How long before a trip do you charge full?

How long before a trip do you charge full?

Let's say you're going to hit the road tomorrow around noon and take a road trip requiring at least one full charge cycle. How long before setting out are you comfortable charging up to 100%? I have access to a free charger at work I use, and nothing at home, so I was planning to just max it out before heading home tonight and letting it sit overnight and through the morning. I try to keep my daily charging cap at 70-80% based on weather, but is the 100% charging thing something you're just not supposed to do often, or is it a matter of holding a full charge without use that hurts the battery life?

Flanmansd | 08. März 2019

Charge to 90% or depending on how far you drive from work to home a bit more so it sits at 90% overnight. If your trip is expected to take exactly 100% of charge then you're better off planning a charging stop somewhere along the way.

ODWms | 08. März 2019

This works for me: when going on a morning trip I set it to charge slowly enough the night before that it'll get to a pre set 90% or so when I wake up. This usually finishes around 3 or 4 in the morning, depending upon my existing SOC. Then after waking, I'll set it to full speed and rate of charge to get it to the 100% mark within, at most, 30 min of my departure time.

Bighorn | 08. März 2019

Unless you have a really long first leg, there’s no real reason to charge to 100%. If you arrive at the first supercharger with a generous charge remaining, you’ll have slow charging any way, Makes some sense if you’re doing it to enable skipping a charger.

Carl Thompson | 08. März 2019

I have never charged past 90% and I don't ever intend to no matter how long the trip.

jjgunn | 08. März 2019

Most I've ever charged the battery to is 93% (once) daily I charge to 87%

Lowest SOC battery ever hit is 18% (once) usually I charge between 25%-40%

When traveling, you want to arrive at your SuperCharger 45% or less for fastest charge rates & only charge up enough to arrive at the next SuCh less than 50%.

Charging from 85% to 100% is painfully slow & not necessary.

TM3Q | 08. März 2019

I often travel and learned some tricks to save money on the road. It all depends your superchargers destination and how many you can choose from.

I recharge to 90% in the evening. Next morning 1-2 hours in advance I restart recharching for 100%, the battery warming starts first because the battery is frozen and slowly see an increase in recharging rate.

Often I leave the house without reaching the 100% because it takes too long specially when the night has been frigging cold. But at least I have regen and acceleration available as soon as I leave.

I skip one supercharger so when I arrive at the second one I have around 20-30% left. If the temperature is below -9.4F (-23C) then I have to stop at the first supercharger otherwise I wouldn't be able to reach the second one lol

Doggiehowser | 08. März 2019

I travel from upstate NY to Brooklyn every other week. If I charge to 100% i don't have to charge until I get home and I arrive home with about 15% charge. I charge up overnight, take the car with me to work (2 miles from the house), work for 3 hours and then leave for the city. Come home the next day. Charging to 100% makes this an easy trip and I do have chargers on the way home if I travel around alot in the boroughs before I leave the city.

CanWynn | 08. März 2019

Here is the best way to charge b4 your trip. Slide the charge indicator to 100% charge and see how long it will take to charge 100%. Then stop the charge and schedule to begin charging at a certain time. For example, if it going to take 4 hours for a full charge, then schedule to begin charging 5 hours prior you leaving your house. You never want to leave your car idle at 100% charge for a long period of time.

eandmjep | 08. März 2019

I have range charged severl times always within minutes of leaving on a long trip. Still charges to 310. Never been below 40 miles either. 18300 miles in 9 mos.

kevin_rf | 09. März 2019

After a few long trips requiring super chargers, I've decided I really don't need the 100% I can charge to 90% and just top of at the proper SC before wandering down the road to the next planned SC.

Just charge enough to hit each planned SC at 20%.

ODWms | 09. März 2019

On a long trip I leave my house with a full charge, just to be on the safe side. On the road, I charge to 90% between superchargers only because it takes way too long over that point.

billlake2000 | 09. März 2019

Don't charge at work to 100 then let your car sit at home overnight.

dsnows | 10. März 2019

If leaving in the morning, I set charge limit to 90% overnight, then increase limit to 100% 45-60 miniutes before I plan to leave. I use a NEMA 14-50 outlet.

Haggy | 10. März 2019

If you charge to 100% and leave immediately, then in theory you aren't likely to ever see a difference in degradation. If you do so and leave it overnight, you probably won't see a difference either, assuming that you do it only occasionally. Tesla's guidelines tell you what won't cause premature degradation. It doesn't mean that everything else will. They simply can't cover every case or tell you how much of something is too much. There are some people who charge to 100% regularly and haven't seen unusual range loss. That doesn't mean that I'd recommend it. But I wouldn't worry about maxing it out, driving home, and then leaving the next day at noon. Even if you did that every day, depending on the distance home, it might not be a big deal, but stick to the guidelines when you can, and don't fret things like this if they happen on occasion.

ODWms | 10. März 2019

@Haggy, I agree completely. Everything I’ve seen points to the conclusions you’ve come to.

I don’t doubt after a few 100,000 miles there could be some minuscule differences between those who have “babied” their batteries all that time and those that don’t. But barring some pretty serious abuses of battery and charging systems (I don’t think the aforementioned descriptions qualify), I just don’t think it’ll be as “dire” as some folks are making it seem.

Time will tell.

TM3Q | 10. März 2019

I would worry more about thermal runaway then recharging at 100%........too much heat could lead to battery degradation and eventually destruction!

So as long your car cools down your battery pack at a safe operational temperature then it will last longer.

johnmann | 10. März 2019

The problem with charging to 100% and letting it sit is that a warm battery holds more charge than a cool one. The battery heats up while charging. If it then cools while at 100% the battery can no longer hold the high level of charge and crystals begin to form inside the battery which will damage its internal structure. Fortunately Tesla, and other manufacturers, mitigate against this by leaving a little unused capacity in their batteries so they never really charge up to a true 100%. But even so the situation is to be avoided. Studies of battery usage do indicate that they degrade faster when charged regularly to 100%. So, charge to 100% only when you need to and begin driving as soon as possible afterward.

gballant4570 | 10. März 2019

I charge to 100% once or twice a week. Not to get to a supercharger a certain distance away, but instead because I anticipate driving 200-250 miles that day before returning home & plugging in. And its been winter the past few months. I charge to 90% overnight routinely, and on days I anticipate a long day of driving I move the charge limit to 100% earlier before leaving that day. The SOC doesn't always reach a full charge, but it generally gets close - my AWD Model 3 charges to about 305-306 at 100%, so I'm usually hitting 300-305 or very close to it.
One issue this strategy presents is remembering to reset the limit back to 90% before plugging back in, or after plugging in but before surpassing a 90% SOC. Twice now I have neglected to set it back, and charged to 100% over night. I doubt sitting at a 100% charge for a couple of hours is a significant thing....

mrburke | 10. März 2019

IMO charging just before leave even if it is not to 100% is a good idea except in hot weather. A warm battery works better than a cold battery. So if you can time your charging to be at ~90% when you get ready to leave, that should squeak out a few extra miles of range.

melissaash648 | 17. März 2020

I usually charge it 100%, just to be sure I will reach all the destinations the next day. I drive during the day about 300 miles after charging the battery the whole night. My knowledge about Tesla battery aren’t so big and many questions pop up in my head. Have someone traveled with Tesla car from Europe to Africa? Does Africa have any charging points the battery? I want to make a trip with my own car to Africa, but I am not sure that Tesla will make it. The already planned my itinerary, saying that my Tesla will be the perfect car for them. All in all, I would like to read more advise and experience.

Patronus | 17. März 2020

Minimizing the amount of time the car sits at 100% is the key. Try to keep it to a few minutes, not hours and certainly not days.

Also, use - because Supercharging is faster at low states of charge, sometimes your trip can be shorter by starting out with less that 100% charge (lower SoC at the first Supercharger = faster charging there).