Capacity loss with temperature

Is there some sort of table, or a general rule of thumb, about the battery's capacity loss with decreasing temperature?
I live in suburban Chicago, and I'm trying to learn some of the eccentricities of a battery-fueled vehicle. I shudder to think about a dead EV battery in a cold snap.
Since most Tesla vehicles are driven in California, in a very moderate climate, I wonder how the Midwestern Winters will affect the existing battery vehicles. I've not encountered any published real-world experiences about a Tesla road test that mentioned loss of capacity in very cold weather.


  • You won't have a dead battery in a cold snap. Theoretically it could happen in a very limited scenario... if the battery gets too cold(maybe -7C) it will actively use energy to warm the battery to protect it. I personally haven't seen anyone verify this however. Also I would presume that the car would still follow the 20% rule and NOT do that once the battery gets down to 20%.

    You guys need more superchargers out there, especially up north!
  • I haven’t had any significant issues driving in cold weather. The only issue is limited regen with a cold battery. Also, less efficiency from heating. Just leave the car plugged in and precondition the car before leaving.
  • > @derotam said:
    > You guys need more superchargers out there, especially up north!

    I was thinking that exact same thing yesterday - I hope Tesla realizes this - it would make a huge impact on Tesla adoption in the colder climate areas.
  • @Ponyguy

    shortest and easiest answer assume 30-40% reduction in range in the coldest climates.

    Having said that, there are so many contributing factors that can greatly effect your range, your environment and driving habits will dictate.

    Within weeks you will see your consumption pattern develop.
  • > @derotam said:
    > You guys need more superchargers out there, especially up north!

  • Ponyguy, only about 40-45% of Tesla's sold in the U.S. are in CA.

    I am in CT, now in my 7th winter, don't worry about it. What is your typical day's drive, miles wise?
  • Thank you, Gentlemen, for such an enthusiastic response to a first post!
    I'm currently dipping a toe into the EV pool, sort of. I'm researching a full-on EV while driving a Ford Fusion Energie PHEV. Last Summer, my dashboard told me that with a fully charged traction battery (9.0 kW-h) I had 35 miles of range... which suited my driving perfectly. Most of my driving is within my own town, so the 35-mile capacity worked quite well; I could charge the car overnight and be ready for whatever the day threw at me. Then Winter arrived, and my expected range dropped to 17 - 18 on a fully charged battery. Being new at the EV game, I'm wondering if the range drop is from the increased electrical load (lights, heater, defrosters, etc.) or from temperature degradation of the battery.
    My other concern is how to handle a vacation trip... say a thousand-mile jaunt? Are there sufficient charging facilities available? We have a couple of charging locations locally (one Tesla, another Electrify America, I think) but until charging locations are as ubiquitous as gas stations, it's going to be a concern.
  • I live in Chicago myself and we've owned an M3 SR+ since December. Picked it up right on the night of the big snow. Given that, we haven't seen any significant degradation and we don't keep ours in a heated garage. We had range anxiety the first week or so but now have realized we're fine and just don't think about it anymore and charge up every night.
  • 1000 mile jaunts in a Tesla are no big deal; Tesla has built charging stations about every 150 miles along all the major interstates. Electrify America is catching up for non-Tesla vehicles, but it’ll be a few years before it’s as easy for those as it is for a Tesla.
    Check out:
  • Winter will take 30% out of an EV’s range is a good rule of thumb.

    It’s a good idea to plot out public charging on regular routes, mountains, coast, etc. that you could hop from charger to charger at 30% off the rated range.
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