Tesla Model 3 Owners Vent about Polar Vortex Affecting Cars

Megalith

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Winter rarely brings surprises aside from how much it’ll snow, but the latest cold season has caught a certain group of folks off guard (Alternate source sans paywall): new EV owners. Recent Tesla buyers, for instance, have taken to social media to complain about frigid temperatures reducing the performance of their vehicle’s batteries. As drainage is a decently reported issue, many are simply showing their naivety, but complaints related to a design element may have some merit: an allegedly poor handle has made doors especially difficult to open.

Ronak Patel, a CPA auditor in New Jersey, bought a Model 3 last August. He’s driven about 150 miles in the cold over the last few days. “My biggest concern is the cold weather drained my battery 20 to 25 miles overnight and an extra five to ten miles on my drive to work,” he said. “I paid $60,000 to not drain my battery so quickly.” Tesla isn’t alone in facing this flaw. Tesla [also] made a door design decision that is coming back to bite some buyers. The Model 3’s handles are flush with the exterior of the car and require customers to push on one side, then pull on the other to open them.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I love how these pompous pricks call everything they don't like a "flaw".

This is just how the technology works and one of its shortcomings. They should have known this before buying.

Traditional internal combustion engines struggle in the extreme cold too, being more difficult to start, and a lot less fuel efficient until they warm up (and when we are talking -40 degree temperatures, reaching nominal operating temperature range takes a LONG time.)

There is no news here. Just a bunch of whiny crybabies who didn't do their research before buying.

I've always said that whenever you buy anything, especially a large pruchase like a car, you should have researched it to the point that you know more about it than the person selling it to you. If you didn't, it's all on you.

Technical details matter. Learn them.
 
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Term-X

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Admittedly, the door handle design and issue needs to be rectified. But the loss of battery charge due to the cold is just common sense? ICE vehicles also tend to burn more fuel in the winter. Technology takes time to improve.
 
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Tesla is really new, companies with more experience in cold climates do a million little things to make their cars work a little better in extreme cold. Volvo are the absolute kings of getting those tiny details for cold weather just right. Most German automakers are also pretty exceptional at that sort of design.

People forget just how young Telsa is as a company.
 

shspvr

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Admittedly, the door handle design and issue needs to be rectified. But the loss of battery charge due to the cold is just common sense? ICE vehicles also tend to burn more fuel in the winter. Technology takes time to improve.
The solution is easy use your brain for once grab hair dyer or cup hot water man I swear some people are just so dumb it ain't funny.

So plug the thing in on nights it's super cold?
God for bid if they use any common sense
 

NIZMOZ

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Admittedly, the door handle design and issue needs to be rectified. But the loss of battery charge due to the cold is just common sense? ICE vehicles also tend to burn more fuel in the winter. Technology takes time to improve.
Heck, GT-R's have had that design on the door handles for a while and it seems to have never caused any complaints.
 

DKS

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I was not aware that Elon Musk could defy the laws of physics. Or that Tesla owners were actually that ignorant. This was Grade 9 science when I was in high school...
 

DKS

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Tesla is really new, companies with more experience in cold climates do a million little things to make their cars work a little better in extreme cold. Volvo are the absolute kings of getting those tiny details for cold weather just right. Most German automakers are also pretty exceptional at that sort of design.

People forget just how young Telsa is as a company.
Young? I think you mean dumb. Dumb as a sack of hammers. At least their design engineers appear to be. The Smithers Winter Test Center is just one location where winter testing is conducted. There are others. SWTC is located on an old Nike Hercules missile base on the UP of Michigan.

https://www.smithersrapra.com/testing-services/by-sector/automotive/winter-proving-grounds
 

Exavior

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Admittedly, the door handle design and issue needs to be rectified. But the loss of battery charge due to the cold is just common sense? ICE vehicles also tend to burn more fuel in the winter. Technology takes time to improve.
We had a power outage during the polar vortex and I watched equipment that has battery backup that should last about 12 - 20 hours drain the batteries about 2 - 3 times faster than it should. But then again when the batteries are well below 0F I expect that to be the case. Fear of winter driving in the Midwest has caused me to be slightly fearful of a fully electric car.

All that money and these people aren't parking in garages?
Even inside of a garage, if it isn't heated it was still really damn cold. With wind chill in places below -40F some getting as low as -60 or -70F, -20 through -40F without wind chill. This lasted for over 48 hours. So inside of a garage you would still be looking at well below zero if you didn't have anything in there to heat the garage.
 

jedijeb13

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Funny how some people want to be "green" but think there is no downside to being "green".

Like that Green New Deal, yea, let's just get rid of all petroleum and coal in the next 10 years. Not thinking they would have to get rid of all their tech toys because most are made of plastic which surprise surprise, comes from petroleum :) They would even have to give up their yoga pants because the spandex in them also comes from petroleum lol.
 

cattix

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But, but, but they must have "designer" them handles! "Design" all the way, scr*w functionality! Now enjoy what you wanted.
 

Vega

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Oh wow, a story about ignorant stupid owners. Batteries poorforming poorer in cold temps is like battery 101.

I hate stupid people, especially when they complain about something revolving around their ignorance.
 

iRevert

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No joke was in an apartment complex and some one ran a cable out the window to there car. I was like really.
Not to nitpick but block heaters and oil pan heaters aren't exactly uncommon around here where it gets stupid cold each year, you do what you have to do.

I'd rather have a truck that starts without issue than having to monkey around with jumping or thawing out the block in a -55 windchill, obviously it's different for EVs but if it's going to be a week with bad temps and no charge or run time it's a good idea to plug it in so it will start when you go out next. Besides the cost Tesla charges to hook those things up to a trickle charger once they deplete past the charge point is quite a bit from what I've read.

Oh wow, a story about ignorant stupid owners. Batteries poorforming poorer in cold temps is like battery 101.

I hate stupid people, especially when they complain about something revolving around their ignorance.
You should have seen the stacks of batteries that got replaced at autoshops around here both in store and on callouts. About 35 or so a day from people who thought the batteries were "good enough" for another year, admittedly even with a fresh battery and a block heater I had to run a salamander one day to help the startup.
 

matt167

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My JDM mini truck has a carburator and I had the main jet freeze up twice on me
 

Dayaks

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731EDFB4-D3D5-459C-BDA2-EF427C7257BE.jpeg


I am not a fan of EVs. I am somewhat a fan of hybrids. Winter used to cause my wife’s Prius to be 44 mpg in the winter rather than 48 mpg. A 5% hit. Telsa owners at work report 30-50% range hits which I imagine the empg goes in the shitter too.

I prefer ICE atm due to “keep it simple stupid” kind of thinking and in general better AWD in winter. Hybrids carry merit though. At least they make sense in cold climates. Double pretty well as small generators too.

But yeah as the chart above shows batteries don’t like the cold. It’s physics. I believe Tesla manages battery temp but that takes power too.
 

zkostik

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Heck, GT-R's have had that design on the door handles for a while and it seems to have never caused any complaints.
Yeah, but GT-R is for a different market of people and they are likely not as common as Tesla's. They are also much more well made than Teslas. Though I really had a crack at Tesla crowd getting owned by stupid electric recessed door handles getting frozen in.
 

Ocellaris

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Couple of things here if people aren’t familiar with Teslas... The cars use the battery to keep the battery warm during cold weather. So the issue isn’t the battery getting cold, it’s the amount of energy being used to keep the battery warm. Also if you plug a Model S in to a 110v outlet, this isn’t power enough to offset the amount of energy being used to keep the battery warm. So running extension cords and shit to the car isn’t going to maintain range, unless it’s coming from a 220v outlet. The cars will still lose range even when plug in to 110v during really cold weather.

And sure people should be using dedicated charges and such, however they don’t think about this when traveling and visiting people. During three seasons of the year, a slow 110v charge is fine to keep the car charging. During the winter, not so much... People are figuring this out now.
 

matt167

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Tesla needs a range extender model. A single cylinder engine running at 1,800 RPM could run a generator/ alternator big enough to generate 220v or whatever voltage is actually required to regen the batteries
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Admittedly, the door handle design and issue needs to be rectified. But the loss of battery charge due to the cold is just common sense? ICE vehicles also tend to burn more fuel in the winter. Technology takes time to improve.
Yeah, but this weather is extreme.


On my 20 year old Volvo wagon I had a difficult time opening the fuel door when I got gas after the last mess of an ice storm. This stuff isn't exactly unique to Tesla.

What a bunch of whiny bitches.
 

CombatChrisNC

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Like that Green New Deal, yea, let's just get rid of all petroleum and coal in the next 10 years. Not thinking they would have to get rid of all their tech toys because most are made of plastic which surprise surprise, comes from petroleum
We could you know, just not burn the petroleum. We can also make plastics without petroleum. And coal we need to keep around because of all the wonderful things we can do with coal ash?

The real point is this: will fossil fuels last forever? No, they won't. Wean off ASAP. Let alone that burning them adds too much to the carbon cycle.
 
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Sufu

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Yeah, but this weather is extreme.


On my 20 year old Volvo wagon I had a difficult time opening the fuel door when I got gas after the last mess of an ice storm. This stuff isn't exactly unique to Tesla.

What a bunch of whiny bitches.
At least your doors don't freeze when it gets just below freezing all the time. Some of his complaints are valid, but the loss of range is quite well documented. Just whining there.
 
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I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when that idiot claimed he didn't pay money for his car to lose range overnight. I don't expect the generic person to be a genius (usually far from it) but cold temps have negatively affected batteries since the creation of the first battery. It is, after all, a chemical reaction that makes batteries work and chemical reactions are almost universally negatively affected by lower temps. Car batteries in non-electrics are similarly affected, the only difference is they're only needed to start the car, not propel it.

There are two options here: either let the batteries get cold and deal with the reduced performance or use some of the battery charge to heat the battery pack. Or, as Scotty would say, you canna change the laws of physics no matter what you spend. This fool deserves to be publicly bitchslapped by Elon Musk. What an ignorant, privileged asshole he must be to make such a stupid statement.
 

DocNo

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I've always said that whenever you buy anything, especially a large pruchase like a car, you should have researched it to the point that you know more about it than the person selling it to you.
That's always been my opinion too. I'm helping my parents by an Acura RDX - the ignorance of the sales people at some of these dealerships never ceases to amaze me. Heck these days all you need to do is find a few well-done review videos on YouTube and it's better than 100 test drives.

Aside from a house, it's the largest purchase most people will make so you'd think it would be worth a bit of effort. carbuyingtips.com is an awesome site - fightingchance.com too.
 

Fresch

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Wind chill can only bring the temp. down faster to what the actual temperature is no lower. Except on live things.
Remember that they are the same people who will vote in a carbon tax and then wonder why they can't afford to live.
By the way my diesel started without being plugged in, Central N.Y. It got cold.
 

Qthulu

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Couple of things here if people aren’t familiar with Teslas... The cars use the battery to keep the battery warm during cold weather. So the issue isn’t the battery getting cold, it’s the amount of energy being used to keep the battery warm. Also if you plug a Model S in to a 110v outlet, this isn’t power enough to offset the amount of energy being used to keep the battery warm. So running extension cords and shit to the car isn’t going to maintain range, unless it’s coming from a 220v outlet. The cars will still lose range even when plug in to 110v during really cold weather.

And sure people should be using dedicated charges and such, however they don’t think about this when traveling and visiting people. During three seasons of the year, a slow 110v charge is fine to keep the car charging. During the winter, not so much... People are figuring this out now.
15 amp@120v=1800 watts that's way more than you need to keep a battery warm 20 below zero
 

Ocellaris

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15 amp@120v=1800 watts that's way more than you need to keep a battery warm 20 below zero
They don’t pull 15 amps over 110v though...

But hey, I live in Maine and know multiple people with Teslas but please go on thinking whatever you want :)
 

Dead Parrot

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Haven't found a door handle that doesn't suck when covered with a thick layer of ice. Even if the handle works, the door seals are often frozen to the frame anyway.

Maybe Tesla needs to include an optional door handle/frame + battery warmer for cold climate cars? Much the same as you can get a factory block warmer for cold climate ICE vehicles. Plug it in when you park, your car is warm the next morning.
 

Dekoth-E-

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It's almost like chemical reactions are affected by temperature.... Nah that couldn't be the case. Tesla owners told me that their cars are powered by pixie dust and unicorn farts.
 
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