Suitability as a weekend family ski commuter / cold charge

Suitability as a weekend family ski commuter / cold charge

I want to order an X as our next weekend ski season commuter but am concerned about a few things. Our weekend commute from the Vancouver area to Sun peaks in the interior of BC is 385 km's or 240 miles. This takes about 3.5 to 4 hours, but with highway / avalanche closures, it has taken us as long as 6 hours. We generally only stop for a very brief restroom break at the top of the pass.

We have a home at the mountain that will support fast charging, but we do not park in our garage, so would be charging the X outside in up to -30c temperatures (-22f). We do this every weekend from late Nov to mid April, and are up for as long as two weeks over Christmas.

Is this a crazy idea and I am putting my family at risk?? I have not found a source within Tesla that can provide any answers. Are there S owners with experience in cold weather driving and charging as well as deep snow road conditions? Not sure where to turn for answers?!

Brian H | 5 August 2013

It's right at the fringe. A mid-point boost would seem desireable. I think plugging in will protect the battery while parked in the cold.

ian | 5 August 2013

Looks like there are a few chargers on route that are part of the Sun Country Highway. I agree with Brian that it would be really pushing it to try and make it all the way. A short charge along the way would make it doable. For a short charge you'll want as powerful a charger as you can get so look for the CS-90's on route.

There's a CS -90 at the municipal hall in Hope, one at the Baillie House in Merritt, and another one at the Holiday Inn in Kamloops.

Just off the main route is a 60 in Lytton and a 90 at the Best Western in Kelowna.

I would recommend parking and charging in the garage in those temps as well but as long as you can charge up there I think you should be fine.

All of which may be a moot point if they (as I and others are hoping) they offer a larger capacity battery option for the X. Don't count on it though.


atomkramer | 5 August 2013

Thanks guys, that's what I was afraid of. To goneskiian . . . If you come our way to ski make sure you don't follow your Nav mapping, taking Hwy 1 is a much longer (time) route as it is two lane (and longer) as well as a little more dangerous. We use Hwy 5 which is divided Hiway almost all the way.

One other concern I have is that there are two major passes, with 3,000++ vertical ft climbs. Guessing the regen on the way down would help, but going up could be a problem.

I am trying to visit Fremont in late October and will hold off until then at least and hope for a larger battery! Thanks again, cheers.

ian | 5 August 2013

I'm not far from you in Seattle. We've been up to Big White but not to Sun Peaks yet. Might have to change that. ;-)

Thanks for the route tip!


ian | 5 August 2013

Google maps routed me on the 5 but you said you had to deal road closures once in a while so I was giving alternate charging options off the main route. Hence the Lytton and Kelowna. ;-)

Panoz | 10 August 2013

Don't do it. You describe a regular trip at the extreme edge of the vehicle's range under ideal conditions. Add traction issues and the chance of extended travel times due to weather and I'd estimate you'd be stranded 75% of your weekends. EV is not an option for the use you describe.

anton.arnesen | 13 August 2013

In my opinion Tesla will try to minimize any risk for such "driving". It would give too much negative PR.

As I have understood Tesla has made improvements with respect to those Tesla S' that have been sent to Norway.

I'm trusting Tesla 100%, and the car will be parked outside, with charging during the winter (Oslo/Norway). I hope that I can respond positively.

Counting days (400?)

RanjitC | 22 August 2013

After using the Model S for 8 months I sincerely advise counting on only 80% of 90% of the rated miles as I would not charge the battery more than 90% of it's capacity frequently like every weekend, and I have seen that with the P85 I get 80% of rated miles on a regular basis, this worsens with headwinds and elevation changes. Be very cautious with your estimates of what your car can do, make sure that there is always a plan B, at least till I build a supercharger at every freeway exit.