Dropping to 50% of range with heater on at 72F and with one person.

Dropping to 50% of range with heater on at 72F and with one person.

I have 8 month of old with 8K+ miles on my 75D and this is my model x first winter experince, my miles range is dropping 50% with heater on even with one person in car, I have been experiencing this issue for last 4 weeks, did anybody experiencing same with Model X or it is a known issue?
Thanks for your suggestions and advises..

David Trushin | December 27, 2017

Your range will be significantly less until your battery warms up. Once the battery is warm, the range should return to between 5-15% less than nominal room temp range. You can tell if the battery is too cold from the dash window with energy usage. Cold battery shows up as orange dashed line on the regent arc. User battery management is pretty crummy across the Tesla line because the only way to heat a cold battery is by driving the car, charging the car, and, the documentation claims but I've never been successful at, preheating the cabinwhike plugged in. It would be nice if there was a button on the app to perform this function, but I've asked for this many times and they are not listening.

Btw, unless they've changed this in the 3 years since I stopped using this feature, range mode disables battery hvac so your mileage will actually be worse if you use range mode with a cold battery. After the battery is warm you could use range mode, but you can accomplish the same thing by just turning the heat down.

poloX | December 27, 2017

Assumed 72F is cabin setting. What is the outside tempt?

Rocky_H | December 27, 2017

These threads come up every winter, and yes, it's normal. But you are only getting half the picture.

New owners freak out on this, because they first see it on short trips around town with long stops of the car sitting and getting cold again. On my 2 mile drive home from work in the really cold part of winter that will sometimes use up 4 or 5 rated miles or more, which is about that 50% loss you are talking about. That is because of some really intense heating energy trying to warm up that battery initially. The watt hours per mile will frequently be 800-1,000 during the first 5-10 minutes. But when you use it for longer distances, you will see that it settles down once it gets that battery and the inside of the car warmer. Longer distances, like 100 to 150 miles will show more like 15-20% extra energy consumption from the heating, which is noticeable but not outrageous.

That's the flip side of the coin from an electric motor being so energy efficient most of the year. There isn't a lot of waste heat, so heating the battery and cabin has to consume energy from the battery, which is the same pool of energy where your "rated miles" are. So you are not just using it for distance. It's X amount for distance and Y amount for heating.

Tropopause | December 27, 2017

David- The latest app software (and car software) allows for battery pre-heating while plugged in and using cabin heat function.

anugu | December 28, 2017

Thanks for your suggestion sand experiences ..
@David, You mean Temp " Turn on" Under "Climate" in Tesla App or I did not see ant latest app in apple store..Thanks

anugu | December 28, 2017

Thanks for your suggestion sand experiences ..
@David, You mean Temp " Turn on" Under "Climate" in Tesla App or I did not see ant latest app in apple store..Thanks

ratchet | December 28, 2017

I just confirmed on my MX 100D with 2017.50.2 that the battery will pre-heat when the app activates cabin heat even if it is not plugged in for charging. I recall seeing somewhere that Tesla *recommends* that the car be plugged in (to reduce drain on the battery) but it does work unplugged.

packpike | December 29, 2017

ratchet: Did your interior cabin temp have to be really low to get the pre-heat function to work?

David Trushin | December 29, 2017

What I would like to see on the app is a button that says "preheat battery". Other than that, we have speculation and guesswork.

ratchet | December 29, 2017

I was not able to get the battery icon when pre-heating in my garage where temp is around 45 F. It did work (even though the car was not plugged in) when outside at 25 F temp. I don't recall the cabin temp at the time.

kenny | December 30, 2017

Also keep in mind that heating air is the most inefficient use of energy. Turn the temp down and use the heated seats if you have them.

Tesla.L.A. | December 30, 2017

My range estimator is 35-50% off as well. It doesn't seem reasonable that Tesla designed this beautiful and modern car with the expectation that passengers couldn't use the climate control functions without rapid battery drain. Particularly on long drives, when I am worried about running out of battery. Really...not supposed to use the heater or AC?

batemanrandall | December 30, 2017

I agree with Tesla.L.A. and David Trushin that Tesla should be able to figure out how to preheat the battery before a long trip without all the loopholes of the current heat the cabin business. We've had our 90D Model X for two winters and have major issues in making a 140 mile trip. Called Tesla (no call back) and took to the dealership without any benefit. Will try the paradoxical suggestion to turn off range mode for a while.
cold driving very much negatively impacts range and time to charge. When driving our Model X 90D this winter in 15 degree Fahrenheit, we get a range of ~140 miles or less on the highway (with range mode on, rear heater off, etc.), while the estimated battery is 242 miles at the start. We had to stop each way to charge, in contrast to the summer the trip was easily possible. Also, much more time needed at supercharger as battery won't charge while cold - be prepared to spend an hour or longer. Called Tesla support and requested response, but have yet to receive a contact.

himx | December 30, 2017

Yes, I noticed the same with my MX 75D yesterday, temp was 10 degree F in Chicago suburb and for 30 miles highway trip it indicated me my range reduced by 70 miles. It is more than 50%.

sosmerc | December 31, 2017

This discussions validates potential customer's concern over range anxiety and known issues with the way pure BEV's are taxed with cold weather. It's a legitimate roadblock to EV adoption and needs to be solved. | December 31, 2017

Other factors left out of the discussion (which is true of ICE cars too):

1) Speed - going 85 mph vs 65 mph is a huge additional drain.
2) Heavy headwinds
3) Underinflated tires (and in cold they may be?)

Never had a range concern in 5+ years of Tesla EV driving. Just something that takes a little forethought and knowledge. After a month, most owners have it figured out.

nutner | December 31, 2017

There is a steeper learning curve with BEVs, so let’s not minimize it. If you live in a place with temperature swings, hills, towing etc, these all affect range and drastically in some cases. For the average person it will take at least a year to get used to the range characteristics and know the differences that affect range. Specifically when thinking about range, the difference between an ICE car and BEV is completely different! I agree with the sentiment that we need to understand the differences and plan more effectively with BEVs, especially in the cold. Maybe for a person never leaving California, the driving characteristics and abundant Superchargers limit range anxiety, but not for most of the rest of the world.

Rocky_H | January 2, 2018

@Tesla.L.A. Quote: “It doesn't seem reasonable that Tesla designed this beautiful and modern car with the expectation that passengers couldn't use the climate control functions without rapid battery drain.”

Physics wasn’t designed by ANY car company. Running an electric heater takes electricity. The battery in the car has to provide for driving + heating. No one is telling you you can’t use the heater or A/C. You just need to be aware of the extra charge you will need for it. It’s just like how no one is telling you you need to not use your heating at home and wear a coat inside. You’re welcome to use your furnace and keep it nice and warm, but you’ll have to pay the higher energy bill. You always have that choice.

Cuttin | January 2, 2018

New tesla owner here.

I have been driving the last week or so in northeast cold temps.

Trips of 25-30 miles of actual driving, split into 2 or 3 bouts, use about twice as much miles, around 50-60 of range.

So this is normal? half the range in the cold, on shorter trips? (I did read about the longer trips being more economical energy wise bc the batter is already warm)

burdogg | January 3, 2018

Yes, pretty normal, because the battery never gets heated up, so each time, you start over and a fair amount of energy goes into heating the battery - this is so you get much longer life out of the battery.

So unfortunately, yes, short trips in very cold temps will really hurt your range.

Cuttin | January 3, 2018

Thanks burdog.

Does it make sense to prewarm the car if it's NOT plugged in? Or is that counterproductive?

Basically if the battery is cold and you preheat the cabin it for 20minutes. Does that use more or less energy than driving it cold for twenty minutes?

zxed | January 3, 2018

Similar to Cuttin - Yesterday evening I pre-heated to 68 (while plugged in), car had 253 mile range., drove off and picked someone up for a meeting, spent 10 minutes showing them the tesla., got on the highway, floored it a couple of times (P100D). had a 3 hour meeting, preheated for 5 minutes., dropped him off

Total miles driven from time I left home 17.
Range remaining 186 miles.....
Outside temp ~8

markcohen | January 3, 2018

I'm going on 2 months now with my X100D and the last week of so has been my first experience with the cold. I've read a number threads on this so I thought that I knew what to expect but even so I was surprised at one thing. I had seen that regenerative braking was impacted and I also saw it on the display with the dotted line and yellow bang. When I just read about it I assumed that the charging during regenerative braking was impacted. What I didn't realize was that the car ALSO didn't slow down as much in this state. As an engineer, I am curious why this is and why Tesla chose to implement it this was as it COULD have some safety implications because the car changes how it drives (stops). Before anyone jumps on me over this... I am not personally concerned at all - I'm just interested in the logic.

What I DID do was to experiment a bit after discovering this for myself. What I learned is that if you change how you drive, mainly ensuring that you coast to a stop even given the reduced regenerative braking, then the impact of the cold on range is significantly reduced. I was actually able to make my 10 mile drive into work this morning at 315 w/h vs more than 500 w/h when I didn't pay attention to this and just drove "normally" in the cold. For reference, my "normal" consumption at more comfortable temperatures without trying to conserve is 350ish.

I'm not trying to say that cold doesn't have an impact - it does. What I am trying to say is that other factors with regard to how you drive have at least as large an impact and if you are concerned about what you lose from the cold, it can at least be mitigated in other ways.

zxed | January 3, 2018

markcohen - how cold is it where you live?

burdogg | January 3, 2018

markcohen - great comments - that is true and some don't recognize how much their driving habits do affect it. Also with cold - the cold air has a "heavier" drag on the vehicle, so it also takes more just to move the vehicle through the air. Just another factor affecting the range.

As far as the regen - yes, when you have limited regen the car coasts more - the reason for this is, the regen can't recharge the battery until the battery warms up. With no where to put that energy, the car can't regen like normal, thus leaving you to coast much like your ICE car. Hence why the yellow dashed lines - it is to warn you that regen is limited, and hence if it is limited, it does not work the same :) But that is not an obvious statement and something after experiencing it, just becomes normal.

markcohen | January 3, 2018

It’s been down to 15F overnight but the car is garaged. Temp in the garage is about 40 and it has b en 18-25 while driving. BTW that drive was on local streets with 45-55mph limits.

burdogg | January 3, 2018

As far as preheating while NOT plugged in - I don't know that it helps a whole lot - you have to use energy to heat the battery - so while your wh/mi might look better, your rated miles will be less when you get in the car. Preheating while not plugged in as well will give you a warmer cabin, but unless you have the latest update that supposedly does battery heating as well, it takes a lot of preheating from my experience to get the battery nice and warm to where regen is back to complete normal. I don't plug in every day, so usually just give up on preheating :) - of course, I only live 4 miles from work, but I do go home at lunch, so I see the same things as everyone else, should be using around 16 miles a day, but during winter it is more like 25 ish, due to the cold battery every time I drive it for the 4 short miles. Battery never warms up. But I only charge like every 3rd day or so :)

burdogg | January 3, 2018

Oh and my temps right now are around 10 degrees in the morning up to 32 during the day. Mine is garaged as well - the one garage at home is probably around 40-50. The one I have at work feels like it is 20 - one day I will actually get a thermometer in there, as it makes no sense, but it is a 2 car garage, detached from my office building, with no windows. So it seems to just trap the cold in there and the sun does not penetrate to heat it up. The leather seats are frozen when I get in them to go home at lunch and end of day.

zxed | January 3, 2018

AAA in NE reported that they got so many calls for the 2nd Jan AM that they "ran out of batteries", I dropped off my pilot for control arm issues at honda and the shuttle guy commented that it was nuts - they sold 90 batteries just yesterday and they are also sold out now.

I agree that driving habits make a difference; just not sure about the "as large an impact" when it comes to sub zero and negative temperatures where the car is not in a garage....

markcohen | January 3, 2018

burdogg - what the engineer in me wants to know is whether Tesla knew that the battery wouldn't take as much of a change in the cold and therefore backed off the regen braking because it would just be a waste of energy OR if the cold itself somehow reduces the regenerative braking directly. I suspect the former...

I also experimented with driving by doing more acceleration and braking to see if I could "heat" the battery. I think that you can, but it takes too long and wastes way too much power in the process.

Rocky_H | January 3, 2018

For the short drives around town, this may seem counterintuitive, but turning on Range Mode is probably going to waste less energy. It's in the 20-30 degree temperature ranges here, and if I'm driving a cold car just 5 or 10 miles, it's not really going to have a chance to warm up much anyway. The regen is going to be partially limited the whole drive anyway. And basically not having it in range mode is just going to run up a lot of extra energy usage heating up the battery that's not really going to accomplish much.

This does touch on what @markcohen mentioned about how you drive. With my 15+ years or hybrid driving, it's not really hard for me to drive within the mostly limited regen and still not use the brakes much, so this still works well. But if you're a harder driver, warming up the battery a little more so you can get more regen available is probably a good idea for your efficiency in total so you're not using the brake pads.

And replying to @markcohen's last question:
"burdogg - what the engineer in me wants to know is whether Tesla knew that the battery wouldn't take as much of a change in the cold and therefore backed off the regen braking because it would just be a waste of energy OR if the cold itself somehow reduces the regenerative braking directly. I suspect the former..."

It's almost the first one. They are backing off the regen on purpose, but it's not about wasting energy. Fast charging really cold lithium ion batteries actually does bad permanent damage to them. So this is the battery management system preventing that. The current versus temperature does have a progressive scale with this effect, though, as you see with the regen limit gradually easing up with warmth. So when they are extremely cold, regen has to be turned off. Also, if you plug in the car at that point, you will get no charging right away. It will need to warm up the battery some to take any charging from either regen or a plug. When it warms up a little, you can charge it at a low current without damage. And as it gets even warmer, the safe current level continues higher.

burdogg | January 3, 2018

Yep - Rocky_H hit it as far as I am aware - because charging a cold battery is very detrimental and someone pointed out from an article, in rare cases, can even cause the battery to explode :) I am not a battery expert by any means, but did learn this recently from a thread either on here or the 3 side when discussing this - I am pretty sure it was on the 3 forum. So like for me this morning - getting in my car at 7 - there was no regen at all. after about 2 miles, I had a tiny bit, and by the time 4 miles as I pulled into my office, I had some regen :)

goatea | December 6, 2018

New Tesla owner. I am expecting a new model delivery today! I’ve had an electric since 2012, Ford Focus electric. I’m very familiar with the battery range dropping off 50% in the cold. My only thought would be why doesn’t Tesla make something to mitigate this problem? Not more battery but actually a heater. I know it sounds kind of clunky but in the winter since there is such a drop off in rage can’t they instigate some kind of natural gas heater just for those times when do you need a heater? It might seem clunky, but since using the heater has such a drastic affect on the battery maybe a clunky solution is needed. I’m in California so this hardly ever effects me. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is to someone who drives in cold weather all the time. | December 6, 2018

Tesla already solved it. When you have a reasonable size battery, the % that the heater takes from range is a lot less.

Let's say the heater takes 5kW in an hour. For a 100 kW pack that's 5% of the range in an hour. Now for an EV with a tiny battery - like the Ford Focus (2011-2016) of only 23 kW, that same 5 kW of heat takes 21% of the range in an hour!

Adding some kind of natural gas heater has all sorts of problems. Where do you fill it up? Do you lose your pollution free status? What are the risks of toxic carbon monoxide getting into the cabin? Where is the fuel stored? Does this reduce cargo space for the tanks? Are all new crash testing required? Sorry to say his is a bad idea on many levels, and totally unnecessary on the Tesla.