Model 3

Cold weather range loss

edited November -1 in Model 3
Does anybody else notice that M3 actual range drops by as much as 40% when temps drop into the 20s Fahrenheit? Is the heater the culprit? Wh/mi on my normal commute is about 215 in 65 degree weather and about 290 in 25 degree weather.
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Comments

  • edited November -1
    Yep, its your cabin heater use.
  • edited November -1
    Near the end of my 40 minute drive this morning with HVAC on Auto at 69F, outside temp ~25F, the heater was drawing a constant 3kW. 3kW at 60mph is an additional 50Wh/mile.
  • edited November -1
    derotam How can you determine that 3kw draw?
  • edited November -1
    To elaborate on @derotam's information on the heater impacting energy use a lot, the effect will be especially noticeable if you do a lot of shorter trips Vs 1 longer one because the high cost of initially warming the cabin is amortized over fewer miles. At highway speeds the increased density of the colder air will also negatively impact range but not nearly as much as the cabin heater. If you are concerned about the cabin heater energy use the seat heaters use much less energy.
  • edited November 2019
    This will be my second winter with the car. The loss of range last winter has been my only unpleasant surprise driving an EV. Everything else about the car is better than a gas car. and I’m definitely never going back to ICE.
  • edited November -1
    For me, maintaining the correct tire pressure is hard to do when the temperature drops below freezing, because I keep the car in a garage that typically stays around 40 to 50 degrees. The recommended tire pressure for my car is 42 psi. I have to overinflate the tires by three to five degrees or the pressure drops low enough to trigger the low tire pressure warning when the car leaves the garage. Yesterday, the warning light came on, because the 20 degree temperature caused the pressure to drop to 38 psi. The low tire pressure definitely impacts cold weather range.
  • edited November -1
    Another factor in cold weather range is the greater density of cold air versus warm air. It’s a BIG factor.
  • edited November 2019
    Yes, it's lots of factors. Definitely the heater, regen is probably limited, colder batteries are less efficient, cold air is denser, tire pressure is lower...
  • edited November -1
    All this stuff was figured out in the winter of 2013, so the answers are out there to most everything.
    https://teslatap.com/articles/owners+manual+companion
  • edited November -1
    Keep the car heater as low as you can stand and utilize the seat heaters as much as you can.
  • edited November 2019
    Is this the first official winter 2019 post about range? ...so it begins. :)@OP as others have mentioned, EVs take a hit in the cold mostly around heater. ICE vehicles have the advantage of having tons of waste heat to use to make you warm and cozy. With a few 100,000 more M3 owners this year, we'll hear a lot about it this winter. ICE vehicles have the same disadvantages as tire pressures, air density, rolling resistance, etc.

    We all need to move to Cali and say bye-bye to winter!
  • edited November 2019
    @robert rogus: by getting the CANbus data from the car, as other have done in the past
  • edited November -1
    I was introduced to EV winter losses in my 2012 Nissan LEAF with a very degraded battery and the world’s least efficient heater. You quickly realize that in an EV you have to create heat whereas in an ICE you direct already-created excess heat. End result is the same, heat in the cabin, but the cost is dramatically higher in an EV. For the LEAF where range was so critical, this was/is a huge deal. With my now 317-mile range Model 3, not so much.

    For me, range is king in an EV, and mostly so that the greatly-reduced winter range is adequate for my needs. I’m unwilling to forego cabin heat, so I take the hit on range, but I expect that now.
  • edited November 2019
    The last few weeks here in Texas I have seen a 90% SoC only show about 255 as of Today on my M3P, little concerning considering. Now I didn't drive it much yesterday or the day before. However, my concern is that when I first got it back in May, I was getting 280 on a 90%, daily driving and a long trip and a short trip my range has dropped on 90% to around 270 miles before the cold appeared. At 7.7K that seems to be a little to much loss already. Would a drain to 10% then a 100% recharge re-calibrate in this instance or is there something else going on?
  • edited November -1
    Also both trips were 100% charges on house charger.
  • edited November 2019
    @ PECo CT

    I live in CT to and I had the same thing happen to me when I left my garage yesterday in regards to the TPMS telling me that i had low pressure. Is that going to happen everyday it gets that cold?
  • edited November 2019
    Tire pressure can fluctuate by ~ 1 psi for every 8°F change in temperature. Winter temperatures tend to fluctuate alot. There is not much you can do to avoid this. I set my tire pressures to 45 psi on a 60°F day on the expectation that I would only see colder temperatures for the next few months. My tire pressure yesterday morning was down to 40 psi and it is only November.
  • edited November 2019
    Pressure should be adjusted in winter climates.
  • edited November -1
    @sa02
    This morning, I inflated my wife’s tires to 45 psi in our garage. Today, they didn’t lose enough pressure due to the cold to trigger the low tire pressure warning light. I’ll just keep an eye on the weather and adjust them accordingly, I guess.
  • edited November 2019
    It's mostly the cold effects on the battery you see it in all kinds of electrical equipment. Tesla goes over this multiple times in the manual. While cabin heater has to work harder in colder weather, cabin heat is figured into the EPA range tests as is AC so only the portion above the testing would have an effect on range.

    " In cold weather, some of the stored energy in the Battery may not be available until the Battery warms up."

    With cold weather the battery will take a long time to warm up. My regen is still restricted after 50 miles at 60-75 mph in the AM and that with just temps in 40's. Regen restriction means battery is still cold. Battery (per the regen bar) just gets warm when I'm near work, 52 miles.

    So for most folks driving (25 miles commute), the battery would still be cold affecting range. If it sits at work with no charging, the battery is cooling again so the ride home is also lower range.

    It's an EV thing, affects other EV's same as Tesla. Safe to say range is reduced about 20 miles net effect at least at the low to mid 40's. It might increase as weather gets even colder. If you ball park 30 miles of lost range for cold weather you are probably safe.
  • edited November 2019
    Last winter I used the three miles of range lost for every two miles driven rule. Was fairly accurate most days.

    Other tricks include warming your battery a little by bumping it up 5% shortly before departing. I usually bump it, walk the dogs, then get in the car.

    I also, usually turn on the heated seats and leave the cabin at 68. For me, that is a quite comfortable combination.
  • edited November 2019
    @Bighorn "All this stuff was figured out in the winter of 2013, so the answers are out there to most everything."
    This reminds me of why the moderator of the Volt forum (the Volt was my EV gateway drug) forum had "Range drops when it is cold" in his posting signature. Every winter this comes up....
  • edited November 2019
    Yep, enjoy Tesla glorious Resistive Heaters, the most inefficient in the EV world. Even if you do not use one, Tesla will use it for the battery that should be kept above 32F to allow regen or charging. You power train efficiency doe not change much with temperature, it is your battery capacity drop ~20% + heaters are responsible for the range drop and lower efficiency overall.
  • edited November 2019
    Resistive heaters are 100% efficient.
  • edited November 2019
    Andy, when it comes to heat transfer AC/HP beats RH by a factor of >2. You experience it in the summer on your 3 when using AC - it does not affect efficiency vs. RH.
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