Heating Coil greatly reduces distance

Heating Coil greatly reduces distance

Now that the cold weather is here for some, a significant new energy demand could have an impact on the distance expected from a charge.

What type of impact (loss of distance) have you experienced to warm up the battery/car at or below freezing? How long does it take to warm the battery and car when it is that cold? (in an ICE, the heater will push hot air in ~ 4 min; what should I expect in an MS?)

I have heard concerns about vampire loss, (@ 10mile per day) and am wondering if I would be forced to ride in a cold car for a drive home if I were to leave it at the airport for a week.


Sudre_ | 28 november 2013

There is no gas engine to warm up in an electric car so the heat starts pumping almost as soon as you turn it on.... however I have never entered my car without pre-warming it up from the APP. The car is 70 degrees when I get in.

I've only had a few 15-20 degree days and I have lost about 25% of my range on those days. I haven't had a chance to take the car on a long trip since last February and that day was around 32 degrees. It seem a few people have noted significant range loss in cold weather in the single digits.

Today it is warm in the 40s for me and my range is typical. Not anything worth reporting on lost range.

As far as warming the battery... there isn't really anything that effects you except you loss regen until the battery warms up. Maybe is the future Tesla will add a warm battery feature to the APP for those that require regen.

Sudre_ | 28 november 2013

I meant to say I haven't had a chance to take the car on a long trip in the cold since last February. | 28 november 2013

No cold car--an electric heater kicks in right away and then the heat pump takes over once the battery is warmed up. The only downside is the heater hits the battery pretty hard--if the car is plugged in, suggest using the app to warm up the car using shore power instead of your battery pack.


Rob C | 28 november 2013

Can you program the app to pre-heat at a certain time each day, or do you have to 'turn the heat on" each day? | 28 november 2013

With the app, its manual. I am not sure if you can automate it via the API.


jat | 28 november 2013

@omarsultan - of course you can automate it via the API, since you can emulate starting HVAC from a mobile device. You can even compute the time needed to achieve the desired temperature and start at the right time.

Personally, I found leaving the HVAC on range mode keeps the cabin reasonably comfortable even around freezing and doesn't impact range too much.

WSE51 | 28 november 2013

Over on TMC a developer volunteered many many hours and created a Java-based app that will run on your PC or Mac and replicates + extends the functionality of the Tesla mobile app. One of the extra functions is that you can program the app to start the HVAC at a specific time of day (and stop at another specific time). If you leave for work at the same time every weekday, this would automate the warming of your Model S (battery and cabin) using shore power .. you just have to remember to leave the app open. I've been a happy user, and the developer has been responsive when I've written to him with questions.

Latest version of the app is here (scroll to the bottom):

P85D | 28 november 2013

Here's what I do not understand, so maybe you super brainers can fill me in. When I fill up at a supercharger to max range, not even 3 miles from leaving I have lost 10 miles?. The range just calls off like a stop watch. Is it the 21" wheels?, it's not the heater.

jat | 29 november 2013

@GDH - my guess is the battery is hot and it is running the heat pump to cool it down.

bonaire | 29 november 2013

For the OP, some airports have plugs. Like one near me in Baltimore, only six of them however. Airports need dozens of 120V sockets for the upcoming EVs and not J1772 plugs. Lobby your airport management for 120V for long term parking. Nobody needs more than 120V at 12A even an MS 85 if they are parked for five days on a fly away week. Imagine my surprise seeing a plug in Prius at the BWI plugged in. Could they be taking up an EV space for daya even though they charge only 4-5 kWh and have 11 miles of AER. Even Volts could take up a space for days blocking out BEV access. It is one reason I have not thought about swiching from my Volt to a Model S yet due to lack of viable infrastructure. | 29 november 2013


Cool--one of these days, I am going to have to block off a weekend and go play with the the API.