Cold arctic weather and battery life?

Cold arctic weather and battery life?

I am close to putting in my order for the Tesla S. But I live in the wrong part of Norway and there is a 1.500 km drive to the Tesla store. No need to say that even if I would like to have a test drive and a Tesla chat with the people at
I am not able to do so.

So what I have been wondering about is how does cold arctic weather influence the batteries?
I am set to get the 85kw hi performance package. But I am not sure how minus 20 degrees celsius will affect the driving range. I have read that Tesla S with 85kw package will make 480 km on one charge. But I can not find any information about weather conditions. That 480 km range is under ideal conditions I am sure. What about real life?

Say in minus 20 degrees celsius, how many kilometers can I drive before recharing? Keep in mind that in weather conditions like that running the electric heater is a must otherwise one would freeze to death. Also north of the arctic circle the sun is below the horizon for a good 2 months each winter - meaning wintertime is equal always driving with the light on, and the heater going.

What kind of rang will I make in conditions like that? 10% less the aclaimed 480 km? Or even more reduction?

Has there been any testing done of how cold weather clime affects the duration of battery power?

torst1 | 28 januari 2013

Are you plain stupid or just ignorant kiteulf?
Have you ever driven on cold winter roads? Today's advanced winter tires uses special rubber blends designed to keep the rubber soft for maximal grip. Advanced patterns are constructed to the tires to rapidly drain away any excessive water that forms between the road surface and the tires. And you can even get them with steel studs. Add all that to more and more advanced cars with stability programs, better weight distribution and balance and large breaks combined with ABS.

There is nothing extreme driving today's car in 120 km/h in cold winter conditions. It is an everyday event that puts hardly no extra stress on the driver - except a little more joy and a little more focus.

Even if you suddenly need to break hard - what are you afraid of? Do think the car will spin out of control or flip upside down wheels up?

No that is not the case. I dare you to go out and try for yourself. Find a place with little traffic, good overview and test it. It is not crazy, insane or for people with an inner death wish. It is perfectly sane and for the most part for most people safe enough.

Mark22 | 28 januari 2013

Looks like you nailed it Kiteulf:(

Brian H | 28 januari 2013

Have to agree with torst on this. Here in Canada 60 mph on dry roads in the cold is common, and much higher speeds, too. Lots of accidents result from people not dialing it back soon enough when conditions change, though.

jkirkebo | 28 januari 2013

To go 120km/t and not lose your license reqires a speed limit of 90km/h or higher. A very small percent of Norwegian roads have this limit, most roads are 80km/t (lose your license at 116km/h) or 70km/h (lose it at 106km/h). In addition to that many roads have speed cameras that take your picture at different places and compare the average speed so on those roads you can't even go 10km/h over the limit without being ticketed.

When I do my 283km drive to my cabin the first 70km are on roads with 100km/h limit. Still I do end up with an average speed of about 73-75km since most of the rest of the roads have 60-70-80km/h limits.

Very few people here in central eastern Norway do more than 10km/h over the limit on those roads. If you do 10km/h over on a 80km/h road you will pass 5x as many cars as those who pass you.

120km/h only happens on the multi-lane 100km/h highways, and those are not long stretches of road (maybe 100km in a stretch before encountering lower speed limits).

torst1 | 28 januari 2013

Ok I will make this my last post regarding the speed cause it is not directly related to the thread.

Clearly Tesla Motors attract green environmentalist as well as hard core car buffs. I understand that the hippie people will never have the same feeling about cars and driving as we car buffs do. They will happily go according to speed limits and be just fine. While we car buffs will feel the need to speed. That is not a problem. We are all different and that is a good thing.

But I will state this one more time - 120 km/h is perfectly safe even on winter time. As long as the temperature are way below zero.

horst | 28 januari 2013


Have you considered to buy a small Honda generator and a 10 litre fuel container for emergency purposes? I thought about this. 2 to 4kw should be possible. This would help you also heating the car in a case of emergency. The front trunk is perfect for storing this.

Psssst - I was told, that the Tesla people do not like to hear this.


GoTeslaChicago | 28 januari 2013

Re Torst: I have driving experience in cold & snow. When it is near zero fahrenheit, you can go quite fast on packed snow and have good traction. I'm talking about dry snow, not the kind you get in cities after salt is applied.

The key thing is roads must be mostly empty. If you are alone, you can drive fast as Torst has described and still be safe. With other drivers around, you must drive at the same speed as others, and try to keep a safe distance between cars. And hope that none of the other drivers do anything stupid!

torst1 | 28 januari 2013


We are on the same page yo and me. Cause I was using celsius scale but I found a converter and see that 0F=-17C. Here we often get even colder then that.

In rural areas like here you can go fast - even use more then your part of the road if the backend of the car gets a little loosie in the curves. Cause it is pitch black all winter. That means you know ahead of curves if you have ongoing traffic. No light ahead you can make wide turns or even powerslide around the bends.

Man i love driving - active driving.

Car-El | 30 januari 2013


I am sorry to writhe this: You are stupid. DO NOT BYE A TESLA! I want smart people to drive EV, not an idiot who thinks that the law of physic is some stupid rules you can out smart!

I am very sorry.

drp | 30 januari 2013


Ouch...what are you REALLY thinking

Timo | 30 januari 2013

@torst1 Cause it is pitch black all winter. That means you know ahead of curves if you have ongoing traffic. No light ahead you can make wide turns or even powerslide around the bends.

And drive over people. Use your brains, will you. Preferably before you end up killing someone.

Getting Amped Again | 30 januari 2013

Julius,North Norway | January 30, 2013


I am sorry to writhe this: You are stupid. DO NOT BYE A TESLA! I want smart people to drive EV, not an idiot who thinks that the law of physic is some stupid rules you can out smart!

I am very sorry.

Nice! The Rant and the Apology all in one post. Sames us all time.

Car-El | 30 januari 2013


I am very sorry, but if you read all in this thread i think you will be scared to. And I was not thinking, I will flag my self as inappropriate.

drp | 30 januari 2013


torst1 | 30 januari 2013

Oh my god I am put of to the thought of ever owning a Tesla right now. Not because of the car, because the car itself is really great. But because of the people owning Teslas.

Listen to yourself. You are in fact a bunch whining women all of you. I will go buy a proper mans car and you whining biatches can keep brushing each others hair and barrow each others lipsticks.

Reading this forum for week now you all seems like a bunch of newly religious people so eager to best follower and with now mindset of your own.

Good luck ladies - once in a while try pee standing up. It is really good for you.

djp | 30 januari 2013

torst1 - I have concluded you are a nut

Timo | 30 januari 2013

No, he's just a teenager that is going thru his time of rebellion against authority and thinking that stupidity combined with what he thinks is macho attitude is somehow cool.

Car-El | 30 januari 2013

Don't be patronizing, he manage very well to writhe all the wrong things. I feel sorry for that poor boy.

Carefree | 30 januari 2013

And I always thought that Norwegians were cool headed people instead they are on each others throat. This is the most vulgar and aggressive post I have ever seen on this forum. Calling each other names will not help your cause.

roar.skog | 30 januari 2013

Carefree: I agree totally!
As a Norwegian reservation holder, I'm embarrassed by this behavior.
That said, the only complaint should be that the delivery can't come soon enough. ;)

GeirT | 31 januari 2013

Everybody, you've all been had by a 14 year old: torst1
Let's stop this silliness

Objective1 | 31 januari 2013


Never mind the idiots who have been insulting you.

To the idiots: stop flaming please.

@Torst1: good luck with you shopping decision.

Pungoteague_Dave | 31 januari 2013

It is wonderful to watch norsemen duking it out on a forum for electric cars. The irony is palpable. Methinks a car company in sunny Caltifornia isn't going to focus much market research on a country with 5 million people (half the population of Florida).. Every Norwegian I have met was charming and gracious - these guys must be from the old school barbarian tradition. Although there are apparently a lot of trolls there...

GoTeslaChicago | 31 januari 2013


I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt till your last post. You really went way way over the line.

jkirkebo | 31 januari 2013

Pungoteague_Dave: My guess is Norway will take about 10% of the yearly Model S production, so it is in no way a small market for Tesla.

Lanber | 2 februari 2013

Northern Norway has 9 months total darkness and 3 months bad skiing conditions.
When it`s dark (as pr definition) and really cold (as pr definition) you have a) tremendous traction and b) you spot the oncoming lights well before curves....not that there are many people here anyways.

You can go like a Rally driver....untill you meet an elk. But that`s not very likely as hunting has brought down population countrywide.

Seriously, cold weather will affect the available range. Cant say how much on the S but from pervious EV experience it is 30% less than a summer day.

a standard charge will give you 432 rated km, and since we dont drive the rated way take off another 10%, that`s 389km. Less winter consumtion 30%, that`s 272km. Going completly empty is not a option so effective winter, proper winter, will be 200-250 km without charging on a 85kwh battery.

I`ll tell you next winter when I have my own S here

Lanber | 2 februari 2013

In real life though, knowing you need all the range you have. Likely 300, maybe even 350km with a rangecharge is well within the envelope.

Distance Oslo-Notodden is 114km, return trip 230km.
This can be done on a singel charge come hell or high water.

Working in Notodden, even winter, is no sweat.
Also, finding a normal wall outlet 230V 16A (or even 10A) is not hard and will mean you have warm battery and more kwh for return trip.

Timo | 3 februari 2013

@landmal, you probably are not from North yourself if you claim that you have 9 months of total darkness, 6 months is the most you can have. The other 6 Sun is shining.

Brian H | 3 februari 2013

The mountains block the very low sun for 3 months. ;)

Timo | 4 februari 2013

If you live in a valley, or in case on Norway, fjord. Then that is not even a joke, you might not really see the Sun for 9 months of the year. It's not total darkness however for most of the time either way, even when you don't see the Sun when it is still below horizon it does light up the sky, and the dusk can last long time before it gets dark. If it gets dark.

(as Canadian you know this, but for Southern people that get dark every night like someone turns off the lights it might feel odd. It feels like Sun never sets even when it does).

Mark Z | 4 februari 2013

A recent night drive from Las Vegas to Barstow at near freezing temperatures did affect range. At 71 mph, the 160 mile trip took an extra 40 miles of range and that was with the heat off in the last 30 minutes of the journey. Another driver started with 190 miles of charge and had one mile left when arriving at the Barstow SuperCharger. They managed to do it by slowing down, getting in the draft of a semi truck and monitoring their energy usage carefully. Since there is an RV park in Yermo, there was another charging location as a backup. Storing a sleeping bag in the vehicle is always a good idea during winter travel for both ICE and BEV cars in case of breakdown.

Lanber | 5 februari 2013

@Timo: It was a joke regarding the sun and weather. That aside I am from high up north, albeit live down on the south coast now.

Will be very interesting to see how my car performs next winter. Signals are I`ll be getting it late fall 2013.

TS | 24 maart 2013


Elon Musk have other expectations than you when it comes to the norsemen

He answered a lot of questions and and one of them was about reduction of range in cold climate.
Its about 10%-20% less he said