What is the Ideal Tesla Battery Temperature Range? Effects Explained

Tesla’s introduction of electric vehicles has created a frenzy globally. With the exacerbation of climate change and its effects, most people prefer electric-powered cars to conventional cars. However, Tesla’s susceptibility to temperature changes remains its Achilles heel. So, what exactly is the ideal Tesla battery temperature range?

The ideal Tesla battery temperature range is 60F(15.6°C) to 80F(26.7°C). The Lithium-Ion battery found in Tesla electric vehicles functions optimally within this temperature range, allowing you to travel further per charge.

Read on to learn more about the Tesla range and how the various weather changes affect it. We’ll mainly cover the effect of temperature on the battery before briefly discussing the impact of rain.

What is “Range” in a Tesla?

Range refers to the distance a Tesla can cover on a single charge. The vehicle will display the battery range as the remaining distance you can cover or a percentage of the remaining battery. This way, it’s easier to determine how far you can go with the Tesla before having to recharge it.

The impressive battery range is a competitive edge for this modern range of cars. If you charge your vehicle overnight, rarely will you experience a problem of running out of power, especially if you are driving for a short distance.

Tesla-Battery-Temperature-Range-Explained
Teslas aren’t the only ones affected by temperature changes.

Tesla’s Battery Range

A single charge on a Tesla model can last you at least 262 miles (421.64 km). However, this range does not apply to all vehicles since battery range is a factor of:

  • Car model: Tesla’s Model 3 is the cheapest electric vehicle in the market. This is because the car comes with a smaller internal battery. A bigger battery means more mile range. It also means a pricier car.
  • Battery size: As mentioned, battery size affects the distance you can commute on a single charge. For example, the Model S Long vehicle has a bigger battery, and with a single charge, you can drive for 405 miles (651.784 km). 
  • Driving technique:If you are an adrenaline junkie and like to drive fast, your battery range will deplete faster. 

Driving at reduced speeds increases your battery range. Other driving styles that can drain your battery levels are:

  • Short trips
  • Driving uphill
  • Stop-and-go driving

If you’re traveling long distances, estimate the distance to the nearest charging station from your vehicle. Using this information, you can alter your driving speeds so that your battery doesn’t run out before getting to the charging station.

The Effect of Low Temperatures on the Battery Range

Extreme weather conditions can significantly reduce your Tesla’s EV battery range. Tesla owners driving in cold conditions tend to experience reduced battery ranges, meaning they cover fewer miles on a single charge.

Low temperatures reduce the battery range. A temperature drop slows down the physical and chemical reactions that power batteries, effectively extending charging periods and reducing the range.

Here’s a video with more details:

The Tesla Battery Management System

To protect your vehicle’s battery life, the battery must be above freezing before charging. To ensure this, the Tesla models come equipped with a temperature regulation that draws energy from your vehicle to raise the battery temperature from freezing point.

Teslas automatically activate this thermal management system even when they’re not plugged in. While this system protects the battery, it does so at the expense of the range.

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I wrote a related article and explained How Far Electric Cars Will Go in the Future. I also went into detail and explained all the current and coming tech. Check it out!

The Science Behind Lithium Plating

Typically, the negative anode made of lithium plating receives the charge in ions when the battery is charging. 

Under cold conditions, the flow of ions through this node occurs slowly, creating an internal battery resistance. The slow movement of ions can also lead to a build-up of lithium, causing metallic plating.

The Effect of High Temperature on the Battery Range

We’ve already seen that cold weather reduces the rate of physical and chemical reactions in the battery. While high temperatures don’t do exactly that, they aren’t ideal for your battery either.

Summer weather can lead to faster degradation of your battery since the reactions take place at a quicker rate. Therefore, driving in the heat will significantly reduce your battery range.

What is the Optimal Battery Temperature Range For a Tesla?

The optimal battery temperature range for a Tesla is 60F(15.6°C) to 80F(26.7°C). That’s because Teslas use a Lithium-Ion, which typically performs best in this temperature range.

To give you a better idea of how much the range changes with temperatures here’s a table summarizing the findings of a recent experiment by AAA, as reported by Marketwatch:

Car Model.2017 Tesla Model S 75D
Standard range at 75°F(23.9°C)About 239 miles per charge
Decrease in range at 20°F (-6.66667) with cabin heater on41%
Decrease in range at 20°F (-6.66667) with cabin heater off12%
Decrease in range at 95°F(35°C) with cabin AC on17%
Decrease in range at 95°F(35°C) with cabin AC off4%
This table shows the Tesla battery range at different temperatures.

FAQs

Can Teslas Run Well in the Rain?

Tesla cars can run perfectly in the rain without sustaining damage. What’s more, driving them through puddles won’t pose electrocution risks.

How Does Rain Affect Range In a Tesla?

Rain reduces the range of a Tesla and other electric vehicles. Rain increases the resistance a vehicle needs to overcome to move forward.

As a result, the vehicle uses more power to move through space in such conditions, which reduces the range.

Think of it this way; when you drive your car when it’s not raining, it only needs to overcome air resistance to move forward. Rain adds extra resistance in the form of millions of droplets crashing against the car as it moves. Since water is heavier than air, the additional resistance is significant enough to affect your range.

EV Speedy’s Take

All cars (including gas-powered ones) are affected by extreme driving conditions.

It’s only that EVs are generally more susceptible, an issue we can only hope car manufacturers will address as these cars go mainstream.


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.