Tesla and Cold Weather.

Range is a BIG deal for Tesla owners, especially in places like say Norway or bricky city Canada. It gets cold there. You can goto the consumer report testing of a Tesla in cold weather below , I linked to the source it’s not paywalled!

It’s important to note that EV batteries lose range not because of how the cold weather affects the physical battery but because of the added power demands that come from operating the car in cold weather.

AAA did a study on range reduction in cold weather and so did consumer reports. EV batteries lost range not because of how cold the cold weather affects the actual battery per se but because you need more power to operate your Tesla in cold weather.

Once the temperature hits the freezing mark or below, the demands on the battery increase. There isn’t really a hard and fast number where battery performance is affected, but in general, as it gets colder, the voltage and the power output decline for an EV battery, says Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst at automotive research and consulting firm Navigant.

“When it comes to range reductions, this is largely a factor of increased electrical loads on the battery,” says Navigant’s Abuelsamid. In a typical gas-powered car, the engine generates a lot of heat, which is then used to warm the cabin. An EV doesn’t have an engine, and so must rely on other devices to produce that hot air—“and those are a direct drain on the battery,” he says. The colder it is, the more energy is needed to keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature.

This was very interesting from the article:

“When it comes to range reductions, this is largely a factor of increased electrical loads on the battery,” says Navigant’s Abuelsamid. In a typical gas-powered car, the engine generates a lot of heat, which is then used to warm the cabin. An EV doesn’t have an engine, and so must rely on other devices to produce that hot air—“and those are a direct drain on the battery,” he says. The colder it is, the more energy is needed to keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature.

“Unfortunately, cold temperatures will always have a negative impact on range,” Abuelsamid says. That plays out in all sorts of way. “Breathing means condensation on cold glass, which requires use of electric defoggers. Longer nights mean more use of headlights. And cold tires, snow, and slush will increase rolling resistance, all of which will reduce range.”

Where it drops off depends in part on the battery’s chemistry and construction, although the decline is more pronounced at temperatures below 0° F, he says. But even moderately cold temperatures mean higher electrical loads to run heaters and window defoggers—all draw from the battery and reduce range.

To best combat those effects and get the most range, keep the car in a garage and plugged in until you’re ready to leave, Abuelsamid says. “It takes less energy to maintain a temperature than to raise it, so this can make a significant difference in range.”

In the Model 3 owner’s manual, Tesla suggests owners warm up their battery to unlock as much range as possible. The manual notes that in cold weather, some of the stored battery energy might not be available until the battery warms up. Indeed, the Model 3 displayed a notification to that effect during our drives for this experiment. If the Model 3 is plugged in, you can heat your battery using wall power by turning on climate control using the mobile app, the manual notes.

In addition, Abuelsamid says, drivers should take advantage of heated seats and steering wheel, if available. That direct heat from the seat and wheel will warm you faster, and more effectively, than waiting for the air in the cabin to warm up.

WHAT CR FOUND:
The Tesla Model 3 has an EPA-estimated 310-mile range. At the end of that same 64 mile drive, it indicated there were 189 miles of predicted range. Put another way, the Model 3 used 121 miles worth of range in only 64 miles. That’s almost double the anticipated loss.

The vehicles’ range displays acknowledged that they wouldn’t be going as far as their EPA estimates. The Tesla Model 3 showed a predicted range of 293 and the Leaf showed 126, less than on a warm day. However, our tests showed that even those reduced estimates were still too optimistic.

SOURCE:https://www.consumerreports.org/hybrids-evs/buying-an-electric-car-for-a-cold-climate-double-down-on-range/

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Adam Qureshi