Model 3

Driving on Zero range

My range indicator dropped suddenly from 9 km to O, with 4km left on my trip. Went back to 9 then a minute later to 0 and stayed there. I continued "on a wing and a prayer" and arrived at my destination.

I had shut off the cabin heater to conserve power in below freezing temps. Did that somehow contribute to perhaps a cooling of the battery so the available range wasn't accessible?

And was it running then off the 12V, or....?

P.S. I've arrived at the same rural destination with 1km showing no problems.


  • A couple of points. The battery meter range estimate is not very precise. Calculating SOC is far more complex than sticking a float in a gas tank. The estimate could easily be off by a few miles.

    Secondly, there is a bottom end buffer of about 5% to protect the battery. You will likely be able to continue to drive even when the SOC reaches 0%. Several YouTubers have demonstrated this. However, I think it is a bad idea to run the battery that low and you are also at risk not making it if the estimate is off a little.
  • Ouch don’t keep doing that kind of low SOC roulette game. Charge more often.
  • There's no way it can run on the 12V battery!
  • Bopping back and forth between 0 an 9km is unusual. Generally, finding the 0 point is the easiest thing for the bms to do. Is it possible you were going up and down hill?

    When I’ve been down below 10 miles and sweating about making it to the next charger, I’ve found that navigating to the charger, then using the “trip” tab of the Energy graph gives a better guess about state of charge at arrival because that uses elevation information when it estimates. The main screen range estimator doesn’t, because most of the time it doesn’t know where you’re going. That might be an improvement for Tesla, hooking up Nav to the main screen range.

    And, always remember that you’ll go further by slowing down. The most efficient speed is around 30 mph/50 kph.
  • M3phan, I wish. There are no superchargers between my last charge and my rural home. In winter here in Canada power consumption is 50%-100% depending on outside temp and cabin heater use.
  • Frank99, I don't think it had to do with hills, as these same hills have never caused that before. More likely to do with the cold -- when the charge bar is that low, blue doesn't show up -- perhaps it had just switched into blue (i.e. unusable charge)? Perhaps caused by turning off cabin heater?

    I'd love to know.
  • There's some slack built into the 0% battery warning. I've gotten it and was five miles from the charger and made it.

    Not good for the battery or one's anxiety level.
  • There’s not necessarily “slack” built in. That’s dangerous misinformation.
  • at 9 km left, you're below 3%. That might as well be zero since it is within experimental error of zero. Nobody can accurately measure the state of charge of a battery below about 5%. Counting on a reserve capacity is just a bad idea. Cold weather will only hurt the estimation accuracy.
    If you must travel so far, keep your speed down below 60 kph as well as keeping the heater off. You may need a rag to wipe the windows to defrost.
    Remember: on long runs where you aren't sure you have the charge to make it, start out slow, maintaining a 10% to 20% buffer in your range, then only increase speed when you're sure you'll make it.
  • I know people flatbedded with 2-3% more than once.
  • > @Bighorn said:
    > I know people flatbedded with 2-3% more than once.

    That’s good to know guys I’m probably taking too many chances. Not that I do that frequently but I definitely have 3-4 times. I’ll stop pushing my luck.
  • It’s more likely as the battery ages.
  • Thanks, Bighorn. I’ve been there a few times myself. It’s mostly a case of “can I get there at 75mph, or am I gonna have to slow down to 65?” It’d be quite the surprise to see the “pull over” message when I’m 2 miles from the supercharger. I guess I’ll start slowing down sooner.
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