Tesla Model S Crowned King Of EVs In Snowy, Cold, Winter Tests


Pardon our Icelandic to English translation, but the verdict is unchanged: Tesla Model S P85 trumps four other electric vehicles in a series of winter tests.

Five electric vehicles were tested in the alps:

  • BMW i3
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • Nissan LEAF
  • Renault Zoe
  • Tesla Model S P85

35 points were the maximum combined points that could be awarded in these tests: braking distance, handling, safety, range, heating, price and acceleration in snow.

The winner, with 25 points, was the Tesla model S P85.  In second place was the BMW i3 and in third was the Nissan LEAF.

The range test, without preheating, had the Tesla well in the lead:

  • Model S P85 – 128.5 miles
  • Nissan LEAF: 43 Miles
  • BMW i3: 38 Miles
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV: 38 Miles
  • Renault ZOE: 37 Miles

Perhaps something is lost in translation, as we didn’t expect to see the Tesla that far in the lead.  Here’s the original text converted from Icelandic via Google Translate:

The car is not quite per­fect. A crucial test was how far could dri­ve the frost, but how many of my gra­de products is not availa­ble. The ot­her is known, the test was conducted wit­hout tanks were pretrea­ted for dri­ving. Was dri­ven cars un­til tanks tæmd­ust. Declared range up to 502 miles should not come as a surprise that Tesla drew far. But was remo­ved the book because she was of electricity af­ter 206.9 miles.

It was a much better per­formance than ot­her cars reached. In second place was Nis­s­an Leaf with 69.1 km, third BMW 61.4 km, the i-MiEV with 61.3 and 58.9 km with Zoe.

In the braking test, the field was more evenly matched.  Here are the stopping results from 31 MPH to 0 MPH (presumably all tested EVs are on winter tires):

  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV: 27.4 meters
  • Renault Zoe: 28.4 meters
  • Tesla Model S:  28.4 meters
  • BMW i3: 29.1 meters
  • Nissan LEAF: 29.7 meters

Acceleration in snow with traction control disabled.  0 to 31 MPH:

  • Tesla Model S: 8.79 seconds
  • BMW i3: 9.29 seconds
  • Mitsu­bis­hi: 10.37 seconds
  • Nissan LEAF: 10.54 second
  • Renault Zoe: 12.46 seconds

Now this…umm…seems lost in translation.  Best guess?  It has something to do with speed through a snowy slalom course:

“The test, which concer­ned the mana­gea­bility while dri­ving on snowy roads roofs that chal­lenged road hold­ing and rás­festu Tesla came out best; thrust gi­ven crooked dist­ance behind at 68.0 km / h. modestly. Leaf and i-MiEV was not far off, the for­mer fin­is­hed the ride at 65.5 km / h. avera­ge and i-MiEV at 64.4 km. Some spaces remained in the BMW i-3, which went through at 60.6 km / h and Zoe at 57.6 km.”

And this is the time it takes for cabin-heating 4 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius, we believe:

“Centers raf­bíl­anna five were taken to the pace. The four-degree C was mea­sured length of time that the device tem­pera­t­ure wit­hin the space of 20 ° C. Center Nis­s­an Leaf was a specialty, was only 3:35 minu­tes to fin­ish it. The heat was achieved in Tesla af­ter 4:27 minu­tes, the BMW i-3 for 6:48 minu­tes af­ter 8:00 min. Renault Zoe and the i-MiEV was the longest to heat up, and 13:31 minu­tes.”

This win for Tesla further affirms what the automaker has pitched all along: the Model S performs swell in the cold, ice and snow.  Kinda makes you wonder if there’s even a need for an AWD Model S.

Source: Mbl.is

Categories: BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Tesla

Tags: , , , , ,

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24 Comments on "Tesla Model S Crowned King Of EVs In Snowy, Cold, Winter Tests"

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Yeah, the one thing most people would be concerned about in the real world would be, “Can the car get me to where I have to go today and get me back home without incident?”.

2 years ago, the Model S would have failed, due to the overnight drain, as it is not always practical to plug in to a 240 volt outlet. My Roadster passed such a test that the S failed. I’m of course refering to the NY Times’ problems.

I hear through the grapevine of ChargeNY, that the Model S, would today PASS such a test. But a very definitive test would be instructive. I have yet to see one done, and I haven’t done one myself since I don’t own a Model S (at least, yet).

Your conclusion is beyond silly.
they took
RWD Tesla
RWD i3
FWD Leaf (who nobody claimed was a high powered machine)
ZOE (I presume FWD) a capable but not special compact.

The Tesla beats those and you conclude AWD may noy be needed?

Wow. Maybe I should compare a Rickshaw, a bicycle and a motorcycle in a monsoon and declare that a car with a roof is not needed based on how thoroughly the motorcyle won?


That’s the reason I like the ChargeNY blog. Localized content, and all the posts are highbrow and friendly. Unfortunately, can’t say the same here.

If you bothered to think about my post, it was requesting an additional test and came to no a priori conclusion.

Hey Bill…rather certain JRMW is referring to my conclusion of “Kinda makes you wonder if there’s even a need for an AWD Model S” and not to your comment, so his argument is directed at me.

I think you confused my post as a response to your post. My post is unrelated to yours.

My statement:
“Your conclusion is beyond silly.”

relates to the conclusion written in the OP

“This win for Tesla further affirms what the automaker has pitched all along: the Model S performs swell in the cold, ice and snow. Kinda makes you wonder if there’s even a need for an AWD Model S.”

Sorry about the confusion.

If my response to the OP offends you, I am sorry about that as well. But after a while the repeated nonsense that RWD is just as good as AWD in winter when everybody who has ever driven both knows it is not, becomes unbearable.

I’m overjoyed that people are starting to think about winter in the EV world, and I agree with you wholeheartedly that more “on the ground” research is a fantaastic idea.



Now kiss each other, but not on the mouth! 😉

Ahem, that sounds even worse.

Oh ok then here’s one I’ll put out:

Why does the 4wd S get 10 more miles of range than the 2wd, if it is heavier?

I’m all ears. Musk said it is more efficient. Why and what is the mechanism if the 4wd is heavier than the 2wd?

As a broken record, This is a repost of the YouTube video submitted by a pro-Tesla person talking about how great the Tesla is in snow. There’s maybe 1-2 inches of snow on the ground. Tesla gets stuck with tires spinning at 54 seconds. My guess is that those are All Season or perhaps performance tires, and winter tires would make a huge difference. But an AWD car would never get stuck in that tiny amount of nothingness snow even with summer tires. Second video: YouTube by a car behind a Tesla driving in snow. Can you say “Fishtail”? Cause that’s all I see the Tesla doing. Notice how the FWD taxi in front of the Tesla has no problems, nor does the car taking the video. But the Tesla is sliding all over the place. Here is the review by the person placing the video: “Tesla Model S exiting off of I95 in some of the slickest conditions in the North East. The traction control system is instantaneous, correcting for any minor slippage while going down the icy ramp. Once again proving the Tesla Model S is a year round vehicle.” hahahahah! You have GOT to be kidding me.… Read more »

AWD is useless, when you have slippery tires. You can find hundreds of winter fail videos on youtube, showing AWD SUVs getting flushed down on little snow, because they have wrong tires or the driver doesn’t know how to drive. AWD is not the ultimate great driving thing.

CS Cat is right. There are too many variables to say for sure that those videos prove anything. AWD is a great way to get going so fast that stopping becomes impossible. On the only car I had AWD, I left it off most of the time and only turned it on when I got stuck. Traction control is far more useful for everyday winter driving.

What I would like to see is a trained winter rally car driver drive both the Tesla S and a Subaru Impreza. Then repeat the same test with a normal driver who’s driven in snow all his life. Then repeat the same test with a driver from LA who’s never even seen a snowflake.

You all have zero argument for me. By far the most important thing for winter driving is common sense and winter tires. I stated quite clearly that I thought that those Teslas were running Performance or All Seasons, and that this matters a huge deal. There just aren’t many Tesla winter videos out there, and too many show mediocre winter performance in pretty benign conditions. How many Tesla drag racing videos are out there? How many videos showing its fantastic range? And how many videos are out there showing it compete against an Audi Quattro in winter? Or against a Subaru AWD? Ever wonder why? The answer is obvious. It can’t compete. As for blaming everything on the tires (which is somewhat reasonable): the common American living in Northern climates runs All Seasons in winter. Only 2% of tires sold in America are Winter Tires. 34% of cars sold in America are AWD and 54% are FWD. (those percentages are higher in Northern states) This means that the average Northern Driver is using All Seasons on either FWD or AWD platform. And they perform far better than those two videos above. Any Minnesotan seeing those videos says “well, at $90k,… Read more »

So the 60D with winter tires starts at $77k, without adding a package or two of equipment that you’d expect to be standard on a car this price.

Anything in this price range does not seem like a good 4 season car for your kind of winters in MN. If I had a car this nice, I’d want to keep it far away from the snow/dirt/salt mix. I’d want to keep it farther away from other drivers on winter roads. AWD will help you get traction and momentum from a standing start, but it will not help you cornering or braking. Driving an AWD car in the snow won’t help you much against the risk of being hit by the other drivers out there that don’t slow down enough to take into account the conditions of the road. I’d hate to be hit by someone else in a 80 grand car, and have serious damage but not quite enough to total it. It would not be my winter car of choice. To each there own though.

Right! Here in Québec, I would say more than 2/3 of cars are FWD or RWD. I was raised with RWDs and find that FWD are better because of the weight on the driving wheels, but once they slip, they are harder to re-take control than RWD. Of course 4WD are the best, but over confidence can be fatal. And big 4WD SUVs are easier to overturn.

“But an AWD car would never get stuck in that tiny amount of nothingness snow even with summer tires” … except if under the fresh snow, the road is hard ice frozen for days by the pressure of all the cars that went by. A common situation in all winter countries, like mine.

I’ve yet to see a RWD vehicle with snow tires make it up the hill I live on when it snows.

I’ve seen situations where FWD with all seasons make it up without help whereas I need to push RWD vehicles with snow tires. God help them if they ever come to a stop mid-ascent because there is no hope in hell that they will continue going up… instead, their car will become an uncontrolled chunk of metal sliding down to the bottom and most likely through the intersection located there.

RWD vehicle + snow = dangerous.

Oops. I don’t know why I replied to you Lustuccc! LOL.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Kinda makes you wonder if there’s even a need for an AWD Model S.

Improved acceleration, improved handling, improved regeneration, improved efficiency, improved range.

Kinda makes you wonder if there’s even a need for a NON-AWD Model S.


AWD being better is a given. It’s that Tesla charged 4k for it, and wants 5.5k for 21″ snows.

Now, does anyone here want to dress up their S85 with 21’s, rather than have an S85D?

Didn’t think so.

I don’t know about you, but I would not risk driving a $100,000+ car in the snow… snow tires or not.

It’s not about your ability to drive in the snow, it’s about other people’s ability and the preparedness of their vehicle to drive in the snow.

+1 Last winter I was minding my own business on a snowy morning, going really slow in my FWD POS EV. Out of nowhere there is an AWD Subaru in my lane, 30 ft ahead. I have no ABS or traction control, so slamming on the brakes would have turned my car into a sled – t-boning the poor Suby. So, I turned evasively to avoid it, not sure the (all weather – but narrow 145 width) tires would hold. They did, I made it around (barely staying on the road) and I praised the POS. AWD would not have helped me in that situation, ABS maybe, but driving really slowly and thinking quickly avoided wreck. The AWD on the Subaru certainly didn’t help them; it might have given them a false sense of traction causing them to be less careful than they should have been.

Yes, in the right hands, AWD is better, but I don’t see it being helpful for most people. I see it as a marketing trick to sell more cars that can theoretically combat the FUD of winter driving.

One thing I will add, is that in the Northeast, if we get heavy snow, many people simply stay home. Regardless of how well you drive, what kind of car you have, what kind of tires, etc…when the roads are completely jammed and at a standstill, none of it matters. Seems that more and more, schools are cancelled for what we would have never been able to miss school when I was a kid. Probably a “better safe than sorry” mentality, and I understand that.

I see more problems from people who just don’t know how to drive in snow, period, than I do from problems caused by 4WD, AWD, RWD, cars etc.


It must have been pretty cold when they did their range test, because to the best of my knowledge, it needs to be at least -20 C to bring a Leaf to a range of only 70 km. The same goes for the tested range of all the other cars.