It Turns Out The Tesla Model X Is “Nearly” Perfect For Winter Driving


JAN 29 2018 BY EVANNEX 9

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X is at home in the snow (Image: Turo)


Brrrr… chilly temperatures are freezing folks this winter and car buyers are searching for the ultimate winter-mobile. It turns out that Fortune recently announced, “The Tesla Model X as (almost) the perfect winter car.” Wait. Can this 5,000-pound all-electric beast really handle tough winter conditions?

Fortune’s Daniel Bentley writes, “Driving out of New York City at 5 p.m. on a Friday is a stressful endeavor any time of year. Add some slushy snow to the mix, and it’s mayhem. But driving the Tesla Model X P100D away from the company’s newest store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District I was relaxed and comfortable.”

Okay, so how does Tesla’s Autopilot features work in the slush and snow? Bentley confesses that Tesla’s Autosteer feature was a bit hesitant to activate. When it did come to life, he notes: “to be perfectly clear, [it] is not self-driving as most people imagine it. In its current guise, it’s a driver-aid.” Nevertheless, driving out of NYC, “Tesla’s ‘Traffic-Aware Cruise Control’ or TACC was available, and made the two hours of gridlock [traffic] slightly more bearable.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman

Tesla Model X

Whether it’s city driving or covering mountainous terrain, Tesla seems to handle the winter with ease (Image: InsideEVs)

Sure, Tesla isn’t (yet) a Level 5 self-driving car but what’s holding the Model X back from being a 100% perfect winter car? Bentley contends, “the physical limitations of battery technology… In the 20- to 30-degree Fahrenheit weather I was driving in, the car was spending a lot more power to heat the cells than it would on a balmy 65-degree day in Palo Alto.”

And even though Bentley stopped at a Tesla Supercharger in order to top up the battery, he admits, “I have a longer than average commute at just over 60 miles, and with conservative driving, I’d be able to get to work and back even in sub-zero conditions. And Tesla is reportedly working on a battery pre-heat feature for customers in cold climates. That could [definitely] come in handy.”

Tesla Model X

Tesla owner enjoys some snowboarding in his Model X (Image: Automoblog)

So what makes Tesla’s Model X such a great car in the winter? Performance. Bentley explains, “The car, equipped with a good set of tires, gripped the road and provided the confidence to drive at normal highway speeds.”

What about the massive power and torque available to the Model X — wouldn’t that present a problem in the snow? Bentley notes, “Even with some aggressive throttle there was minimal wheel slippage: the car’s ability to almost instantly send torque and brake the wheels as necessary makes for the least jarring traction control I’ve experienced. The effects of the snow were almost completely neutralized.”

Above: Model X pulls a semi truck stuck in the snow (Youtube: Ben Spreen)

Still not a believer? Perhaps this video will convince you. Model X owner Ben Spreen writes (via youtube), “I was exploring Raleigh NC during the snow storm and found a United States Postal Service truck stuck on an icy snowy hill… So we did what any sane person would do and hooked up the 66,500 pound semi to the back of my Tesla Model X 90D and pulled him up the hill.”


Source: Fortune / Youtube: Ben Spreen

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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9 Comments on "It Turns Out The Tesla Model X Is “Nearly” Perfect For Winter Driving"

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Electric cars are proving really good in the snow because of their weight which unlike ICE cars tends to be more centered and equally distributed.

The weight pushes your winter tires into the snow so that they really bite instead of sliding over the top.

You have to be careful with the Leaf in really deep drifty snow. The traction control may severely limit power to the motor allowing you to bog down.

The biggest weakness of EVs is the extreme cold range loss which we all felt this winter. Hopefully the future will bring larger batteries and more charging stations so this won’t be a worry.

In my experience in a Chicagoland winter the electronic traction control with milliseconds speeds works excellent.

Obviously the tires are important. The “Continental CrossContact LX Sport; Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season; ContiSilent” tires worked great.

during Christmas it was -5 below in Ann Arbor. I drove about 15 miles and watched the battery drain from 50 miles to 20 miles.

To Mark Kane:
Has no means to place comments! Is that an oversight or intentional?
No wonder it has 0 (Zero) comments!

Having a look. Thank you for the heads up.

Should offer the model with normal doors too.

Try real life driving, and go from a place where they use road salt, and the skiis and bindings are covered in it – by the time you reach the slopes, they are covered by the salt “slurry”.

Going back home, they are covered again.
Rust on the steel edges and on some screws in the bindings is the result.

A skibox on the roof is the preferred choise by skiiers in general.
That requires normal doors. By normal, I mean doors that does not affect the roof area.

It is possible to get a skibox for a Koenigsegg for example, and those doors are not normal either – but they would be really hard to construct on the back doors, due to the special (dihedral synchro-helix) hinge.
Both car and ski box is expensive though.
If you can not fill that ski box with money – you’re not the customer they’re looking for.

Handling of the Model X on the other hand is no problem what so ever so far.
I’ve only used one for 4 trips (about 30 hours). But the performans in snow and semi slippery conditions were solid.
It was fitted with proper winter tires as well.

I am not a skier, but it seems like someone (Tesla?) could just create a big cover you could zip over the stuff on the back to keep the grime and salt off of the valuables. Seems like loading and unloading would be easier vs. a rooftop carrier.

Any modern AWD car with decent winter tires, is good winter car … this “nearly” perfect Tesla tag is just fluff. Sorry, as much as I like EV’s in general …

If this is based on a Forbes article it has the record for the least amount of info.

Forbes articles are usually in-depth and jam-packed.

Would still like to know how the battery is affected by leaving it in a parking lot overnight.

Something I have to do with my cars all the time, and I’ve yet to see a parking lot with a range outlet in it…. There are exactly 2 lots in them with L2 chargers – so If an X was parked there you would have to remember to bring your adapter.

In the other lots, it would be nice to know what happens to the range say, over the 10-12 hours.