Do you leave your car on charging all time

Do you leave your car on charging all time

I have 70 miles drive everyday. It takes 2.5 hours for my car to charge. But I leave it on charging after I come home till I leave next morning. As per Tesla site, you can leave your car on charging. Is it best practice or remove from charging after the charging is complete.

jdcollins5 | April 21, 2019

The best practice, from what I have read, is to charge each night. This way any energy needed, such as pre-heat, is supplied by house power and does not come from the battery.

Unless I am planning a trip, I personally charge my car about every 3rd day. My day-to-day driving is mostly short trips.

Your daily driving fits better to daily charging.

Daryl | April 21, 2019

Tesla recommends (per the owner's manual) leaving the car plugged in whenever you can. It won't overcharge as long as you have the upper limit below 100%.

EM34ME | April 21, 2019

I have had my 3MR (~265 mi. range) exactly 4 months as of today. I have put ~4200 miles on the car. I average 45/50 miles per day. I charge my car every night to 70%. That takes on average <2 hours.

I charge my car to 90/100% if leaving immediately on a longer trip (>200 miles). I have run my car down to <10% on two occasions when returning home. Today, I drove ~ 150 miles round trip to relatives for Easter. Charged to 90% when I left home. At the end of the day, trip computer said I would have 32% left when I returned home. Upon returning, plugging in and putting the car to bed, I had 33% left, so the computer is spot on.

So far, this routine works perfectly for me.

gmr6415 | April 22, 2019

I charge as needed, which is about once a week. Keeping it always plugged in in my situation isn't convenient.

I don't see any apparent degradation after 8 months and about 13,000 miles.

Techy James | April 22, 2019

From everything I gathered to maximize the range of the Battery, your ideal is to keep the charge state most of the time between 20% to 80%. My looking at stats from people that have done testing seem to indicate this will limit the battery degradation as much as possible. Obviously long trips will likely have to pushing outside this limit a bit especially a trip like I recently took that was 1050 each way. During that trip, I dropped down to around 15% twice between charging locations and normally changed to close to 90% each stage.

kevin_rf | April 22, 2019

Nicely parked in the garage while I travel for a week, unplugged.

Frank99 | April 22, 2019

sananpx -
Plug it in when you get home, unplug it when you leave in the morning is the best practice. The battery charger is smart enough to stop charging when the battery gets to whatever charge limit you've set, so there's no need for you to worry about disconnecting it yourself.
I used to connect every night, I even hung my UMC from the ceiling to dangle right at the rear corner of the car to make it as simple to plug in as possible. But these days I get lazy and only plug in when the battery gets below 100 miles of range left, or if I have a big travel day planned for tomorrow.

minervo.florida | April 22, 2019

Just do what the manual says.

PhillyGal | April 22, 2019

Whenever I do charge at home (every 2-3 days) I plug upon arrival around 5pm and unplug when I leave around 7pm, even though the charging itself only takes a fraction of that time.

This weekend I plugged in Saturday around 7pm and the car probably charged for 3 hours but I didn't unplug until this morning at 7am

elecfan2 | April 22, 2019

Wow, all these threads about charging and battery percentages. Tesla and electric vehicles are so darn complicated. it was so much easier when I just had to put gas in the car, now I have to manage battery percentages, worry about when to plug the car in or not. Crazy. :rolleyes:

tjstratton | April 22, 2019

It would only make sense to keep it plugged in if the charger was balancing the cells however I think that only happens during the charging session once it is finished I think the charger shuts off and doesn't start up again. Maybe scheduled charge sessions would keep it at the level you set over a long period since it would activate every day.

majassow | April 22, 2019

All the time? I would definitely recommend unplugging before you drive.

jordanrichard | April 22, 2019


Daryl | April 22, 2019

kevin_rf "Nicely parked in the garage while I travel for a week, unplugged."

Why do you leave it unplugged? It's your car, do what you want, but I trust the owners manual, Page 122:

"Model 3 has one of the most sophisticated battery systems in the world. The most important way to preserve the Battery is to LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE PLUGGED IN when you are not using it. This is particularly important if you are not planning to drive Model 3 for several weeks. When plugged in, Model 3 wakes up when needed to automatically maintain a charge level that maximizes the lifetime of the Battery.

Note: When left idle and unplugged, your vehicle periodically uses energy from the Battery for system tests and recharging the 12V battery when necessary. There is no advantage to waiting until the Battery’s level is low before charging. In fact, the Battery performs best when charged regularly."

RES IPSA | April 22, 2019

I do not leave my car plugged in when parked at home. I am on a TOU plan that varies from 54 cents a kw/hr to 9 cents a kw/hr. I charged once or twice a week when my SOC reaches 40% and I charge it to 80%

radiobartlett | April 23, 2019

One distinct advantage of having a home charger is to keep your Tesla plugged in while idle. We went to Greece and left our M3 plugged into our level-2 charger (7.2 KW) at home in VA for three weeks. I was able to monitor it with the Tesla app while in Greece (totally cool), and even initiated a software download while there. Even if you only have a level-1 plug (standard 110 15 amp plug) you can plug it in for long periods and it will stay "topped off". The vampire draw on my M3 is about 30 miles per month when idle. My car charges up to the 90 % level, then stops charging. When left plugged in, as the vampire draw reduces the battery range a certain amount, it will start charging again to top it up to the 90 % level again.

ODWms | April 23, 2019

54 cents an hour, Res? Wow.

We don't have TOU, but regular rate is around 11 cents an hour including fees, here in West Central Florida.

-TheJohn- | April 23, 2019

I did but now we don't. Familiarity with what is going to happen in regards to overnight/overtime battery loss has led us to just plug it in when we want to charge it up and then only in the day so we can maximize our PV systems output and melt the least amount of polar bears possible.

RES IPSA | April 23, 2019

@ODW... yep. SDGE here in San Diego. Natural gas generation (apparently) is more expensive than coal. And the old nuclear power plant shut down a few years ago.

Atoms | April 23, 2019

Car is plugged in at home and set to charge at 9pm when rate drops to $0.07/kWh. Then charges to about 250mi out of 325mi range at 32A even though 48A is available. I up the rate and range on as need basis.

wiboater4 | April 24, 2019

I'm in the habit of just plugging the car in when I pull into the garage. Since there is a battery management system that's all you really need to do. I have it set to charge when I pay the lowest rate.

PittCaleb | April 24, 2019

Count me confused. I'm fully on board with the 20-80 rule. But the comments of charging it every night fly in the face of people complaining that using the battery from 60-80 every day was bad for it and they observed degradation.

My commute is 25 mi RT; I work from home every other day. In a normal week, I can charge my M3 weekly with no "need" to do it nightly.

If I am in no need of the greater range, is it better to "exercise" the battery and allow it to go from 80 down to 20/30 through the course of the week on short trips, or should I refill it to 80ish on a nightly basis even when not being drawn low?

We have free charging at work, and I do have the NEMA 14-50 at home. My plan was to drive into the office on Mondays, fill free there, use the car during the week, then come back and top off Friday for the w/e and refill as necc at home over the weekend.

I don't drive 150 miles during the week, and if I do, I can easily refill at home if I do or if it will become necessary. So is it *bad* to allow it to drop to 30 or 20? Is the recommendation simply to ensure you have range? I was under the impression exercising the full spectrum of battery from 20-80 was better than just going 60-80-60-80-60-80 all the time. THX

Guy From Gulfport | April 24, 2019

@ODWms here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, my standard rate was $.11/kwh. Went to Time Of Use billing, upon anticipation of Tesla purchase. While our summer (April-October) peak rate is $.34/kwh, it is only during a total of 15 hours per week. The rest of the time, it is $.047/kwh. Even though I charge my car 1/2 the time at home, my new bills are 25% less than what they were, BEFORE the car. TOU rates made home charging achievable, for me.

Iwantmy3 | April 24, 2019

This topic keeps coming up over and over and over again.
If you go back over previous threads, they show all of the references to ACTUAL studies on the life of lithium batteries.

The basic results show;
1) 100 charges from 10% to 90% results in roughly the same degradation as 800 charges from 50% to 60%. The overall battery life performance doesn't change. It doesn't matter.
2) Charging to 100% repeatedly does reduce overall battery life performance (~20%). Significant, and worth avoiding, but not the end of the world on a battery that should last 300,000 miles.

kirwin | April 25, 2019

Only plug it in when finished for the day. Set at about 80%