Vampire Drain Very High In Parked (Off) Tesla Model X – Video

1 month ago by Steven Loveday 114

This Tesla Model X lost a ton of range sitting in a parking garage for six days.

Yes folks, when Bjørn Nyland parked the Model X, it had 284 km (176 miles) of range. He was traveling to attend the Tesla Semi reveal event, among other related business. After leaving it for just over six days, Nyland returned to the vehicle to find that the range had dropped to 187 km (116 miles). This is an average of about 15 km (9.3 miles) per day, which equates to 3.1 kWh each day.

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X vampire drain

Nyland did admit that he did not have the car in energy savings mode, and he kept waking it up, checking the mobile app, etc. If the car is in “sleep mode” it will lose less energy, but remember, although the vehicle goes to “sleep”, it’s never completely off.

Lithium-ion batteries discharge even when not in use. However, even if the batteries are installed into a device, the average loss is about 1 percent per day, though it can be much higher. We’ve all seen our smartphone batteries die just a bit even when we’re not using the device or it’s completely powered off.

Nyland recommends planning ahead by factoring in your future travel distance (to the airport, etc.) and accounting for the worst case scenario in regards to vampire drain. This way, you won’t end up in a bad situation. Also, obviously if you can keep the car plugged in, that’s the best solution.

Video Description via Bjørn Nyland on YouTube:

Model X parked for a little over 6 days. Energy saving off, always connected. It consumed 15 km/day (3.1 kWh/day).

Check out an older video below. Nyland shows vampire drain in his Model S as a best-case scenario since the above Model X didn’t fare so well. In the video below, Nyland was on vacation for 27 days during the winter and lost less than 20 percent (or less than 1 percent per day), which is expected and actually really good.

What’s your experience with vampire drain?

Keep the conversation going in our Forum. Start a new thread about this article and make your point heard.

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114 responses to "Vampire Drain Very High In Parked (Off) Tesla Model X – Video"

  1. Some Guy says:

    Well, if you leave your electronics at home on stand-by all the time, they sure will consume power, but less than when switched on. There is an energy savings mode, so it should be used.
    However, given recent events, I’d say Daimler moved on from renting to just taking random cars in Airport parking lots for their testing…

    1. CDAVIS says:

      @Some Guy said: “However, given recent events, I’d say Daimler moved on from renting to just taking random [Tesla] cars in Airport parking lots for their testing…”

      Very possible… that’s why Bjørn frequently checked-in with his car via the phone app. … to see if the car was doing laps at the local track.

      1. MikeG says:

        Or so he’d have a topic to write a story about.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          “Nyland was on vacation for 27 days during the winter and lost less than 20 percent (or less than 1 percent per day), which is expected and actually really good.”

          Really good?! I’ve left my Volt for a month and had no loss in range. None. These Tesla’s
          are, ironically, very wasteful in consuming so much energy just sitting there. Very disappointing.

          1. James says:

            Given the fact that model S has a larger battery, same 1% loss per day is more noticeable than a Volt, if you just read the range number.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              The Volts loss is 1% per month, i.e. 30 times less than the Tesla. No energy savings mode needed, just an appropriate well thought out design. Same with the i3 and Leaf. Only Tesla’s have this issue.

              1. Jmk says:

                Yeah well, Volt is not always on (Tesla does this for a million reasons), you are comparing apples to oranges a bit. But yes, it would be nice to be able to do a real shutdown for the Tesla.

  2. Priusmaniac says:

    They could reduce that further or compensate with an on board energy source like a small photovoltaic sunroof.

    1. DL says:

      Do you know of a solar panel that works when it’s covered with snow?

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It is easy – just install electric space heaters and powerful lights above PV panels – problem solved. Then you can advertise it as “clean & green” to all the culties – disruptive!

      2. philip d says:

        Or covered with a concrete parking deck above.

        Did I hear that the Model 3 has supposedly addressed the vampire drain issue and is much more efficient while parked?

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          It better be more efficient. The fact that Tesla’s consume so much energy just parked somewhere is abysmal.

          The MPGe calculations should include this energy use. Too bad they don’t.

    2. Ron says:

      My full size (3.25 x 5.5 feet) solar panels in New Mexico, on a cloudless day, each produce about 2.5 kW daily (less than the daily loss described above. A small panel isn’t going to do very much.

  3. F150 Brian says:

    The temperature says -6C

    So I guess this loss is mostly related to heating the battery.

    The car should have a way to predict this loss, to prevent someone from returning from a two week winter vacation to find they can’t make it home from the airport.

    Eventually we’ll either have the ability to plug in at the airport parking or batteries that don’t need heating.

    1. Dan says:

      It is 100% because of where he parked. In the summer at 80F/~25C, I have almost no losses when parking my i3 outside. In the winter, I park outside in Boston winters at 10F/-15C and I consistently lose about a KWh a day.

      1. Roy LeMeur says:

        This. Duh people. The car is maintaining the pack temperature so it doesn’t freeze.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Nope. Untrue. Tesla’s have far more vampire drain because they leave systems on. I hope one day they fix it.

          1. Francois says:

            My volt also lost quite a lot of energy when cold soaked outside.

            And at the same time, the Onstar App that is supposed to let you pre-heat the car and unlock doors took forever to actually do something on the car. Delays went from 15 sec to 2 mins…

    2. Nix says:

      A simpler solution would simply be to put your car in energy savings mode when you need to save energy.

      “Nyland did admit that he did not have the car in energy savings mode”

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Why would any car not be in “use zero energy” mode when it is turned off and not plugged in? Nissan and GM, Ford, etc. seem to have no issue designing their cars to work this way.

      2. James says:

        Even it’s not in such a critical situation, 3kWh loss per day is really a huge waste and not environmental friendly. This 3kwh/day loss is enough to run 5000 miles annually for most EVs, and most Tesla drivers only make around ~7K miles per year (~2 billion total miles per year with ~300K cars).

        1. David Cary says:


          I have never seen a number that low and anecdotedly, people report driving more. That is not necessarily a good thing of course.

          50k miles here in 30 months

    3. flmark says:

      …yes. This…

      I got my X in June of 16 and it was immediately brought to central NY. At that time, the vampire drain was AWFUL!! I was losing several miles a day WHILE in energy saving mode…IN THE SUMMER. I complained to Tesla, and I assume others did, too. At some point, an update must have resolved most issues, as the vampire drain became small. I stopped thinking about it…until the cold weather hit this fall. I still keep it in energy saving mode and the loss of mileage is still lower than it was in moderate temperatures last year. However, there is component that is obviously related to preserving the battery in lower temperatures.

      …I am glad it was pointed out that energy saving mode was off and he kept waking up the car. If you want to preserve your mileage, don’t follow that lead.

      1. georgeS says:


        I’ve been watching my Vampire drain on my 2012 Model S. In mild to warmish weather I was seeing around 7 miles/day. …and that was with power saver ON. (note to @Nix)

        It’s now cooled down another 10 to 20 degrees F and it seems to have dropped to more like 3-4 miles/day.

        So even with power saver ON it was kind of bad IMO. 7 miles/day seems a little much to me.

        I’m just guessing but I think Panasonic is totally anal about the temperature band they want to keep the cells in. It could be that NCA chemistry is less tolerant to heat than NMC.

        This would not surprise me because it doesn’t seem like BoltEV has nearly the vampire losses that the Model S and X have.

        I’m very anxious to see what the Model 3 has for vampire loss.

  4. Robb Stark says:

    Who kidnapped Bjorn?

    1. pjwood1 says:

      He doesn’t pull punches, which is good. In a worse circumstance, he has a video running out of power when his X said something like ~14 miles left. To be fair, he was towing up a grade, when “Pull over”, shutting down, came up. That would annoy me more than the more preventable airport situation (If he was pinging his car, he must have known the loss rate). As said, the car can be set to reduce vampire drain, and not pinging it all the time helps. For RC cars, the LiPo’s seem to hold up for months. Really important to isolate battery, from load. Tesla has done much better with this, in my opinion, but it goes along with EV “care and feeding”.

  5. Darth says:

    That is over 100 watts continuous draw while it’s off. Seems insane to me. The temp is low but not low enough to damage the battery. It’s losing more range keeping it warm than it would just from being cold.

    Absolutely no reason to draw more than a few watts to keep the cell modem active and wake up the main computer when needed.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Sure would be great, if Tesla shared the evolving consumption of battery warming. The auto-cool comes in somewhere above 100F, but either way I think that could be where the major watts are sunk. The Volt’s display can add ~5kw simply for defrost. So, less likely its 100w constant, more likely its going through much more, very occasionally. At some remaining range, it probably stops trying to preserve a temp but who knows? I’m sure there’s more useful info Tesla could share.

    2. wavelet says:

      Yes, Tesla “vampire” draws on the Model S/X are completely unreasonable. You can see a detailed analysis of Model S logs here…
      according to which the constant draw is 30W with occasional larger spikes.

      This is via the 12V lead-acid battery, which supplies power to everything in the car except the traction motor(s), andis itself charged from the Li traction battery.

      30W is a lot for powering a couple of microcontrollers; the rest of the car shouldn’t need any power when it is dormant.

      1. Nix says:

        Wavelet, you missed the most important part of his conclusions:

        “The power settings are “Energy Saving : Off” & “Always Connected : On.””


        “Sleep the computers when possible.”

        His entire post simply serves to show how important it is to use the power saving mode when you need to save power. Something that was not done in this case.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          No, I can connect to my Volt for 2 full weeks and it uses effectively zero power. Then it turns off OnStar cell polling at that time to ensure 12V battery isn’t drained. Lithium battery isn’t even in the picture.

          Tesla’s design here is very poor. They are not nearly as energy efficient as they could be. But apparently they don’t care since it doesn’t effect their MPGe calculations.

    3. Nix says:

      “Absolutely no reason to draw more than a few watts”

      Tesla’s are entirely capable of that, they just have to be put into energy savings mode. He did’t. It doesn’t seem too insane to me that a car would draw more energy when not put in energy saving mode.

      “Nyland did admit that he did not have the car in energy savings mode”

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Above several people reference large power draws while in energy savings mode.

      2. wavelet says:

        Fine. So why isn’t power-saving mode automatic? The only circuits which would need to be alive are standby ones for incoming cell/remote control reception, and whatever alarm system is present.
        That’s no different a need for standby power draw than any ICE car has, which is typically <1W (even that could be greatly reduced by using flash-memory type memory for various settings).

  6. Dav8or says:

    Hot and cold temperatures when the car is parked will also consume battery power. I assume that the Teslas are like my Bolt with a thermally managed battery and when the temperature either drops below a certain point, or raises above a certain point, it will use some of it’s own power to either heat, or cool itself.

    I have now left my Bolt parked at the airport twice for 10 days each time in very moderate temperatures and have likely seen maybe 1% drop. I don’t know for sure because I never bothered to record my mileage estimate when I left, but the number displayed on my return sounder about right so I was pleased.

    Somehow, losing over 100 miles in 6 days seems like there is a problem with the car. Maybe he was accidentally remote starting the car each time he checked on it and it was heating, or cooling the cabin??

    1. Nix says:

      “Somehow, losing over 100 miles in 6 days seems like there is a problem with the car.”

      I think the first problem is that if he wanted to save energy, he should have put it into energy save mode. Problem number 1 was operator error.

      “Nyland did admit that he did not have the car in energy savings mode”

  7. William says:

    The Model X is like a small personal Motel 6. When your away on business/vacation, your Tesla is like Thomas Bodett, “we’ll leave the light on (100 watt ) for you”!

    Plugged in or not, it’s a very slow “drain-0” on your yuge battery, your results may vary!

    1. Dan says:

      The 3kWh a day seems large only because we might be used to smaller batteries (the model X has a 3x larger battery than the average EV on the road)

      The analogy that won’t make sense outside the US is Al Gore.’s 10,000 sq.ft. mansion. At some point, large batteries that drive heavy, giant cars are not green no matter the drivetrain or the holiness of the driver.

      1. Asak says:

        3 kWh a day is a total waste, it doesn’t matter how big your battery is. That’s over 1000 kWh per year, that’s way more than most refrigerators use. It’s absolutely unacceptable and shouldn’t even be possible, regardless of what mode you have set in the car.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Hmmm… but if the battery is using its own stored energy to run the battery cooling system, because the car is left sitting where it gets overheated, then a larger batter certainly will cause it to use more power as a “vampire drain”, because a larger battery has more mass that needs cooling.

          I think the issue here is whether or not a Tesla battery pack is especially sensitive to being overheated even when the car is sitting unused for a long period of time. If overheating in such circumstances doesn’t degrade the battery, then it seems to me that Tesla should program the software to put the car into energy savings mode after a certain number of days. Let’s say three days as the default, with the driver able to change that if he wants to.

          I don’t know if Tesla batteries are more sensitive than others about being overheated, but I do know one thing: Tesla has engineered its cars to “baby” the battery cells as much as possible, to prolong battery life. You can see how successful Tesla has been with that, with the very slow rate of degradation over time. Perhaps what is described as “excessive” vampire drain isn’t really excessive, if seen from the perspective of Tesla doing everything it reasonably can to preserve battery life.

    2. Nix says:

      Or instead of just complaining about the light being on, the owner could simply flip the light switch and put it into energy saving mode.

      “Nyland did admit that he did not have the car in energy savings mode”

      1. William says:

        Tesla ES mode, does vary the results to be much More favorable, in avoiding the vampiric losses associated with being parked, for extended periods.

    3. Bill Howland says:

      HAHAHA! I calculate Bjorn’s drain to be:

      “We’ll leave the BJORN (TOM BODETTE)’s 130 watt light on for you.”

  8. bro1999 says:

    I left my Bolt parked for 3 weeks earlier this year. Came back to it having the exact same miles remaining as when I left. No vampires in the Bolt. 😀

    1. Dave R says:

      Yeah,my LEAF is the same way.

      That amount of vampire drain is borderline gross incompetence.

      Just think of how many Teslas are out there burning energy all the time!

      This is highly counterproductive to Tesla’s goal of sustainable transportation.

      1. J. L. Brown says:

        Except — we know with high certainty that Tesla has actively tried to solve the vampire drain problem. So — is the an older vehicle, and the older hardware just isn’t up to modern Tesla practices, or is this the best Tesla can currently do? Is this typical of Model X, or an outlier? Is this Tesla being genuinely behind in battery tech, or is battery drain in BEVs not news-worthy — unless it happens in a Tesla?

        A bunch of anecdotal accounts are fine, but I would really like to see some standardized testing across brands. Maybe we ought to notify Underwriter Labs, with a suggestion for a new standard.

        1. Nix says:

          Yes, one of the fixes that Tesla introduced was the power saving mode. They developed it specifically to address the known vampire drain problem. This fix was introduced 4 yeas ago, and it cuts vampire loss by 75%.

          Here are the results when the same person correctly used energy saving mode:

          This story simply shows what happens when you don’t use the known fix to a known problem.

          1. pjwood1 says:

            To Tesla’s credit, it’s not just the mode that made things better. Vampire loss on the early cars was especially bad. As of 2014 there was no update that made our ’12 anything close to as good as a 2014 that we also had at the time.

            If looking used, this is another reason to stay with 2H 2013, and later cars.

      2. Helder Sepulveda says:

        I tested this over the weekend, my 2015 Leaf lost 3%.

        I knew a cold front was coming in so this was a perfect time to see how temperature affects the charge. When I parked the temp was in the high 70 and when I started on Monday morning it was in the Low 40.

        I’m not sure if this is a change on the Usable capacity or an actual drain, more research required…

    2. alohart says:

      We have left our i3 in storage for at least 6 months each year for the past 3 years. Unlike all Tesla vehicles, an i3’s battery pack is electrically isolated when the car is off and parked. It does not heat or cool itself. It does not charge the 12 V battery. Its only loss of charge is due to a Li-ion battery cell’s very low self-discharge rate which is nowhere near the 1% per day as stated in his article. A Li-ion battery cell that loses 1% of its charge per day is powering something and isn’t electrically isolated. Our battery pack lost ~1% of its charge per month while in storage. Usable capacity can decrease if the pack’s temperature decreases while parked, but that’s not the same as a loss of charge.

      1. Nix says:

        Alohart said: “We have left our i3 in storage for at least 6 months each year for the past 3 years….Our battery pack lost ~1% of its charge per month while in storage.”

        That sounds very similar to the results that Bjorn Nyland got when he actually used energy saving mode before when he parked at the same airport this same time of year:

        “This amounts to a loss of less than 1% per day …. while in sleep mode.”

        Moral of the story, use energy saving mode.

        1. Nix says:

          oops! just noticed that the units you used were different, and the 1% is per month instead of per day. My bad. My conclusion is incorrect due to my mistake.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Right, 1% per month with the i3 versus per day with the Tesla.

            Tesla leaves inefficient systems on for all the fancy functionality of walking up to the car and having it know you’re there. They could do much better with the energy usage if their design took that into consideration from the beginning.

            Tesla’s energy savings mode is still a couple orders of magnitude more wasteful when parked than an i3, Volt, Leaf, Bolt EV, etc.

            1. Nix says:

              It turns out the source used in this story where the numbers I used came from is actually out of date. I didn’t realize how old it was, and the new information is that Tesla made a bunch of other improvements since then.

              Still looking for correct up to date information. I will post when I find it.

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                I agree it is much better than it used to be for Tesla, but it is still much worse than all their competitors.

                There were stories way back on how the small number of roadsters literally used like 13 MWh per day parked. They’ve gotten a lot better but still have a long ways to go. It flies in the face of their whole brand and image of efficiency and the best of the best.

    3. Nix says:

      Or your Guess-o-Meter simply doesn’t recalculate range until you drive it for a few miles.

      Depending upon the Guess-o-Meter is problematic.

      1. David D. Nelson says:

        The guess-o-meter in my 2016 Kia Soul EVs does recalculate the remaining range without driving if the outside temperature changes. I dont see why other brands would not do the same.

  9. Scott Franco says:

    This sounds like thermal management. He left if in an unheated garage in where? Norway?

    Fake news.

  10. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    3.1 kWh/day is 1095 kWh per year just while being parked. Or 2959 miles at 37 kWh/100 mile. Or around 2 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
    It is around the same as contemporary 58 mpg hybrid emits when actually driving 10,000 miles.

    And this environment trasher is advertised as “clean” car! And most amazing is that brainwashed cult members really believe it 🙁

    1. Curt C. Richerund says:

      Yeah, the vampire drain is crazy. And, just sloppy hardware design.

      Bolt doesn’t do this.
      LEAF doesn’t do this.

      No “green” car should have to be plugged in continuously burning 250W 7×24.
      There are valid reasons why both the “green” community and the “petrolhead” community both despise Tesla…

      1. Nix says:

        “LEAF doesn’t do this.”

        Are you surprised that a car that doesn’t have any active battery temperature management at all doesn’t have any energy drain associated with active battery temperature management?

        Go back to trolling Elektrek, notorious Elektrek boneheaded troll. Did they finally drive you out over there after getting sick of your trolling? Or did you just get bored after over half the folks over there simply blocked all of your posts and ignored you?

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          You single out the Leaf but ignore the Volt? The Volt with arguably the best active thermal management out there, doesn’t have vampire drain either. The Tesla is in the wrong here, despite what any apologist tries to claim.

          Sadly they could fix it pretty easily. Just design the car to not use energy when it isn’t turned on. Wow!

          1. Nix says:

            He didn’t say Volt, he said Bolt.

            1. ClarksonCote says:


              You single out the Leaf but ignore the Bolt?

              Same point right?

              By the way, that was an autocorrect issue I think. My phone can’t keep them straight and, with the b right next to the v on he keyboard, neither can my fingers.

              1. Nix says:

                No, it isn’t. When somebody actually has some actual data about Bolt vampire drain, I’m happy to discuss it.

                So far all I’ve seen is one head Bolt fanboi claim (without support) that on one occasion, the guess-o-meter didn’t change (but he didn’t write the numbers down, so he can’t be sure).

                1. ClarksonCote says:

                  See zrc’s message below.

          2. Francois says:

            Actually, the volt has Vampire drain when cold. I lost a few % per day actually.

        2. ZrC says:

          The Bolt doesn’t do this either and it has thermal management. I left mine for a week and lost no miles. The damn car does not need the computer to be running draining all that power for the app. The Tesla fanboy defense squad is in full effect.

    2. Nix says:

      But at least you won’t kill your children and pets with Tesla’s “Cabin Overheat Protection”:

    3. Joshili says:

      I agree about the wastefulness of this vampire drain.

      It was a downright embarrassing issue at first when they didn’t fix it in the first few years. I know Tesla has addressed it to some degree although there is still too much of it to my mind, and why should you have to actively select to not have massive wasting of electricity when the car is not being used? And if you choose the energy saving setting, why can’t it be zero vampire drain?

      I would like to think when I leave my car at the airport for a long trip, that when I come back I will have enough range to get home after I parked it initially with sufficient range.

      And when arguing about the environmental advantages of EV’s, having to explain away how your EV is consuming electricity and creating CO2 just sitting in your garage is not helpful. ICE cars don’t do that.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Yes, this. +100

    4. Terawatt says:

      Your math is innovative to say the least.

      It uses electricity that corresponds to less than 3000 miles per year of actua-driving-EV-consumption. But this is equivalent to 10,000 miles in a typical plug-in hybrid. Sure…

      That said, I do agree that it is nothing short of *shameful* that Tesla will not fix this issue. It seems pretty clear to me that there can be no other explanation than the active heating of the pack.

      Now I know there are many strong believers in the absolute necessity of active TMS in any EV, although I have never seen any of them produce anything like convincing data to back it up. And I do think having the ability to actively heat and cool the pack is an advantage. But it should be used sparingly and to improve the longevity of the pack. Maybe a little more in some cases, such as scheduled heating of the cabin, since that is a solid indicator the car is meant to be used at a particular time…

      As Tesla implements it, I think not having active TMS is a better solution.

      But your math and the claim it is based on is still obviously BS.

  11. Nix says:

    “Nyland did admit that he did not have the car in energy savings mode”

    Moral of the story: The energy savings mode exists for a reason. If you want to save energy while you leave it parked, USE IT!!

    Just imagine, a car that doesn’t save energy when parked for a long time, when it isn’t put in energy savings mode. Who could have saw that coming?

    This is like going to the doctor and complaining that it hurts when you bash your head into the wall, and having the doctor ask if you have considered not bashing your head into the wall so that it won’t hurt.

    Hint: If your car has an energy saving mode, and you want to save energy, use the energy saving mode. Seriously, could this be any more clear-cut? I can’t be the only person seeing how absolutely cut-and-dry simple a solution this is to leaving your car at the airport.

    1. SparkEV says:

      How much of a difference will it make? 10% less? 90% less?

      1. Nix says:

        When the exact same person used energy saving mode, he saw a 20% drop in range after 27 days, less than 1% per day:

        “This amounts to a loss of less than 1% per day … in sleep mode.”

        This original test was also done in winter (dec/jan) and at the same airport, so it is a good comparison of the energy saving mode. It is roughly a 75% improvement. Which is exactly what Tesla says the energy saving mode should do.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          So a Tesla sees 1% per DAY with energy savings mode, and the i3, Volt, Leaf, see 1% per MONTH.

          But nothing’s wrong with the Tesla and this is operator error?!


          1. Nix says:

            Actually it was pointed out to me that those numbers are out of date (4 years old), and that Tesla made additional updates since then.

            So no, it actually is now apparently much better than this. I relied upon the link in this story, and it is very old.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              We have data from others that still show it is much larger than 1% per month for the Tesla.

              I just want them to fix it. It is an awful stain in an otherwise sleek product.

        2. Asak says:

          That’s still absolutely pathetic. I left my e-Golf and Leaf unused for a month while away on a trip, and when I came back the e-Golf hadn’t dropped at all, while the Leaf lost maybe 2%.

          If this hasn’t been fixed in the Model 3, then it’s definitely off my list permanently.

          1. Nix says:

            Yes, additional information is that Tesla has made significant updates since this old source story. I didn’t realize how old the link was (4 years old).

            It is apparently significantly better since then.

          2. Tech01x says:

            You don’t have active thermal management. No power drain for something that doesn’t exist. On the other hand, you have much higher battery degradation. Which is worse?

            With full sleep allowed, drain is less than 35 watts.. or less than 1 kWh per day.

    2. Five Electrics says:

      Energy saving mode is not the default. I have encountered similar vampire drain at the airport and it scared the heck out of me.

      One shouldn’t have to be a Tesla expert to avoid massive vampire drain when traveling. That is the bottom line.

      1. Asak says:

        So basically, most Tesla’s on the road aren’t even green cars since they’re not set to energy saver mode by default and just sit there burning a ton of power even when not moving.

        1. Tech01x says:

          Ton of power = <1 kWh per day most days. In the very cold, it uses power to warm itself to prevent damage. This is important for keeping cell degradation to a minimum… is it more wasteful to have the pack degrade earlier, sometimes much earlier? Calculate the harm in having to replace packs in 4-5 years versus 10-15 years.

      2. Tech01x says:

        That’s not true. Energy saving mode is on by default. Always connected is also on, and that does use some more power for the Tegra CPU and cell modem.

    3. Ron says:

      What do I give up by putting it into energy saving mode? If nothing important is given up, why doesn’t the car do it itself? (The control system shouldn’t use much energy while maintaining enough responsiveness to allow pinging – my chromebook uses about 9 watts).

    4. ffbj says:

      That reminds me of an old joke.

      Patient: It hurts when I do this.
      Doctor: Don’t do that.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Doctor: “Now, go to the window and stick your tongue out!”.

        Patient: “Why?”

        Doctor: “I’m mad at my neighbor.”

    5. bro1999 says:

      My Bolt and Volt don’t have any “energy save” option. Yet I’ve never seen them vampire miles like the blood thirsty Tesla’s. You’d think a 100k car would take care of itself better when it’s “off”

  12. Another Euro point of view says:

    Some are making profits making cheap reliable cars, others are making losses making expensive lemons.

    1. William says:

      The Lemonade is sweet and quick to go down, while quenching ones proverbial thirst.
      There are plenty of roadside refill stands, just about everywhere you look, when you start to feel parched, after driving a few hundred miles.

      The profit and/or loss “Squeeze”, will determine who makes their final and last (lemonade) “Stand”!

  13. Doug Bostrom says:

    As I recall from working with li-ion batteries some time ago there is a fairly high but brief self-discharge (mebbe 3-5 percent) immediately after charging after which the rate falls to 1-2 percent per month, for reasonably healthy batteries that are not too warm.

    1 percent/day is pretty drastic and is more along the lines of NiMH.

  14. Null says:

    He kept waking it up…
    Yeah you use batteries when its on.
    He hasn’t enabled any power savings settings…

    Yeah, nothing to see here.

    Turn on power savings.
    Turn car off, leave it off.

    Just like any other electric devices.
    Got it.

  15. CCIE says:

    Self-discharge on a disconnected Lithium battery is far less than 1% per day. It shouldn’t even be 1% per week. So, the issue is Tesla inefficiently using energy while the car is parked.

    GM doesn’t have these vampire issues because the HV battery is physically disconnected (contactors open) when the car is parked. That leaves them with the energy in the 12V battery to run necessary systems while parked. Since those systems are properly engineered and integrated, it isn’t any issue to run them on the energy in the 12V battery for weeks. Just like every ICE car does.

    1. Tech01x says:

      And Bolts have been stranded as a result.

      The HV pack is also disconnected, but the car wakes to charge the 12 v battery when it runs low. BMS is always at some minimum level. It will be interesting to see the level of cell degradation in various climates. Battery packs are the most expensive and carbon intensive component… makes sense to try to avoid needing to repair or replace too early.

  16. Shane says:

    Ummm, two questions: (1) Can you put the vehicle in Energy Saving Mode using the remote app or do you have to do that when exiting the vehicle? and (2) How is the vehicle different when Energy Saving Mode is activated?

  17. Bill Howland says:

    ALthough its heresy, I must slightly disagree with BJORN here… 130 watts isn’t too bad.

    This is at normal temperatures. In COLD weather, NY Times’ Broder had a 1840 watt loss rate (which I calculated from logs of the trip which Tesla provided themselves).

    130 watts is roughly the loss of the Roadster, so I don’t consider that, that bad.

    While Bjorn feels this is horrible, I think, hey this car is over $100,000, and people in that price bracket don’t watch their electric bill that closely – its only another 94 kwh out of the battery (which, when considering the 82% charge efficiency measured by an “S” owner recently from the incoming power cord) is about 115 kwh per month. So a buck or two per month – anyone who can afford that car is not going to be super worried about it.

    I think Bjorn’s major complaint is he was expecting a Given number of KM when he got back in the car, and Surprize! it wasn’t there.

    I don’t know where else to put it, but there was an EXCELLENT data dump today on Tesla Motors Club Regarding Useable battery capacity.

    “…Ran some fun stats on the data dump I have.

    There are just under 87k cars with “85” packs in this data out of about 270k cars.

    The highest capacity pack in the database is showing at 84.6 kWh (80.6 + 4kWh bottom buffer). I think this one is a fluke, though, since the next highest is 80.1 usable, and the vast majority below 80.

    For cars with an odometer between 500 and 1000 miles, “85” packs have an average of 78.62 kWh usable, or 82.62 kWh of actual capacity (212 vehicles matching).

    I think cars under 500 miles (basically less than 3 cycles on the pack) are not representative of actual capacity, but, average capacity of 85 packs showing under 500 miles on the odo is still only 78.8, and only 82 cars reporting mileage this low, about 1/3rd of which are the “new” 85 packs that made it to Europe recently with an unknown configuration.

    And probably even less useful of a stat, average usable capacity for all “85” packs in the database regardless of age or mileage: 76.7 kWh. Average odometer: 37k miles.

    Fun stats “85” pack stats: About 6.66 GWh of usable capacity from all “85” packs in the fleet combined. A total of roughly 616 million 18650 cells.

    For “90” packs things are even worse. There are about 3500 cars with 90 packs showing < 500 miles with an average usable capacity of 83.2 kWh (or 87.2 kWh total with the 4kWh buffer). Just over 1000 "90" pack cars reporting between 500 and 1000 miles on the odo with an average usable capacity of 82.8 kWh.

    Average usable capacity for all ~65k "90" packs in the data: 81.3 kWh with an average odometer of only 11k miles…. that's an average drop from new of almost the same capacity on the 90 pack in 11k miles vs the 85 packs in 37k miles. Pretty crappy.

    Edit/Update (per request):

    "75" pack average 72.9 kWh usable (76.9 kWh total) under 500 miles (over 10,000 data points!)
    "75" pack average 72.4 kWh usable (76.4 kWh total) between 500-1000 miles (~1500 data points)
    "75" pack full average usable capacity of 71.3 kWh (75.3 kWh total) with 61k data points and average odometer of only about 6k miles.

    Total usable capacity in the fleet: ~20.5 GWh.

    This is data from a data dump provided by a Tesla insider. I've personally correlated data from this dump with known information from my own small "fleet" of Tesla vehicles (over 100 now) and it is definitely genuine data. This is raw data from Tesla's own fleet data. Certainly more useful than any EPA report or whatnot.

    Since this probably wont even be enough to convince some of the die hard defenders and TSLA investors here, if I get more time, I'll make some capacity histograms and just put this to rest once and for all especially now that I have a verifiable snapshot of data for this from the entire fleet. (No, I won't be outing my source, and no I won't share the full data. If anyone wants to independently confirm its authenticity, and owns a Model S/X, PM me and if I have time I'll prove it to you under the condition that you publicly post here that you've been shown that the data is genuine).

    Bottom line: Tesla lied about pack capacities. End of story. Do something about it, or get over it. Denying it simply is not an option in the face of the actual data…"

    I agree with the commenter's first point – this is just a 'live with it' situation.

    I'm more interested in modern Teslas (and the new Model '3') to see how the car behaves in cold weather… Is it an 1840 watt continual loss, or has it been reduced?

    1. Nix says:

      Broder car had full diagnostic logging turned on, with all the diagnostic logging being sent back to Tesla. Normal cars don’t have that. It isn’t surprising that it used more battery than what anybody else has documented.

      1. Terawatt says:

        I’m sorry, but you are so falling into the idiot trap.

        I can stream video on my smartphone over 4G for many hours before I get a low battery warning at 15%. It has less than 10 Wh = 0.01 kWh on board.

        If you have any idea at all how energy-efficient telecom is, you don’t even try to imagine that it could be telecom that explained a 1800 W drain. Even if the Tesla generates a thousand data points every millisecond, a million data points per second, and even if they don’t have the wits to compress it before transmitting it, it is never ever going to begin to come close to exlpaining this energy consumption.

        1. Terawatt says:

          I forgot to mention it, but a single frame of full HD video is two million data points. And a typical video is 25 such frames per second.

          Of course, nobody would so foolish as to transmit it uncompressed.

        2. Nix says:

          No, it is having every system on the car actively running and generating logging that is the issue. Nothing sleeping ever.

          1. Mystery says:

            By the way, you Totally Ducked the grandiose challenge to Put Your Money where your Big Mouth is, And commit to Your 2018 Model 3 USA (without the smoke mirrors non-USA “claimed Intl” Remainder) estimation. I gave you a low Baby bar of 100k Model3 USA sales (not even equaling total of all other car makers’ USA electrified sales), Or you go to Trump Vegas and clean his dog’s golden bidet if you/TSLA Fail.

        3. Mystery says:

          Nice burn to support a Factual post by Bill H. Two points -1) this is One very embarrassing example of inferiority on the part of Model S & X, 2) but many California LA buyers just need it to stand out so they can show off.
          as stated Real Existential question is when does Model3 Wait List evaporates to Nobody (and those 400k+ reserve somehow don’t turn into ~$50k orders, whether this poor vampire drain issue grows into a social media issue to damage the brand allure).

        4. Bill Howland says:

          Since it was rather cold the night Broder stayed at the motel, and was chastised for not ‘plugging in’, it would indeed be embarrasing if, Broder HAD plugged into a 120 volt recepticle and had STILL lost range, albeit more slowly.

          Anyway, I would never blame it on Telecom consumption. I would guess it was something about keeping the ‘baking pan’ battery outline sufficiently warm in the cold weather.

          I’d be interested to see how they do this in the CHEVY BOLT ev, seeing it has a similar ‘baking pan’ outline.

          So the question is, does the BOLT ev have a huge loss in cold weather, or do they just let the battery get cold, and warm it up later? I haven’t let the BOLT ev sit outside for extended periods of time in really cold weather, so it will be interesting if a circumstance comes up, or if some Canadian Readers in Upper Ontario or Quebec notice any issues with the car.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Bottom line: Tesla lied about pack capacities. End of story. Do something about it, or get over it. Denying it simply is not an option in the face of the actual data…”

      With “stating-opinion-as-fact” accusations such as this one, I can certainly see why Tesla has become reluctant to give out the actual kWh capacity of its battery packs. I can understand why, with the Model 3 and the Tesla Semi Truck, Tesla has stated estimated range and charging time, rather than the capacity of the battery pack in kWh.

      It’s certainly true that Tesla’s kWh ratings for its batteries have in the past been (a) the nameplate capacity of the cells as rated by the manufacturer (Panasonic), and not the usable capacity; and (b) Tesla has rounded off the actual capacity to the nearest 5 kWh. But describing this as “Tesla lied” appears to be rather biased Tesla bashing. At best it’s just an opinion.

      If the blog post Bill refers to is correct, then Tesla’s “75” packs average 76.9 kWh total when new. Claiming Tesla “lied” about the capacity of the battery pack is simply wrong, period… unless you consider giving the customer a bit more than promised to be a “lie”!

  18. smartcar says:

    Left my Ampera recently for five weeks without any loss also a previous Leaf same result.
    There was a mystery 50% loss when I left it at a garage for required yearly MOT testing so either the tester was joy riding or didn’t turn it off when finished.

  19. Another Euro point of view says:

    I am curious to see what sort of long range EVs the Germans will pffer (e-tron, Mission E). Specifically as they are obviously taking their time, which seems to point to their rather usual slow but through/systematic way of doing things. I have very good memories of our German IT technicians in our firm. Their calm efficiency and methodical way of working were our best defense against software juvenile/rushed to market crap coming from silicon valley.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      I hear the points being made, but after all, if an expensive car ONLY uses an EXTRA 1380 KWH from the MAINS per year (around $152) where I live, its not too much of a supreme sacrifice. Two cars would be $304.

      The things I’m concerned about when buying a new car is reliability (how often things fail), robustness (in other words, are the components adequate for the job without self-destruction), and economy/ease of repair.

      If the Stoutness of everything else is there, $304 is a small price to pay for 2 good cars.

      But, on that note, Tesla Motors Club recently had quite a few comments reqarding Power Electronics Modules failing in the Roadster. Apparently, the ‘protection circuits’ are not adequately reducing the power through the unit (i.e. – not detecting a few of the IGBT’s overheating soon enough), and they are having systemic failures- besides the heat is corroding the insulation system uses until the whole thing just shorts out.

      There is a move on in Europe to shoe horn in some other inverter system, since TESLA no longer obtains new PEMS, and the ‘used’ ones are $10,000 with a poor warranty – so people who plan on keeping their roadsters can look forward to further failures.

      The thread talked about some ‘Pie in the Sky’ stuff, like making it fast charger compatible, or allowing 3-phase charging capability,- but If I owned a Roadster in Europe – I wouldn’t care about any of that. (I had a Roadster in the States that had a Brand NEW PEM installed just before I traded it in). I’d just want to install some kind of inverter (and battery charger – even a trickle charger sized one) to KEEP THE CAR ON THE ROAD even if it didn’t have its original performance.

      But then I’d be satisfied with 40 hp, such as the 1965 VW Karman Ghia had. Shouldn’t cost too much money for reduced performance.

      1. Asak says:

        It’s pretty bad because there’s just no reason for it. It’s like people who leave their computer running 24/7 not even in standby mode. Just a total waste of power that doesn’t even save any time (a modern computer can come out of standby in less than 5 seconds).

        Both are just wasteful and stupid. And usually when someone develops an attitude of “it’s just X per month” the reality is more like at least 10X because acting wasteful is an attitude that tends to effect multiple things that all add up.

  20. David Cary says:

    Lots of chatter.

    As a happy Model S owner (and a Leaf), the vampire drain is bad. But it has gotten better over the years both in hardware and software. They made design decisions regarding energy use that were less than perfect.

    I would define vampire drain as that not related to temperature. But unfortunately people don’t separate those including Bjorn here.

    It is entirely reasonable for a large battery EV to maintain a comfortable battery temperature. This takes a lot of power.

    I don’t think it is reasonable to post mileage loss in cold weather with less than optional settings without a big fat comparison with proper settings. And then a big fat comparison in reasonable temperatures.

    Yes, Tesla sucks KWH. No, majority of the situations are not parked in frigid north, with energy savings off, checking the status regularly. My car does not lose 3 KWH a day. It is more like 1 or a little less. Too much for sure but not as bad as some make it out to be.

    It does take some energy to be on standby polling for cell signals and wi-fi. And Tesla does do data uploads while parked. How many ICE cars do that? But – absolutely agree – it should be able to do with less.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      “It is entirely reasonable for a large battery EV to maintain a comfortable battery temperature. This takes a lot of power.”

      I would disagree. It’s reasoable for the car to protect the battery. That’s entirely different than maintaining a comfortable temperature. From the battery’s standpoint, the difference is negligible but from an energy use standpoint, it is night and day.

  21. Terawatt says:

    “Lithium-ion batteries discharge even when not in use. However, even if the batteries are installed into a device, the average loss is about 1 percent per day, though it can be much higher. We’ve all seen our smartphone batteries die just a bit even when we’re not using the device or it’s completely powered off.”

    I encourage everyone to check for themselves to see what a ridiculous exaggeration it is! All batteries self-discharge via internal currents, but li-ion holds its charge *much* better than claimed here – especially when they are not completely topped up.

    If like many people you still have your old cellphone somewhere, charge or discharge it to a level of 80%. Then turn the phone off and take out the battery. Taking out the battery may or may not affect the result, but it is a simlpe way to ensure what you’re testing is how well the battery holds its charge, and eliminate any vampire drain the phone may (or may not) be exhibiting.

    Leave it for at least a week before you put it back in and start the phone to check. LESS than 5% per *month* is a much more typical rate than the 1% per day being touted as “the average” rate of discharge here.

    And please, stop with the nonsense about this being due to the car having to remain online and communicate with the app. It’s ridiculous. I am almost lost for words that people keep supporting this stupid myth! One really has to have very little understanding of how energy-efficient telecommunication is to make such basic mistakes, as the following comparison to a smartphone makes obvious:

    A cellphone that is on, but not used, is constantly checking in with base stations, downloading junk email, receiving notifications, downloading and installing app updates – and in standby mode many can still survive for over a week with a 3000 mAh pack. That pack is typically rated at a nominal 3.6V, but to be charitable to the car we can pretend it’s 4V instead… in which case the battery stores 12 Wh, or 0.012 kWh. And that can last a week, no problem,

    Hence the daily consumption for a smartphone is less than 2 Wh per day. That is with the electronics doing *far* more communication than a Tesla ever needs to (at least 100 times as much, and very possibly in the thousands or tens of thousands).

    In other words, you can easily do AT LEAST 100 times as much telecommunication as the Tesla does and get AT LEAST 500 days per kWh, or 15 years for the energy the Tesla consumes in a single day.

    The telecommunication requires so little energy that it isn’t even a factor in the losses. Self-discharge is a small factor, much bigger than the ignorable telecom bit, but still very small overall. If Teslas pack is perfectly average in this respect it’ll lose about 0.1% per day in optimal storage conditions. But the optimal storage conditions for batteries are cold and dry (don’t put them in the fridge, it’s humid in there). To round it up and keep things simple (this small factor hardly matters anyway) let us pretend Bjørn parked with 100 kWh SOC and lost 0.2% per day and even ignore the exponential decay. Then we get a loss of 0.2 kWh per day from self-discharge. I am pretty sure the true figure is lower.

    That leaves 2.9 kWh unexplained. And that is a fairly massive amount of energy. I think it is blindingly obvious that the only thing the car *could* be doing while just standing still that can possibly explain such consumption is heat the battery pack. If I’m right, you would expect to see much higher consumption when it’s cold than when it’s hot. Everyone points out this happens when cold, but they still fall for this idiotic story that its because the car sends a few bytes of information off to the app now and then!!

    So the real question here is whether Tesla is heating the battery pack far more than optimal for the circumstances. And I think the answer is almost certainly yes. It’s definitely an advantage that they have the hardware to heat the battery pack. But it is really not necessary to keep the pack anywhere near optimum *use* temperature for a long period of non-use.

    It would be very interesting to get the numbers for the same situation but with the car in energy-saving mode. And it would be very *stupid* to turn off telecom for this, since as we’ve established it cannot possibly be a meaningful factor even compared to the self-discharge (which you really can’t do anything about as a car engineer; and only possibly as a battery researcher). Hopefully, in energy-saving mode the car will draw on the pack to take care of battery health, but no more, and picking the optimum based on knowledge of how much power it has on board, how long it is expected to be parked, and the weather forecast. (It’d be bad to waste a lot of battery to keep the pack at optimum temp and then having nothing left when the real cold sets in after ten days!)

  22. arne-nl says:

    If I see the screenshot, it appears that he had the interior temp set to 12 C. With outside temperatures below 0, that explains it. He used all that energy to keep his interior at 12 C.

    Or am I missing something?

    1. arne-nl says:

      Oh yes, I did miss something….

      Never mind.

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