Cold weather anxiety- 60 or p85????

Cold weather anxiety- 60 or p85????

Hi all,

I have been considering getting a Tesla for some time, but some recent reviews have me a little bit concerned.
My typical day involves a 100 km commute to work where the car will sit in most likely -10 degree weather for about 11 hours and then a 100km commute back. I was looking at getting the 60 but after reading reviews about the effects of cold weather on range I am a little bit concerned.

Should I be?

edouard bissada | April 10, 2013

I got the 85 for that very reason, I live in Canada and it can get to -20 easily. I would say with the introduction of sleep mode you will have no problem doing a 200km roundtrip commute with the 60. Even in normal charge mode (not fully charged, but around 90%) the 60 will give you approx 250 km in the type of weather you are talking about (assuming normal highway speeds of 110kph and more or less flat terrain) with the car heating to about 22 C. HAving said al that it if you can afford it then get the 85, I do a similar drive to the one you describe and come home with greater than 100km of range under the worst conditions.

jat | April 10, 2013

If it is -10F outside, you are going to spend more energy heating the battery than you do running the computers, so I don't think sleep mode is going to be as big an improvement as you think. I think you will probably be ok, though you won't have much margin for anything unexpected or for battery degradation. Note that you shouldn't use the full range of the car, as you don't want to have to use max-range charges for your daily commute.

pureauto | April 10, 2013

Thanks so much...

How do you enjoy the car otherwise? Winter driving a problem?

jat | April 10, 2013

I love the car. I haven't had much of what you would consider winter driving -- I went on an out of town trip with the weather below freezing, and generally didn't keep the car hooked up (I charged the night I got there and the night before I left). It handled just fine in light snow, but most of our "winter" has been 40-50F :).

pureauto | April 10, 2013

So you think, without full charge (regular 90% charge) you think 200k round trip with a 11 hour period sitting in cold weather unplugged will a 60 work for me?

jat | April 10, 2013

I think so, but it will be pretty marginal -- if you have to make an extra trip, if it is extra cold, or after the battery capacity has started to degrade (perhaps 4-5 years it starts being noticeable), then maybe it won't. Note that you can adjust to that quite a bit by just slowing down if you need to, so if you are willing to drive slower in those occasions you will be fine.

If you could plug it up while you are there, even at 120V, I would think you would have no issue at all.

edouard bissada | April 10, 2013

This is absolutely correct, the difference in wh/km is staggering between 110 kph an 90 kph. Another thing to add to this is that in stop and go driving (city or traffic) the range is significantly lower. Bringing the car up to even a slowish 50 kph uses quite a bit of energy, so be sure to factor that into your decision making. For what its worth you absolutely need winter tires if your home is snow covered. There is a lot of power being transfered to those rear wheels and the back end will unglue on snow or in slush without proper tires (at least that was my experience)

awilder | April 10, 2013

It sounds like the biggest problem with your commute is going to be letting the car sit out in the cold during the day, unplugged. In Los Angeles, our car will "lose" about 10 miles (16 km) of range/day just sitting in the driveway (unplugged). Once sleep mode is back, I expect that to get better; but we also don't need to keep our batteries warm. So I agree with jat@ - if you can plug the car in while you're at work, even at 120V, you'll be just fine. (120V will add about 3 mi/hour (5 km/hour) of range.)

I've heard estimates of range loss of about 1% to 2% for every 10,000 miles driven... So we decided to get the 85 over the 60 for that very reason. If you're pushing the range limits when the car is new, it's going to get just that much tighter over the next few years.

The 85 also includes the Supercharging option, so you were planning on adding that to your 60, the price difference isn't quite as great.

So... if you can afford the jump to the 85, I think it's a good idea for you. :)

patp | April 10, 2013

I live in Canada and on some occasions this winter I was flush making 240 km - no stop with the 85 kWh.

CarlE_P439 | April 11, 2013

If you can afford it, go with the 85kWh battery pack. I live in Connecticut and have taken trips to Maine (was only as cold as 20 degrees F- not as cold as Canada!) but my range seemed to be less than expected due to the cold. I have the 85kWh pack and have been very happy with it.