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Tesla’s Problem in Cold Weather: Is There a Solution?

  • EV Charging
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 7 minutes

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There is no beating around the bush! Tesla DOES have a problem in cold weather. Now, do you want to sit on it and frown or try to find a solution to this issue? Way.com has rounded up some answers to help you with Tesla’s problem in cold weather.

One of the biggest worries about electric cars is how well they work in cold weather. During the winter, no one wants to worry about how well their car will hold up.

If you have a Tesla or are thinking about getting one, you should ensure you won’t have any trouble driving it in the winter.

Read on to find out what we found and how we answered your questions.

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How well does a Tesla work in cold weather?

A few parts of your Tesla work better when cold outside. Some of these problems are a shorter range from the battery, handles and charging ports that freeze shut, and problems with regenerative braking. But Teslas don’t have trouble starting up and driving when it’s cold outside.

But Tesla has taken steps to lessen these effects. In many ways, driving a Tesla in the winter is the same as or better than driving a regular car or another EV.

Do Teslas lose range when it’s cold?

Because of how electric vehicles work, Teslas’ range tends to drop in colder climates. This is like other electric cars in a lot of ways.

This is mostly because of two things:

The way chemicals work slows down

Cold temperatures can stop chemical reactions from happening, giving the battery more resistance to overcome.

EVs make a lot less heat

In standard gas-powered cars, the internal combustion engine often makes more heat than it needs to. This extra heat can be easily used during the winter to warm the car. Since Teslas are more efficient and don’t make as much extra heat when they run, they have to use some of their power to make heat when it’s cold.

Prepare Season 7 GIF by Game of Thrones


How much will my Tesla’s range go down when it’s cold?

How much your range drops depends on several things. Like how fast you drive and how you drive in cold weather.

Driving a Tesla in cold weather can be easy and safe, but you’ll need to make a few changes. By preheating and defrosting your Tesla, you’ll do a lot to make the battery work better while you’re driving and keep your range.

Here is a full guide on how to get your Tesla out of the frost. Also, try not to speed up and keep a steady speed. Turning on Chill Mode can help you do this.

You can also use your seat warmers to save energy instead of heating the car. Teslas have been shown to work at between 80% and 50% of their normal battery range in temperatures below freezing. The difference is mostly caused by how fast the car is going.

It might take some time to figure out how your car’s range changes in cold weather, so plan to charge it more often to be safe.

Does it take longer to charge a Tesla when it’s cold outside?

Teslas often take longer to charge when it’s below freezing. There are a few reasons for this. Since charging makes the battery warm, it needs to be kept from getting too hot or cold too fast.

The vehicle will automatically slow the charge rate to stop this from happening. This is especially true at Tesla’s Supercharger stations, which usually charge the battery much faster than a regular outlet.

But you can do a few things to shorten the time it takes to charge.

  • Use preconditioning: About an hour to 30 minutes before charging, you can turn on your car’s preconditioning features to warm up the battery so it’s ready to be charged.
  • Charge right after you drive: The energy you used to drive has already warmed up the battery. If you can charge your Tesla as soon as you get home from a ride, it will start charging at its normal rate.
  • Plug it in: If you leave your car plugged in as much as possible while it’s parked, the heat from the charging station will keep it warm instead of the battery.

Set your destination as a Supercharger station in your Tesla’s navigation system, which will automatically heat your car before you get there.

Tesla car at charging station

Do Teslas have trouble starting when it’s cold?

Cold weather usually makes it easy to start a Tesla. But even though you can drive your car in very cold weather, it’s usually not a good idea because it can hurt how your battery works.

The best thing to do, and the one that will keep you warmest, is to heat your car before you drive. You can do this by setting your next departure time in the Tesla app or on the touchscreen inside the car. The car will start warming up on its own when it’s time to drive.

To find this feature, touch: “Charging,” “Scheduled Departure,” “Schedule,” “Depart At,” and “Pick a Time.”

You can also start preconditioning immediately if you forget to set a departure time. The best time is about an hour before you leave.

By going to the Climate Control settings, you can set a daily time to leave that your car will automatically repeat. This will help you keep a regular time to leave.

Does cold weather affect Teslas differently than other electric cars?

EVs usually lose range when cold outside, but Tesla has been shown to hold its range better than many other cars. Teslas have some of the best batteries for cold weather.

Teslas have also been shown to be very good at keeping heat while idling and performing at the same level as ICEs. Car and Driver found that their 2019 Tesla Model 3 could sit at 65 degrees for two days before it ran out of power. If you get stuck in your Tesla for a while in freezing weather, you shouldn’t have any trouble staying warm.

How do Teslas do when the roads are snowy or icy?

Teslas do well in snow and ice, depending on how bad the weather is. Because they are well-balanced and have the option of all-wheel drive, they are easy to drive even when the roads are icy, and there isn’t much snow.

With its Defrost feature, Tesla also helps drivers by melting snow and ice on their windows, making it easier to see and drive in the winter.

But they are not heavy-duty vehicles, and they are not made to be used off-road. Snow tires can help with traction, but Teslas need high ground clearance or four-wheel drive traction control to handle deep snow.

 pink tesla jaden model x GIF


What happens to the regenerative braking on a Tesla when it’s cold?

The regenerative braking system is one of the more tricky things to deal with when driving a Tesla in cold weather. Teslas have a feature called “regenerative braking,” which reverses the power instead of just applying the brakes to regain the energy lost when the car slows down.

In freezing weather, however, the resistance regenerative braking causes when slowing down can cause sudden skids on wet roads.

Tesla has fixed this problem by making it so regenerative braking slows down automatically when cold outside. In some models, you can also use the touchscreen to turn off regenerative braking by hand.

Hot or Cold! Find your way to EV chargers via Way.com

The smart choice is electric mobility. We also make it easy for you. We have focused on giving everyone involved in the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) the best charging experience possible.

Way.com is a one-stop shop for people who own cars. We can assist you with your parking needs, give you affordable car insurance and refinancing quotes, tell you where the closest car wash is, and show you how to get cash back on your gas.

Way.com is here to help protect what’s around you. We also give you the best insurance rates for your most valuable asset, your home.”

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