How to preheat the Tesla battery?
Image Credits: Tesla

How to preheat the Tesla battery?

The Tesla mobile phone app can be used to preheat the battery of the Tesla in winter. A too cold battery has the disadvantage that the full recuperation power is not available while driving. The brakes must therefore be used more heavily. In addition, a cold battery does not have the maximum charging speed on the fast charger.

If the range mode (Model S and X only) is switched off, the battery is automatically preheated while driving depending on the battery temperature. The power required for this is of course drawn from the battery and you lose range. Preheating the battery at home with electricity from the mains can therefore be useful, depending on the situation, to gain more range when travelling.

UPDATE: Apparently this behavior was changed with the V10 software updates. The battery will only heat up while driving if a supercharger is selected as navigation destination.

Two important points:

  • Theoretically, the battery heating only works during preheating at a correspondingly cold battery temperature of about 10 °C/50 °F and colder.
  • Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to switch the battery heating on and off manually.

The battery heating is switched on automatically depending on the following conditions when the Tesla vehicle is preheated via the mobile phone app:

The Tesla battery is preheated in the following situations:

  • With range mode ON and charging cable connected (the power required for preheating comes directly from the mains and not from the battery)
  • With range mode OFF and charging cable connected (the power required for preheating comes directly from the mains and not from the battery)
  • With range mode OFF and charging cable NOT connected (the power needed to preheat comes from the battery)

The Model 3 does not have a range mode. This means that the battery is always preheated when needed.

Battery is NOT preheated (Model S and X only):

  • With range mode ON and charging cable NOT connected (in this case only the interior is preheated and NOT the battery)

The source for this information is a discussion thread on the topic “Preheating the Tesla battery” in the TFF forum.

How to preheat Tesla battery heading to the Supercharger

With Software Update 2019.12.1.1 Tesla has implemented a simple but great feature in April 2019. If a supercharger is selected as the destination in the navigation system, the battery heats up automatically so that ideal conditions for fast charging are available when you arrive at the supercharger.

Software Update 2019.36.2.1

Apparently there is an adjustment since software update 2019.36.2.1: If the vehicle is charged and preheated with the new function “planned departure time”, the battery heating remains switched off until departure. Since Version 2020.4.1 this bug is fixed.

More Tips & Tricks for using a Tesla in Winter.