Will the Tesla Model S Get Poor Range in Cold Weather?
And thus, he has discovered that there is no real data available to answer his question, as Tesla’s range-calculating application only goes as low as 0°C (32°F), so it’s not really helpful, given the low temperatures often recorded in his home state of New York and its surroundings. He reportedly got an email from Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, saying that the drop in capacity would be closer to 20%, not 40.
If the Model S would suffer from the same drop in range as the Chevrolet Volt, which can lose up to 40% of its battery capacity in really cold weather, then a 40 kWh battery pack would leave him stranded, with around 32 km (20 miles) from his destination, as its range would drop significantly. This has prompted us to ask ourselves the same question, having realized that nobody has really mentioned the problem of cold weather range for the Model S, despite reports that it could actually exceed its predicted range.
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The side effect of this is that you should plug it in when it will be sitting for a long time in extreme temperatures, as when it is unplugged, it can drain the battery trying to maintain optimal temperature. To do this you need just a trickle of power (unlike to actually recharge the battery) so any 110 outlet will do to maintain the battery. If you bring an extension cord to work, you can maintain the battery while it's parked and probably recharge a little before you return home.