How Miserable Is A Winter Tesla Road Trip? -18°C & Broken Superchargers
Can a Tesla Model 3 handle driving well below freezing for a road trip? How do cold temperatures affect electric car range? Comparison of summer versus winter driving efficiency!
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I drove my 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance 2,500 miles to test its performance and efficiency in freezing conditions. Temperatures reached as low as 0°F (-18°C), and rarely jumped above freezing. There were icy parking lots, snow filled wheels, snow storms, and chilling temperatures, allowing for the ultimate test of Tesla's winter efficiency and performance. I also encountered my first broken supercharger, it genuinely would not provide any charge for my car!

This video will cover the 2,500 mile road trip, how navigation and superchargers work, why cold temperatures result in less range, what studies have been performed to estimate winter efficiency, what my actual efficiency was, how this relates to gasoline vehicles in terms of fuel equivalency, different driving strategies to minimize stops or minimize total driving/charing time, how higher speeds affect efficiency, how wheels and tires affect efficiency, charging at night vs morning, broken superchargers, how much EV road trips cost, how comfortable the road trip is in a Tesla, and Tesla's AutoPilot and Full Self Driving features. It's a data and info packed video, enjoy!

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  • Anders Ljungberg
    Anders Ljungberg

    We do not usually have alloy wheels on the car in Sweden in the winter, but people use ordinary simple iron rims or the like. then we have separate tires in the summer and in the winter. we use studded tires in the winter. It is also a law in Sweden that you must have winter tires on the car in the winter

  • Marc Bergeron
    Marc Bergeron

    Is Tesla the Lada of electric cars?

  • mkconte

    My road trip record is Massapequa, NY to Mt. Pleasant, SC (780 miles not counting leaving the interstate 4 times for gas and/or food) in a total elapsed time of 11.5 hours. Cannonball! The car was a 2017 Mustang Ecoboost. Also, the final leg was a nice scenic backroad route from just outside the NC border all the way to my destination, no chargers in those little towns I'd wager, nor did I have a need to stop for gas there anyway.

  • mkconte

    That's a LOT of (long) stops for a 2000 mile drive. I like to cover at least 250 miles between stops, sometimes 400 miles or more. I'd rather drive a gas vehicle and make 1/2 the stops at most and be back on the road in 10-15 minutes rather than 25-40 minutes. Road tripping an EV sounds miserable!

  • Gortt

    Which tyres were you using in Winter?

  • Chip Spaulding
    Chip Spaulding

    Another great video. You are straightforward, factual, accurate (which, in these times is rare) and balanced. I have a 2018 long-range bright red model three with 84,000 miles. I am heading into my fourth year of a cold Maine winter. I can attest to the fact that all his information regarding range loss is absolutely accurate. The model three all-wheel-drive is fantastic in cold weather in the way it handles ice and snow. My 82,000 miles includes a couple of trips to Washington DC, and everything he says about the supercharger network is spot on. Because the model three is so good, I purchased a 2020 long-range all-wheel-drive model Y for my wife. All the good things you hear about the Model Y is accurate as well. We are a family with two Tesla! thank you for your accurate and informing video.

  • KeeeeenW

    You save money when the gas price is $5 / gallon lol

  • Michael Franklin
    Michael Franklin

    have you tried to install wind turbines at the back?

  • Acura Quebec
    Acura Quebec

    Simpsons are amazing

  • Damon Mele
    Damon Mele

    See you passing Green River, WY at 51 second mark! Home sweet home haha!

  • mrspeigle1

    A thought: colder denser air during winter is going to be more of a pain to push through, shaving 5-10 mph might be a efficient way to gain some range.

  • tocophonic

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! Btw why don't you open the charge port by simply pressing the button on the Supercharger plug? IMO it's more comfortable that way :)

  • IPman501

    Came for the Tesla, stayed for Bucket

  • Jandra Elune
    Jandra Elune

    Batteries charge really fast to 80% then they get really slow. For optimum drive time is charge to 80% or less and then head to the next point. A side bonus with charging to that point is less tendrils can grow in the liquid batteries which those tendrils can reduce total charge lvls of the batteries. The new solid state batteries just coming out will not have that tendil problem.

  • Seyam Rahman
    Seyam Rahman

    Me: *cries in -30C Canadian winters*

  • S Cottrill
    S Cottrill

    What an amazing video, it was informative visually well made, and put a smile on my face

  • SneakDeBeef

    that cab noise is disgusting for a sedan

  • Joshua Gomez
    Joshua Gomez

    allot of great info, And you didn't seem to mention it but LiIon and similar chem batteries often last longer if you run them from 40ish precent to 80 ish percent.. as complared to charging them to 100% then down to 2%. you can normanly get say x recharges at at full discharge every time, where as if you go 40-80 it will get 1.5x cycles that way. So in general if you run it in light chrage/discharges it will make the battery last Tons longer so in general the way you did it is better for your batteries longevity too. So score there.

  • Sakura Sato
    Sakura Sato

    You are such a cheater with the super cute Bucket clips, keeping the attention.

  • Baconator James
    Baconator James

    As someone who's totally paranoid about & experienced with out-of-warranty surprises in ICE cars, even if the energy costs were identical, I'd still go electric. I bought a $2200 warranty for a 2016 WRX that's paid for itself already. I can only imagine the costs I'm up against should something go wrong in the next year since the warranty ended 3 days after this video was made. Had a 1995 Honda Accord & my brother & I put 220,000 kms on it. 7 years of a harsh Canadian climate, parked outside for most of its life, it drove the worst roads in the continent, and not a single thing went wrong with it. Not a single thing. Sold it in one day, a guy brought it to a mechanic who was shocked at how good it looked. Fast forward 25 years, and I can't put 80k kms on a car without expensive things breaking (air conditioning, transmission, burning oil, etc). 25 yrs later they still set you up for ridiculous costs. Enough. They can stick ICE up their tailpipes. If 25yrs ago I can put 220k kms on a car & have zero issues, well they can fix all issues with a new car with less than 200k kms for free, fix it apologetically & give you a loaner while they have it. My point? It's predatory maintenance & seemingly intentional sabotage to milk drivers out of more money for ICE cars' unreliability. The $100 synthetic oil changes, their $1100 major scheduled maintenance requirements, it's time to put that garbage to bed. Rather than adapt to their near obsolescence, they're milking customers for all they can before the tech takes over.

  • clifford dicarlo
    clifford dicarlo

    For you, Jason, Tesla should have a special software download to change “Dog Mode” to “Cat Mode”.

  • Jonathan Tan
    Jonathan Tan

    Does the battery slowly drain if you leave it parked in the cold? For example, if it drops by 10% the morning after, and you leave it in the cold parking lot the whole day, would it have dropped by another 10-20% the next morning?

  • maria cornwallis
    maria cornwallis

    Lets see what happens when every car is an EV fighting for a charge point when they are all occupied.... lets see what happens when all the lithium and other rare minerals for use in the making of the batteries are all used up. Your batteries will not be getting any cheaper. You may be fortunate in having your private charge point but millions of others around the world live in tall blocks of apartments or rows of terraced houses where they cannot get their EV within 100 yards of their home.... They are the ones who will be crying "Help".... How far do you think an electric truck can travel on a full charge? Lord Bamford (JCB) has stated that they can only be used for 4 hours before being charged up for more than 12 hours... He is now manufacturing all his diggers and cranes etc to be powered by hydrogen engines.. I may be in the minority for the next ten years or so but EVs are not the future , Musk has fooled the world's politicians and car manufacturers. BREAKING NEWS :-- ELECTRIC CARS ARE CAUSING THREE MILE QUEUES BACKING UP FROM BRITAIN'S MOTORWAY SERVICE STATIONS AS THEY WAIT FOR A VACANT CHARGING POINT Lets hope they are not on a smart motorway where there are no hard shoulders to sit on...

  • Andy Miller
    Andy Miller

    Very informative on road trip tactics. I use the frequent charging scenario always. I enjoy getting out and moving more frequently as I have a broken back and neck.

  • no time no space execute now
    no time no space execute now

    it's possible some walker shown in history that distance is just a matter of time

  • pagadqs

    Basically it's a pain in the behind to do long trips in EVs. Great in town vehicles, still need a proper ICE vehicle if you have to go out of town though...

  • Frank D
    Frank D

    A 20 pound load of propane for a cabin heater would provide about 440,000 Btu's of heat or the equivalent of 133 kWh. This is vs a 20% loss of range.

  • tom dorn
    tom dorn

    Are you kidding? EV's are sold to a lot of Sheep. TD Atlanta

  • Hunter F16
    Hunter F16

    Tesla is very bad for traveling. I can’t wait for my phone to charge. Imagine that I will wait for my car to charge again while I am travelling

  • Ryan Glenn Edward Morris
    Ryan Glenn Edward Morris

    how far would this work at -40, is it possible to extrapolate the loss at lower temperatures?

    • Shin Wang
      Shin Wang

      It’s not just the temperature kills battery, but also the load. My experience with 3 adults in model X with a full load of ski equipment at -25C results in at least 50% range reduction. Also Canada doesn’t have many charging stations and we had to wait for a spot for over an hour at Kingston

  • Sly Evo
    Sly Evo

    I’m in LA and gas is $4.5/gal. Still getting free supercharging for the remainder of the year from last year’s promo and my M3 is running e85 ~$3.19/gal. Good video!

  • Alex Le
    Alex Le

    me crying in california when he said the avg price of gas is 2.50. currently 4.30 rn

  • jimbob1096

    Not Practical. Can't drive anywhere you want. Chevy volt a much better idea.

  • Chris

    You cannot call Bucket "the cat". This is illegal.

  • Prof.

    1. During the war/tornado/flood electric car are useless. 2. in the most of the countries chargers are now 50kW(most popular) = 2h of charging time 3. if battery will be empty no one can help you with "petrol can" on the road 4. electric car are much more expensive 5. Hyundai Kona electric speed 90 km/h - range 374km, speed 140 km/h - range 200km speed 169 km/h - range 158 km ! 6. Production of electric car is 45% more harmful than petrol car. 7. Electric car are heavy - problem with fast cornering. Definitely I prefer petrol car.

  • aluisious

    "This video has been about 18 months in the making." Dude, I can walk 2500 miles faster than that.

  • Nigel Weir
    Nigel Weir

    If you had gone slower you would have used more energy to heat the cabin

  • Volodymyr

    Wow, that was packed with useful information. You really deserve such an amount of subscribers)

  • Yellow Snowman
    Yellow Snowman

    This is miserable. Having to make that many 40-60 minute stops to charge is simply horrible for a road trip. EVs work obviously, but not for road trips. They're a long way from working on a road trip in any reasonable way.

  • opvask

    3:20 i mean thats just not true is it.. youre not using that heat to move forward no matter what because the heat is a by-product of you moving in the first place so instead of just venting the heat, u send it into the cabin... thats an efficient design

  • B M
    B M

    This is interesting for a long trip. I wonder what the impact of cold is with short trips. The cabin needs to heat up and the battery is cold. He does refer to losing 5% overnight and 5% preconditioning. I know sometimes I drive to a meeting for a few hours, go to lunch, go to another meeting, go to the office, go the the gym, visit a relative, go shopping.

  • Dave Smith
    Dave Smith

    At the moment EV cars may be cheaper to charge than the equivalent petrol/diesel car. However, at the moment, the US government takes about $40 billion per year in fuel taxes. With the target of cutting emissions, they are going to have to recoup those taxes somehow!

  • Raccoon Willie™
    Raccoon Willie™

    Why do these dudes always talk more than yappy females?

  • No name
    No name

    Plus think about the money you saved for maintenance and way less parts to worry about breaking

  • Francesco Marrone
    Francesco Marrone

    You are right, electrics cars can help saving $ in gas but it’s true, it’s not about being convenient or about saving money but about saving the planet!

  • binlee68

    The calculations compare to ICE is a bit off Most cars aren't doing 30mpg, most US drive SUV and that will be around 25mpg. Secondly, the cost of gas is not 2.50 cheap. Now I have to pay about $4 per gallon.

  • Edward Martinez
    Edward Martinez

    Time is money

  • Neil Rosenau
    Neil Rosenau

    So if you got stuck... How would you keep warm until help comes? With a gas car you could run the motor as long as you checked the exhaust pipes were clear.

  • Neil Rosenau
    Neil Rosenau

    Do a test in Minnesota where it gets -30 F. with -30 wind-chills making it feel like -60 or more...

  • Jordan

    So different size wheels were used on the two trips. Means mileage being completely different is normal. Comparing trips you need to keep things the same.

  • Dallas Whyte
    Dallas Whyte

    2000 mi. on 16.6 gls? 120 mpg. What am I missing?

  • Nate Hill
    Nate Hill

    Since the only meaningful difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump is a reversing valve, I find it bizarre that electric cars, if they have air conditioning, dont automatically have heat pumps. And for Hyundai to charge $1500 for it as an option is usurious; its like a bank having a $25,000 bounced check fee (today I mean; within 10 years..?) or an airline charging $25,000 for checked baggage.

  • Moholdt

    Is EV worth it? I have gasolin and diesel now I kinda want to buy a Tesla But it's cold in Norway

  • Collin Carver
    Collin Carver

    Perfectly informative and straight to the point as always. Also Cat is BEAUTIFUL. Also Jason in that hat... 👀👀👀

  • Fritz Donnerschlag
    Fritz Donnerschlag

    Talking about saving CO2 and drive without any reason 2500 miles.

  • Vince White
    Vince White

    Don’t trust those gallon equivalent calcs. Invention of EV’s.

  • Vince White
    Vince White

    Saw one of the super charger stops & it said 40 mins. Wow. Compared to 5 mins at gas station.

  • J F
    J F

    Emperor Musk! Your royal gown is beautiful!

  • J F
    J F

    So. I'm charging in 0⁰F... staying warm how?

  • Ponderous Pines
    Ponderous Pines

    Put a cat in a video and it is catnip for me

  • Andruhevich

    you forgot about petrol car service cost. Say it cost a 1/4 of service interval at about $50-$70 right there. Maybe more.

  • Debbie Konkin
    Debbie Konkin

    Why an electric only tesla..? From production to the end of its useful life it only has a 25% smaller carbon footprint then a Toyota Rav4 prime which can tow, has higher ground clearance, has 4 wheel drive , ZERO Range Anxiety and runs perfectly in very cold environments.

  • iiMPR3SSiiON

    This video just tries to acclimate you to the limited range and teach you that range anxiety is OK. Jesus Christ, electric cars have to AT LEAST match the gas cars before they could be deemed usable. Heck, sitting at a charging station for an hour, in the best case scenario, is nonsensical! Remember, that most chargers aren't even 50 kW chargers ... And don't start blabbering about ecology before reading through the actual data ... And what about the battery lifespan, which is around 8 years before it's essentially useless? EV resell value? Do we share gas cars for longer trips like misguided hippies? Do you seriously need 0-60 acceleration times to be under 5 seconds on the street? And in the city, in winter months, you will be losing charge each day you chose public transport as your commuting option ... There won't be a charger for everyone. Elon realized electric cars were a dead end very fast, so he went lobbying the govt ... And he was successful, unfortunatelly. Enjoy your next 20 years of limited range.

    • VitalVampyr

      You don't need one option to be better than or equal to another in all ways for it to be usable or overall better. Also, batteries aren't useless after they "fail" because for power output devices failure is deemed to be when they can produce 80% or less of their rated output. Most EV manufacturers expect their batteries to not fail for at least 8 years, not around 8 years.

  • Marina K
    Marina K

    What about -35C winter temperatures in Canada?

  • Ben Cheevers
    Ben Cheevers

    This is a great video but the problem really hits just at just a bit colder, like I'm in Canada where we frequently have weeks in the winter at -25 C, the performance drops off a cliff and the heat loss from the cabin is much worse when the temperature gradient is different. There's no way EVs will ever work here in Ottawa much less anything further north, I think it's the same thing with the midwestern states as they have very similar weather to us

    • VitalVampyr

      The country with the highest adoption rate for EVs is Norway and they have a similar climate to Canada.

  • Man Of Chai Tea
    Man Of Chai Tea

    I will stick too gas.

  • HaoHimself

    19:00 would you say it is a finanically smart move to buy a tesla to save money if you drive 230 miles a day?

  • Anonymous Person
    Anonymous Person

    Jesus, you need a PhD to drive an EV.

  • Worv2010

    18 stops in 2000 miles, sign me up. you gotta like sitting around a lot.

  • Scott Johnson
    Scott Johnson

    How would these cars perform in N. Dak? I remember -40 to -50 ambient. We had tank and block heaters for the engine. People even leave their cars running to go into malls and stores. What if you get stuck in snow? It could be all day for a tow. Also you need to need to take your charger pack with you.

  • FrostyEmber

    -18? Is it October buddy? It’s in canada your looking at -30 to -40 do those thing s even run in that? No wonder you don’t see any up here

  • Kareem Bouiahadj
    Kareem Bouiahadj


  • Albert Hopfer
    Albert Hopfer

    Very few people would enjoy so many stops.

  • Le Peejon
    Le Peejon

    When I saw "Broken Supercharger" I thought what's he driving? Later in the video, never mind. Great video.

  • Wesley P
    Wesley P

    the only thing i can think of is that if this becomes mainstream, you wont just need a string of 10 chrgers, you may have entire parking lots filled with charging spaces and these would likely be called "charging stations" and would also likely be connected to a gas station as im sure gas stations are the most likely to wanna do this. its just gonna mean that a 5 min trip to get gas becomes 10-30 min. im sure alotof people with EVs for just city driving who cant charge at home will go to a station and only charge at the fastest chargers and also only charge upto like 70% since thats the fastest part of the battery to charge. this would probably take the charge times for them down to 10-20 min depending. thats not alot of time. likely you can plug in, smoke (if you smoke) go into the gas station and by the time your done shopping for a snack it should be almost done if not done. even if you sit in the car it doesnt seem so bad to just listen to the radio for 10 min

  • Erland Johansen
    Erland Johansen

    So about the strategy on charging more often instead of charging past 90%, this is also much better for your battery and causing less wear. Keeping the charge between 10-70% will give you more total distance before the battery pack is worn out compared to always charging beyond 90%.

  • KrellLab

    MY LARGE SUV IS 100% SOLAR POWERED It works like this: The sun (solar power) causes certain plants to grow, these plants decay naturally and turn into an “All Natural” Energy source that can be easily converted into different forms. One form, called “gasoline” is easily transported and stored until the solar energy is needed. I can drive straight through from Maine to California and recharge my solar powered SUV in less than 4 minutes by conveniently located charging stations. The solar power, (in liquid form) is pumped into my vehicle in a couple of minutes, and I'm back on the road again. If you doubt me, ask any geologist. If there was no sun, there would be no fossil fuels. You should try a solar powered vehicle, they’re great!

  • alanj

    I’ve gone 1,860 miles in a gas car in 26.5 hours straight. That included 5 stops for gas, bathroom, and coffee, for a total of 1 hour off the road. I would have killed myself if it took about 7.5 hours to refuel... which is adjusted for fewer miles. I’d never do a long road trip in a EV.

    • Jakub Gawron
      Jakub Gawron

      wow, 26 hours drivin, with only 1 hour of breaks. That's just plain irresponsible

  • Frank el
    Frank el

    8 hrs is a lot of time to spend waiting on your vehicle. To bad there aren't just battery changing stations

  • Martial Bachoffner
    Martial Bachoffner

    Here in British Columbia, the average charger is 3kW/h.

  • Jeff Hill
    Jeff Hill

    Did you only use the frequent stop and charge strategy in the winter? Apples & oranges. 80 mph in near or below freezing temperatures? You're lucky you're alive to make this video.

  • Mauricio Quiñones
    Mauricio Quiñones

    Too long

  • skierbaz

    EV are not a good solution. Hydrogen combustion engines will be a far better solution to the petrol debate. Filling times of a few minutes, range as good if not far better than EV currently. No issues with cold temps. Should be the way forward, and at least it looks as if some car companies are starting to look at this in a meaningful way at last. It should've been the way forward years ago. And just look at those numbers for charge time - 8 hours for 2000 miles trip... simply not good enough. Currently I can drive 1200 miles from South France to home in North England in a day, with maybe 2 stops for fuel each only taking a few minutes to fill completely. 5 hours would certainly mean an overnight stay at my cost somewhere.

  • Volts PC
    Volts PC

    Your worst leg in the winter is still better than the mustang in optimal conditions, this is impressive

  • Dean Hodges
    Dean Hodges

    So it costs a 110 mpge tesla $177 to do 2500 miles, but a 30 mpg car $200? Is my brain tired or is there something wrong here?

  • sgtfoo

    Love how the cat came along!

  • Preston Weiters Jr.
    Preston Weiters Jr.

    7/18/21, @Engineering...Where's your power coming from?

    • Preston Weiters Jr.
      Preston Weiters Jr.

      @Miguel Isturiz 8/1/21, That's what I don't understand about this whole "EV" religion: you can't run everything on sun power & windmills.

    • Miguel Isturiz
      Miguel Isturiz

      From fossil fuels, ha!

  • Tim McMullen
    Tim McMullen

    I'm kind of surprised that a Tesla does not produce any waste heat ,say from batteries or electric motors, that could be used to heat a cabin. This would save the electricity for vehicle propulsion rather than heating. But there must be a good reason why this is not done but I would like to hear it from an engineer.

  • rogue element
    rogue element

    simple solution. do like they did in the movie "the martian" carry a radioactive isotope in the cabin. lol

  • Bobby Bishop
    Bobby Bishop

    I don't see mass use of electric cars until you can plug it into a normal 110 or 220 outlet and recharge as fast as the super chargers.

  • StormLaker1975

    If you run out of gas in an electric vehicle.....are you just going to flag someone down to get you a bucket of "electricity".......dumbest concept ever and they pollute more than fossil fuels. Diesel should be the world standard fuel- it's cleaner than gasoline these days.

  • Wayne Meredith
    Wayne Meredith

    So how much of your time was spent sitting while your car charged? That compared to 4 stops for a gas guzzler at 10 min per stop?

  • Robert Thayer
    Robert Thayer

    I realized this was five months ago, but gas wasn't that cheap 5 months ago either. Started going up seriously since then. I'll still pay. I like to go on adventures not Evie station hunting.

  • Robert Thayer
    Robert Thayer

    The days of a $500 beater that just needs a water pump or new widgit are going to be over forever. Battery cost half the price of the car. Do you sell it or trade it for half of what it's worth? I think gas engines and Diesel will be with us for a long long time! I think their biggest pipedream is long-haul trucks. It don't make no money IF the wheels ain't going around. Contrary to popular belief, there will be plenty of fuel for years to come.

  • Bleack

    -18 is a normal winter where I live. It's just something we hit all the time. Record was nearly -40 so knowing that by default you lose nearly 20%, just from the cold I consider normal winter weather is not reassuring. What happens at -20 or lower? How does range graph as temperatures drop? Those are the things that concern me when it comes to EVs. Although...the amount of time you spent charging is quite a lot as well. If these charge times don't increase DRASTICALLY we're going to need several times more charge stations than the number of gas stations we currently have. Imagine if it took people 10-15 minutes to fuel their car. It'd be a nightmare in busy areas. But there's also the worry about how wasteful batteries are to charge. We all know that the faster you charge a battery the less efficient it becomes. So how much energy is wasted currently and how much energy will be wasted in the future? But that's more from a worry about grid stability and environment point of view. We wouldn't want to trade in one devil for another, different type of devil.

  • Tatsuhiro Satou
    Tatsuhiro Satou

    All I'm hearing is a gas car barely costs more and is was faster, also no a tesla isn't a sports car.

  • James T
    James T

    Running the car more in the lower battery charge state to take advantage of the quicker time is degrading the battery and shorting it’s life, this can be significant. Keeping the battery in the higher stats of charge is better for them. You could end up paying later, might not be significant for you if you lease and or only keep cars a short term.

  • jeffrsd

    Eight hours total charging seems like a LOT of time sitting at a charger. That number was kind of a shock. That’s an extra day on the trip.

  • Ben Jarmin
    Ben Jarmin

    5 minutes to fill gas ;)

  • David Motyka
    David Motyka

    Everything has to work all the time in any conditions.

190 milj.