Tesla Cold Weather Experiment In -22°F & -31°F Temperatures

I recently shared the story of “Dirty Tesla”, which rejected an opinion piece by Washington Post about how the winter traffic disaster in Virginia would have been worse if all vehicles were electric cars. We now have more to share. First of all, we do not have direct confirmation of this person’s first hand account, but a post from one below tells that they were stuck in traffic in their Tesla for 16 hours, and not enough that they were only on battery from 6 p.m. 74% to 61%, but they also used Camp Mode to stay comfortable and nap.

Another Tesla owner shared an experiment he was doing with me. He was inspired by all the misinformation in his community to do his own experiment. However, he lives in what he calls the Texas of Canada, which is an oil country. In contrast to the winter event in Virginia, the test conditions were very, much colder. Temperatures dropped to -35 ° C, which is equivalent to -31 ° F.

Darryl Kolewaski owns Canada Electric Car Management, which supplies and installs parts and improvements to Tesla’s range of vehicles. Darryl also told me that he has a fleet of Teslas and offers a taxi service in his town, which is just outside Alberta. The fleet of taxis in Kelowna is leased under Current Taxi, but the vehicles are owned by CECM.

“We’ve been driving Tesla taxis for about five years now.”

He explained that the company mostly has Model 3 and Model S vehicles. The test Darryl performed was on a 2014 Model S.

His community is in what is known as the oil and gas community in Canada, where there are many critics of electric cars and a preference for fossil fuels over clean energy. I can relate to what lives in Louisiana. The mentality towards electric cars and clean energy is hard to change, but Darryl works diligently in his community to show his family, friends and neighbors that electric cars are not as bad as R&D (fear, insecurity and doubt) about them.

The experiment

Image by Darryl Kolewaski, used with permission.

He explained that there was a meme about the winter weather traffic disaster in Virginia, and it inspired him to see how long a Tesla would last in an emergency. If you were stuck in your car during extreme winter weather, how long would it be able to keep you warm?

The test conditions for Darryl’s experiment made me want to turn on my heaters again – even though it was in the upper 60’s (F) at the time we chatted.

“I have a 2014 Tesla Model S 85 with about 65,000 miles on it and I thought, ‘let’s try this car and see’.”

He casually mentioned that the average temperature was -21 ° C, but said it dropped to around -30 ° to -35 ° C, which is the range of -22 ° F to -31 ° F.

“You’ll probably never experience that in Louisiana.”

I do not hope!

“It’s pretty cold. I fully charged the car to 100% and then parked it outside and put it in Camp Mode at 21 ° C or 70 ° F. I locked the car and did not stay in it, but parked it outside my house and left it to see how long it would last. “

Darryl used 80% of the battery and explained that when the battery reached 20%, it would automatically turn off if there was actually no one in the car. He also explained that if there had been a person inside the car, they would probably have done their best to save energy – instead of keeping the temperature at 21 ° C.

The battery lasted one day and 17 hours in Camp Mode below average temperatures of -21 ° C (-5.8 ° F). The above screenshot was taken after one day and 13 hours, with four hours left of the test.

“If you were in an emergency, you would not just leave it at 9pm in Camp Mode. You are going to use the heated seats, which would take less power to turn on and off it to try to save. This was just a general test to see what it would do, just right up by the numbers. “


I think Darryl’s experiment and Dirty Tesla’s experiment both show how a Tesla can withstand extreme winter – related emergencies. In each case, both owners were not in the vehicle during the test, but both also pointed out that if someone was in an emergency, they would do everything they could to save as much energy as possible. In its extended test, Dirty Tesla lowered the temperature to 60 ° F.

I would love to see these types of cold weather tests performed with other electric cars, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Volkswagen ID.4.

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