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Tesla Model S range reduction due to cold weather (An Informal Study)

We have a lot of people reporting, on numerous threads, that the Model S has range reduction issues in cold weather. I would like to collect some data to determine, in the real world, how the Model S performance fairs at different temperatures. To do this I need data (from you). If people with a dedicated electric meter can post power usage information I would be happy to crunch the numbers and maybe we could determine some real world information about this issue.

I would like to determine 1) power overhead to run the car. i.e. the Model S reports how many KWh it consumes when "on", but doesn't report how many KWh when it is "off", 2) Estimates of wh/m while driving. and 3) Charging efficiency. I would like to determine all three of these as a function of temperature. If this thread decides to try to derive additional results I will be happy to add them to this list.

What I would like people to post is. 1) Time covered by your report (in hours). The period reported should start and end with the car fully charged (either standard or max range setting). 2) Miles/KM driven. Please specify units. 0 means you were just charging for the time covered. 3) Power consumed as indicated by your dedicated utility meter, for the time covered (i.e. end meter reading - start meter reading). 4) What Model S said it consumed for the time covered (You might consider using the A or B trip meter. and 5) You best guess of what the average temperature was for the time covered. 6) Anything else you think is important.

Ideally I would like this study to last for 1 year (that may be asking to much.... but I can ask).

I will set up a public spread sheet to allow all of us a chance to review and comment on the analysis of the data.

Two reports:

65 hours, 85 miles, meter changed 47 KWh, Car used 30.5 KWh, Temp 40F Gross efficiency 64%. (Note: Gross efficiency = car/meter.)

24 hours, 59 miles, meter changed 23 KWH, Car used 18.5 KWh, Temp 55F Gross efficiency 80%, almost ideal. 55F was almost ideal for the humans too :)

I will soon post a link to the spread sheet at Google docs with all data. Once again I'm a volunteer so don't expect things to happen quickly.

First, the average low temperature in Quebec City is never below -16 degrees CC which is about 0 degrees F and that's in January. If you are looking for a vehicle that operates normally in -30 degrees C then you should check with the US or Canadian armed forces. I'm sure that for a couple of million, you could find a vehicle that does that. ICEs have trouble at that low a temperature for extended periods. So let's put the argument that the Tesla has to operate beautifully at -30 degrees C to rest.


I'm confused. You say that the trip info you posted was from your brother's experience with his Canadian car. Why did you go to the trouble of converting the kilometers into miles for the post? We can all deal with kilometers as well as miles.

Moreover, if you were going to convert the data then why did you post the temperature in Celsius?

As an aside, I have driven the Quebec City to Montreal run (well, to/from the suburb of Boucherville) twice without any range problems. Not quite as cold as you posted, but one trip was at about -12C and the other at -18C to -20C.

Finally, you need to decide on which other cars you own. Sometimes (as in this thread) it is three MBs; elsewhere it is a mix of brands -- or do you have a whole stable full of cars?

Just sayin'...

You can view data at

Still don't understand google docs very well... but I'm learning.

Yes I know I still haven't added other people's data to the file.

Harold, NNT is a known liar and troll. We flag his posts as inappropriate, don't reply to him, and move on.
Same for his alter ego beepbeep.

Looking forward to Model S.... If going to a winter cabin or somewhere where charging possibilities are limited, is there true problems with cold climate – to actually run out of battery?

In Finnland where I live, it's pretty usual to run out of battery in a normal gasoline car. No problems with Tesla?

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