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Winter range anxiety

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Langhorne, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Langhorne

    Langhorne Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    PA
    This will be my first winter with my S75 and I must admit I am starting to develop a bit of preemptive range anxiety!

    - I live outside the Philadelphia PA area, so we will see a decent winter/cold spell.
    - I charge my S75 to ~80% and start everyday with about 210 rated miles
    - i drive about 130 miles per day on weekdays. I have to crawl through the PA turnpike traffic much of the commute, but do find myself driving...enthusiastically when traffic permits, so I typically end up with about 50 miles left at the end of the day

    So, given the negative impact of temperature to the battery capacity/range, do you guys think I will lose >50 miles of range when temps drop to the 20's and 30's? If so I may have to start charging to 90 or even 100% during the dead of winter...which isn't ideal.
    I did get the winter package in the hopes that heated steering wheels will help cut down on using the heater. And I remember reading about trying to keep the batteries warm by scheduling the charging to the morning (we don't have lower rates for charging at night with our provider PECO, so I don't use scheduling at all right now).

    Any other tips? Besides driving slower :D??
     
  2. jareade

    jareade Supporting Member

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    I would definitely charge to 90%. That should be fine for the battery and will give you another 20+ mile buffer. I charge to 90% every time I charge my car.

    Then see how your range holds up as it gets colder. You won't go from 70s down the 20s overnight, so you'll get a good sample size as the weather gets colder.

    I could see an extremely cold, windy and snowy day easily eating up most (or all) of your 50 mile buffer.
     
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  3. Lon12

    Lon12 Member

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    Location:
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    Keep the car warm. Heated garage is ideal. If you let it get cold soaked be sure to use range mode.
    I use 90% most of the time in the winter and schedule it to finish for my departure time along with a cabin preheat.
    Tesla says 90% is fine so I'm ok with using it. Even 100% as long as you drive immediately after charging.
    Just watch the weather forecast carefully. The worst case is heavy active snow and below -10F one has to keep the defrost on high to keep the windshield clear and the deep snow on the road adds a lot of drag.
     
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  4. Langhorne

    Langhorne Member

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    Thanks @jareade and @Lon12 for your responses.

    My garage is not heated, and I have a feeling my wife would frown upon kill me if I asked her if we could heat the garage after I sold her on the car by telling her how much money I would save on gas by buying an EV.
     
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  5. IdaX

    IdaX Member

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    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    You might try plugging in at work -- even if it's just to a 120V normal wall outlet. You'll only get maybe 20 miles while you're working, but it might make a difference if you're hard-up on charge.
     
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  6. Plug it in

    Plug it in Member

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    Location:
    Minerva, Ohio
    Set your charging to end just before your trip begins, that way your battery will be warmer and you will have better regen.
     
  7. Bebop

    Bebop Member

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    Sounds like Chicago to me :p
     
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  8. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    if you can skip using the heater your range losses would be less. snow on the roads will severely impact on range as will headwinds. and don't be shy about charging to 90%
     
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  9. DrivingRockies

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    I'm in CO. Getting a quote to heat my garage. It definitely makes a difference.
     
  10. WillK

    WillK Member

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    Location:
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    Hi I am in Milwaukee Wi. There is a info from my TeslaFi account showing Temp Efficiency
     

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  11. WillK

    WillK Member

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  12. Langhorne

    Langhorne Member

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    Thanks for the data - that's neat. 350 wh/mi seems to be the average between 20F and 50F - that is probably going to be the temps I'll mostly be seeing. That's not too bad. although I'm sure snow and wind will make it worse.
     
  13. Struja

    Struja Member

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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I haven't been through a Toronto winter yet, but another TMC member told me on cold snow days, he experiences as much as a 40% loss of battery, so I would echo what others have said here (all good ideas).

    1. Pre-heat in the morning, if you can.

    2. Charge at work, if you can.

    3. Charge to 90% all winter long.

    4. Conserve on heat in the car the best you can.

    My commute story is similar to yours and was one of my concerns prior to buying the car. Thankfully, I do have a insulated garage (never goes below freezing) even in -20C and I park underground while at work which is relatively warm (although I wish I had any sort of plug while parked at work - I don't).
     
  14. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    1) Björn Nyland's experience is about a 20% range decrease, maybe even less, in Norwegian winters. However, roads rough with ice increase losses.

    2) Preheat with the app while plugged in. The biggest losses early on are in reaching the initial pack and cabin temperature; maintaining them isn't nearly as much of a drain.

    3) Don't be afraid of charging to a high percentage, as others have noted. The packs have proven to be durable.

    4) Range mode shuts off the pack heater so that the pack is warmed only through usage. The only real negative consequence of this is that it takes longer before the pack warms up enough for regen to start working. Unfortunately, range mode also bundles in a reduction in climate control fan power, which you may not want (they really should separate that). But it won't hurt your pack or anything, so use it to your heart's content :)
     
  15. Langhorne

    Langhorne Member

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    Is my car supposed to learn my typical schedule and preheat/cool automatically a la Nest thermostat?
    If so, I haven't noticed anything in the 4 months I have had the car. I still have to turn the AC on with my phone every afternoon before I head out the door. The cabin overheat protection does seem to work pretty well though.
     
  16. Bebop

    Bebop Member

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    I kind of feel like in this case it makes sense to simply charge to 100% during the winter and then in the off season (Spring/Summer/Fall) go back down to the 80-90% charge rate.
     
  17. futurem3owner

    futurem3owner 2017 90D

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    I live outside Philly too and was worried about losing range in winter time since my car will be parked outside. That's why I chose 90D which gives me peace of mind from range anxiety when I need to crank up the heat and the subzero weather package should come in handy as well.
     
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  18. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    Smart preconditioning is an option; you may not have it enabled. That said, it doesn't work very well.
     
  19. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    I didn't notice much range degradation in the 30's last year but when it got -10 Fahrenheit range took a huge dive and was roughly 50 percent of rated. We had several weeks of that kind of weather in Wisconsin last winter. Not sure how cold Philly gets.
     
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  20. croman

    croman Active Member

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    I avg about 310wh/mi at 32F (so about 20wh/mi more than rated). This is primarily due to battery inefficiency. I don't use heat unless its below 30F (unless my wife makes me). The heater is super super inefficient and uses 6.6kw at its peak (maybe even more).

    So local driving with the heat is 500wh/mi+ and highway is about 400wh/mi.

    All in all, the large Tesla battery also performs better as it is being used so longer trips end up more efficient and short trips are very inefficient (car is cold soaked, battery is cold soaked, and thus a lot of energy is consumed at the beginning of a trip).
     

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