Model X

Conflicting Battery Information

I am a new Model X owner (2020). The video at the website said to keep the battery topped off all the time. I installed a wallcharger in my garage. After doing this for a week, my car notified me that doing that would shorten the life of my battery, so I stopped. I don't drive a lot--just run errands around town, mostly--so I have only needed to charge it every few weeks.

Yesterday, Tesla sent their Winter Driving Tips out to owners, telling us to keep it plugged in to keep the battery warm. I have noticed that the battery drains faster in cold weather, of course, but WHICH IS IT? Keep it plugged in or NOT?

If I only drive a few miles a day--and some days not at all--will it ruin the life of my battery? Or not...?

Which is it, Tesla?


  • Congrats on your new X!

    Keep it plugged in is best, but not all that critical. The issue is you should not charge to 100% unless you need it for a trip. Charge to 80 or 90% is normal and is good for battery longevity. Press the lightning bolt at the top of the screen to get to the charge limits screen.

    And yes, the battery will drain faster when you drive in cold weather. Most of this is to heat the cabin, which takes some battery power. Unlike an ICE car, where the engine produces a lot of waste heat. You may find this guide helpful in understanding the range indicator:

    There is a table I created showing what functions reduce or even increase range in an EV as compared with an ICE car you may be more familiar with.
  • Then why the conflicting information from Tesla?
  • @VW - Tesla doesn't say to charge to 100% . . . they suggest doing just what TT has recommended, and that is to set your normal charge for around 80% max unless you're getting ready to set out on a long road trip. Tesla also recommends keeping the car plugged in all the time. Once you set the degree of charge . . . say 80% . . . the car handles everything else automatically with the car plugged in. It knows when to stop charging when the charge = 80% or whatever you set it for. TT is a great resource. Go to his link for insights into managing the battery capacity of your new car. Welcome to the club of Tesla owners and enjoy driving your new starship!!
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