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Cold arctic weather and battery life?

I am close to putting in my order for the Tesla S. But I live in the wrong part of Norway and there is a 1.500 km drive to the Tesla store. No need to say that even if I would like to have a test drive and a Tesla chat with the people at
I am not able to do so.

So what I have been wondering about is how does cold arctic weather influence the batteries?
I am set to get the 85kw hi performance package. But I am not sure how minus 20 degrees celsius will affect the driving range. I have read that Tesla S with 85kw package will make 480 km on one charge. But I can not find any information about weather conditions. That 480 km range is under ideal conditions I am sure. What about real life?

Say in minus 20 degrees celsius, how many kilometers can I drive before recharing? Keep in mind that in weather conditions like that running the electric heater is a must otherwise one would freeze to death. Also north of the arctic circle the sun is below the horizon for a good 2 months each winter - meaning wintertime is equal always driving with the light on, and the heater going.

What kind of rang will I make in conditions like that? 10% less the aclaimed 480 km? Or even more reduction?

Has there been any testing done of how cold weather clime affects the duration of battery power?

Thx captain - you zapped me there. Thought I was at the right forum.
I will check out the other one immediately.

You will probably be able to do 200km easily in Standard mode even with 30% capacity loss on the battery. I would not be concerned about this at all.

Personally I have to be able to do 283km & 800m elevation gain all year. I belive that too will be easy going for the 85kWh version.


I've had my Model S for a month and travelled 2500 km. I live in Quebec, Canada, so very similar winter condition to Norway.

For city driving at -20C, I'm getting around 170 km of range on average for a standard charge. For a trip on highway, do not think you'll do more than 230-240 km at these temperature.

Plus, there's no way you can risk getting out of battery at these temperatures so you have to keep a buffer.

Right, now, for city driving, my rule of thumb to calculate my range is to cut the rated range in half and it gives me my real range. This will get better as the weather will get warmer. We got -28C this week.

I have two -2- diesel engine power car today. The private and old one I manage to drive as many km/L diesel they promise. It is an Opel 2005. My work car, MBenz 2013 (bought i aug 2012), I am not even close to those numbers.

So I believe that it can be a differs between what TM say what the Model S can and what I manage to preform. But I will take my Model S for a drive in the winter time from Tromsø to Bodø (550km/343miles). I know that I have to charge between. In Winter time it will take longer time then in the summer. But I se this more like a challenge to drive more eco-frendly, so charging time will be as short as possible.

I do not see problem to drive 250km/156miles and 300km/188miles (equal 550km/343miles) in winter time.

OBS! That sounds bad!

really surprised at your 170km city estimate. How many separate "trips" is that? (I.e., separated by parking long enough to cool down.)

I am in Toronto Canada and drive a Sig P85. We have had -20 c weather and at that temperature I loose about 35% of range | January 26, 2013 new
... I loose about 35% of range


@patp, give us speeds. That's extremely important factor in understanding if your experience is comparable or not. Average speeds in Norway highways is just above 56mph (90km/h), which is very close to where you get real life 300 miles in good summer day. Most roads are even slower (80km/h = 50mph).

City driving surprises me too. Very slow speeds, like really really slow, under 20mph, parked or something like that with heater on could explain that.

repetitive parking and cooling and re-warming could also explain it.

Even though there are strict speed limits in norway we all go beyond the limit driving in rural areas, I am sure you do too? One easily saves between 30 minutes to an hour on a 200km drive if pushing the limits. I wold say about 120km/h is a normal cruising speed for driving outside of cities - you cut the time spend by 25% yet you are not loosing you driving license if the cops catches you.

And those extra 30-45 minutes I get to spend with my wife and kids each night is well worth the extra speed. So assuming that we all stick to the speed limit is not calculating for real world experience.

I am sure you too at least go 10% above speed limits as rule of thumb. For me I try to stay just below margins for loosing driving privileges.

Cruise control will help immensely in "hovering" just at that limit.

@torst1, Even though there are strict speed limits in norway we all go beyond the limit driving in rural areas, I am sure you do too?

Not at winter we don't. Some do, but most don't. Roads are just that bad, and there is real moose (elk? what's the difference?) hazard in rural areas, and up north you get reindeers. Too many close calls to ignore those risks.

How can you save a hour in 200km stretch if you do it in about two hours normal driving? Driving 200km/h average, IE. full throttle? In that case Model S range is not sufficient to you. Not even at summer.

Have you actually tested that you save that much time? Speeding usually doesn't give you nearly as much time advantage one would believe because average speed will be considerably lower than they expect.

The European and North American (Canadian) terms for elk and moose are switched.

Didja hear about the Scotsman, seeing his first Canadian moose? On being told what it was, he said, "I'd hate to meet up with a rat!"

Personally I would stay far below 120km/t during the winter to actually get home safely to my family. Saving a few minutes does not matter if you crash :(

120-130 is OK on class A highways with four lanes, but going 120km/t during winter on narrow rural two-lane roads with varying conditions doesn`t sound safe to me.

200km should not be a problem as long as you range charge before you go and drive like a sane person.

Lots of real world experience is posted in this thread, including canadian winter range:,6560.0.html


I suspected you were here just to prove to others that MS is not a viable car, when you stated your last post I knew it was right. No sane person drives 120 km/t in wnter time in the north of Norway. The roads are horrible and the average speed on Norwegian roads (actual speed is just 65 km/t . we have the lowest speed of all of Europe except Malta. Our roads are that bad.

When the actual speed is so low, there is an upside for the electric car like MS.

Torst1 please leave the forum, and go somewhere else with your bickering

Nono dont get your panties all tangled up there.
I dunno where you live or if you are 100 years old or if you are just and old prune. Check with the police - people are regularly being caught in those speeds all over northern part of norway just as elsewhere in norway. Winter and summer. Average speed does not mean shit - you drive after what the conditions allow. Someday when it is cold like twenty below the surface of the road is not slippery at all, the rubber has fantastic grip and you can brake really hard. As temperatures rises closer to zero the conditions get worse in terms of grips and speed will be reduced in order to drive safe.

Comments like your make me think that you either do not actually know how to drive on snow and ice or you have never been to northern part of norway. Here people learn to drive according to what the weather will allow. In bad snowy weather with limited visibility or slippery conditions with bad grip you might need to drive no faster then 40km/h. Three days later driving that same distance you can so much grip and such good visibility that driving 120 km/h is perfectly safe.

What are you a blinded fanboy that has lost eyesight or did your wife strip you off the ability to ask critical question and to think for yourself?

You actually believe I went thru all that annoying process of getting @nick here just to try to talk you into NOT buying Tesla? If you are that paranoid I would recommend medication or therapy my friend - cause that does not seem to be a nice way to live your life. Struggle like that every day. Get help sir. Then you can be all that you want.

Flame war! Pass the popcorn.

@ Kiteulf, tend to believe as you that torst1 is a troll after this rant...

@ torst1

Don´t worry I wont be attending your funeral.

Are you plain stupid or just ignorant kiteulf?
Have you ever driven on cold winter roads? Today's advanced winter tires uses special rubber blends designed to keep the rubber soft for maximal grip. Advanced patterns are constructed to the tires to rapidly drain away any excessive water that forms between the road surface and the tires. And you can even get them with steel studs. Add all that to more and more advanced cars with stability programs, better weight distribution and balance and large breaks combined with ABS.

There is nothing extreme driving today's car in 120 km/h in cold winter conditions. It is an everyday event that puts hardly no extra stress on the driver - except a little more joy and a little more focus.

Even if you suddenly need to break hard - what are you afraid of? Do think the car will spin out of control or flip upside down wheels up?

No that is not the case. I dare you to go out and try for yourself. Find a place with little traffic, good overview and test it. It is not crazy, insane or for people with an inner death wish. It is perfectly sane and for the most part for most people safe enough.

Looks like you nailed it Kiteulf:(

Have to agree with torst on this. Here in Canada 60 mph on dry roads in the cold is common, and much higher speeds, too. Lots of accidents result from people not dialing it back soon enough when conditions change, though.

To go 120km/t and not lose your license reqires a speed limit of 90km/h or higher. A very small percent of Norwegian roads have this limit, most roads are 80km/t (lose your license at 116km/h) or 70km/h (lose it at 106km/h). In addition to that many roads have speed cameras that take your picture at different places and compare the average speed so on those roads you can't even go 10km/h over the limit without being ticketed.

When I do my 283km drive to my cabin the first 70km are on roads with 100km/h limit. Still I do end up with an average speed of about 73-75km since most of the rest of the roads have 60-70-80km/h limits.

Very few people here in central eastern Norway do more than 10km/h over the limit on those roads. If you do 10km/h over on a 80km/h road you will pass 5x as many cars as those who pass you.

120km/h only happens on the multi-lane 100km/h highways, and those are not long stretches of road (maybe 100km in a stretch before encountering lower speed limits).

Ok I will make this my last post regarding the speed cause it is not directly related to the thread.

Clearly Tesla Motors attract green environmentalist as well as hard core car buffs. I understand that the hippie people will never have the same feeling about cars and driving as we car buffs do. They will happily go according to speed limits and be just fine. While we car buffs will feel the need to speed. That is not a problem. We are all different and that is a good thing.

But I will state this one more time - 120 km/h is perfectly safe even on winter time. As long as the temperature are way below zero.


Have you considered to buy a small Honda generator and a 10 litre fuel container for emergency purposes? I thought about this. 2 to 4kw should be possible. This would help you also heating the car in a case of emergency. The front trunk is perfect for storing this.

Psssst - I was told, that the Tesla people do not like to hear this.


Re Torst: I have driving experience in cold & snow. When it is near zero fahrenheit, you can go quite fast on packed snow and have good traction. I'm talking about dry snow, not the kind you get in cities after salt is applied.

The key thing is roads must be mostly empty. If you are alone, you can drive fast as Torst has described and still be safe. With other drivers around, you must drive at the same speed as others, and try to keep a safe distance between cars. And hope that none of the other drivers do anything stupid!


We are on the same page yo and me. Cause I was using celsius scale but I found a converter and see that 0F=-17C. Here we often get even colder then that.

In rural areas like here you can go fast - even use more then your part of the road if the backend of the car gets a little loosie in the curves. Cause it is pitch black all winter. That means you know ahead of curves if you have ongoing traffic. No light ahead you can make wide turns or even powerslide around the bends.

Man i love driving - active driving.


I am sorry to writhe this: You are stupid. DO NOT BYE A TESLA! I want smart people to drive EV, not an idiot who thinks that the law of physic is some stupid rules you can out smart!

I am very sorry.


Ouch...what are you REALLY thinking

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