Electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 require some knowledge and planning to endure cold weather.
The U.S. is experiencing another polar vortex and it's not advantageous for cars. Most cars have issues due to the bitter cold, but these Tesla Model 3 owners are venting due to their experiences. This is primarily due to the fact that they spent a big chunk of change for the car and expect it to work miracles. On the other side of the coin, Consumer Reports just reported that of all cars (some half a million), the Model 3 brings owners the most satisfaction.
Yes, it's no secret cold impacts all cars. It may be a little more of a secret that EVs suffer from the situation on a different level. Does this mean you shouldn't bother owning an electric car if your area experiences cold weather? No. That's not the case at all. However, most people are new to EVs, education is a must.
According to Mercury News via Bloomberg, Tesla Model 3 owners have been increasingly active on social media about concerns with their vehicles during the recent cold snap. Range is expectedly down (as with any car, but moreso with EVs). One owner from New Jersey, Ronak Patel, shared:
My biggest concern is the cold weather drained my battery 20 to 25 miles overnight and an extra five to ten miles on my drive to work. I paid $60,000 to not drain my battery so quickly.
The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter how much you pay for a car. A gas-powered Mercedes S-Class may experience the same issues related to cold weather as a dirt-cheap Nissan Sentra. Moreover, this has nothing to do with Tesla or the price of the Model 3. Any electric car's battery will struggle in cold weather. Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Salim Morsy explains:
It’s Panasonic that manufactures Tesla batteries. It’s not something specific to Tesla. It happens to Chevy with the Bolt and Nissan with the Leaf.
A little EV education:
While cold temps may affect any battery-electric car's range more than that of a gas car, these EVs are almost guaranteed to start. You can't say that about many ICE cars in extreme temps. In addition, there are settings for most EV owners that can help immensely. You can precondition your electric car in your garage, with settings to heat the cabin and battery while the car is still plugged in. If you want to use remote start on a gas-powered car, you have to pull it out of the garage unless you're okay with poisoning your family.
If you keep your EV charging overnight, or make sure to charge it shortly before departing, the battery will remain warm and supply more range. Additionally, you won't have to stop at a gas station and stand outside in the frigid cold to "gas up."
It's fair to say that if you plan to take several long road trips in the dead of winter during a polar vortex, your EV may not be the best option. But, when it comes to your daily commute, there should truly be no issue, as long as you're educated and plan accordingly. While EVs require significantly less maintenance than ICE cars, you have to make an effort to care for your battery.
Complaints also revolved around Tesla Model 3 door handles freezing, as well as windows and doors. While these issues are a reality, they are surely present on many other vehicles. Whether or not it's a Tesla has nothing to do with its door handles or windows freezing. Instead, it has to do with the flush handle design and frameless windows, which are both present on vehicles from other brands. Many of us have experienced similar issues with other cars, regardless of powertrain or maker.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Let us know in the comment section below.
Source: The Mercury News