Has Tesla Fixed Model 3 Phantom (Vampire) Drain Issue?


Is the issue with Tesla Model 3 Phantom drain resolved? What about the Model S and X?

Not long ago, we shared Ben Sullins Tesla Model 3 range test, during which he ran the battery down to zero. It died sooner than he anticipated for multiple reasons. However, one issue he noticed was a significant amount of range loss during the time that he stopped for lunch.

This is something we’ve always referred to as Vampire drain, although Ben calls it Phantom drain. He even went so far as to poll his followers to find out what we should call it for future consistency.

After Ben’s Phantom drain issues, he reported about it further in a follow-up video. Sadly, that video didn’t really divulge any details or new information. He simply offered the Tezlab (Teslab) app as a great way to monitor Phantom drain and left it at that. As it turns out, this was because Sullins was working on a study in cooperation with TezLab to dive deeper into the problem related to all Tesla vehicles.

The study doesn’t just rely on data from Ben’s Model 3. Instead, it uses data from 5,498 Tesla vehicles over the course of 825,000 trips. This more in-depth method paints a much more accurate picture of what to expect. Check out the full video to see the wealth of data and charts that Sullins has compiled with the help of TezLab data.

Video Description via Teslanomics by Ben Sullins on YouTube:

Phantom drain is a thing that occurs when your Tesla is sitting idle. Like your phone, it slowly loses charge. Learn the analytical skills you need to make sense of this at Teslanomics.

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101 Comments on "Has Tesla Fixed Model 3 Phantom (Vampire) Drain Issue?"

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Another Euro point of view

I get it is possible to just completely switch off this car right ? I mean for example a car kept for a few months in an underground parking while its owner is travelling abroad needs to keep its battery full an not monitor I don’t know what (day 1: cabin temp. 16°C, day 2. 16°C……..day 142: 16°C etc….)

Another Euro point of view

OK found the reply myself(1-2% daily drain), anyway not the subject of this article which is about much higher drain during short stops.

1-2% daily drain is absolutely terrible and in itself a good reason not to get a Tesla. Other cars lose only around 1% per month.

For most modern cars, electronics are going to have phantom drain if the car is left for a long period of time. The only way to completely “shut off” these electronics and prevent this drain is to disconnect the battery. I don’t own an EV, so I’m not sure if that would work for an electric vehicle.

That approach might work on an EV, since the drain is actually in the 12V system accessories, which are of course powered from the big high voltage battery.

Your assumption is simply not true over the long periods of time you state. Every modern car has some “initial” phantom drain for things like phone apps, but it is CONSIDERABLY less, and after being left for several days, those drains are turned off as well to avoid any battery drain.

Example: The Chevy Volt can be left parked for weeks and not plugged in. The high voltage battery is isolated from all systems during this time (including 12V battery charging), and the 12V system powers some OnStar remote phone app capabilities for a few days. Then it goes into a hibernation state to prevent the 12V battery from dying.

So you can park a Volt for weeks and be assured that no system will be consuming the power of the high voltage battery, but with a Tesla you’ll lose tens of kWh in the same timeframe. That’s unacceptable.

That is not my experience with our Volt. The 12 V battery was as dead as a door nail after not driving it for two weeks. Oddly, it charged back up and tested OK even though it was down to <3 V. I try to drive the Volt once a week now, even though we normally use the full electric car in town. Maybe your model is newer, ours is early (2012) and has some weird little bugs.

What you observed is a separate issue. There are some software bugs where, for example, a Bluetooth pairing can occasionally not end properly, and cause systems that are supposed to turn off to remain on. That is a problem for sure, but it is contrary to the design and what the majority of people experience.

What I described is true for all model year Volts, starting with 2011. I’ve personally observed being able to leave a 2011, 2012, and 2013 parked for several weeks with no problem. However, you’re correct that all those model years can have some occasional bugs too, and cause the behavior you observed, like most vehicles (sadly).

Still, this is all fundamentally different than Tesla’s conscious design decision to continually use power from the battery amounting to over a kWh per day, and sometimes much more.

I own a Focus Electric (115 mile range) and a Model 3. I left on vacation for 10 days. Knowing the Model 3 issues with phantom drain, I left it plugged in. I really should figure out how much it used, but I left it the Model 3 with about 60% charge and set it to maintain a 50% charge. When I returned, it was at 50%, and probably was maintaining that, but I don’t know for how long.

The Focus Electric was at 47 miles with I left, and about 45 miles when I returned. Interestingly, I first tried to check it on my app when I returned. The app stated that the Focus was in hibernation mode, and I would need to first turn on the car manually before it could be connected via the app.

I have a Volt and a C-Max Energi, each in different cities. We spend a half year at each city. The longest I’ve been gone is 4 months at one time. The cars do appear to go into a hibernate mode. As a result my electric range seems to be about the same as when I left it. I’m in line for a model 3 and the only solution appears to be to leave it plugged in over this long time period, unfortunately.

Agreed, whether ICE or EV/PHEV, if someone will be gone for weeks, it is best to hook up a trickle charger to the 12v.

With most EVs it’s not even an issue. This is basically a Tesla specific problem.

There’s a cold storage mode/deep sleep mode for all Tesla vehicles including the original Roadster. I don’t know how it is engaged.

It is insane that all these vehicles sit there consuming energy. It flies in the face of the highly efficient vehicle they tout from a sales standpoint. I really hope they solve this. I get that they want their car to be responsive to any user inputs instantaneously, but there’s ways to solve this and still get the desired functionality.

Additional detail: In a Tesla Facebook group post, Steven Day posted that after having his Tesla Model 3 unplugged for 2 weeks, his range went down from 274 miles to 220 miles, or about 4 miles PER DAY! That was without any use of his apps to wake up the car during that time.

These are systems actively draining the battery to stay alive, and it’s embarrassing for a vehicle touted as being so environmentally friendly and efficient. It’s also a lot more energy being wasted that the owners may not even be aware of, which also translates to higher fuel cost and lower effective MPGe

Agreed, unacceptable!

Some of that is to protect the battery.

As for the rest agree.

Strongly agree. That’s an absurd amount of battery drain for zero benefit to the consumer; “embarrassing” is a perfect word for it. I hope this gets enough attention that Tesla perceives they have an incentive to fix this mess soon.

This situation reminds me of all the software packages we see where the designers and programmers were clearly focused on “getting it to work”, with virtually no attention paid to security. As a result, they have to issue (sometimes numerous) updates, and in the short run consumers can be greatly inconvenienced, or worse.

All batteries have some intrinsic self-discharge, usually proportional to ambient temperature. Rechargeable batteries typically have more, but not usually that much. A few % per month is often considered good, although I suspect this parameter can be traded off against specific energy, life cycles, cost, etc. Tesla will fix it I bet.

The self discharge is low enough to be irrelevant, otherwise other EVs would have the same issue and they don’t. It’s not just that some don’t either, it’s pretty much across the board not a problem except for with Teslas.

Based off leaving my Leaf and e-Golf for a month, the “self discharge” is about 1% or less.

Let’s put 4 miles/day into some context: Using the approximation that the Tesla will drive about 4 miles on 1 kWh, that’s a constant power draw of about 40 watts. That’s a lot of power for modern electronics – that’s the equivalent of a modern laptop or PC running. There’s really no good reason that I can see that a car should take that much power to run unless it’s really hot and the car is taking protective measures to cool the battery – but in that case the power draw would be much higher, and then ideally the car would adjust the peak allowable temperature of the pack depending on state of charge – the car should aim to keep the pack cooler the more it’s charged, but at a certain point, it should stop cooling and go into hibernation. If this were the case, Tesla should also publish the parameters at which the car will take these measures. It really shouldn’t take more than 5 watts to keep the rest of the computers in sleep and ready to wake up – that would be about 1/2 mile day or close to 10 times better than now. I’ve always… Read more »

“they’ve focused too much on features and not enough on efficiency.”

Yes, exactly. They’ve created an amazing exterior design that is super sleek and efficient, but then their car consumes excessive power when it’s not even driving. It’s penny-wise pound-foolish.

Even losing half a mile per day would be pretty bad compared to other EVs on the market, but yes much better than what apparently is happening now.

Time to get CARB involved and regulate energy wasters.

Or perhaps, and I’m just spitballing here, we let the free market decide.

Clarkson – your data disagrees with BEN’s here: he states a model 3 on average loses 12.9 miles per day, or over 3 times as bad as you are stating. I have a bit of a problem with Ben’s over massaged data, since in one place he shows that Teslas can only have 4 miles loss, but then on most of the graphs he shows the ‘ultimate minimum loss’ is 10 miles per day, and apparently that is the FINAL GOAL – that to get the loss of all Tesla products down to a low 10 miles per day. The fact that the VOLT, or BOLT or ELR don’t lose even 1 mile per day is an irrelevancy supposedly. But he’s paid for his BRILLIANT branded commercial, so what the hay. The one thing that stands out is this solely Tesla specific parasitic drain issue is not a high-priority issue in Tesla’s eyes, although I’m sure it makes utility companies happy, the same way oil companies would be happier if all cars had leaky gas tanks. Ben himself compares it to Smart Phones, and I suppose the comparison is APT – phones running USELESS APPS all night and then when… Read more »

Most modern cars have quiescent current drain, it is common for the 12 V battery to die after a few weeks. Warranty costs for 12 V batteries tend to be in the top five for many OEMs, both light duty cars and heavy trucks. But this is about the HV traction battery, and could be nothing but imperfect calibration of the State of Charge estimation. Relax, they will fix it. That is what over-the-air updates are good for.

This is simply not true. A 12V battery can die in a few weeks if some software bug kills the battery, but they’re designed to not do this (it’s the exception that it occurs, not the rule).

But that traditional modern car’s 12V battery is, let’s say, 40amp-hours, or roughly 96Wh of energy. So even when something like this occurs after a few weeks (as you state), a Model 3 will have wasted that same amount of power in 2 days.

It’s a very important point to understand. If people don’t understand and object, Tesla will not be motivated to fully address the valid concern and wasteful energy usage.

The original Model S burned 250 Watts continuously– even when “OFF”.

Tesla says a lot of stuff that isn’t true, but their efficiency claims for these cars are horrific. They waste SO much energy even when parked. The good news is that the IONIQ, Bolt and LEAF are much more efficient.

And they fixed that with OTA updates. Today not a single Tesla does that. What is your point?

Vampire drain is still MUCH higher than a Leaf or Bolt– It’s not “fixed”, only mitigated a bit.

From a power management standpoint, this is a TERRIBLE design, if any sort of efficiency were the objective. IONIQ rocks on this metric, btw.

Typical serial Tesla basher. Even in a serious discussion of a long-term problem with Tesla cars, you still feel the need to post outdated FUD.

What a troll!

Typical Tesla apologist reply… the whole point of the original post is that this is still a huge issue with the “best seller” Tesla TM3. And, this isn’t isolated. Go check out the lousy “mileage” reports from the Teslarati guys. They are getting miles/KW-hour numbers that begin with a ‘low 3’ instead of the ‘big 5’ they should be getting.

Yeah the guy doesn’t know anything and isn’t concerned about efficiency expenses that others have to deal with since he’ll never purchase or even be near an electric car – other than to ride in the back seat of one every year or so.

The other thing I noticed – its not really a ‘problem’ just a characteristic – is that all TESLA chargers to date (Roadster, Rav4, S) are MUCH less efficient at 120 volt charging levels (like at LEAST a 30% hit) whereas GM products take a much smaller hit, the 120 volt 12 amp charging rate being just slightly less efficient than 200-250 volt rates.

I just want to point out that every statement you make that consistently includes Troll, FUD, Tesla-basher, etc. diminishes your overall credibility in this forum. You used to participate in healthy debates on real topics, but with these consistent defensive twitches you’re really hurting yourself (and Tesla) more than if you stuck to the facts and avoided the name calling.

He’s become something of a troll himself, IMO, with the reflexive posts about Tesla bashers and trolls.

Every EV I have driven shows the range estimate jump up or down if you stop and turn it off, then turn it back on later. That just means that part of the estimation algorithm resets. There may not be much else going on here either.

Not a problem that needs solving. This is like asking why an ICE car uses it’s lead battery to run it’s fan after parking. When the car is parked, it isn’t off. This is especially the case right after use. The EV battery maintainer and battery cooling and heating systems are still running. They have to, since the manufacturer is smartly assuming you’d like to maximize range over the lifetime of the car. At the expense of some short term range maintaining the battery carefully.

Your comment is obtuse. As many people specifically note above, the issue isn’t that there’s a phantom drain at all — all cars have that nowadays, and this started with the prevalence of alarm systems in the 1980s, that had the alarm system always on, and continued with remote door openers. However, the drain was very small.
The problem with Teslas is that the drain is _VERY large_, even after SW updates to address the issue, and with the new design of the Model 3.
There’s no reason the drain should be 1kWh/day, which is what many report. Anything >10wh/day — two orders of magnitude less — is absolutely horrendous and no other car does anything similar (including all non-Tesla BEVs, AFAIK). Note, I’m not including any energy used to heat/cool the pack; that’s not really a phantom drain.

I find it curious how much people are complaining about losing 4 miles of range per day. I drive the car over 600 miles per week. If it loses an extra 28 miles per week to phantom drain, that’s a drop of less than 5% in efficiency.

It’ll consume, what, 8 kWh in 2 weeks? Less than $2? That’s less than a cable box consumes – you should go unplug yours if it really concerns you that much.

And it seems quite likely that’s a very apt comparison. Tesla is streaming video data to their datacenters to prepare for Full Self Driving. It’s more compressed, but it’s OTA instead of with a physical connection, plus it has to maintain its environment whereas the cable box is designed with the assumption you’ll keep it in a temperate home.

? You’re kidding right?

My 911 doesn’t drain it’s gas tank after 6 weeks parked in a garage. That is basically what the Tesla does.

No, but your 911 would no longer start after being parked for that long without driving. Plus, your 911 is depreciating for that entire month that it’s not driven too. There are trade-offs everywhere. And a vehicle that isn’t used is the biggest waste of resources.

“911 is depreciating for that entire month”

Huh? You don’t know much about cars do you? Air-cooled 911s have appreciated rapidly in the last 5 years. And, yes, there is zero drain with the key OFF. 6 months later it will start right up.

A Tesla Model 3 will do a lot of things your 911 won’t, Mr. Troll. Most of them good, and a few — like this — that are bad. Welcome to the real world, where things have both the benefits and drawbacks of their characteristics.

Now, instead of incessantly whining about Tesla, why don’t you just sell off your “short” stock position so you’ll stop losing money? Duh!

The problem is other EV’s use less energy when in standby.

It’s not a problem for the IONIQ or BOLT or LEAF.

Well said. This is a problem for long-term parking, but otherwise isn’t a serious issue. The people posting here who are “outraged” about the cost or inefficiency of losing 4 miles of range per day are either being downright silly, or they’re engaging in egregious Tesla bashing.

That said, vampire drain has always been an issue for Tesla cars. Other EV makers have managed to design their cars so that they go into long-term “sleep” mode when they’re left unattended for long periods of time, and Tesla ought to be able to do the same.

jamcl3 was correct to say, in his comment above, that batteries do self-discharge when stored for long periods of time. But the vampire drain under discussion here is a more rapid discharge than that.

“but otherwise isn’t a serious issue”

Better think twice about that very subjective opinion. The math says that the car draws about 40W of power when not in use according to a poster above. Let’s say they sell their 200k Model 3s this year. So that’s 8 MEGAWATTS of power collectively being wasted at any instant the vehicles are parked.

That simply can’t be ignored, it is atrocious. Anyone that simultaneously ignores that while touting how “efficient” a Model 3 is in carrying a person a mile has their head in the sand.

Now, hopefully they’ll fix with OTA updates, they’re good at that. But this PROBLEM dates back to the Roadster, and has always existed. They’ve been minimizing it but it is consistently present on all their vehicles. How have they not been able to design this issue out of their hardware for good?

Every vehicle ever made handles this except Teslas, with the exception of occasional bugs in other vehicles that sometimes result in 12V batteries that are dead, every other vehicle made has their systems guaranteed to not draw gobs of power by design (including others that have a plug).

Yeah, the Tesla guys don’t seem to understand what an environmental disaster a million of these will be in China or India, with high-coal-content on a grid.

These cars just waste a lot of power.

Teslas are basically like the “Frost Free” refrigerator-freezers from the 60’s. They used so much power that nationwide the USA required 4 additional central stations just to power them. But the advantage they had in cold climates is that in 3 of 4 seasons they’d heat the house!

The BOLT gets an ‘Energy Star’ Rating. Tesla’s either aren’t as good as they claim (they never include overnight losses nor charging losses) – and SUPERCHARGING — Forget about it! Go to a Supercharger CORRAL and see all the heat billowing out at the charger – then go to the car and see all the heat coming from there.

Model 3 owners frankly don’t believe bolt owners when they say how little juice they use in moderate weather city driving.

On average I drive probably less than 4 miles a day on one of my cars, so more than half my consumption would be vampire losses! My efficiency would be halved compared to another EV without this problem.

This remains the Achilles Heel of Tesla. Other EVs do NOT have this problem… Leaf and Bolt can safely be left at an airport car park without fear of returning to find a brick.

It’s part of the reason Tesla efficiency overall is so much worse than peer companies. An IONIQ will return 6 miles per KW-hour, while a Model 3 is only 50-60% of that number.

Lol…The 3 and the Ionic have the same weight and size in your view? Or simple physics are too complicated for you to understand?

The mileage reports are what they are.

IONIQ’s owners are getting 5-6 miles per KW-hour.

Tesla owners are getting half that.

I’d rather have TMS optimizing the temperature of my battery in my Tesla than to not have it and have serious battery degradation to the tune of 30% in 40k miles in my Leaf. I own both.

Comparing efficiency between a Tesla vs an IONIQ is like comparing a Porsche Panamera to a Toyota Corolla. Bigger and vastly more performance. Not optimized for efficiency and that for many is a good thing.

So that is the question I have. Looks like the vampire drain has gotten higher with each new Tesla design (S,X,3)

Is the vampire drain due mainly to more advanced battery thermal management — moving heat/hot spots out of the battery pack,..? (even while the car is at rest)

I think it’s mostly from thermal management. I noticed that TMS kicks on quite often in a warm garage and outside on a hot day.

I did notice that the garage temperature during warm summers gets much higher when I charge and store the Tesla in there. I actually charged it outside a few nights just to see if it was my own perception and it was about 20 degrees F warmer by morning when I did a full charge and phantom drain was higher. The TMS was heating the garage and in turn it needed to cool itself to offset its own heat since the air was trapped.

I installed a ventilation fan (A negligible 0.15A @ 120V for you guys worried about energy consumption) and after that the garage was back down to normal temperatures and vampire drain was down to 3 miles per day.

don’t forget the cabin overheat protection. If the interior of the car goes above 120F, the AC is automatically turned on to protect the interior (living beings present or not).

Ok. that makes sense. Really , the system monitoring, communicating on the network — that should be such a low power draw that it would be almost negligible. But moving heat would certainly show. It also would explain the large phantom drain during a stop for lunch — the car(battery) was still cooling off.

If a Tesla was pulling a trailer (especially on a hot day), I would assume a significantly higher “lunchtime drain” would show up.

If the car is plugged in (supercharger, home charging, etc..) then I’m guessing the phantom drain is mostly hidden …so that, along with a wide variation in ambient temperatures (and how hard they use the car) could be why there’s such a variance in-between owner’s perception of the phantom draw.

It is not from thermal management. Or perhaps more accurately, it is not from required thermal management. If any appreciable amount of this is from thermal management, they’re either far too aggressive in trying to regulate the battery temperature, or have a very poor thermal design.

I think they’re battery and its thermal management is likely pretty solid, and this is a careless “let the electronics systems run for user feedback and connectivity” problem. That is admittedly conjecture, I do not have any factual data to reference at the moment, but Model 3 owners will undoubtedly work to determine and quantify the source.

We know that it’s bad for cells to get too hot, .. and we know that it’s bad for cells to vary too much in temperature — both for pack balancing/longevity.


Let’s say you park a model 3 in a hot garage (exceeding 115 deg f in the heat of the day))

Does the car use power for battery thermal management if it is plugged in?

Does the car use power for battery thermal management if it is not plugged in?

/I have also read that the tesla pack is ‘always’ balancing, … ..

//I find it pretty hard to believe that Tesla is just so much more stupid than GM , Hyundai etc.. that they can’t figure this vampire out, … seems more likely to me that it’s just the cost of battery longevity…

As someone who has worked quite extensively with Lithium Ion battery chemistry, I can assure you that the majority of the time the battery need not be actively cooled or heated when it is parked. Yes, you should avoid certain extremes, but it seems the window Tesla conditions the battery in is far narrower than what is necessary. They’re taking the easy way out here and Tesla owners are not getting anything in return.

GM’s batteries do just fine with degradation, they have one of if not the highest regarded thermal management system in the Volt. No issues, yet they only actively cool or actively heat the pack when parked if it is in some extreme high or low temperatures.

It seems more like Tesla is taking the “hard way out” here, … why would they build in a bunch of extra management (if that is actually what’s going on) if they didn’t think it was necessary? The whole “craploads of small cells — most advanced BMS” — isn’t that Tesla’s strength?

As you know, the Volt only uses about 60% of the battery, and it’s got an ICE to fall back on — totally different application in the PHEV.

// if the Volt’s battery starts failing at year 7 or 8 or 9,.. it will have very little effect on GM,… if Tesla batteries do…. it could be game over for them

Have you ever considered that they are at the thin edge of the wedge with their ambitious high energy density chemistry? It might simply be to fragile or they might not be certain about how robust it is and are playing safe. Others are using stuff that is proven to take a beating lightly.

It’s also possible they are running different BMS schemes (programming) on different cars and collecting data all the while (?)

/which, in a way, would be kinda cool, … and kinda not cool

The cells they use are very well understood and widely used elsewhere. There’s no thin wedge given their partnership with Panasonic.

The Volt’s battery is a more strenuous application. It is often cycled once or twice every day. A Model 3 will rarely see that much consistent cycling, or any tesla for that matter. The TMS in the Volt is highly regarded by third party battery engineers not affiliated with GM. That speaks volumes. You don’t need to continually waste power to keep the battery in good condition. Tesla just took a poor shortcut there.

I’m also not convinced it is entirely the TMS, they have electronics constantly running that have nothing to do with TMS

Oh, they just waste a lot of power spoon-feeding the battery packs.

But hey it is the most energy dense in the industry and it contains nearly no cobalt. Clearly manufacturers using technology known to be robust are all idiots. They could just pamper their batteries at the customers expense.

“Looks like the vampire drain has gotten higher with each new Tesla design (S,X,3)”

Then you’ve never read about the much worse vampire drain in the initial Roadster release. The situation is much better than it was originally.

Watch the video.

…. add,

The phantom drain .. S vs X vs 3 in the video is shown in miles (7.9,10.9,13.2), not Kwh, … so the ‘model to model vampire comparison’ is skewed.

— disregard my “higher with each new Tesla” comment

Man you really know nothing…. The roadster had very little drain compared to the “S”, especially in cold weather. Although supposedly the “S” has gotten better. It was so bad initially they HAD to make it better. But the VOLT was the best.

Too much power use in the CPUs at rest.

Too much power wasted in “managing” the thermal packages of the batteries.

Too much power wasted in the OTA radios being always on.

False dichotomy. You can have a well managed battery without the degradation of a Leaf. The Volt and Bolt are both living proof.

The Bolt protects the battery also and does not have phantom drain.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range EPA ratings:
MPGe: 126 combined
City MPGe:131
Highway MPGe:120
Combined: 27 kWh/100 miles

Hyundai Ioniq Electric EPA ratings:
MPGe: 136 combined
City MPGe: 150
Highway MPGe:122
Combined: 25 kWh/100 mi

So they are basically the same on the highway when you actually need to be the most efficient. While in the city the much better performance and much longer range of the Tesla comes with a roughly 15% penalty.

Frankly, only a 15% penalty, and only in the City (not highway) seems like a completely reasonable trade-off for the extra range and the much better performance. You don’t think more than doubling range and massively better performance comes for free, do you?

No point in presenting a troll with actual facts, he’ll just ignore them and keep posting the same bull pucky FUD.

Yeah, the difference is if you leave the Ioniq parked for a month, it will still have the same energy in the battery; the Model 3 will have lost about half of its energy. That grotesque waste of energy is not reflected in the EPA ratings. Tesla either should address this more thoroughly once and for all, or the EPA should be petitioned to start factoring in power usage when “off” into their MPGe estimates.

The “real world” reports from actual owners tells a different stories. All the car magazines that have tested the IONIQ are seeing 5-6 miles per KW-hour.

Tesla are appreciably worse.

Serial Tesla basher “Rafael Sabatini” continued his whining:

“…Tesla efficiency overall is so much worse than peer companies. An IONIQ will return 6 miles per KW-hour…”

If Tesla re-engineered the Model 3 to be as seriously under-powered and low-performing as the Ioniq Electric, then it would likely have an even better miles/kWh rating.

That’s like whining that your Porsche 911 (if you actually do own one) doesn’t get as good MPG as a Honda Civic.

No “green” car needs to hit 60 in 4 seconds.
Tesla’s priorities are simply mis-placed.
Sorta like your sense.

The mainstream WILL care about cost and will care about their power bill.

13.2 miles per day lost (not 4) according to data gathered by the Tezlab app. If you figure 3.3 miles/kwh (with charger efficiency losses) , .. that’s about 4 kwh per day due to vampire (or phantom, .. whichever has fewer syllables) drain.

Multiple actual Model 3 owners are reporting on the Tesla Motors Club forum that their actual loss is only 1-2 miles per day. From discussion there, it looks like some are not taking care to shut the car down when they park, and so are experiencing much greater losses.


I’m averaging 22 miles a day of vampire losses. Completely unacceptable. I’m going to schedule a service center visit to take a closer look.

MTN Ranger I know you are a serious person – so I’ll ask why do you think 22 miles a day is happening to you? Is your car stored somewhere where it is excessively hot or cold? Or what do you think is doing it?

In NYC, that would be well over $2 a day, or around $800 per year. That is much more than some pay for auto insurance.

The loud mouths will say if you can’t afford it you shouldn’t buy the car.

I’d agree, but they perhaps didn’t know that little fact upfront.

Well if BEN says the overall average is 12.9 miles per day (and with continuing ‘research’ they can get it down to a fantastic 10 miles per day of loss), then 22 miles a day doesn’t seem to be that much of an outlier.

I might want to buy some stock in your electric utility company.

Did I miss where they corrected for how much electricity was consumed by running the Teslab tool and transmitting data to and from the Teslab servers collecting the data?

The fact that they were using a remote connectivity app to do the measurements is part of the problem. The vampire drain on the Model 3 is strongly dependent on whether the car is allowed to sleep or not. When you request data from the car it wakes up out of the sleep state. TeslaFi has optional settings that you can use so that it polls the car differently so that it is allowed to sleep. Once I figured this out during my TeslaFi trial, the vampire drain on my Model 3 went down dramatically. Honestly, the Long Range Model 3 has so much range, I never even noticed the vampire drain until I went looking for it.

A 15″ laptop screen lit up and running wifi 6 hours per day is only going to consume about 1/3 of a kwh. …

An admitted rough analysis, but it makes no sense to me that a Tesla waking up and talking to the network a few times per day is going to draw 4 kwh (my guess, based off of 13.2 miles lost).

/battery cooling being the bulk of Tezlab designated “phantom trips” would make sense. I presume they are using” Phantom trips” because they are working with range lost, .. having no actual way to measure power consumed.

Thank you!

Too bad this wasn’t the subject of the article, because I suspect you have identified the problem.

Tesla has had Vampire drain issues and excessive post-charging EVSE energy usage with all of its vehicles. They were very bad on the Roadster and early Model-S code versions. A lot of it was ignored by the rich buyers of those cars. But, the M3 is a somewhat affordable car meant to attract middle income people. So, they shouldn’t have such a cavalier attitude toward wasting energy/money. Normal people will notice and be annoyed by $10-15/month in wasted electricity.

The best option for both efficiency and safety is to disconnect the the HV battery when the car is “off.” That forces the engineers to make the car’s electronics function solely on the 12V battery for at least a couple weeks.

Yeah, Tesla have their priorities all wrong.
With these efficiency numbers most possible buyers would be better off in a hybrid, at least in the $35K market segment.

The HV battery is disconnected when the car is off. The fundamental problem is that the 12V power consumption is so high that the car has to frequently re-connect the HV battery to recharge the 12V. The way to reduce the vampire drain is to completely shut off the computers and cold boot them when the car is started. However, Tesla feels that this is a bad customer experience and they try to manage the power consumption with sleep states. The Model S had a lot of bugs with the early implementations of sleep states.

So, you mean sometimes the HV battery is disconnected when the car is off? IMO, unless the car is charging, the HV battery should be disconnected (contactors open). Anything else is inefficient and unsafe.

I do agree with you that Tesla worries too much about boot time. Unless their integrated electronics are terrible, that cold boot process shouldn’t take more than 5 seconds anyway.

Properly designed systems using field programmable gate arrays can come up in 20 milliseconds and have all the functionality you need. It is just more complicated and time consuming to develop (initially) but pays off in the long run.

…. and surely the guy who can land rocket boosters from space on barges in the ocean could figure this out,…. surely the company who has been praised for having the best circuit boards in the business would have already figured this out.

And yet, the drain is present (assuming the tezlab data is valid), ….. not just on the model 3,.. but on the S and X (now several years into production) as well

Which leads me (again) to think this is not some laziness or oversight.

/the initial model 3 “spikes” .. yes that’s probably first run jitters, … but the baseline on all three models?
//also, Ben Sullins says he has been to Tesla with this data, if it was bogus data, I can just about guarantee Ben Sullins would have discounted the whole thing in the video, but he did not.

CCIE thats just not true, and I don’t understand why people who have never owned the vehicle continually produce false information. The Roadster Loss was less than any other Tesla vehicle. I should know since I owned one. I haven’t owned the other models but I know enough of what the losses are from reading what other OWNERS SAY the losses were, and of course ‘Broder’s test drive’ of an early “S” during cold weather (1840 watt loss) – using tesla’s own record of the trip.

range loss during lunch doesn’t sound like ghost drain. It’s a common problem for many BMS. When you park your car, the battery is warm with higher voltage. When the battery cools down after your lunch, voltage drops and you see the fake range loss.

My Model 3 is a little over a week old. I only have the Tesla App (running) and my Phantom Drain is…..

This is typical for any 18650 batteries. My drone looses a lot of charge very quickly. My LEAF will maintain its charge for months or years I imagine. Its just the nature of the cells and chemistry they used. Hopefully they can improve the new batteries some before they produce any more of them.