How to use the Tesla Range Mode to increase the range in winter
Image Credits: Tesla

How to use the Tesla Range Mode to increase the range in winter

With these tips you can increase your cars range in winter by using Tesla range mode and other tricks. Anyone who has ever driven an electric car in winter will quickly notice that the range can drop considerably compared to summer. Depending on driving style and situation, this can quickly amount to 30 percent or more. The large additional consumer in winter is clearly the heating system, which in an electric vehicle, compared to the combustion engine, is not a by-product in the form of waste heat from the engine. Electric vehicles usually heat with electricity or heat pumps. Tesla heats in all vehicles only with electricity. And of course this comes from the same battery as the electricity for the engine.

Some additional factors, which we cannot influence, also reduce the range in winter. For example, cold air has a higher air resistance. Or the displacement of water and snow on wet roads also provides higher resistance and therefore higher consumption.

How can I increase the Tesla’s range in winter by using range mode and other tricks?

Long distance

If possible, program the charging in such a way that the charging is only completed shortly before departure. The battery heats up during charging. A large proportion of range loss is caused by the battery warming up on the road. If the battery is brought to temperature before departure, this extra consumption for heating on the road can be avoided. The additional consumption on the road with a warm battery and warm interior is only about 5 to 10%.

Preheating with connected charging cable. It is recommended to preheat the battery and the vehicle interior via mobile phone app for 30 minutes before departure. The Tesla automatically uses the power from the cable and not from the battery. If you can only preheat without a charging cable connected, it is best to activate the Tesla range mode because otherwise the battery will also be heated with power from the battery. See also this article.

Model S and X only: Switch on Tesla range mode while driving. This minimally reduces the performance of the interior heater and deactivates the battery heater. However, discharging and charging (recuperation) while driving also heats the battery steadily. If you start driving with a full and preheated battery, the battery is usually at the ideal temperature for rapid charging until the first supercharger charge stop after about 2 hours despite the range mode being switched off. Those who want to be on the safe side and always want to be able to charge immediately, prefer to deactivate the range mode for long distances. However, this way the battery heats up on the way.

 

Always use Tesla range mode on short distance

Do without the interior heating with ventilation and use only steering wheel and seat heating. Heating the interior for a short drive requires a lot of energy.

Model S and X only: Switch on range mode. The range mode is a huge energy saver, especially for short distances. When the range mode is switched off and the battery is cold, the cold battery starts to warm up with electricity immediately when you start driving. This energy dissipates without effect, as the vehicle is parked again shortly afterwards anyway and the battery cools down again. The next time the vehicle is driven off, the whole process is repeated again.

 

General tips. Whether short or long distance

Seat heating and steering wheel heating require less energy than heating the ventilation system. This tip is of course a matter of taste. Not everyone likes it cool in the interior.

19 inch rims for the winter tyres, because consumption increases with higher rim diameter.

Drive more slowly. This saves energy mainly because of the lower air resistance. Because efficiency decreases with increasing speed.

Park the vehicle in an underground car park. The warmer ambient air does not cool down the battery as much. This leaves more recuperation while driving. Less recuperation is better for the range than no recuperation.

More anticipatory driving. Be prepared for reduced recuperation and make the best possible use of it. This increases the Tesla range and warms the battery additionally by charging it.

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