Cold Weather Home Charging

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#1
We all know that that Model 3 does not have a dedicated battery heater to condition the pack, and that it uses waste heat generated from charging and the motor. My question is..

How do you know if the battery is preconditioning or preheating?

I know theres the little battery icon on the app with the snowflake. But there are reports from last year of very very slow supercharging when cold. There wasn't alot of VINs around in the cold climates last year, nevermind Canada, and i have yet to get a real response from Tesla, the call center person couldnt give me a answer.

I preheated the cabin today for 15 minutes in only 8 degrees Celcius (5 with windchill). Not very cold and just rainy, and drove with heat on and seat heaters on and still had limited regen for 20 minutes into the drive until it finally warmed up. Going to be a bigger issue when it really gets cold if i cant really heat the battery.

So, is there a way to just preheat the battery?
 

iChris93

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#2
We all know that that Model 3 does not have a dedicated battery heater to condition the pack, and that it uses waste heat generated from charging and the motor.
Really? I did not know this.
 

LucyferSam

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#3
As of spring when the weather got warm, there was no battery pre-heating option on the 3 and cabin pre-heating has minimal effect on the battery. My technique last winter for it was to set the charge start time such that it would finish close to when I wanted to use the car in the morning which left the battery warm enough to minimize the reduction in regen braking.
 
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#4
Yes, I will be doing that for sure. Just wanted to know what our options were when you are not at home and not charging. Like staying at a friends or just an average day at work when it’s left outside for 8+ hours in -15 -20 c
 

LucyferSam

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#5
Yes, I will be doing that for sure. Just wanted to know what our options were when you are not at home and not charging. Like staying at a friends or just an average day at work when it’s left outside for 8+ hours in -15 -20 c
In those instances, I'd advise to make sure you arrive with 20% more charge than you would normally need. I've driven it plenty down in -0F temps, but you do have to think a little more about state of charge then.
 
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#6
In those instances, I'd advise to make sure you arrive with 20% more charge than you would normally need. I've driven it plenty down in -0F temps, but you do have to think a little more about state of charge then.
Good point. Tesla BMS is very advanced and I’m sure they would never let the battery get critical, the motor will engage and heat when nessesary, just wish there was a bit more control via app or in car to know to get battery to operating temp and to limit low regen
 

iChris93

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#8
Yes. They deliberately create waste heat in the inverter - even when the car is not in motion - to heat the pack, rather than dedicating a heater to the pack.
Thanks. Will be interesting to enter my first winter with the car.
 

iChris93

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#10
It did garner some complaints last winter due to taking longer to heat up the pack than the S and X. It's not clear whether they've done anything about that since then.

Note that this has nothing to do with the cabin heater. :)
Maybe they’ve made it better. Time will tell.

Thanks, I knew cabin heat was separate.
 

RocketRay

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#14
Now that fall is here and winter is coming... here in SoCal I still don't have to worry about charging in cold weather as we get none. But I am planning on taking the Red Rocket to Denver over Christmas where it'll be parked somewhere in Utah overnight.

Should I charge to full when we arrive at the hotel? Or wait until morning to charge while having breakfast? At what temperature do I need to worry about this?
 

garsh

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#15
Should I charge to full when we arrive at the hotel? Or wait until morning to charge while having breakfast? At what temperature do I need to worry about this?
The main problem with cold weather is that the car will refuse to start charging if the battery is too cold. So if you were to park your car overnight in freezing temperatures, and then attempt to plug it in to charge it the next morning, you'll find that it won't charge at all for the first 30 minutes or so. Instead, it will spend that time trying to warm up the battery first. Because of this, you're better off plugging it in immediately upon arrival. The battery will already be warm from the drive, and it will start charging right away.

If possible, it will be nice to leave it plugged in all night as well. Then when you wake up in the morning, you can use the app to pre-heat the interior of the car, and it will use "shore power" instead of "battery power" to run the cabin heater.
 

kort677

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#17
There happens to be a hotel with a destination charger where we're staying the night enroute. Perfect.
congrats, now you're thinking like a tesla owner, always seek out hotels with destination chargers. I always make it a point to thank the manager of the property for making the charger available. as for not being able to charge in extreme cold it is true that if you try to charge a battery that has been sitting in the cold all night it may not be able to charge, I've found that a short 15 minute or so of driving is sufficient to warm the battery to a point that it can be charged YMMV
 

PaulK

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#19
Traveling into the mountains means parking in cold weather. For me, it also means L2 chargers are rare.

I plan to bring an extension cord (and adapters) in hopes of finding a dryer plug - but I’m curious:

If all I can find is a 110V outlet, where temps are near or just below freezing, does leaving it plugged in and slowly charging create enough heat in the battery pack such that regen will be available when I start driving?
 

kort677

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#20
Traveling into the mountains means parking in cold weather. For me, it also means L2 chargers are rare.

I plan to bring an extension cord (and adapters) in hopes of finding a dryer plug - but I’m curious:

If all I can find is a 110V outlet, where temps are near or just below freezing, does leaving it plugged in and slowly charging create enough heat in the battery pack such that regen will be available when I start driving?
leaving it plugged in will aide in keeping the battery toasty, the car might still have a limited regen for the first few miles, fwiw if you plan on doing the 110 thing you'll need a heavy duty extension cord, those orange ones may not be able to handle the load