As part of the 2019 holiday update, Tesla added a Camp Mode feature that makes its cars better at accommodating people inside, while stationary, for extended periods. The main functions it provides are maintaining airflow into the cabin, it regulating the temperature, and it even displaying a nice cozy campsite on the screen, accompanied by soothing music.
But how well does it work in real life, and how long could you theoretically live inside your Tesla for? Well, Bjørn Nyland set out to discover exactly this, so he decided to set up camp near a road in his native Norway that had been closed due to heavy snowfall.
His main goal was to see how much juice per hour the car used when stationary and in Camp Mode. This information is not useful solely for those who actually want to go out camping in their Tesla in the middle of winter, but it’s probably of even more use in situations when people are actually stranded in one of these cars and they rely on it for survival.
And this is a real scenario: you drive along a road, get caught in a blizzard that forces you to stop and you have to wait for many hours before a path is cleared to reach you. So knowing how long the battery will last you could be key to your survival in one of these unforeseen situations.
You will be happy to note, therefore, that with the heating turned on, as well as the main screen turned on for entertainment, a Tesla (Model 3 Performance in this case) drains around 2 kWh per hour at a temperature just below freezing. You could probably reduce current consumption by insulating the windows (the places where heat is most easily lost), as well as turning off the screen.
Bjørn also tested Camp Mode in his Model 3 late last year (immediately after the 2019.40.50 software update was rolled out), in even lower temperatures (14°F/-10°C). He challenged himself to live in the car for 24 hours, and in that instance, the battery went from fully charged to 52 percent (which roughly translates to 33.2 kWh).