Leaving Tesla plugged in while away?

Leaving Tesla plugged in while away?

Form time to time I need to go on shorter trips for my business and that sometimes require me to travel by air.
Luckily I can park the car at my company while away and the car can stay plugged in there while I am away. Mos times trips will be short 2-3 days, other might be upwards to 14 days. Can I safely leave Tesla plugged in while away?

So will this cause damage to batteries or unfair wear on the number of possible recharge cycles?
Specially during winter I believe leaving car plugged in is mandatory according to what I read here on the forum.

Is there anyway I can control the charging via some smart app? Like plug in the car before going to airport, then via mobile phone app making the car not charge before the day before I arrive?

I have still not decided to pay the down payment and sign the contract cause I feel there might still be things I need to get a better understanding of. If I order Tesla it will be my only vehicle so I must be sure it will work for my needs without putting strain on batteries etc.

gimp_dad | February 28, 2013

Leaving it plugged in is fine as long as you have it on standard charge.

And, the mobile app (runs on Android and Apple mobile devices) will allow you do what you ask. You can start or stop charging from the mobile app no matter where you are.

torst1 | February 28, 2013


Any news on the the public API for Tesla? Would be fantastic to be able to get great third party apps to such an automotive icon.

GoTeslaChicago | February 28, 2013

I would turn down the amps to maybe 5 amps, so that you are trickle charging it while away. You can check on it periodically from you smart phone, but you can't change the amp setting from the phone.

jat | February 28, 2013

@torst1 - the information on the API is available, and there have been some libraries published in various languages. I haven't had time to finish my Java libraries for use with server-side Java, Android, and compiled to JS via GWT, but hopefully soon.

jbunn | February 28, 2013

no need to turn down the amps unless you are worried about popping the breaker. The car will only take the power it needs.

July10Models | February 28, 2013

The car is design and engineered to take care of its own batteries. Just plug the car in and forget about it.

GoTeslaChicago | February 28, 2013

The reason I suggested turning down the amps, is the same reason I do it at home. Why charge at 30-40 amps and have it reach full charge in two hours when the car will be sitting there much longer than that. Why not have it charge slower so it will prolong the time that the battery is being properly conditioned?

olanmills | February 28, 2013

Leaving it plugged in is in fact the recommendation for maintaining the batteries in the best way if you have to leave the car unused for an extended period of time. The computer in the battery/charging system manages the charging intelligently, so you won't damage the battery by overcharging or anything like that.

Even 110V outlet is fine for this purpose. The exception is that if the ambient temperature is very cold (like below freezing) or very hot for extended periods of time, then a 240V outlet is better, because the car will need to use more energy to maintain battery thermals.

Brian H | February 28, 2013

AND have it hot-n-ready when you pick it up, rather than cold-soaked again, and requiring battery power after you start up to rewarm. Right. Far more useful and sensible.

bradslee | February 28, 2013

+1 olanmills

olanmills is correct in pointing out that TM recommends that MS should be plugged in all the time when you leave the MS unused. MS computer will intelligently and automatically calculate when to charge and when to stop charging.

Brian H | February 28, 2013

Yes, to keep itself healthy. But without a timer function built-in, it has no way to optimize for its next use.

torst1 | March 3, 2013

Ok sounds great. But is there an app that let me control the heat in the car as well as the charging? That way I can make sure I do not need to struggle with frozen rain panzer ice on the windshield, or to struggle with inches of snow on the car.

From what I have read in the forum such an app was planned for the S, and was to come with a later firmware. Is remote control of heater working now with 4.2?

Brant | March 3, 2013

the app is here already
and yes, you can turn on the heat with it

Brant | March 3, 2013

If you have an Iphone or Android you can download the app to check out the features...its free

torst1 | March 3, 2013

Great. No need 4 the apps before I get the car, those apps won't do me any good as I still haven't put up down payment and signed contract.

The more time I spend here @the forum the more I am sure Tesla S is the right car for me. Also I read the thread about the bloke driving 3.000 miles in a month and the dent in the electric bill was only 90$ while have saved 900 something on Gas. Things like that put a smile on my face and I can really picture myself flooring the car with a big smile on my face, never again to see those awful gascard bills.

Brian H | March 4, 2013

cheap, guilt-free, matchless acceleration: the #1 appeal of the Model S‼

astrotoy | March 4, 2013

I am typically out of the country for about 6 weeks in the late Spring. Looks like it is OK for me to have the MS85 plugged in with standard charge for the entire time. Correct? Thanks.

DouglasR | March 4, 2013

@astrotoy - Correct!

olanmills | March 4, 2013

@astrotoy, not only is it OK, it is the best, most recommended way to take care of your car.