Charging an electric vehicle can be trickier in winter when temperatures drop significantly, with the main problems being frozen charging port doors, lower charging speeds and more frequent charging due to EVs’ lower cold weather range. Owners should also do their best to precondition the car’s battery for charging so that it is at an optimal temperature when it’s plugged in.

If not, when you plug your vehicle in to charge in the cold, the vehicle may display a message that it will first begin to warm up the pack, otherwise the charging speed would be very low. And that’s the message that this Tesla Model S owner got when he want to charge his vehicle on Christmas Eve with just 19 miles (32 km) of range left.


His vehicle kept displaying the same message that the vehicle was warming up to charge, and even after several hours plugged into a Supercharger, it was still showing the message and it had no charged at all. The owner posted a video about him being stranded in his EV on the day before Christmas and the video went viral, getting his story out to a wider audience.

And it looks like it worked as Domenick was eventually contacted by Tesla and was offered a loaner Model 3 while his own Model S was taken to a nearby service center for the problem to be diagnosed.

Now yes, it’s true that as previously mentioned charging in really cold temperatures – it was apparently around -7°C or 19°F when he tried to charge – is not ideal, especially if you try to charge the vehicle before it’s ready.


The owner, Domenick Nati, contacted us as he did several other outlets in the hopes that Tesla’s customer support will get back to him and find a solution for his problem. He doesn’t mention what model year his vehicle is, but it's most likely a problem with his vehicle, not something general that could affect any Model S.

Let us know in the comments if you experienced any problems charging your Tesla (or any EV in general) during the cold wave that recently hit the US.

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