M3 heater type????

M3 heater type????

What is Model 3's heater type?

PTC type??

Heat pump type??

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30 augustus 2017

It does NOT use a heat pump. Resistive heating for the cabin (some might call this PTC). Recommended to use seat heaters as primary option in cold conditions.

prsist | 30 augustus 2017

Coleman camping stove!! WHO CARES if it heats the darn car?!

andy.connor.e | 30 augustus 2017

This is the only kinds of things left to keep being critical of. Its clear when the competition is threatened.

jordanrichard | 30 augustus 2017

Being threatened is exactly what Elon and crew wanted. What they didn't want was for them to make POS EVs that even a blind person could see was fugly.

andy.connor.e | 30 augustus 2017

Doesnt matter. If the other car companies dont invest, trust, or build a serious EV, Tesla will just take over. Im sure that Elon has no problem giving the world EVs. Eventually, he will have enough money to build 100 gigafactories. Hes got this, unless someone else becomes better than him (which is what he wants).

Tâm | 30 augustus 2017


Have no idea but my Tesla heater heats instantaneous much faster than my former gasoline car so I doubt a heat pump can do that fast. I guess that's what you call PTC.

All Tesla Model S, X, 3 do take advantage of wasted generated heat from the drive train and divert that to the cabin. But that heat takes a little bit more time before it's good enough for your cabin.

Just a reminder that cabin heater consumes lots of energy as reported by consumer report who got actual 176 cold winter miles out of 265 EPA rated miles.

andy.connor.e | 30 augustus 2017


HOW DO YOU POST LINKS? I get spam filter every time....

jordanrichard | 30 augustus 2017

"Just a reminder that cabin heater consumes lots of energy as reported by consumer report who got actual 176 cold winter miles out of 265 EPA rated miles." that is about right. Keep in mind CR is based here in CT and when it gets down to 5 degs, your car eats up a lot of extra energy to keep you and the battery pack warm. General rule of thumb is one can expect a 30% increase in energy usage in the coldest month.

Now there is a method to minimize that and that is to have your car finish charging just before you head out for the day. Charging helps heats up the battery reducing the amount of energy it needs to warm itself up, once you unplug and rive to work.

andy.connor.e | 30 augustus 2017

And it seems people tend to forget that an ICE consumes more gasoline during cold days as well. Not like running your heater or AC inside your car doesnt also take away from your mpg. Idk what those numbers are, but for some reason its alot easier to disregard that aspect. Maybe because filling your tank takes <2 min?

Lorem Ipsum | 30 augustus 2017

andy, buying a Tesla (S or X) bypasses the spam filter.

Tâm | 30 augustus 2017


As @Boola said, you have to be an owner to escape the spam filter. May be you just have to use some imaginative link method: don't right "" but rather "tesla-dot-com"...

topher | 30 augustus 2017

" I doubt a heat pump can do that fast"

Why would you say that?

Thank you kindly.

Tâm | 30 augustus 2017


"Heat pump" is like refrigerator that moves heat from one place to another. It is cumulative and takes time and I doubt it can do as fast as a direct heat generation.

RedPillSucks | 30 augustus 2017

Does the M3 have vents for the back seats or is the entire car expected to be heated/cooled from the long strip in the front. If there are back vents, are they simply manually controlled?

Carl Thompson | 30 augustus 2017

"Does the M3 have vents for the back seats or is the entire car expected to be heated/cooled from the long strip in the front. If there are back vents, are they simply manually controlled?"

There are vents for the back seats built into the back of the center console. They appear to be manually controlled vents. Check out photos from the back seat.


topher | 30 augustus 2017

"I doubt it can do as fast as a direct heat generation"

Again, you make a assertion without anything to back it up. Personal incredulity is not helpful to questions of fact.

To simplify, I do energy audits, so I am familiar with heat generation systems, and you can skip explanations of how things work. Just tell me why you think a properly engineered heat pump in a car will produce heat more slowly than a properly engineered resistive heating element in a car. If you like, you can start with how the requirements document would differ.

Thank you kindly.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30 augustus 2017

RedPillSucks: I believe several photos of the rear seat for the Model 3 show very large ducts at the top of the center console facing occupants. Watch the first video embedded on this page to get impressions from Bjørn Nyland and Kman Auto at once...

Check Out the Tesla Model 3's Spacious Interior | The/DRIVE

Tropopause | 30 augustus 2017

My father (who owns an HVAC business) told me that heat pumps are good for moderate climate regions but struggle in cold regions. He was talking about heat pumps for buildings not BEV's but similar concept.

Tâm | 30 augustus 2017


I admit that I am not knowledgeable about the HVAC/heat pump system but I do understand the general concept.

1) Direct heat generator: You get instant heat from the electric resistance heater.

2) Heat pump: You transfer heat from another source such as outside air which hopefully not too cold or you'll have to combine to the design with a backup electric resistance heater.

There's an article on Nissan Leaf heat pump that still has PTC heater in its design:

topher | 30 augustus 2017

More bald assertions from someone who admits that they aren't knowledgeable about the subject matter.

I give up.

Thank you kindly.

Tâm | 30 augustus 2017


No, I don't know how it works but here's a diagram of heat pump from Tesla Model S which shows clearly that it has "Air PTC" on the middle right side marked "HVAC"

johnmann | 30 augustus 2017

If the Nissan Leaf is any indicator the early models had a resistive heater which would take about 10 minutes to start producing any noticeable heat in. They later changed to a heat pump and it could then start heating the cabin in about 15 seconds. Although it was a little different because the resistive heater would heat water in a radiator and not the air directly.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30 augustus 2017

johnmann: Yeah. Hence, topher's qualifying phrase 'properly engineered' in his post above. :-D

Tâm | 30 augustus 2017


The article:


"The water-to-air PTC heater on previous models was replaced with a 5kW airheating PTC heater"

I understand that because heating liquid takes longer so it switched to 5kW airheating PTC heater beginning 2013.

Frank99 | 30 augustus 2017

A heat pump will start generating heat just as fast as a Tesla A/C will start generating cold - a few seconds after starting up. How fast it heats (or cools) the interior is driven exclusively by how the manufacturer sizes the system. My Expedition, despite being humoungous, cools much faster than my Civic because Ford oversized the A/C on this high-end SUV, and Honda undersized it to maximize mileage on the Civic. As a higher-end car, Tesla would certainly size the heat pump to give quick heating or cooling, as their customers would expect.

Heat pumps do not work well when the temperature gets significantly below freezing. For a car or for a house in climates that see significant time below freezing, heat pumps are generally augmented with resistive heating which is used when it's too cold to get any heat from the heat pump.

A heat pump should be almost free in a car with A/C - you need a reversing valve and a bit of other kit, but you already have the compressor, condensor, and evaporator. For days between freezing and comfortable temps, the heat pump would save a significant amount of battery power. I hope Tesla has chosen this route, but it doesn't impact the car's utility for me - it gets down to freezing a few nights a year here, and my commute won't stress the car's range in any way.

Tâm | 30 augustus 2017

There's an explanation from the other forum

Tesla Roadster has a 4kW resistive heater only.

Model S uses 6kW resistive heater but it does take advantage of drivetrain heat plumbing to bring it down to 1 to 2kW after driving for a while.

dyefrog | 31 augustus 2017

I too have been cheerleading for Tesla to go with the heat pump at least for a cold weather package(PIP) since as Frank pointed out, the heavy lifting has already been done. Seems such a no-brainer.

MarlonBrown | 31 augustus 2017

Topher, wait until you start discussions with the many global warming guys in this forum. You will have even more fun.

dave.m.mcdonough | 31 augustus 2017

Guys, a PTC _IS_ a heat pump, just a fully electric type instead of mechanical. One side gets hot, the other cold.
It works great for AC and heat, but it has it's limits. When the cold side gets too cold and ices up, you no longer can move heat very well. A resistive heater is also necessary.

Either of these will be pretty much instant compared to waiting for an ICE coolant loop to heat up.

StuartK | 31 augustus 2017

All cars have a lower range at cold temperatures. This is the case for gas, diesel and electric. This is not only due to the need for cabin heating but also the air is denser, the tires have more rolling friction, the grease in the wheel bearings and elsewhere is thicker and has more drag etc. When I had an original Insight it would reach 57 mpg when it was 75F outside but only 42 when it was 15F outside. Rain or snow also reduces range due to increased drag on the car

Frank99 | 31 augustus 2017

Sorry, Dave, but I'm going to have to disagree. A PTC heater is a type if resistive heater, who's main advantage in an auto application is that there's no red hot piece of metal to starry a fire in an accident. Other than that, they're just as inefficient as every other resistive heater.

Tâm | 31 augustus 2017


I think you are describing Peltier Effect from Thermoelectric that produces both heater on one side and cooling temperature on the other.

On the other, Tesla uses Air-PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) as shown in the diagnostic diagram above from the 17" of a Model S. It produces heat, not cooling temperature.

According to @Topher you can get instant heat from a properly designed heat pump, so because 6kW Tesla Air PTC gives me instant heat, does that mean Air-PTC a heat pump?

The MIT article:

"Tesla takes a different approach. Once you start driving, heat generated by the motor is used to heat up the battery. This approach is more efficient, since it uses waste heat rather than electricity. But it takes a while to work because the motor doesn’t produce much heat. As a result, it might take several minutes before the battery is warm enough to provide full acceleration."

which explains in cold winter, why I have to drive for a while to get regenerative brake and full power.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 31 augustus 2017

Hmmm... From what you guys say, there is no way a heat pump would save energy for me, or be 'better' in any way. I'm apparently cold blooded, or anemic, possibly both... Because to me, any temperature below 75 degrees Fahrenheit feels frigid. I'd rather sweat than shiver any day.

From what you guys are telling us, a heat pump basically works best between around 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, it ceases to be effective below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, just about the point I think I'm going to die from frostbite or exposure, but get a drink of coffee instead. I don't like cold -- at all, it sucks -- but above 32 degrees I can wear a sweater, jacket, or coat and still survive, more-or-less comfortably. Below freezing though, I want some [FOULING] ~*heat*~ to be flowing around me too. If that is a point where a heat pump effectively does ~*nothing*~, my vote is to NOT have one.

I also don't like clothes, I absolutely despise the 'layered look', and would prefer to never be more completely dressed than a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers (while I'd be best suited to shorts and sandals). That's why I have lived somewhere pretty much devoid of actual weather for the past 32 years. I finally figured out that one of the main reasons I hate cold weather is that it demands I wear more clothes -- yuck. Other than that, cold simply feels like Death to me.

dyefrog | 31 augustus 2017

The heat pump will still produce heat below 32F, just not as efficiently as it did at 42F. There is a point soon thereafter where it is basically ineffective. When paired with the resistive heat coil like the post 2013 Leafs, it is supplemented by the resistive coil as need until it reaches a point of ineffectiveness economically. The selling point is that for probably the vast majority of the Model 3 market, the heat pump will be the primary heating device and more efficient than the heating coil for 90% of the heating chores, thus increasing range vs resistive coil only.

gar1116 | 31 augustus 2017

Does the 'Standard' interior have heated seats?

Tâm | 31 augustus 2017


Standard got:

"Textile seating"

Premium Package got:

"Premium heated seating "

So for your question: it's a "no".

johnmann | 31 augustus 2017

@Tâm "The water-to-air PTC heater on previous models was replaced with a 5kW airheating PTC heater"

Thanks for the clarification. I was misinformed. It was commonly discussed on the Leaf Forum that Nissan had changed to a heat pump. That now looks to be incorrect, but people were also claiming much improved efficiency. I guess that must have been wishful thinking since heating air might be faster than heating water, but I don't think it is any more efficient.

deemo | 31 augustus 2017

Stand has manual adjustment Heated Front Seats, Premium adds electric Heat to all seats.

deemo | 31 augustus 2017

Standard is 6 way manual adjustment Textile Heated Front seats, Premium is 12 way power adjustment Premium material Heated front and rear seats

Tâm | 31 augustus 2017


It is still efficient because of using various method.

Just like Tesla, current Nissan Leaf would use energy-hog resistive heater first when the powertrain is still cold.

However, as the powertrain got hotter during a drive, tapping that wasted heat for the cabin would bring down the energy consumption and may make the resistive heater unnecessary at that point.

Rocky_H | 31 augustus 2017

I'll just fill in a little bit about heat pumps in a building setting. My 21 year old air conditioner at our house just went out (crack in the coil), and we were looking to replace it. An HVAC company came and evaluated and showed us a few options. Two were regular air conditioners and one was an A/C and heat pump unit. It has most of the pros/cons mentioned above. Yes, efficiency is good, but it's more for maintaining heat, because as the guy explained, if you put your hand over the vent, the air coming out will feel just kind of warm--not really hot, like a furnace will do. But this is why it works well in this type of home system. It's a hybrid system, where I do still have a gas furnace, so it can use the heat pump during slightly cool temperatures much more energy efficiently, but then below a certain outside temperature, it will use the gas furnace.. With my solar panel system, I do like being able to shift more of that heating to electric and use less natural gas.

So in the car application, yes, you get the efficiency advantage, which is good for electric cars, but because it's only producing warm air instead of HOT air, it does take longer to heat up the inside of the car, @topher. In really cold conditions, a heat pump by itself just can't overcome such a large temperature difference very well, so that's why some would also have a resistive coil heater. And I guess a lot of manufacturers figure if they already have to put in a coil heater, why bother with a more expensive heat pump too?

Tâm | 31 augustus 2017


I don't see that heated description from 2 sources for Model 3:

and from Tesla site:

However, I do see standard "Heated front seats" on the order page for Model X.

That car costs much more than Model 3 so I am not sure we can apply that same standard.

No one has ever bought a standard package Model 3 yet, so the only description that I can rely on is their written documentation.

deemo | 31 augustus 2017
deemo | 31 augustus 2017
Tâm | 31 augustus 2017


Thanks for the references.

I stand corrected:


Standard heated front seats: YES!!!!

steveg1701 | 31 augustus 2017

@andy.connor you are 1/2 right, an ICE car also uses extra fuel for the A/C. Heat, however, is pretty much free - engine coolant passes through a little radiator to warm the air passing through it while an EV needs to use a heat pump or resitive heater which does of course use fuel. One of the (very few) advantages of ICE

dsvick | 31 augustus 2017

@deemo, @Tam

Keep in mind that those screen shots have never been confirmed, until they are I'd take them with a grain of salt.

dave.m.mcdonough | 1 september 2017

whoops, Tam you're right I mixed up my acronyms. I thought PTC was referring to Peltier thermo-electric junction.

Anyways, I think a hybrid system would be best. It's always easier to move heat than to make it, just look at geothermal setups. ;)

kurtsg | 22 september 2017

Sorry I'm a bit late to this topic, and I'm also just adding more variables to the system, namely:
I'v designed user interfaces like the one shown in the imgur link, and whenever I put a "PTC" box next to a device, I usually mean "Positive temperature coefficient thermistor", meaning a simple resistor which Ohm value is precisely know for any given temperature, so you can sense the temperature of a certain point in space metering its resestive value.
So, PTC could be a sensor besides a Peltier-cell or a PTC heater.
Anycase "PTC" meaning thermiostor could also only be of extended use here in europe, where I live.

Best regards