Forums

High battery consumption

High battery consumption

I have had my car for over a month now (AWD LRD), in the Boston area. I have driven 1212 miles at 338 Wh/m (410 Kwh used). Battery usage seem very high. Ideally, the car should have managed approximately 1700 miles with a total of 410 Kwh charging (310 miles @ 75Kw).

I drive ~35 miles one way everyday to work on freeway... straight forward drive. I have tried driving different speeds, but that 350 Wh/m number seems consistent. Dont think anything wrong with the settings. Any suggestions? Already scheduled a service with Tesla.

jimglas | 21 november 2018

Slow down

ssalunke | 21 november 2018

Great suggestion. Thank you.

Bighorn | 21 november 2018

You can go 600 miles on a charge if you slow down enough. Physics.

ssalunke | 21 november 2018

@Bighorn, I have read all your post and most of them have been very helpful. This is not.

Bighorn | 21 november 2018

You need to determine if you efficiency is based solely on your driving choices inconsistent with achieving EPA mileage. If you think you should be matching that based on your behavior, then look for organic causes. I guess you were being sarcastic towards jimglas?

Bighorn | 21 november 2018

you/your

jimglas | 21 november 2018

The biggest driver controllable contributor to range that I have seen is speed.
70 mph, pretty good. 85 mph, not so good

Passion2Fly | 21 november 2018

What's your cabin temperature? Do you like it warm and cozy? The heater is the highest energy hog after the motors... The cabin heater can burn up to 4.5kW just to get you started in the morning... Also think about regenerative braking not fully available until the battery is warm enough...

gballant4570 | 21 november 2018

Check tire pressure, keep at 45 psi or higher. Depending on the car, your initial calculation may be off - 310 might be a little high. Cold weather, rain, winds, all can be a factor at t his time of year.

Example - I was averaging 233 wh/m initially (picked up AWD model (9 Oct) and now getting trip averages closer to 280wh/m. Running heat or defrost, rain, etc.... the 233 would give me just a bit more than 310 on a full charge (320), 280 would yield less - perhaps 260, if the 75 kwh starting point is accurate. It may not be......

And by the way, you are selling Bighorn short. His post about speed and physics is true. Sometimes plainly stating the patently obvious can jolt even a semi-intelligent mind into clarity.

ssalunke | 21 november 2018

Agreed with all the comments

I have tried all speeds, running without heat, least use of breaks, not using fog lamps, no music. I am driving 60-65 miles/hr. Obviously tried very lower speeds but I am not driving 30 mph on a 65 mph speed zone just to get required efficiency. No matter what, 330 wh/m is the best I get. I believe I have waited to get a good sample size of 1000 miles before making the call to the service center.

Tire pressure were at 40 psi when delivered. I have increased it to 44 psi. Agreed cold weather and speed impacts but it should not go from ~260 wh/m (as advertised) to ~350 wh/m!

Sorry, didn't mean to be sarcastic but have tried all speeds and other driving variables. My best output is ~325 kw/m and average is ~340 kw/m. Tried it through this post to see if someone had a similar situation ... will update with what Tesla

slingshot18 | 21 november 2018

Probably a long shot, but maybe...here goes. I had similar numbers until a dragging brake pad broke free. Smelled aweful. Lots of brake dust. Efficiency instantly improved dramatically.

Robocheme | 21 november 2018

I would try and drive at a steady 60-65 mph and reset one of your odometers. You should be at around 240 wh/mile (unless you live in a cold climate)

Passion2Fly | 21 november 2018

@ssalunke
Go for a nice drive and when back home read the brake rotors temperatures with an infrared thermometer. If one disk reads way hotter than the others, you found your problem! A sticky brake pad...

Get one of those:

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00837ZGRY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_60G9Bb2REKA7X

ST70 | 21 november 2018

another test...go on a flat road and take it to 10-20 MPH then put it in neutral (role down the windows) see if you notice/hear the brakes rubbing or anything else

ssalunke | 21 november 2018

@robocheme .. tried that. Yes I am in Boston. But hard to believe 300 vs 200 miles per charge because of cold weather.

@Passion2fly and Slingshot18 .. good points, never thought of that. hopefully that is the case. Thanks for all the suggestions.

gballant4570 | 21 november 2018

300 wh/m in cold weather does not sound abnormal. 200 in any weather might be considered a bit abnormal, but Boston wintertime efficiency of 300 is not far off the mark that I am seeing right now in Maryland. Also try prewarming the car interior before leaving, also with a top off warming battery charge. There are some strategies that can bring it down some. Keep tires at 45 psi minimum cold.

JayInJapan | 21 november 2018

It’s already been said to slow down. If you want to improve efficiency, reduce the colors on your energy output. Just like lots of orange means you’re burning up power, lots of green means you’re wasting momentum. Starting your slow down with your foot pressing less hard on the accelerator (not lifting all the way) will bring your kWh/mi numbers down.

Pricee2 | 21 november 2018

Insufficient data to be able to determine if this is normal/abnormal. Boston forecast for tonight is 15F tomorrows high 21F. Is the car parked in a heated garage? If is parked in ambient outside temperatures it will use considerable energy warming the battery during your drive to work. The same will be true on your drive home.

Pricee2 | 21 november 2018

Insufficient data to be able to determine if this is normal/abnormal. Boston forecast for tonight is 15F tomorrows high 21F. Is the car parked in a heated garage? If is parked in ambient outside temperatures it will use considerable energy warming the battery during your drive to work. The same will be true on your drive home.

gcklo | 21 november 2018

When it is cold, a car (EV or ICE) uses more energy.

BostonPilot | 22 november 2018

@gballant4570 - 300 wh/m in cold weather does not sound abnormal. 200 in any weather might be considered a bit abnormal

Disagree - in 35° temps I'm seeing 280 Wh/m in my M3P+ with the heat off at 60 mph. ssalunke reports 350 Wh/m... I don't see that unless I turn the cabin heat up to 70°... That's really high...

I think there probably is something wrong - dragging brake is an interesting possibility...

thedrisin | 22 november 2018

Why the obsession with the Wh/m? Driving on overinflated tires, no heat and chill mode. Did you all monitor your mpg so closely in your ICE cars? I know I never did.

derotam | 22 november 2018

try letting your car charge for at least 3 hours and still be charging when you leave in the morning. 3 hours is just kind of a random number, point being to make sure the battery is sufficiently warm. 20F temps is going to make it take a while to get the battery warm.

If your battery is cold where the car needs to put heating power to the battery, your efficiency numbers are going to be high.

Lights and music aren't going to make any noticeable difference.

walnotr | 22 november 2018

There are other things to consider such as the various lubricants that take time to warm up. The gearbox, axel bearings and CV joints on the AWD models come to mind. Air density down to the dew point will also come into play. Energy density of the batteries may be less in the cold or perhaps not as easily given up. I not a battery expert so not too sure about that one.

BostonPilot | 23 november 2018

thedrisin | November 22, 2018
>Why the obsession with the Wh/m? Driving on overinflated tires, no heat and chill mode.
>Did you all monitor your mpg so closely in your ICE cars? I know I never did.

No, but my ICE car didn't go through a tank of gas in 150 miles if I turned on the cabin heat... For a longer drive, especially away from superchargers, knowing how to configure the vehicle to get good Wh/m is a good way to be able to make the trip unrecharged versus having to find a charger someplace and sit for a long time...

Billwool99 | 23 november 2018

I've had my duel motor since September, It does not get anywhere near the claimed mileage. Yesterday was very cold in NE. Took a round trip of about 160 miles. Completely drained (began with "270", ended with "32) fully charged batteries. Love the car but claimed mileage is inaccurate and deceptive. In fairness, I did not have aero covers on and it was very cold.

Billwool99 | 23 november 2018

I've had my duel motor since September, It does not get anywhere near the claimed mileage. Yesterday was very cold in NE. Took a round trip of about 160 miles. Completely drained (began with "270", ended with "32) fully charged batteries. Love the car but claimed mileage is inaccurate and deceptive. In fairness, I did not have aero covers on and it was very cold.

thedrisin | 23 november 2018

@Billwool99. I have dual motor and I don't get anywhere near claimed mileage either. Cold temperature worse also.

thedrisin | 23 november 2018

@BostonPilot. Calculating wh/m for a trip is only an approximation. Environmental factors such as temperature, winds, terrain cannot all be predicted. Confitions are always changing. Just use the highest recent average numbers and don't try to cut it to close. I think some people just like the challenge of how low they can go so they drive in chlll mode with hard, overinflated tires and no heating.

gmr6415 | 23 november 2018

@ssalunke, At 1212 the car isn't broken in yet. There are gear boxes and such that need to wear in some and even tires need to be broken in. That said, I don't think that is all of you consumption problems.

I found I started getting dramatically better efficiency after about 2500 miles. This is a little apples to oranges comparison because mine is RWD, but when it was new I was averaging around 250 Wh/m now after 6600 miles I'm getting 220 Wh/mi at 70 to 75 mph on the highway. That said I'm in Florida, so not a true comparison.

My point is that I've gained 12% efficiency as the car has broken in. Considering that you have two gear boxes, motors, etc, I would think the efficiency gains from new to broken in could be better.

mills.sm | 23 november 2018

I'm not a technical person, I just try to use my common sense. (don't be a jackrabbit) I use cruise control when I can. I'm also working on my braking technique to get the most of the regenerative braking. It pains me to not leave the seat warmer on like I would in our ICE vehicle but thrilled I have it (miss my steering wheel warmer).

ssalunke | 23 november 2018

Why the obsession with the Wh/m? Driving on overinflated tires, no heat and chill mode. Did you all monitor your mpg so closely in your ICE cars? I know I never did.

@thedrisin: If I had know cold weather impact, I would have considered buying another car. Its cold here about half the year.

A friend of mine in Boston just got his delivered. Although his is few days old, he is reporting ~350 kw/m .. that is about 210 miles vs. advertised 310 miles

Bighorn | 23 november 2018

Somebody didn’t do their research.

thedrisin | 23 november 2018

@ssalunke. Low ambient temperature takes a huge bite in my limited experience so far. Advertised mileage based on most optimum conditions. I am averaging around 300wh/m in cold temps and AWD. I haven't used it on long trips so hasn't been a problem yet.

Bighorn | 23 november 2018

The effect of the cold lessens as the battery is warmed. Preheating the battery can approximate more temperate conditions if it isn’t frigid. Extensive use of the heater will continue to knock efficiency which is why seat heaters are sometimes the preferred option when range is a concern.

jordanrichard | 23 november 2018

Cancel your Service appointment. You are taking up a service slot that someone with an actual issue, could use.

Unless your car wont start, ask fellow owners about an issue before calling service.

Since you are in Boston, I recommend you join the owner’s club of the Northeast. They have a FB page which you can get answers from fellow owners in the area.

I head up the Owners Club for CT and people are often posting questions and getting answers from veteran owners.

coleAK | 23 november 2018

In our LR AWD 3, What I’ve realized on energy usage so far, I’m in Alaska. Driving around town (Anchorage) that is never over 55 mph and no stop and go traffic prior to snow on the ground I was 320-330 Wh/mi. Now that we have cold and snow/ice covered roads I’m at 368 Wh/mi average over the last 3 weeks. The heater does effect this, but electric heaters are inefficient, high electricity consumers and how else would an electric car heat itself? Another large effector is going uphill, I think these vehicles lose much more efficiency under increased load than ICE. I live ~1000 vertical feet above the city so go down and up every day. I’m in the 600-900 Wh/mi going up the hill which is over 4.5 miles and has a max of 25% grade, with a 40-45 mph speed limit. Yes all vehicles use more energy going up hill but not nessisserly 3x more. I do get some of that back going downhill but I’ve tried it and if I go down turn around and go back up I average >400 Wh/mi.

I have some additional thoughts, why is everyone so hung up on this? All the forums are full of posts about efficiency and most people are complaining about ~10-15% worse than rated. Did your ICE get the exact EPA mpg? We are going into winter in much of the USA, vehicles always are less efficient in winter driving. All my vehicles have always gotten 25-33% worse fuel economy in the winter, why should the Tesla be any different? Also another factor is these things accelerate fast. If you are taking advantage of this you are consuming much more electricity. Just stomp the accelerator and watch the graph. I’ve done the math and given the low drag coef and small frontal area the difference in 55 mph and 65 mph is almost nothing, and as long as you keep it under 70 drag should be a small factor. And you refuel your car every night at home for way less cost per mile than any other vehicle.

Finally is it just because the Tesla gives us so much more information that people are getting hung up on it? Searously I’ve been active on the land cruiser and Porsche forms for years and efficiency rarely ever is mentioned. Land cruisers are notorious for terrable gas milage and no one is on those forums talking about the fact we get 12 MPG instead of 16 mpg. And yes I do feel bad about getting 12 mpg but as soon as Tesla (or someone else) builds a body on double box frame SUV with extremely strong off road ability that can tow 8000 lbs I will get rid of my 200 series LX.

Passion2Fly | 23 november 2018

As you said, people get hung up on EVs because they’re much more efficient than ICE car and the difference is noticeable....
ICE cars burn 80% of gasoline energy in heat and only 20% in propulsion. So, 30% drop in efficient is not noticeable. However, EV are 90% efficient so 30% drop is very noticeable ...

jordanrichard | 23 november 2018

The other reason for the hyper focus on miles/energy usage is because to most people, this is new to them. I know that I focused on how miles I used up versus the actual distanced traveled. I did this to gauge what I could expect.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 23 november 2018

Bighorn is always right.

Some have noted that efficiency results are a bit high for the first 800-to-1,000 miles on new tires. Sometimes for the first 1,500 miles. Snow, sleet, slush, rain, and ice also have an effect on observed energy consumption and range. Yes, even in an ICE vehicle.

Solution? Slow down, don't worry about it. Or...? Live where the Sun shines.

jordanrichard | 23 november 2018

If you step back for a moment, many of things affecting EV range, affect ICE cars as well. Anything that provides resistance to a Honda, Chevy etc, from moving, head wind, low tire pressure, rain, snow, added weight, stuff mounted on the roof, will affect the MPG. Hell, belt driven power steering and AC affect MPG, that is why ICE car companies are switching to electric power steering and AC compressors.

Then of course there is the cold which has always affected MPG in cars.

The one things that doesn’t affect MPG in an ICE is heat. That is a free byproduct of the ICE.

Passion2Fly | 23 november 2018

Yeap, heat is free with an ICE car... and lots of it...

ReD eXiLe ms us | 23 november 2018

An ICE vehicle is powered by a heat generator that provides motion as a waste byproduct.

Bighorn | 23 november 2018

@cole
About the relative inefficiency of climbing, it’s simple physics and the relative efficiency that makes it seem worse in an EV.

If it takes an extra 300 Wh to raise a 2 ton vehicle a certain elevation over a mile, that’s a doubling of energy usage in an EV, but it’s only a 20% penalty on an ICE that gets 20ish MPG i.e. baseline goes from 300 to 600 Wh/m in your Tesla, but from 1500 to 1800 Wh/m in your 740i. So it’s not some violation of the laws of physics you’re experiencing, just a framing issue.

jwins | 23 november 2018

FWIW, I averaged 326 Wh/mi over a 2500 mile trip, in temps from 20-40 degrees, at speeds up to 90 mph. I don't know if that was "good" or not; all I cared about was whether I had enough range to get to the next supercharger. (And, I always did :)

coleAK | 23 november 2018

Bighorn, intelligent response. I did some of the math and due to the high efficiency of the EV an increase in load or external forces (gravity/friction/drag) is a much higher relative %. The towing numbers are dismal, makes me wonder how the Semi is going to get by, huge battery I’m betting.

Bighorn | 23 november 2018

@jwins
My last trip to CA averaged 300 and it was early October weather.

@cole
I’m guessing the semi has an 800 kWh battery array minimum. My friend who tows an RPod behind a Model X and has the Rockies to contend with can average over 1000 Wh/m—good thing for close superchargers!

TylerAnderson | 23 november 2018

@coleAK

TL;DR: Generally don’t concern myself with efficiency numbers. However, for the particular road trip that I make, it is not realistically possible or feasible for me to take the ideal route that I expected to be able to make given the marketing of the vehicle.

TylerAnderson | 23 november 2018

(Continued)

I don’t think people are unnecessarily hung up on it. I don’t worry about efficiency at all day to day. In driving around town, to and from work, etc, it really doesn’t matter. In all of those situations, however, it’s actually far more convenient than an ice vehicle because I always start my day off at 70% or 80% charge.

I think there’s a worry about meeting the rated range - or at least something close to it - on a road trip. Case in point for me, I purchased the vehicle with the expectation that I could go something like 310 miles on the highway. Or at least something close. When I visit family in Missouri, leaving Dallas, there is a 264 mile stretch that I would like to take in order to take an ideal route (it’s the difference of an all in eight hour trip and all in eleven hour trip taking a separate route). I expected upon placing my order and eventually receiving my car that 264 miles would be something the long range model 3 could achieve - and while it can easily do that at 55 mph, that is an almost unsafe speed to go on these roads when everyone else is doing 70-80 (not to mention that it would make the trip on that route longer, effectively defeating the purpose of taking that route). What I have noticed in my model three is that over long distances with no AC/Heater running at about 65 mph I might achieve 300 watt hours per mile. Unfortunately, at that level of energy consumption per mile, the car will not travel an entire 264 miles (and if it could, it’s simply too close of a call). The issue, then, is that I have to take a different route. It’s not the end of the world, and honestly it’s entirely worth it for this vehicle - an entirely thrilling and wonderful modern marvel. I think, though, as a consumer and once-prospective purchaser of the vehicle I would have liked some more marketing materials making it clear to me what highway speed efficiencies would be like. I would have still purchased the vehicle, but I wouldn’t have expected to achieve something that I realistically cannot in the current vehicle.

jwins | 23 november 2018

Nice description of the realities, @Tyler. I keep wondering how those who are planning to get the standard Model 3 will react when they realize they probably won't get 255 miles of range (or whatever is that number) in day-to-day usage. That certainly changes the realities of long distance travel . . .

Pages