intended use (or maybe even the prior day)?

Is there a way to shut off the warming while leaving the battery charged at 50% or so? And can someone explain how the battery can be harmed by falling to a lower temp when not being used?
The car doesn't warm the battery when it's plugged it... where did you hear that?
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,212
1,529
Syracuse, NY
View attachment 720191

From Tesla's Winter Driving Tips page: Winter Driving Tips
That does not mean it's warming the battery.

To warm the battery, you have to charge the battery or turn on the climate from the app. When you use the app, if the battery is cold, it will warm the battery up. That's why they recommend you leave it plugged in because when you go warm up the car and battery, if it was unplugged, it would drain the battery.

So you don't have to worry about it draining your electricity for weeks at a time.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,105
8,733
Boise, ID
I do think they should be a bit more forthcoming about this sort of thing before purchasing.
Forthcoming about what? You're asking about something that isn't even happening.

What I was hoping to do was turn of the warming completely
Unfortunately there's no way to turn the battery warming off.
These are irrelevant, because it's not happening. If the car is off and sleeping, it will let the battery get down very cold, without active warming, as long as the car isn't being woken up and used.

You are going on this assumption that the car is constantly heating the battery, which isn't even true.
 
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That does not mean it's warming the battery.

To warm the battery, you have to charge the battery or turn on the climate from the app. When you use the app, if the battery is cold, it will warm the battery up. That's why they recommend you leave it plugged in because when you go warm up the car and battery, if it was unplugged, it would drain the battery.

So you don't have to worry about it draining your electricity for weeks at a time.
The BMS will warm or cool the battery if it's parked for a long period of time. It won't warm the battery all the way up to the optimal driving temp but it will maintain a temp to keep the battery healthy.
 
The car doesn't warm the battery when it's plugged it... where did you hear that?
Maybe I've misunderstood everything I've read about the importance of keeping the car plugged in during cold weather. I've read that rather than draining the battery in order to keep its temperature from going too low, Tesla advises keeping it plugged in so that juice from the grid can do that.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,212
1,529
Syracuse, NY
Maybe I've misunderstood everything I've read about the importance of keeping the car plugged in during cold weather. I've read that rather than draining the battery in order to keep its temperature from going too low, Tesla advises keeping it plugged in so that juice from the grid can do that.
No. Tesla recommends people plug it is all the time no matter the temperature.

A battery is not made of water, a battery going below freezing is not going to damage it. Sure maybe really really cold might but high temps damage batteries more than cold temps. In cold temps the battery has trouble getting the chemical reaction to flow but doesn't mean it it's damaged or has issues in cold temps. Maybe when it gets really really cold, it might run the climate system to warm the batteries (but never seen that yet). Even when you go warm the car via the app, and it goes and warms the battery, it's only doing so because a warm battery provides more power and better range. Otherwise it has to limit the power output.
 
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