Heat in the cold weather?

  • If you haven't taken delivery yet or plan on ordering you can still get the 6 months of FREE Supercharging only until December 17th all Model 3s now qualify! Call or email your Tesla delivery advisor and give them our code
  • Winter is here and the forum is starting to get flooded with cold weather threads and posts. Please heed the suggested threads and posts before you post something related to cold weather. This is a great place to start: https://model3ownersclub.com/threads/teslas-in-cold-weather.5271

Drew

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#1
New to Teslas, I put a deposit on Model 3 and have been reading like crazy ever since. Question to how the car "warms" up in the winter compared to a gasoline? Living in Michigan I am pretty interested on how the car will operate in the cold.
 

TrevP

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#2
The best part of the Tesla is that heat comes from a heating element and not having to wait for a cold engine to warm up. You get instant heat. However it's best if the car has been sitting overnight and the battery is cold soaked, to precondition the car. Basically it means leave it plugged in but with your remote app on your phone, turn on the interior heat. The car will heat the interior and also the battery at the same time pulling from shore power. This ensures you don't waste energy heating the car and battery from just battery power.
 

Drew

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#3
Awesome good to know. Saw a Model S today and got me even more excited, when though still probably at least a year and a half away.
 

Van Shrider

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#4
The best part of the Tesla is that heat comes from a heating element and not having to wait for a cold engine to warm up. You get instant heat. However it's best if the car has been sitting overnight and the battery is cold soaked, to precondition the car. Basically it means leave it plugged in but with your remote app on your phone, turn on the interior heat. The car will heat the interior and also the battery at the same time pulling from shore power. This ensures you don't waste energy heating the car and battery from just battery power.
If it is -10F outside. How long will it take to heat up the batteries properly before departure?
 

TrevP

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#5
You can precondition up to 30 minutes at a time. My math is rough on the F to C conversion but 30 minutes ought to do the trick. Tesla's have a 6Kwh heater in the cars so it heats up really quickly.

Bjørn did a great video on preheating (preconditioning):

 

JeffinAZ

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#6
New to Teslas, I put a deposit on Model 3 and have been reading like crazy ever since. Question to how the car "warms" up in the winter compared to a gasoline? Living in Michigan I am pretty interested on how the car will operate in the cold.
I'm more interested in how in how the A/C will function in the 100F+ temps we get here in AZ...
 

TrevP

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#7
A/C in the Tesla works fine. Tesla did their car testing in extremes such as Norway and Death Valley.
 

teslaliving

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#9
The heater can draw a lot of power so generally you leave it in range mode (which is lower power). Preheating saves you from getting into a cold car and I use it all the time in the winter. Only on VERY cold days do you need to turn on the higher power heat option but you then need to watch range.
 

garsh

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#10
I can't wait to get a 3.

I never use the heater in my Nissan Leaf because of how much it shortens the range. I just use the seat & steering wheel heaters, and bundle up.
 

Skione65

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#11
The heater can draw a lot of power so generally you leave it in range mode (which is lower power). Preheating saves you from getting into a cold car and I use it all the time in the winter. Only on VERY cold days do you need to turn on the higher power heat option but you then need to watch range.

TL,

How cold is VERY COLD? And what kind of hit do you take on the range? I know it will depend on how 'hot' you run the heater.

Ski
 
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#12
I saw a video by Byorn, where he did several tests with no preheating and range mode off, no preheating and range mode on, then with preheating and at last recharging the car before the trip, which heats the battery at the same time.
In the first case he got 40% range loss, then 30% range loss, then 20% range loss. So precharging right before the trip wins.
 

TrevP

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I saw a video by Byorn, where he did several tests with no preheating and range mode off, no preheating and range mode on, then with preheating and at last recharging the car before the trip, which heats the battery at the same time.
In the first case he got 40% range loss, then 30% range loss, then 20% range loss. So precharging right before the trip wins.
Yes, this is exactly why I mention in my videos that Lithium cells need to be thermally managed. They like to operate ideally at 28° centigrade. Low temps affect the chemistry a lot. If you leave a car outside in temperature extremes to "cold soak" the battery you get range loss. It's exacerbated by not plugging in the car because the battery will use energy from itself to run the heat pumps. So the moral here is "leave the car plugged into shore power" whenever possible.
 

garsh

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#14
If you leave a car outside in temperature extremes to "cold soak" the battery you get range loss.
To clarify, this range loss is large, but temporary. Range returns when the temperature rises again.
At least, this has been my experience with my non-thermally-managed Leaf.
 

Skione65

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#15
Yes, this is exactly why I mention in my videos that Lithium cells need to be thermally managed. They like to operate ideally at 28° centigrade. Low temps affect the chemistry a lot. If you leave a car outside in temperature extremes to "cold soak" the battery you get range loss. It's exacerbated by not plugging in the car because the battery will use energy from itself to run the heat pumps. So the moral here is "leave the car plugged into shore power" whenever possible.

Ok.....here's my question. Actually afew. I watched Byorns video on heat and range mode, VERY informative. Excellent video. Answered a lot of questions for me.

Question 1.

I'm going to be leaving my car in an airport parking lot frequently for 4 days at a time cold soaking in the winter before I return to then drive 90 miles home (no shore power), more than likely AFTER driving 85-90 miles TO the airport....all on a single charge (things that make you say hmmmmmmm)!!! (I have been waiting Sooooooo long for this car, all it is, and the increased range-YES I WILL be paying whatever the cost for the larger battery). RANGE will be of utmost importance. What will be the best way to manage the lithium battery power concerning energy conservation in the winter with interior heat and battery usage. I know I'll need to keep the interior heat use to a MINIMUM to keep the range up, however I will NOT have shore power to pre charge, only ships power which will 'kill" range I imagine, looking at Byorns multiple tests and a 40% range decrease worst case with no Range Mode and no precharge.

Question 2.

Byron says it is considerably more efficient to use JUST the seat heater and not the cabin heater as far as the hit on range. Specs on the Model 3 are anybody's guess right now. My question is, I am not interested in leather interior. Never been a fan of leather. LOVE how it looks but just not practical for me. Prefer cloth. No flames please. I understand the pros and cons of each. Will the 3 even "offer" heated seats in cloth (ala the old Saab cloth interior heated seats which worked GREAT) or will they only be available in the leather premium upgrade? Hopefully the former and I'll be a happy camper.

Any advice and management expertise from 'S' owners please chime in.

Thanks in Advance for your expertise.

Ski
 

Dan Detweiler

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#16
Can't speak as an "S" owner...not even close!

But, I can speak as a Volt owner for the last 4 years. Heated seats make all the difference. Running them on cold winter mornings takes the edge off and results in very little range loss. Running the cabin heater drains the range significantly (15-20% in some cases). Another thing I have found to make a huge difference in my comfort is a heated steering wheel. I don't have it on my Volt but we do have it on my wife's Hyundai. If my hands and my butt are warm I am comfortable with no need for cabin heat.

I will definitely be getting the winter package on my Model 3 even though I live in Georgia. On winter mornings when it is down in the 20s it will make my commute a much more enjoyable experience. Also, don't forget that you can preheat your car before you unplug in the mornings. This makes a big difference too.

Dan
 

Skione65

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#17
Can't speak as an "S" owner...not even close!

But, I can speak as a Volt owner for the last 4 years. Heated seats make all the difference. Running them on cold winter mornings takes the edge off and results in very little range loss. Running the cabin heater drains the range significantly (15-20% in some cases). Another thing I have found to make a huge difference in my comfort is a heated steering wheel. I don't have it on my Volt but we do have it on my wife's Hyundai. If my hands and my butt are warm I am comfortable with no need for cabin heat.

I will definitely be getting the winter package on my Model 3 even though I live in Georgia. On winter mornings when it is down in the 20s it will make my commute a much more enjoyable experience. Also, don't forget that you can preheat your car before you unplug in the mornings. This makes a big difference too.

Dan
Dan,

Thank you for that information! Is your Volt cloth? Interesting about the difference a heated steering wheel makes. Impressive. Has Elon disclosed what the 'Winter Package' will include?

Ski
 

TrevP

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#19
+1 on heated seats / colt weather package in cold climes. I have heated/cooled seats and a heated steering wheel in my car and I would never buy a car without them.

You've never lived until you've experienced a heated steering wheel in the winter ;)