Join The Community

Battery Temperature limits

Now that John & Jill are the very first to complete All-Supercharger-Cross-Country Trip from the East Coast to the West Coast,

May be we should challenge them the same but this time from LAX, CA to Anchorage, AK :)

That's almost 3,500 miles going north and through our neighbor Canada.

However, there is a lingering question that can Tesla battery run or be plugged in with ambient temperature below -22F for more than 24 hours as there's a limitation in the Owner's Manual, page 83?

"Temperature limits

Do not expose Model S to ambient temperatures above 140F (60C) or below -22F (-30C) for more than 24 hours at a time."

Logically, if it is plugged in or driving, the HVAC system would automatically optimize the battery temperature.

Any brave souls who can give us a dry run here :)

I would have thought some owners above the arctic circle in Norway would have had to deal with this already.

I guess they are garaging their cars.

-22F is absurdly cold. Then again, didn't John and Jill experience this temp on their cross country trip? It could be a real issue for northern owners.

If I travel up north, I will take an extension cord, rope/straps and a electric blanket, and throw it under my Tesla and snug it up under the battery. It takes only a few cents to run an electric blanket all night and would physically ensure the battery stayed warm. Of course I'd also plug the car in.

My Tesla. Ahh. Sounds so nice. Just hasn't happened yet. :) <3

@logical, why bother with the e-blanket if you can just plug the car into a socket and let your MS handle the battery itself?

A real issue in northern climes is having a diesel with a block heater, and having that fail!

Well because basically the way I'm reading that warranty above is that it says do not expose your car to temps below -22F for >24hr, regardless of whether or not you have it plugged in.

Clarification: read the warranty. It does NOT say "... unless you have the car plugged in during this time."

No. Rather, it flat out prohibits exposure to ambient temps below -22F for >24hr.

@logical, fair enough, but if you only had one extension cord, I'd opt to charge the car.

Now you've got me wondering if I need to carry two when I go to Alaska. ;-)

In other words, the implication is whatever battery heating system the car may have cannot adequately warm the battery for >24 hr below -22F.

I suspect the lower ends of the vertically aligned cells, closest to the frigid outdoor air (just beyond the aluminum shell) drop below a critical temp despite active thermal mgt., at which point the battery may begin to deteriorate physically or chemically. I totally am guessing but it makes physical sense.

I'd always plan ahead and have a 240V plug available for the car, and then use a regular wall outlet for any extra power like a security blanket. ;)

Nobody up there could make fun of you, because they all are plugging in their stupid gas cars overnight.

Similar thread:

Sounds like they are unaware of the owner manual warning, or at least it wasn't being discussed.

At least we don't have this kind of broken off car handle problem at -24F:

While the temp may dip below -24F, it never stays that cold for >24hrs in Minnesota. Before I bought the car, I went back through historical temperature records to check, because that was a concern for me.

This 24 h limit is a very serious problem, if exceeding it damages battery. We don't often have long periods below -30 C here, but a few 100 km north it happens almost every winter. Even here we had couple weeks at -40, but it was almost 30 years ago.

If a block heater in a diesel fails, engine is not damaged. Starting it might be impossible until warm weather.

I have an old car with plastic door handle. I have broken it twice already because of cold and ice.

Why worry?


Every single state of the 50 states, including Alaska, has now owned a Model S.

If they can do it in Alaska, then our LAX-AK team should be able to do it too :)

When traveling through Indian during the polar vortex, I experienced -21 while at a Supercharger at night. But that was as low as it got during the trip. I didn't know I was in danger of ruining the battery.

Surprised plugging in doesn't make a difference. (?) Does 120V vs 240V matter?


The condition must exist continuously for over 24 hours. If there's a break in between, then the clock is restarted again.

1) In most situations, US weather never dips below -22F CONTINUOUSLY for over 24 hours.

2) Even if it dips below -22F continuously for over 24 hours, most people would bring it into a garage for refuge during that temporary condition.


I assume the battery pack heater can only heat so much and it is not designed to be overworked continuously more than 24 hours.

This is like diabetes. If your serum glucose level is 99 mg/dL, you don't have diabetes. If it is 101, you do. That's absurd. There is not a clock in your battery counting the number of hours at which you're below -22F, and your car is magically undamaged if you're below for 23:59 hours:minutes, and damaged if you're below for 24:01. Or for that matter if the temperature is -21, you're just great, and if it's -22, you're screwed.

Tesla gave us a warning, but I would not be too happy to be pushing close to the limits, nor would I assume I was screwed if I went slightly past the limits.

Definition of what battery damage they are discussing and an ROC curve would be nice.

X Deutschland Site Besuchen