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Winter Driving Recommendations (Range Specific)

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Tribaltech, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I am stoked to have recently placed the order for my new 75D (EAP, PUP, SAS). I cannot describe the excitement!!! As owning a Tesla can be quite the paradigm shift from all that we are used to, one of the things that has me most concerned is driving range during winters. My wife LOVES to have a warm and cozy car and honestly here in Michigan during stupid 10 degree F days, I don't mind some nice seat heaters and the climate control heat cranking at at least 73-74 degrees. I know this isn't the best thing for the EV range but hey Tesla also cannot expect folks to die in the cold right? Right :( ?

    The other thing that compounds my range concerns is the fact that highway driving in these parts happens typically around 75-80mph. Tesla conveniently limits their website range calculator at 70mph and it would've been nice to get an idea of range depletion at 80 mph too. You see Tesla not all states have a 65mph highway speed limit. Cars go fast in these parts.

    Anyhoo, for folks who live in these northern states in the USA or places like Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, etc. here are my questions
    1. Can you please provide some recommendations in how you maximize your range during winters without minimizing comfort?
    2. What are some examples of things that have specifically worked for you that help with range in highway driving conditions.
    Would love to hear some perspectives on efficient but comfortable and sensible winter driving in my new Tesla. And I politely and respectfully urge you to please not write stuff like "don't use the heat" or "minimize climate control", etc. Because in these cold regions one cannot be expected to drive a car relying solely on seat heaters when its 10 degrees outside. If thats Tesla's solution to winter driving then they should sell it only in California.

    Thanks in advance for all the advise and tips. Hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving.
     
  2. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    I don't meet your geographical constraints, but I'll suggest plugging some trips you like to take into EV Trip Planner. For that link I created a simple route based on your post: looks like your driving conditions will typically cost about 30% extra rated miles vs actual miles. That is, a 43 mile trip will cost 55 rated miles. Reducing the cabin temperature from 74 to 67 F will only save you 1 RM on that trip.

    I've driven on Michigan freeways in the summer, and traffic seemed to flow at about the same speed as similar roads in California. But you can adjust the "speed multiplier" setting if you want to see how much effect it has (A: lots). Be sure to read the help text for "speed multiplier" too. It isn't relative to the speed limit: it's relative to normal traffic flow. I think "normal" is based on google maps data.
     
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  3. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    This morning I experienced severe degradation for this time of year. A 70 km ( 44 miles ) trip consumed 100 km ( 62 miles ) rated.
    Temperature was -3C ( 27 F ) and strong head wind.
     
  4. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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    Cold air, wind and snow all play into range losses. High speed compounds it, with one exception: the heaters warming the cabin and battery will continue whether you travel at 50 MPH or 75 MPH. 75 gets you there faster, but will eat up more than rated range.
    Saying that, I typically lose 20% in 20F temperatures and another 10% if it's windy and snowy.
     
  5. jdw

    jdw Supporting Member

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  6. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    Thanks I will take a look. This is very helpful.
     
  7. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    20% isn't that bad. I mean like I have been driving hybrids for many years now. And given the same conditions my mpgs plummet too. So if its around 20-25% that's fine. In some extreme cases I'd read that people lost as much as 40%+. And that really alarmed me. Thanks a ton.
     
  8. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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    If it's colder than 20F you will lose more. Also, as mentioned above, you will still lose some range if you go faster than 65 MPH
    It also helps to warm up your car/battery 30 minutes before you go, using shore power.

    Real life examples (metric, but % is what counts)
    To work in summer I average 140 W/KM (downhill, 30 Miles, wind at my back, average 50 MPH speed)
    Today at -6C (cold snap) it was 175 W/KM = 25%
    Home: average 220 W/KM
    Winter typically 280 W/KM = 27%

    Average summer = 180 W/KM ( slightly better than rated range; expected to be so at 50 MPH)
    Average winter = 228 W/KM =26%

    It's worse if it snows and gets much colder
     
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  9. FrederikBoivin

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    i live in QC. Wife likes it hot (coughs).
    I typically loose 30% vs summer time. There is not much you can do.
    Enjoy - winter driving is nice with a Tesla!
     
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  10. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    These were probably with lots of starting and stopping, short trips, etc. For a single one way trip, finish charging to 100% right before leaving to get the battery as warm as possible. Preheat on shore power and go. I think there's a trick to when range mode should be turned on that can help prewarm the battery but I'm not sure how it works
     
  11. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Only thing I can contribute has already been said, which is to pre-heat the cabin on shore-power.

    I find that Remote-S is particularly good for this, it has dedicated Icons for Max heat and Max cooling (which set the thermostat and turn climate on), so I just press that 15 minutes before I leave. Other good stuff in the Remote-S APP too, but the core stuff can also be accomplished with Tesla's (free) APP.

    If your daily routine is consistent then Tesla's idea of climate preconditioning may work for you.

    I struggle to get enough heat into the car at times, particularly my feet, I don't know if folk in colder climates find that too? We get 10F once a decade, or less! so it must be possible to get the car warmer than I achieve?
     
  12. Tribaltech

    Tribaltech Member

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    Help me understand please. So how do I preheat? Lets say I'm at a relative's place and plug my S into a 110V outlet just so it charges at the rate of 3-4 mph. So while it is connected to that outlet, should I go into my app and then preheat the cabin for 30 minutes? Its important for the car to be connected to an outlet for this preheating right? Also would it cause any problems if it is connected only to a 110V and I preheat? Problems for the house or the car? Please let me know. Thanks
     
  13. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    Preheating on120V is pretty much worthless below 20F. I would just charge the battery (3-4 mph in cold temperatures). If you can fully charge (it will take 70-80 hours from empty), then just do that. Once full, then preheat with the app or open the door slightly. On 120V you will only get 1200W, which is like running a hair dryer inside. Not enough heat really. You really need a 14-50 plug to generate serious heat. I only charge and preheat with 120V, so it's not impossible, just slow and not much use below 20F.
     
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  14. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    That's what I do, regardless of whether it is plugged in or not.

    But interesting to read that on 120V (we only have 240V over here) there is little benefit as 120V not providing enough Power to do a good job. Does car not use Shore Power PLUS Battery Power on pre-heat when connected to 120V for maximum heating? (so perhaps some small net-loss of range)
     
  15. jerry33

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

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    It used to be, but with 8.x, they reduced the max temperature to 28 from 31.5. Previously you could superheat the car with the App. Now it gets barely warm. What I've found is that a blanket over your legs works wonders on long trips.
     
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  16. GSP

    GSP Member

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    #16 GSP, Nov 24, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
    I think the most important winter driving trip is to just enjoy the comfortable drive when commuting and driving around town. Don't worry about the range used, you have plenty. Just charge it back up when you get home for the night.

    It is also good to be informed with tips to extend your range for long winter trips. Doug_G's thread linked above is great for that. It can be helpful and fun to watch some of Bjørn Nyland's videos driving his Model S all over Norway for several winters. They are in the video section here, and on you tube.

    Here are some of the tips that I use for long winter trips:

    1) Set your tire pressures to max when the weather is cold.
    2) Preheat the car while plugged in. 240 V is much better. A 120 V plug will draw power from both the plug and the battery to pre-heat.
    3) Use your seat heaters and heated wheel as much as you want to stay comfortable.
    4) Enable Range Mode, which limits power to heat and A/C (and uses dual motor drive more efficiently).
    5) Wear your normal winter clothing and coat. You will not need or want the cabin to be very hot.
    6) Set the climate control to about 60-65 F, with the fan on 1-2, auto recirculate, and air to feet only.

    Most important is to just enjoy the car, it is great for winter driving.

    GSP
     
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  17. Nietschy

    Nietschy Member

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    I found out, that heat losses mostly occur only on short trips (10-20miles) when the battery and cabin is very cold at start. On short trips of just 5-10 miles the losses can pile up to 100%. Range mode can help with that, but it is bad for the battery driving while cold. So I just spend the energy to warm it up also on short trips. (Range mode does not warm the battery)
    If the car is warm its fine. For longer trips the losses are just about 10-25%.
    I always drive in home clothes. I would never wear a coat or winter clothes in my car. I like it comfortable while driving my car.
     
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  18. NewJerseyMS

    NewJerseyMS Member

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    Separate but related question - how do you get the rear heat vents to work? Or do they just not put out much heat?
     
  19. jerry33

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

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    Make sure the louvers are not turned all the way (which will block all the air). Other than that mine seem to be fine so you might want to contact the Service Centre to have them check it out.
     
  20. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

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    And I would never drive in winter without my jacket and warm clothing. I'm going to need it when I get out of the car anyway. And I keep my thermostat fairly low at home — 17ºC mornings and evenings and 11ºC at night — and dress in several layers anyway. But, then, I'm a thin-blooded Hawaiian and didn't grow up in snow country so I adapt by dressing warmly in winter (I had a co-worker in Boulder Colorado who wore a T-shirt and shorts all year: not for me!).
     
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