Before any crazy replies, veteran forum participants know I am not a rookie. I began this journey from the heated garage after preconditioning the car. I understand my MS classic very well which may contributed to stretching the limits and not FULLY adjusting for the extreme weather. The average temp for the ride was -5.
This is a trip I make often. I have made this run several times, the latest, just one week earlier 2/8/2016. It was cold but not in the single digits.
I was making a trip 2/14/16 from Yonkers, NY to Albany, NY It was extremely cold with car reporting temperatures -7 degrees. I followed the guidance from the navigation system, supercharged for the recommended time in Newburgh, NY. The speed limit was 65 and I was following the guidance of the navigation system. I became concerned when the navigation advised to slow down to 55mph to reach the destination. I did slow down as recommended but also decided to charge using my once tested CHaDemo adaptor on the NYS Thruway. (Veterans will remember this was part of legislative settlement in NY to keep the Tesla showrooms and Service Centers open.) Following the Tesla instructions, the car would not begin to charge. The charging company representative recommended I put int Tesla adaptor in first (contrary to Tesla’s written instruction), initiate the charge then connect the charger. This instruction worked. Yeah baby! 299v but hold the phone -- all other indications were 0. (Amps, kwh, miles added). I called Tesla.
The Roadside Assistance rep saw that the Tesla was indeed receiving the voltage but it appeared a battery warm cycle was running. Meanwhile I was watching the remaining miles go down, approximately lost 6-10 miles of precious range while on these calls. The rep indicated that he had not seen this before volts with no charge, I then decided to drive to the Albany SC — I told the rep that it would be close on range (I had about a 10 mile positive buffer between range remaining distance) but I could not take the chance continuing to lose range sitting to see if it was going to work.
I went into range mode. I slowed down to 50 then 45 with a 65mph speed limit as I watched the range equal to and then go under the amount of distance remaining to get to the SC according to the navigation. I have never seen the regen limiter pop up (bottom yellow lines) AFTER it has gone off while driving. Baby, it's cold outside.
I hit zero less than 5 miles away from the destination. I know I have a bit of room. But it is -4. It is downhill through the tolls, up a ramp then downhill to the Wolf Road exit for the Albany SC. On the way up the ramp after the tolls the car said it was shutting down. I ran out of charge about 1 mile from the SC on an exit ramp through the toll plaza. Roadside Assistance called back to say that I was in a “protected” area and would need to call 911. When the tow driver arrives approximately 30 minutes. The car no longer will power on. The tow company has never towed a Tesla and I put the tow driver on with the rep. We are towed to the Albany SC - the rep now is attempting to explain what needs to be done to remove the nosecone, then “jump” the 12v. The tow drive has cables but they will not reach to a car below. The tow driver calls his dispatcher who says it will be an extra charge to have someone bring a battery starter. Tesla is explains to me what has to be done. The rep states it might take a while for the Tesla to come on to attempt to put the car into tow mode so it can get off the flatbed with a battery booster. After an hour, the car comes on when the door is opened. We attempt to put the car in tow mode then the system dies again. The rep calls the Tesla contracted downing group who attempts to do a couple of things, opening up the charge port, identifying if the lock is enabled (it is). I asked the rep to send a Tesla towing company to jump the battery. Says that will take about 30 minutes and $65.00 plus tax.
The Tesla rep arrives, attempts to perform the jump using his booster. Leaves it on for 10 minutes. Does not work. The two tow operators maneuver so the Tesla tow operator can do a boost from his truck. That works and the Tesla tow operator opens the charge door from inside the car, we plug into the SC. Takes about 5-10 minutes before the charge get to 1mph of charge and I watch the amps go up slowly as the battery is warming. Hmmm, I realize that this is what happened at the CHaDEmo charging station. The battery was being warmed first to a temperature that could handle the higher charging speeds. I suspect that the Tesla SC has an express path which is why the reporting was almost instantaneous - albeit slow. The display should should have stated something like state the battery is warming to begin charging instead of the starting to charge. When the car got to 15 miles of charge, have the tow operator lowered the car and I drive off the flatbed, park and charge.
So 4 1/2 hours and $400 later - I learned that maybe there could be a clearer message that charging would begin after battery warms or if the rep reported that all the car systems are working that the car will begin charging after the battery warms. I would have simply left the car charging and gone into the rest area. The reps were extremely responsive and helpful, but this is an issue beyond the capacity of the Roadside Assistance reps. We all know we lose range in the cold and we know it takes longer to charge in the cold. I learned that in extreme cold temps, it may even take a while before any charging happens.
I hope this info helps someone else.