Model X

What does Range Mode?

edited August 2017 in Model X
With a little help of Google I found this. With Range Mode ON:
- less energy is used for the AC/heating;
- turns off the Daytime Running Lights in the daytime;
- the battery is heated to 40 degrees Celsius instead of 30 degrees Celsius when Range Mode is turned off, because at 40 degrees the battery will operate more efficiently;
- more power is brought to the front engine, because it is supposed to be more efficient than the back engine;
- [added] daytime driving Lights are turned off;

Drawbacks of Range Mode ON would be:
- of course less comfort because of less energy for AC/heating;
- less acceleration;

Can anyone confirm this is correct and whether there is more to say about Range Mode?


  • edited November -1
    It sounds about right I never use range mode as I love my day time driving Lights On plus I've never been in a situation where I was low on mileage and needed to save energy
  • edited November -1
    Oops "daytime running lights"
  • edited August 2017
    Thanks Triggerplz. Am i right by thinking we should only put Range Mode ON on longer trips, let's say more than 50km? For a short trip of 10KM it would be a waist of energy to heat up the battery to 40 degrees instead of 30 degrees.
  • edited November -1
    Hopefully someone will chime in with the particulars as I've never used it, if I find myself in a situation where I'm getting low and may not make it to a charging station I would put it on range mode other than that I always have it off
  • edited August 2017
    I did not know about the battery temperature increase. I used range mode on a trip a few weeks ago and it took a long time to charge at the SC. I called tesla and they said my battery was 105F and so it was too hot for fastest charging. I wonder if using range mode to squeeze an extra 20 miles (just a guess) made me wait 40 more minutes to charge by causing battery to be too hot.
  • edited August 2017
    +1 Triggerplz

    Heating the batt up is interesting. While it is true that if too cold, the batt won't hold energy but to heat it up, it uses energy. So it is the chicken and the egg thing. What if I only have enough juice to get to my destination cold but now, to heat it up, I can only reach half way? But then by heating the batt up, it can crank out a bit more juice too...Oh man...almost like designing a rocket. Bigger fuel tank, more power but heavier, so need even more fuel...etc
  • edited August 2017
    Good point poloX, i guess Range Mode is usefull for longer drivers (let's say more than 50km). I think driving short distances with range mode on maybe leads to higher consumption. Maybe ask SpaceX what to do?
  • edited August 2017
    @wouter, I would state it slightly differently. It is used for whenever you are driving a distance very close to the running out of juice in the battery. It does not matter if it is a long or short distance. Who cares if it consumes a bit more energy to make you feel comfortable if you have enough juice in the battery. Please don't let your passenger sweat in your X. :o) Do you turn your AC at home up to 85 or 90 F in the summer to reduce energy consumption?
  • edited November -1
    I have a little experience with range mode on my model S over 4 winters. I have never achieved better mileage with it on in the winter. It takes longer for the battery to reach a temperature that allow full regeneration and as a result, out of the garage, you use watts like crazy for the first 30 to 40 miles depending on the temperature. Plus the cabin is also cold. The most efficient method out of the garage is to preheat the cabin will plugged in. This also preheats the battery and you can ride with range mode off and be comfortable. I have used it occasionally in the summer, once today when I was stuck in traffic. It helped to keep the battery and the cabin at reasonable temps while not chewing up watts for the hour and a half it took to go 3 miles (bad accident close 4 lanes of traffic).
  • edited August 2017
    @poloX, i understand what you say. But what i mean is this: if you drive a lot of short distances like me, Range Mode only had drawbacks en no advantages. Better leave Range Mode Off and only put it to On when needed.
  • edited August 2017
    @wouter, ah, so we are saying the same thing. But you used the words "short" versus "long" distances that are confusing. 100miles can be long, or even 200 miles, right? But even 250 miles does NOT matter if I have 300Miles in my battery. I would rather enjoy the cool AC and never need to use range mode. That is why I said distance really does not matter. If you are out and have only 40 miles in the battery and you need to drive 35 miles round trip and no charging station along the way. 35 miles is NOT long but this is when you should consider using range mode.
  • I drive about 10 miles a day and the car uses 5 miles a day parked. What is eating power
  • edited April 2018
    Over winter months when I couldn't pre-heat (or just couldn't be bothered plugging in for the night), I found that I was getting a high wh/Mile rating with Range Mode OFF, but still using the heater (not AC) at around 21-22C. My commute is around 20-25miles, so by time I was close to work, I'd get full regen, but then the car sat all day in the carpark getting cold again.

    I found that turning Range Mode ON gave me a better wh/Mile average over my commute.

    However, you can't (or at least didn't used to) get as efficient a battery pre-heat when Range Mode is ON, so you need to remember to turn it off when charging.

    I don't particularly use it now that the temperature has got warmer and the battery needs less miles to get full regen capabilities.
  • edited April 2018
    Why does my car use so much energy per km when I first drive the car, even when I preheat? Consumption then drops off after about 20 minutes of driving.
  • edited April 2018
    @cica3838, Heating up the battery pack. The preheat function of the car is only warming up the cabin, but doesn't run the battery heater.
  • edited April 2018
    Is there any way to warm the battery while plugged in? This way I won’t waste energy while driving.
  • edited November -1
    @cica3838, Yes--sort of--but it's not really user controllable.

    That was an update they rolled out in December where preheating could also run the battery heater, but that was only if the temperature was about freezing or below. You'll see a blue snowflake on the climate page of your mobile app if it's running the battery heater. For regular slightly cool temperatures like 40-50 or so, it's not going to do it.

    The other thing you could do if you want to save this extra energy, it to turn on Range Mode in the controls screen of the car. Range Mode does two main things, and you can't separate them. It doesn't use the battery heater as much, so it will not have that really high energy usage when you first start driving. That can be a little useful, if most of your driving is short trips, so you don't constantly have high usage. The other thing it does, though, is reduce the power and effectiveness of the heating and cooling in the car, so the climate control doesn't draw as much energy. In summer and winter that can be a bit unpleasant if you're not getting as much heat or A/C as you would like.

    So that's what you can do about it--up to you if it bothers you enough to worry about it.
  • edited April 2018
    Thanks. I tried scheduling my charge so it just finishes before I leave in the morning. Let me see if that helps.

    To be honest, it doesn't really matter, but I'm always playing a game where I'm trying to get the best efficiency. Kinda sucks to see my rated range drop precipitously every time I start driving.
  • edited April 2018
    Thanks. I tried scheduling my charge so it just finishes before I leave in the morning. Let me see if that helps.

    To be honest, it doesn't really matter, but I'm always playing a game where I'm trying to get the best efficiency. Kinda sucks to see my rated range drop precipitously every time I start driving.
  • edited April 2018
    @cica3838, Quote: "Thanks. I tried scheduling my charge so it just finishes before I leave in the morning. Let me see if that helps."

    Oh yeah, I did forget to mention that. It's not a "set it and forget it" kind of setting, but that is one thing that really does work a lot. Charging the car is something that needs to be done anyway, and the charging process does build up noticeable heat directly in the battery, so an hour or two of charging will have your battery pretty warm and cut down that initial energy usage quite a bit.
  • edited April 2018
    I tried it this morning, but it only seems to have cut energy usage down slightly. Will test for another few days.
  • edited April 2018
    I once used range mode on my model S. Not sure it did anything dramatic for the range but I need to play more to determine this. I noticed no real difference in anything when I used it but I was driving cautiously as the nav suggested I might not reach my destination. Estimates of remaining energy ranged from 20% at the start to as low as 3%. In reality I arrived with a comfy 16%. But I had used range mode for about 30% of the drive.

    @robertfslavik when I park up and leave the model S I lose about 3 miles per day. It depends on temperature, how often you check the car with apps, and on your settings. I choose ‘always connected’ and ‘energy saver’. This way apps don’t time out waiting for a response from the Tesla but when you walk up to it there can be a delay to it waking up.
  • edited May 2018
    It seems to me the range remaining calculation is bit too elementary. Does it take into consideration the outside temperature? (not the garage temperature) I get substantially less range that what is initially displayed on really cold days. Cold days with snow are the worst because of the battery efficiency, I'm using cabin heat (even with the seat warmers) and I'm also using wipers and washer fluid. On a recent trip I got about 140 miles of range instead of the 255 expected with a full charge.
  • edited January 8
    My take on this, after having owned my Tesla only during the winter, and reading about the battery heater.

    With range mode OFF:
    Battery and cabin is heated as soon as I approach the car, or switch on preheating. Uses a lot of energy in the start when its cold. Battery is actively heated only up to 12°C (about 50% regen). The rest is heated only by residual heat from the drive units and the inverter.
    If battery gets above 30°C the battery is actively cooled by the AC.

    With range mode ON:
    Battery is never heated, unless it's below -25°C (extremely cold).
    Battery is not actively cooled until it reached 40°C to save energy on the AC.
    The battery is never actively heated to 40°C instead of 30°C. That's a misunderstanding. The heater stops at 12°C with range mode OFF.

    Range mode saves most energy in cold weather for short distances when the battery heater would repeatedly use lots of power.

    Now to the question I still haven't found, which is why I found this thread: How much is the cabin heater reduced when in range mode? Normal mode is 6kW for cabin, and 6kW for battery (S/X). But in range mode battery is 0kW, but what about cabin? 3kW? Don't know. Guess this thread won't answer that... ;)

    Another misunderstanding: When charging is plugged in it uses the charger to heat the cabin and battery. That's not true. The charger is independant and doesn't (re)start until the SOC drops about 2% below the set level (it seems). Irregardless of preheating. I can see this on my energy meter, and also on the running light on the charger which aren't running, even when preheating, until SOC drops too low.
  • On my Model S the LED daytime running lights are always on when Range Mode is turned on. I have also found that a lower energy output for climate control does not really affect the desired outcome. This may be noticeable in areas such as Canada in the winter or the desert southwest in the summer.
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