How Weather Conditions Affect Tesla Charge Time
Tesla batteries have some special features that really help their longevity. For example, extreme temperatures can cause the battery to consume excess energy in order to maintain a good temperature – this is something called “phantom drain.” In addition there’s also an interesting feature known as “charge-topping,” which allows your Tesla car charger to top up its charge at any time – even when it’s not connected or turned on!
If you live somewhere that gets cold, like the Northeast for instance, your Tesla may be preconditioning to keep it from freezing. This is a safeguard so the battery doesn’t get too low and/or freeze before charging.
In cold months, preconditioning your battery will use energy from the battery to warm it before charging so that you can extend its life. Tesla models and other electric cars employ a variety of methods for warming batteries depending on how low they’ve dipped in temperature; between 32°F-10°F their preferred method is called “deep discharge” which speeds up heating with high currents and voltages but may shorten lifespan (depending on age). For even lower temperatures below -4°C (-20° F) some carmakers recommend an initial fast charge at higher voltage levels than usual followed by slower charges thereafter as long as needed. Depending on the Tesla model, some models have motors that operate as a heat source in cold weather, while other models have built-in heating coils.
It takes an additional 30 minutes of charging to get a battery above 32 degrees Fahrenheit when attempting to charge your Tesla in below-freezing conditions. Of course, the temperature and type of charger used will influence this time.
Temperatures Above 100 Degrees Fahrenheit
It’s easy to forget that your Tesla is a car, not just an expensive toy with some cool features. In the same way that it will automatically turn on its AC when temperatures rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (~105F), so too does charging in extreme heat conditions take longer and use more energy than normal because of how much power is being diverted from recharging the battery to cooling the cabin. On average, running the on-board AC system while charging your Tesla in hot weather uses around 2kW – doubling what you’ll typically need for regular charges! using a regular 240-volt charger!
To keep you from going into the red, Tesla has an additional safeguard in place – if it detects that the car is being charged on a metal pad (like one of those workhorse Bosch models), it will automatically reduce the frequency with which the 12kW charger can work. This means that even though your charge rate is diminished, your Tesla is much less susceptible to harm and damage. A side benefit of this feature is that it allows Tesla to affix the “12kW” badge onto these AC adapters without fear that they’ll be abused by owners. After all, if you’re using a plastic pad, 12kW is far beyond your needs – so why not let them know?
Preserving your Tesla battery is incredibly important, and is a task that should not be taken lightly. Following these tips and tricks, you’ll never have to worry about damaging your car battery!