How often should the car be charged?

How often should the car be charged?

For the current EV owners and those who are knowledgeable, I pose the following question: My commute is 9.5 miles each way. The range of the M3 Long range battery is approximately 310 miles. Knowing (from advice of people here on the forum) I won't routinely charge it to 100%. Should I charge the car every night? What is best for the long term care of the battery? Is it best to charge it nightly or until the battery gets down to a certain percentage?

RichardKJ | December 22, 2017

Set the charge level to 80% and plug it in whenever it is convenient, but don't obsess about it. Set the charge to start late at night, either for better rates or just to be kind to the grid.

"A plugged in Tesla is a happy Tesla."

You may soon find that you have a "need" to drive much more than 19 miles a day. :-)

fritter63 | December 22, 2017

It should be charged when you don't have enough range to get to where you're going....... :-|

Frank99 | December 22, 2017

LiIon batteries have a cycle life - for example, a 20% loss of capacity after 1000 charges. The important thing to know is that "charge" in this case means "full charge from 0 to 100%". If you plug in and only charge 10%, that's only 10% of a charge - meaning that it really doesn't matter whether you wait 10 days until the car is discharged then charge, or plug it in every night for 10 days and charge 10%.
And Richard's right - if you're not going on a trip, set your max charge to 80% to maximize battery life.
If you're gonna go on a long trip tomorrow, set the car to charge to 100%, and set it to start so that it finishes charging within a few hours of when you plan on leaving. LiIon batteries are OK with charging to 100% - but leaving them at 100% charge for days isn't real good for them.

Bluesday Afternoon | December 22, 2017

You will notice that the scheduled charging screen indicates 50% to 90%. You can also set it to charge early in the morning. I have mine set for 4 am for most days. If I plan to drive more I’ll start it earlier and set it from 80% to 90%. I’ve had my Model S85D for three years and my 90% charge has dropped from 242 miles down to 238.

I Wanna Go Fast | December 22, 2017

If you decide not to charge every day, plug in at 40% and set the charge limit to 60-80%. Occasionally go to 90% to help brick balancing (all cells in series are balanced to the same voltage). Narrow operating charge states makes accurate energy estimation difficult, so a few days before a big trip have it rest a few hours around 10%, then charge to 90-100% and rest there for a few hours too.

Bluesday Afternoon | December 22, 2017
SCCRENDO | December 22, 2017

134000 miles since April 2013. Keep your car plugged in. At home I charge to 60-90% depending on how far I am planning to go. If I need 100% I charge from 90-100 90 mins before I plan tho leave. I would rather keep my battery fuller than to run short the next day. If I am on vacation without my car I leave it plugged in at 50%

Rutrow | December 23, 2017

"Elon Musk and JB Straubel said that the “most comfortable” SOC for the Tesla battery is between 50% and 62%. So, if you need to keep your car plugged in for a couple on months at a time for vacation or travel set the charge level to 60%. This way Vampire Loss might take it down to 55% before recharging."

KP in NPT | December 23, 2017

We charge about once a week - if the battery gets to about 20% or if we need to add miles for a long trip. Our battery is happy after 2.5 years of this treatment.

TranzNDance | December 23, 2017

I think another consideration is how predictable your life is and what is your contingency plan if you needed to go somewhere unexpectedly. With kids, I have to expect the unexpected and although there is a nearby supercharger, I don't want to wait for a charge with an upset child.

Bluesday Afternoon | December 23, 2017


Then charge your Model 3 to 90% every morning before leaving home.

Steam613 | December 23, 2017

If one's good then two's better? So to the tech savvy; or maybe the chemist, whoever: If charging to no more than 80% is better for battery longevity; how much is the battery health margin improved with only doing 70% or the aforementioned 62%. Are we splitting hairs or adding years to the life of the battery? Or more likely somewhere in between?

Bluesday Afternoon | December 23, 2017

If the battery is at 70% (more than likely will be higher) and you ordered a LR battery you would have a range of 217 miles (rated new at 310 X .70). The car will still make a great around town car and even do long trips with the buildup of charging locations completed by 2025. Not a problem!

Steam613 | December 23, 2017

I am getting the LR battery. Initially for range anxiety but after this thread it seems there is value in buying more battery for the capacity you won't use (most of the time). This lessens the argument of saving money for 'those rare occasions' you'll need more range.

SUN 2 DRV | December 23, 2017

@Steam +1 Yes exactly! And that's one reason the Long Range battery comes with a more warranted miles. Frank99 put it very well, and one battery life factor is the total number of kWh that has been passed through it. With the same usage pattern, a bigger battery lets you nibble away at its lifetime more slowly.

Lil Sebastian | June 25, 2019

I felt I should update this thread with new info I just saw from a "like tesla" YouTube video. There is a GREAT graphic at about 5:09. The whole video and channel is great but you can skip to 5:09 for just the graph of charge cycles and SOC vs degradation...
Watch "Tesla's New Stance On YOUR Charging Habits & Elon Responds To Us!"

Joshan | June 25, 2019

Necro a 2 year old thread WTF?

petegajria | June 25, 2019

My LR AWD battery is now 260m @ 90% at 10k miles.
Why it won't charge beyond that to 279m @90% is a complete mystery to me.
SC says not to worry, its normal degradation, but that seems a little excessive at just 10k miles
I tried discharging to well below 20% to 8% (it was a long drive) & charging back to 100% twice & no recalibration.
So either this battery will last or it won't or there's a software fix in place somewhere.

Wolfsbane | June 25, 2019

Those that posted in the past....any real world usage comments and battery calibration readings to share? (miles expected for a 80-90% charge as compared to when new)?


Joshan | June 25, 2019

said it many timesbefore, but to recap.

I am at 11k miles on my LR AWD and I charge to 90% every day regardless of what I drove that day.

At 90% charge I still get 279 miles, that means I have not lost even a single mile yet.

People WAY WAY overthink this. As Elon said a happy tesla is a plugged in tesla.

Joshan | June 25, 2019

now can we stop necroing 2 year old threads? Makes it seem like you are unable to start new threads as you dont own a Tesla.

vmulla | June 25, 2019

I'm seeing the exact same thing as @Joshan, albeit I'm at 38,530 miles. I'm an owner since Jan 2018.

vmulla | June 25, 2019

@joshan, I actually don't mind this thread being reused. It gives context that without changing any charging habits that battery is doing a-ok.

Joshan | June 25, 2019

Well if he wants to read the replies he should start a new thread, as necrod threads here die fast (People are flagging them).