Tesla Model 3 Battery Drain While Parked In Cold For 10 Days: Video


Cold weather saps the range of electric cars, but what impact does it have if your car is just parked?

The answer to that question is that it depends on the car and on just how cold it really is.  In this case, the car is a Tesla Model 3 and it’s parked for 10 days.

That’s not what we’d consider a very long time, but it’s surely enough to fully chill the battery. In a scenario such as this, it’s best to leave the EV plugged in, but that’s not always possible.

So then, how much battery range will you lose if you park your Tesla Model 3 outside in the cold for a long period of time? Watch this video to find out. Included within are tips to minimize range loss when your Tesla is parked in the cold for a long period of time. It’s worth watching if you plan on experiencing the cold in your EV.

Video description:

How much did my Tesla Model 3 battery drain when I went on a 10-day trip without plugging my car in and parked it outside in the cold?

How do I prepare my Model 3 for long term parking before I go away on trips?

Categories: Tesla, Videos

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

64 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Battery Drain While Parked In Cold For 10 Days: Video"

newest oldest most voted

A loss of 18% battery charge over 10 days, is only an average of 1.8% per day.

You just saved me 10 minutes of my life.

Same here. IEV’s, just post the info with the video….as i’m not watching this at work!

I really wish i would have just checked the comments before watching that annoying lady.

Typical example that not everyone with a camera should be posting videos on Youtube.

personally, I agree with you; however, there are many that would rather spend 12 minutes watching a video like this instead of having the answer right there in front of them. This is why YouTube is so popular.

I checked comments first.

I really don’t see a problem with that. Maybe in some situations . . but I’m sure there may be an after marked product to prevent this. Just a solar panel on the roof, large enough to cover the loss? Would not have to be that big. .

And will soon be history, since wireless charging will come to most EVs soon I think.

That’s one leaky gas tank, unacceptable IMHO.

She might have a small hole in one of her electron wires and they are leaking out on the ground… maybe put a paper towel down with a battery on top and see if it will absorb them back in.

ha.. someone should tell her to plug in a solar panel to her cigarette lighter socket.

How long will your ICE last if you left it idling? Basically that’s what the Tesla, are doing when you lock them up. They never switch off, they are always doing something.
I can’t account for Nissan LEAF charge loss as that battery is supposed to be isolated when the car is turned off, but Tesla don’t appear to work that way and have much more electrical systems active all the time.
The fact this lady did a software update would think that makes a bit of difference as well.

Or 5-6 miles per day….

My Model 3 loses about 2% each day sitting in a garage at 60+F. Wish it were less, but the cold doesn’t make much difference.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Answer: unknown, because the vampire drain is inconsistent.

Super – now run the test when it’s actually cold and let us know how it goes.

I was thinking the same thing.. 64F.. thats not cold…

64F….that’s almost an ideal temps for an HV battery. Yet her Tesla still experienced an 18% drain over 10 days? Good gravy!

When I first got my 3 last May, the vampire drain was closer to 5% a day. With software updates it is much improved to 1-2%.

Is yours going to sleep or just idle? If you use TeslaFI.COM or the like you need to make sure your settings let it go to sleep.

Was thinking the same. So much for that driving efficiency when you lose the electrons in the driveway.

My Bolt was parked for a week in 10 deg f temps, it didn’t lose any noticeable charge. Tesla needs to work on the vampire drain.

I saw 54F when she parked it. But still that’s not cold.

Interesting test. I am very surprised about the drain. We left our Bolt for just over a month in February/March not plugged in. Average temp was -5C to -10C (23F to 14F). The battery lost less than 5kWh over that time. As well, I didn’t think to turn off wifi or cell network. This is an area that would be pretty easy for Tesla to fix (software) and I am confident they will if enough people are concerned.
This winter we are just going to leave it plugged in, set on hilltop reserve.

Different cars. Different battery chemistry. And Tesla’s systems are pretty much always running.
Tesla can’t turn off WiFi or Cellular network because you will not be able to access the car via the app unless bluetooth is connected. Additionally, WiFi and Cellular aren’t going to be the main contributing factor for drain, turning them off wouldn’t change much.

Also, bugging the car (waking it up) to check its charge can have an effect. There are power settings that can be changed to lower drain.

Free suggestion for Tesla:
It would be great if regen power could be routed to heat up battery and cabin, rather then disabling it completely when battery is cold.

Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

60,000+ watts to a passenger cabin heater would make it nice and toasty inside.

That would require some rather expensive parts (large capacitor) to gather and store all of the energy that regen is giving back in order to not have limited regen. But what happens when you’re regen is more than you’re consuming… You’re back to square one with limited regen…. Additionally, regen is technically being used to heat the battery and indirectly heat the cabin. The more you regen the more waste heat is generated in the motor which will be used to warm the batteries. Also, since regen is charging the batteries (only slightly) it is also helping heat them that way too. And the regen power is being put on the bus to charge the batteries, that bus is where the heater is pulling power from to heat the cabin.

Not a capacitor, but a resistor to create heat. They aren’t that expensive.

The heater that is being used in the car is a resistive heater, you can only consume so much from regen, its not really a viable option. It would be better to use a capacitor to store the energy.

They’re called braking resistors and they’re used all the time. Dump the regen power to the resistor, let it create heat that heats up the cooling loop. It’s simple, direct, and low cost.

The Model 3 motor can regen at about 70kW max, or so I have seen in a few places from tear downs, not sure exactly what Tesla is setting it to software wise, but a braking resistor that is capable of handling 350V and at least 48A (just grabbing this number since that’s max charge rate from the charger, basically arbitrary) then you need a braking resistor that can dissipate 16800W! That’t not going to be a small or each resistor!

It just has to be capable of withstanding high temp, it could be pretty small, but what’s important is thermal inertia and tolerance.
The dissipation of all that heat will be very fast in a freezing cold coolant loop and will be done before you need to brake again.

Right, and they can absorb a lot of heat, certainly all the braking energy that regen can do.
If the resistor is in the cooling/heating loop, it will dissipate this heat very rapidly and will just improve range.

Oh my god, talk talk talk….is she plugged in, 10 second video at best.

She ‘s talking about winter but 64 Fahrenheit , whitch is 18Celsius for us Europeans. Sometimes we get lucky to have this temp during summer.
Im curieus how much drain with 0 degrees C / 32 Fah.

According to her map, she is just outside L.A. in Culver City. SoCal probably isn’t the best place to test winter cold weather.

You can see how Southern California Centric these articles are: EXTREMELY COLD weather testing usually happens at 45 degrees F with the sun shining. You have to go all the way back to BRODER’s test to get a realistic test, (which received hundreds of undeserved cat calls since Musk’s response was that he “Should Plug the Car in” – therefore EVERYTHING he did was wrong, even when he followed authorized Tesla Representatives’ instructions – such as “Repeatedly Speed Up and Slow Down, so that you get FREE REGENERATION!” ). This advice, of course, satisfied all the Mommy’s Basement types who see the world from that artificial cocoon, but not in the real life of a typical EV owner in, for instance, my town, where sometimes that simple request is impossible. Like Broder, sometimes you just have to park where you CANNOT plug-in and, like a gasoline powered car – at times a car has to just sit by its lonesome and survive. Loss during the overnight test while Broder was at the hotel I calculated at a continuous 1840 watts, using Tesla’s Logs of the trip. But I have to admit – 64 degrees F is a new goal post… Read more »

I think stand-by consumption should be lower – an effort should be made to reduce it. We are talking over 50W in average.

Google said I spent 60 hours in the car last month from a total of 744 hours. So the car was a “dead weight” for 684 hours. Using 50W of energy for those 684 hours is about 35kWh of electricity or 5€ per month if I charge at night.

She lives in a condo, unable to charge at home, uses superchargers + free charging few blocks away from work. If there’s anyone who shouldn’t drive EV, it’s her.

Also, she mentioned 6 months free supercharging using the code, but I thought that expired on Feb. 1?

“Also, she mentioned 6 months free supercharging using the code, but I thought that expired on Feb. 1?”
Yep, it did. Actually, ALL referral rewards disappeared. Elon killed the whole program.

Again… this is a person that is out there to get referrals… not to provide a public service.

She mentioned it expired on 1st Feb and congratulated those who got it before then. Anyone with a Tesla could get referrals, she’s not the only one doing this, and it only works if you are aware of it, for instance this is the first time I saw this vlogger, so I wouldn’t have been able to use her code. Plenty others I’ve seen though, so probably would have used one of their codes by now anyway.
In fact, she lives in a condo and sounds like the Model 3 is working just fine for her situation. She doesn’t complain about having to use SC or chargers near work, just mentions that’s her situation. As this demonstrates, for EV’s to work in all situations there needs to be a ubiquitous charging network, just like we have ubiquitous gas stations.

As long as Humans are free to reproduce at will there will always be people like “that woman”

You know you could apply that sentence to anyone, me and you included.

Looks like Tesla needs to implement a vacation mode for when the car is parked for an extended time. It could automatically optizme for low power usage.

Bingo. I wish I could tell my M3 to enter deep sleep when I don’t care about the app or anything else working.

I left my car out on Christmas night. I lost 30 miles of range (10%) in just 10 hours, from when I parked it for the night to when I checked it in the morning. The temperature was between 25 F and 30 F that night (-5 C to -1 C)

that is pretty crappy…

At those rate, it will have no range left in 1 week!

warm battery vs cold battery is not vampire drain

There are advantages to having a dumb car like my Leaf. I park it for a week in the cold and it doesn’t lose a single percent charge. It doesn’t start consuming power until the battery hits -14C which it never does around here.

No remote access, but also no vampire drain. I’m ok with that.

Same with my Leaf — negligible battery drain, even in very cold conditions (below 10F) in our recent polar vortex.

You call that a dumb car? I think it’s actually smart :).
In Europe TVs and other appliances have strict limits for standby power, I guess for network high connectivity devices it’s 6W and a car can be hardly considered a “device” requiring high level of connectivity.

Same deal with my Leaf. I’ve left it unplugged on some really cold nights just to see what would happen. Charge loss overnight is not significant. Temp gauge only shows the blue section but you just get in and go. Leafs have taken a lot of heat about the heat (pardon me) but they sure don’t seem to mind the cold.

Take a walk around your house, for most people if you do that you will find almost every appliance plugged in, powered up, ready in standby. Some people even have TV’s running even when noone is there. Add all that up and it is a lot of “wasted” power just for the convenience of it. EV’s are no different. Even some LEAF you can remotely check on battery charge or pre heat them. That also takes power.
Hopefully Tesla continues to work on reducing standby power, and a hibernation mode would be great.

If you want your car to talk to you, you have to feed it some electrons. Simple as that…

Good info to know if you are somebody who parks their car for 21 days of the month.

Like refrigerators, televisions, computers, and air conditioners? The problem EVs are solving is pollution around transportation. The problem wind, solar, and other renewables solve is pollution around electricity generation. Both need to be addressed, but once you solve both (or leverage both, which is already possible) then it’s all good.

I think this shows that it would be a good idea to have a solar panel integrated on the roof (hood too if they can make it unnoticeable, like the solar shingles), to offset these losses. I get it that this won’t work in a garage/shade but for all the other situations it would definitely help, simply by knowing that you don’t have to worry if you need to go away for a month.

Again not as a replacement for charging , only to address this issue. Well if the losses would be reduced it would be a tiny bit of charging during sunny days, than why not? For tesla the solar panel will cost <200$ if that, at their scale. I am sure that they're thinking about it.

I live in St Paul, MN where it is a balmy -35 degree wind chill this morning. Watching this video on how “cold” affects Tesla 3 battery, when she has trees with leaves (!) and green grass? She’s wearing a puffy winter coat. Is that for effect? Cold is obviously relative, huh? My 2012 Nissan Leaf is plugged in in my unheated garage where it’s 5 degrees. There are folks here in MN who had some largely 12V issues with their EVs during the polar vortex. The Nissan Owner’s manual actually says -25 degrees is not advised. I drove mine 25 miles round trip to go indoor skiing and left it parked outside for a few hours when it was -12 air temp. Car handled it like a boss. 64 degrees “cold”? LMAO.

It is really a lot. I had my Renault Zeo stangin for more than a month with the old 22kwh battery . I noted no real loss at all it has the same % as before, but perhaps one or two percent maximum as measuring voltage didnt always seem to be 100% correct .

This video is far too long! Very good topic but too much talk, talk, talk.
I found this problem with many video posts. The presenters like to hear their own voices I guess.