Model S

The new regen level makes the car virtually useless in winter where I live

edited November -1 in Model S
Left home 9 AM this morning (5500 ft ASL). Car overnight in 65F parking garage. Drove ~30 miles to 8200 ft ASL. Parked outside (20-25F) for 6 hours.
Got in car to drive home and ZERO regen for all but the last mile or two when it was maybe a "1/16 of an inch of green" on the energy graph. Intermittently on the brakes the entire drive home.

The car is now virtually useless in winter when there's need for down hill speed moderation.

Tesla, you've degraded a lot of nice features in the past, such as the fine user interface after V8, but this one (no/limited regen for extended periods) is the absolute worst thing you've ever done!


  • edited December 2019
    I agree, after 7 years of driving these cars a particular way, now every day, I have almost no regen through most (or all) of the day. For 7 years, car always drove the same. Hardly ever used brakes. Now, have to use them all the time.

    Is Tesla going to pay for the brakes on our cars all so the battery is good for 20 years instead of 19 years? I pray that they'll put it back to the way it was. No safe either. I expect the car to slow down by lifting off the pedal and it unexpectedly doesn't because now the battery isn't warm enough?? Seriously?

    One of the reasons I love driving these cars is for this feature, now it's mostly gone. What's the point? And now, I'll be paying to replace brake pads. Another reason was no maintenance. That's going to change too. Stopping a 5,000 pound car is going to wear out brakes pretty quickly!
  • edited November -1
    Virtually useless seems a bit extreme. Sounds like you have never used brakes in your lifetime? I've found brakes work just fine in the Tesla, although agree 1-pedal driving is nice. You can also use AP and have zero pedal driving.
    So in extreme cold, the brakes only last 150K miles instead of 250K miles. Still far less usage than conventional cars.

    Looks like some cars like the Taycan, force you to 2 pedal driving - no regen until you press the brake pedal. With the narrow temperature band of operation, it looks like you'll also get no regen in the extreme cold in the Taycan as well.
  • edited December 2019
    I’ve experienced this too, but maybe not to the same extent.

    I’d appreciate some head’s up as to what exactly was done and why. The assumption we’re going by is to protect the battery but something official would be nice.
  • edited December 2019
    TT - I've used brakes before, but in this part of the country, downshifting is commonly used and recommended to control down hill descents to avoid causing the brakes to overheat and wear out prematurely.

    5 years ago, before I bought my car, I did a drive with a Tesla owner on I-70 where tI drive often. There's a long, steep down hill and I wanted to be sure the car could handle it. It did so with ease. That functionality is now gone.
  • edited December 2019
    Bummer. I agree,
  • edited December 2019
    TT will always defend Tesla to a ridiculous extreme, unfortunately it makes them sound quite ignorant. Having a car with no engine-braking is extremely frustrating, expensive on brakes, and just not an enjoyable way to drive for any driving enthusiast.

    This is my first winter so I don’t know if this is a change. Every recent morning, with temps in the 40’s-50’s where I am, I have reduced regen. It’s not nice to have to look at the energy display and constantly adjust your driving depending on this function.

    I would guess this is one of the reasons why Porsche engineered their ingenious method for incorporating regen into the brake pedal. This way at least we don’t have to change our driving method depending on regen/temperature.
  • edited December 2019

    The run in from ski country to Denver is awesome for regen. I’ve done it a few times, with only a wee bit of snow in my S. I did it routinely in a Toyota Tercel FWD when I was a ski bum.

    “Parked outside (20-25F) for 6 hours.”

    Well, you should know better, right? If you had a diesel not on a block heater it wouldn’t even be able to start the car.

    Do I have to relate the cold-soaked battery at 7F in Twin Falls, ID mishap again? When the hotel across the street had a Destination Charger that I didn’t pick? 8 hours of cold. It took tens of minutes to draw voltage at no amps, 2 hours total to charge to be able to get back to Elko.

    So find a charging option while you ski? You must have some pull, you’ve been doing it for years.

    I’ve had limited regen in the old S, but goes away quickly and I’m back to 60kW.

    So now I get to harp on the newer interface that you don’t like, and I do, AND I get better regen. ;-)

    You shouldn’t have upgraded anything. :-)
  • edited December 2019

    “Having a car with no engine-braking is extremely frustrating, expensive on brakes, and just not an enjoyable way to drive for any driving enthusiast.”

    7 years - brakes still fine.
  • edited November -1
    I’m pretty sure I’ve covered you neck of the woods, since the last three country crossing trips and 112k miles.
  • edited November -1
    Plug it in is my answer as well.
  • edited December 2019
    @NKYTA - “ If you had a diesel not on a block heater it wouldn’t even be able to start the car.”

    You obviously don’t have any experience with diesel product developed in the past 15 or so years. It’s been a few years, but I’ve personally spent many mornings in Silverthorne doing cold start testing in conditions colder than barrykmd described ensuring that such products did start easily without need for any external aids.

    I understand barrykmd’s frustration. Behavior of my MS90D has changed with regard to cold weather regen capability versus what I experienced the prior 3 winters. In my case that’s not being cold soaked outside for several hours at 20-25F, but even parked in a 45-50F garage. Reduction in regen is clearly more aggressive (meaning more reduction), and the time required for the pack warm to restore regen appears much longer. I’m not in a mountainous such that I’m concerned with impact on brake wear, but the change in the product, especially with regards to how long regen is reduced, is noticeable.

    I need to watch the energy display closely a few times to confirm, but my impression is that the extent of active heating of the pack to warm it has been significantly reduced. I would normally see a large spike is energy consumption for the first 5-10 minutes, even without the interior heat being turned on. I don’t recall seeing that lately. Difference was such that I actually questioned whether range mode had been turned on, but checked and found that it was not.

    The biggest issue for many in this type of situation is reducing the functionality of a product especially without any notification. This is one of those times where that definitely appears to be the case.
  • edited December 2019
    Battery heater still looks to be about a 6 kW draw.
  • edited December 2019
    NKYTA - “ If you had a diesel not on a block heater it wouldn’t even be able to start the car.”

    p,c,mcavoy's post notwithstanding, you are missing the point. If I researched buying a diesel, test drove it in the conditions that concerned me, and it worked well, then all of a sudden, one day, it stopped working in those conditions, I would be unhappy.

    BH - Plugging it in wasn't an option. Are you saying that if I found a 120V 15A circuit to plug into, it would have kept the battery warm enough to provide regen for the trip home? BTW, on my drive home, I had cabin heat, seat heater, and steering wheel heater on the entire trip, hoping that would provide enough draw to warm the battery, but it didn't.
  • edited December 2019
    "Are you saying that if I found a 120V 15A circuit to plug into, it would have kept the battery warm enough to provide regen for the trip home?"

    I think so, especially given the scenario you decribed where the battery was likely warm upon arrival. Give it a try next time and let us know.
  • edited December 2019
    What I found working to quickly heat up the battery is to select a nearest supercharger as you destination. It will turn on preconditioning of the battery.
  • edited December 2019
    Does that work for the older cars? Is there a way to tell if it is doing something different when navigating to a supercharger?

    I see no evidence that my 2013 MS or my 2018 MX heat the battery any differently whether or not I am navigating towards a supercharger. I don't see any difference in the energy display showing the charge/discharge rate, or notice any faster warming.
  • edited December 2019
    Has something changed that I need to be aware of?
  • edited November -1
    @p.c.mcavoy - Interesting observations. I wonder if Tesla could have an option "Cold Range vs Regeneration" The idea would be to waste some energy when starting to heat the battery faster (perhaps like before?), but at the sacrifice of some range. Those that need the most range would have the option, which would reduce regeneration when cold.

    Has anyone noticed they get more range in the cold with the latest regen profile? I know it seems backwards to limit regeneration, yet get more range in the cold by not heating the battery as fast. I've not monitored range all that closely to make any assessment here.

    Regeneration is the same as charging, and Lithium-Ion cells do not like being charged when cold. Not sure what Tesla discovered that led to scaling back regen in the cold.
  • edited December 2019
    What do you think of every ice vehicle all year round? Actually, I don't care what you think. Shake it easy
  • edited December 2019
    I thought that in snow/ice wintry conditions one is SUPPOSED to turn Regen to low.
  • edited December 2019
    Rx - If roads are covered in snow/ice, I DO run regen in low. If it's just cold out and the roads are clear, I don't. There's a difference between LOW and NO regen.
  • edited December 2019
    Putting a SC into the nav on your car likely does not impact battery heating--the battery heat is on a simple thermostat. Pre-heating the cabin from the app may also activate the battery heater. I only see SC pre-conditioning on the Model 3. Cabin draws aren't going to heat the battery substantially. Ironically, the most effective way to heat the battery is through the accelerator and regeneration, which is not available. If you arrive at the ski chalet with the battery warm and plug into a 120V line, you'll help keep the battery warm and maintain some regen for the trip down. You'd think there'd be plenty of block heater outlets around for the country bumpkins.
  • edited December 2019
    It works on my 2015 Model S. I see the consumption significantly increase in the Energy display and those dashed lines start to disappear much faster. Cabin heating is off by the way.
  • edited December 2019
    Interesting. I don't see that with either of my cars.
  • edited December 2019
    Not sure what the differentiator would be with a 2013 S. I have an increased 6 kW draw simply by being cold, regardless if a SC is targeted. My 3 publishes a screen message that the Battery Preconditioning is in effect when I target an SC and not simply when it’s cold out. No message on the S. Two totally different mechanisms between the S and 3.
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