Model S Performance in Winter (Canada)?

Model S Performance in Winter (Canada)?

What cold weather provisions are there built into the design of the model S and how is its Performance affected?
What effect does cold (Canada ~ -10 to -25 Deg C) winter have on battery life / mileage range?Especially with Winter items ON such as interior heater, rear window defroster, heated seats, etc?
In other words, if I am driving in winter with the interior heater and rear window defroster on, what % loss of mileage distance / range should I expect? My guess ~25% reduction in mileage?

How does the cold weather effect the Lithium Battery charge / performance.

(Note: I live in Toronto, Canada and have a Reservation for a TESLA Model S, Performance)

Thanks, Currie

Jewsh | 20 January, 2014

I am still (regrettably) using the 19" all season tires but our Model S has handled everything we've thrown at it.

Performance is down about 20-30% with respect to the battery's range at apx -20c. It is otherwise perfectly usable and with preheating there is no loss in range to warm the car in the morning.

I highly recommend you get the car. :-)

debsoriano | 22 January, 2014

I'm in Montreal. This winter has been brutal... -20C... -30C (not counting windchill).

In very cold weather (-30C) you loose 35%-40% of battery range. I would say, the loss is about 25-30% at -20C. It gets much better above 0C. The projected range based on average on your display is very accurate. Keep an eye on that value and your GPS distance to your destination. Last time we drove in -35C, we made it home with 10km over the projected range (we decided that was the night we would test the range in cold weather... :) )

The cabin heater and the speed you drive have the most effect on battery range in cold weather. The biggest gain on projected range is simply achieved by reducing speed. We gained significant range mostly by reducing from 115km/hr to 105 km/hr that night we drove in -35C weather. The other items have very little effect (even the seat warmers).

Battery heating has also an effect on battery range in cold weather but there is nothing you can do about that other than finishing charging as close as possible to your departure time.

Here is a good link about increasing range.

I don't recommend the Pirelli winter tires that Tesla is recommending. Very bad on ice. We got stuck places where no one else got stuck... May be good on snow, but not on ice, in Montreal anyway...

Hope this help!


tes-s | 22 January, 2014

Drove 198 miles today. 4 degrees F. It was a round trip, so no net change in elevation.

Started out with a just-completed range charge, car fully heated, range mode. 265 rated miles on display.

Turned around with 113 rated miles remaining, with headwind going home but no headlights (sun had come up). Obviously should have been paying more attention. With no good charging options (Edison supercharger, where are you??!!), I limped home (well, to Darien Supercharger which is 10 miles closer) with NO HEAT driving 55-60, and got to 0 with 5 miles to go. I would have made it right at 0, except I had to stop at a service area for washer fluid. That took 5 miles of rated range.

I would have gone to Greenwich supercharger if I was SURE it was powered up. That would have been another 5 miles closer, but at decision time I knew I could make it to Darien, and not sure I would be able to get home if Greenwich was not online.

This trip has new parameters for me. I used to think 200 miles would be fine under any conditions.

No trips over 240 miles when it is between 60 and 80 degrees.
No trips over 160 miles when it is 0 degrees.
Between 0 and 60 degrees, make a judgment call.

ghillair | 24 January, 2014

Just filled my ICE for the second time this month. Rate 32 - 36 mpg, I've gotten 22 and 21 mpg on those two tanks. So a loss of 40% performance in cold (I'm in St Paul, MN) is not unique to an EV.

EJH | 25 January, 2014


My F-250's lose about 30% range through the winter. Definitely not unique to EV's.

Jeff.Valane | 28 January, 2014

Is anyone aware of a way to plug in the "winter norm" into the range prediction? Ideal and Rated are not all that useful when I'm averaging 450 - 600 Wh/mi throughout the winter.

Does anyone know of a way to get a more accurate mileage prediction vs. doing the math in your head (300 is rated range, 450 means 75% rated range and 600 means 50% rated range)

Brian H | 29 January, 2014

Doesn't Predicted take the last X miles as a base?

Andrey V | 29 January, 2014

Russia, Moscow.
-15 to -25 Celsius (-15 to 5 Fahrenheit).
Heavy traffic (average speed 15-40mph), short distances (5-25 miles).
Average 370-450Wh/km (550-700Wh/mi).

reitmanr | 2 December, 2015

Just got home in sunny California after a trip to Bend Oregon. I guess we timed it wrong. The temps hovered around 0 F and the roads were covered in ice and snow pack. Our MS 85 with 19" Goodyears made it without putting on chains ( which we didn't have at the start of the trip). Not fun sliding around though many other cars seemed to be having a worse time then me. Careful use of Superchargers and a charge stop at a KOA in Klamath Falls Oregon allowed us to make good time coming home. Only the northern most piece of US97 had snow and ice at spots. The rest was just cold and clear.
My wife and I decided that we are not winter weather drivers- way to slippery and cold! And we made it safely home today, sending the car immediately to Econo Green to get the horrible black and brown coating we picked up from the stuff put down on the road to make it more driveable, off the car. We did note many cars off the road where we just drove quietly down the road. Love the car which now has 37000 miles after getting it in Dec 2012.

george.sidaros | 30 December, 2015

I drove from Montreal to Ottawa on a full charge. once there I could not find a supercharger anywhere. I finally found a charger at Ikea. It needed 8 hours to charge enough to get me back home! had to leave my Tesla Model S at Ikea and wonder around aimlessly for 5 hours to get 225 km range and barely made it home with the heat turned off and cruising @ 90 km/h. Any ideas?

stephen.kamichik | 30 December, 2015

When I go to Ottawa from Montreal, I return home via Cornwall SC.

Rocky_H | 30 December, 2015

@george.sidaros, Quote: "I drove from Montreal to Ottawa on a full charge. once there I could not find a supercharger anywhere. [...] Any ideas?"

You drove to a city and then decided to look around for a Supercharger before checking if there was one there ahead of time? Well, yes, I have some ideas about that, but nothing I should say. shows a lot of better options than that IKEA charger in Ottawa. I see several Model S owners who are sharing their Tesla HPWCs or 14-50 outlets. I also see that the Canada Aviation and Space Museum has both a HPWC (listed on the Tesla destination charging site as well as Plugshare) and a Sun Country high amp J1772 charger. That probably would have been a good fast place to charge. The Brookstreet Hotel also is on Tesla's destination charging program, and the Plugshare comments are that the chargers are free to use, seemingly even if you are not a guest. Since those two are on Tesla's destination charger program, they would be shown on the navigation map screen in the car, too, without even having to look anywhere else, like Plugshare.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 30 December, 2015

You need to plan better! You should have a plan to ensure adequate access to the necessary charging throughout your trip, before you start! Lots of tools to help are available.

kwen197 | 31 December, 2015

If I still lived i Canada I would ask the Tesla population Norway.