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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  • sorryociffer

    So a round trip made you charge about 20 times…. I would like to see a cost benefit based on the life cycle of engine longevity and cost to replace vs the cost to replace battery packs over “x” miles….

  • Fred Dibnah
    Fred Dibnah

    or you could make the battery removable so you can swap it out for a fully charged one in 5 mins then carry on. ????? One battery to fit all cars, you might get something of some use. Heat pump, hmmm how complicated can we make this vehicle ???

  • Bill Sherman
    Bill Sherman

    Other power-sucking factors: In winter it's darker so headlights are used more often. May also need to use window defrost. Problems with comparing driving in opposite direction: typical direction of prevailing wind (with vs. against), altitude gain/loss (more downhill in one direction vs. more uphill in the other direction).

  • Eric Bergerud
    Eric Bergerud

    What if you had to wait behind two or three other cars for chargers? That'll happen if EVs really take off in numbers.

  • Taste Buds
    Taste Buds

    This is bad, so not convenient 😒

  • Michael “MF” Pirrone
    Michael “MF” Pirrone

    A heat pump, though not all that efficient in an of itself, (but getting better) can utilize heat that would normally be lost and and as part of an integrated temp control system can use the heat-removed side to cool other systems to save cooling costs or extend component life. You can see 300 or 400 percent plus increases in efficiency over other heating systems with very low additional costs. Its revolutionary yet quite old tech, far-to-little discussed, and criminally under-utilized. Just think about bathing. How hot is the water going down the drain as you shower? All that is necessary is antifreeze cycling through a coiled copper tube wrapped around a copper section of the drain pipe to transfer that heat. But how many households have that? It's robbery if you ask me.

  • Twelve Wing Productions
    Twelve Wing Productions

    I love this kind of thing because as they say... One physical test is worth a thousand expert opinions. Well done. Thanks.

  • PAW Walton
    PAW Walton

    I guess with a Tesla you need to factor in Wheels and tire replacement on a 2000 mile road trip.

  • Kevan Chippindall-Higgin
    Kevan Chippindall-Higgin

    Winter total charging time 7.5 hours. Summer total charging time 8 hours. ICE engine total filling time 50 minutes. Case closed. Tesla 3 is also not a nice car to drive. The huge TV screen is a massive distraction and involves endless hunting about in menus to do anything. Visibility out the back window is woeful and if the 12 volt battery every goes flat, it takes hours of work to open the bonnet, remove trim and part of the ventilation system to get at it. If it is left on a floating charge, while the main battery is fine, the 12 volt one gradually goes flat. The whole thing is more trouble than it is worth and it certainly does not feel like a £45,000 car.

  • Pegasus 898
    Pegasus 898

    I’m Canada it gets as cold as -63 Celsius and the gasoline freezes you think that’s a winter test ......... winter test is -45 Celsius Parked outside cold start

    • Michael “MF” Pirrone
      Michael “MF” Pirrone

      I live in Texas and I would say it's is "none" and "less than whatever theirs was" respectively. LoL. But the really sad part is it barely changes when you substitute cooling for heating.

    • Michael “MF” Pirrone
      Michael “MF” Pirrone

      At those temperatures every BTU is potentially more valuable than gold. Thinking in this manner, how valued is efficiency and preservation of heat by the govt and public? How about the engineers and maintainers?

  • Doug Moore
    Doug Moore

    Okay with questions, how about the answers?

    • Michael “MF” Pirrone
      Michael “MF” Pirrone

      Riddle time? How about this one ... What comes first? The 🐔 vaccine or the 🥚 virus?

  • Winston Smith
    Winston Smith

    Those brake rotors look terrible. Big wear line right down the middle. Check those brakes.

  • Winston Smith
    Winston Smith

    Please rerun this test in 2028 when the battery is 10 years old. Batteries do not age well. I drive my gas car wherever I want, and get gas when I need to.

  • Sam Boudreau
    Sam Boudreau

    according to your calculations, you have to stop every 3 hrs to spend an hour or so to charge back up? so if you drive 12 hrs, then you have to spend 4 hrs charging. wow time means nothing if you have to do that then.

    • Josh Hanley
      Josh Hanley

      I mean technically with your math that’s 3 stops for 1 hour. The reality is you will charge to 80% in about 40 minutes. The V3 chargers are rated up to 1,000 miles an hour so charging times are coming down fast.

  • eiji81

    Cool test. Thanks for the data. I think the difference between EV vs Gas cars is that a full tank of Gas can take you 400miles or more (stopping 5-10mins to fill up) compared to an EV that takes 30-40mins to full charge for 250miles. So if you do an apples to apples comparison based strictly on time, the gas car will have a shorter trip.

  • David Pulido
    David Pulido

    Retiringto Florida frm Shitcago jokers and once der i figure ill b commuting back to Shitcago to visit family and friends 1× -2× per year. Dat being said im going wi a CyberTruck wi tri motor jokers wish me luck! 🤞🤠👍

  • BunzeeBear

    When the road shows melt, it is not cold. This is not a car for THE COLD. As for batteries, I store mine in the freezer and they lose nothing once they are warmed up answer me that

  • Atomic Muffins
    Atomic Muffins

    More stops helps when you have kids as well; my kids have to stop every two to three hundred miles for a bathroom anyways.

  • Josh

    This video needs more views

  • George Murphy
    George Murphy

    Enjoyed the video. Good info for a dino ice gear head (admittedly interested in an ev toy) Your f150 xl-limited is flawed. Reg can 2wd xl vs. crew cab 4x4? No need to exaggerate. Point understood. I was surprised to understand how close the energy cost was ev vs ice.

  • Justin Erickson
    Justin Erickson

    Of course it can do it. But practicality does matter. It matters to me anyway. The biggest problem with EV's is the infrastructure and the charge time. There is also the pesky issue of somehow still collecting fuel taxes to pay for road maintenance. But the infrastructure issue is real and most people charge their cars at home, so they 95% of the time don't need a charging station. That makes getting the demand high enough to cover the cost of developing the infrastructure pretty tough. The government didn't develop gas stations or even subsidize them. Let the market do what it wants to do.

  • Alison Lewis
    Alison Lewis

    Why are the tires splitting on the trips? I am looking into this after having a SUBARU forester and my tires are solid, never have busted them driving. Is this normal? Or is this a TESLA thing?

  • Ian Davis
    Ian Davis

    Ok. Now. Do it with a 5 year old and a 6 month old that needs to use the restroom and wants snacks. Wife has to pee in a clean bathroom. Sorry. We're just not there yet. These charging stations are hardly in great locations to rest and recover for 25 minutes a pop. Random roadside attractions that are 80 mile detours? Forget those. I've almost run out of gas doing those in West Virginia. Can't imagine looking for a super charger around town.

  • Tom Webb
    Tom Webb

    For cold environments, I wonder why they don't include a liquid fuel combustion heater. You could even make sure was biofuel or renewable, especially if not needed often.

    • Shaggy Carton
      Shaggy Carton

      That would not be very convenient for the average Tesla driver but I like what your thinking

  • Dave Manley
    Dave Manley

    Looks like these cars come with a HUD too!

  • GoCoyote

    Hotels need to have chargers! Wake up to a nice warm fully charged car.

  • Jim Inverness
    Jim Inverness

    1. "super" charger? Poor choice of term for motorists. Could be worse though, you could call it turbocharging. 2. "Gas is pretty cheap right now" - Your point has been strengthened in the 4 months since your video with what's happening to gas prices now...

  • Brent Scott
    Brent Scott

    Living in central Alberta, winter driving results in a comparable loss of range with an ICE. Interesting comparison.

  • Eviel Kanievel
    Eviel Kanievel

    Sounds to me that instead of being an enjoyable trip it is a survival trip. No thanks.

  • Ken an Sharon
    Ken an Sharon

    O deg F is not that cold. In Ottawa -20F to -30F is a cold winter day.

  • Ken an Sharon
    Ken an Sharon

    Try plotting a route from Ottawa to kenora On Canada. If thats even possible.

  • John Savage
    John Savage

    This is crap! You're going to risk your life on an electric car? No!

  • Paul Axford
    Paul Axford

    A good apples to apples comparison. Except you kind of used an orange on the winter trip. Now you have to optimise the next summer trip to exploit low-SoC charging speeds.

  • Bill Thomas
    Bill Thomas

    Superchargers look to be stand-alone installations on the side of the road ie not part of a road house. Note: I'm not in the US and have never seen one. So does that mean you sat freezing at the side of the road for the eight hours you spent charging? Ever thought of hitch hiking? BTW why does everyone buy red Teslas? They would need a lot more cooling in summer [I live in the tropics and my aircon is not switch off for much of the year]

  • Freedoms

    I don't see being -18c being hard on a electric cars would say there would be difficulties when it's -40c. I still wear shorts and a light sweeter at -18c lol. (Manitoba Canada)

  • Anne N. Nimity
    Anne N. Nimity

    Hmm. I wonder what will happen to the price of electricity when the demands increase due to more bevs.

  • Anne N. Nimity
    Anne N. Nimity

    So we all will need to build heated garages in the north for carbon footprint there

  • KiotiD

    -18? im like always driving at -40! that's what i need to know

  • cassius969

    25 min. stop every 105 miles. Lol.

  • panicrev555

    You lost me on the MPG equivalents. If ICE cars got 118 MPG nobody would bother making electric cars.

  • MeaD

    In Sweden our gas prizes are so high that we buy a Tesla to negate that cost, we save about 50-70% in gas costs vs EV costs

  • Vincent Liu
    Vincent Liu

    My question is how can someone backup into that charger with a car that has 8 camera and sensors that tells u the exact distance between the object? Lmao

    • Grizz

      Maybe it wasn't a Tesla that hit the charger. Coulda been some drunk in his ride.

  • john dunbar
    john dunbar

    So what ? The bottom line is that we cannot continue to rely on fossil fuel powered vehicles no matter the problems of their environmentaly friendly alternatives. Besides, if you want to travel a long distance, take an electric train. If one isn't available on the route you want, then lobby the powers that be to provide it.

  • Robert Hoover
    Robert Hoover

    EV's + winter = a huge conundrum. If someone doesn't own a garage don't get a EV. If you're concerned about range anxiety EV's aren't for you (yet). Battery technology HAS to change from Li-ion tech. ME? I hate winter so give me an EV in Arizona. lol

  • s Peteydog
    s Peteydog

    Wow putting all that energy into where can I get my charge seems ridiculous.

  • Lightchaserphoto

    Thank you great info., you have alleviated some of my fears about a Tesla, I will be getting one hopefully fairly soon, the fastest one I can.

  • Alvin Yap
    Alvin Yap

    Now I remember why I subscribed, the cat.

  • Jody Pope
    Jody Pope

    need a -30c test, for Alberta in January --> March

  • Jay Gee
    Jay Gee

    For some folks electric cars may be a solution but the long trips, and having to rely on calculations and map plots (whether done by the car, or an engineer geek), is not going to be appealing to many folks it introduces worry and concern. What's more having to know and stick to a specific route may not be convenient (may not be tolerated) taking detours without careful planning for example. Managing your battery is a big deal with EV's. The technology has got to make transportation easier not harder for the average schmuck.

  • lawrence5153

    I like your cat. does he come with a Tesla?

  • David Kosciuk
    David Kosciuk

    You drove 2500 miles with an open cat litter box right behind you? That's some dedication.

  • Mayk Thewessen
    Mayk Thewessen

    in winter driving faster is beneficial since you have more waste heat and less time required to keep cabin up to temp

  • Mayk Thewessen
    Mayk Thewessen

    So use model 3 battery fast charging more at lower SoC and stop more often so you have more margin, can drive faster, and can charge more often at lower SoC

  • Mayk Thewessen
    Mayk Thewessen

    So model 3 with resistive heaters has 21% range drop in winter

  • Mayk Thewessen
    Mayk Thewessen

    41% range drop in winter conditions in average EV is huge!

  • Bharadwaj R
    Bharadwaj R

    Does it actually cost to charge your vehicle in tesla superchargers ?

  • Jay Jain
    Jay Jain

    Don’t you think a more practical test would be if you used the destination chargers or your level 1 or 2 charger at night when you were staying at the hotels for the three days?

  • Billie Boe
    Billie Boe

    With my ICE car it would cost me 360 USD to drive the same amount! It’s European gas cost

  • Jerad2142

    Choosing different charging stations to save 10 minutes of time... that's why I still drive gas. With that said I appreciate his honestly and depending on how much you make an hour would make it far more efficient.

  • anbu999

    Winter = normal car, Summer = electric car

  • Matt DeKok (Sillvva)
    Matt DeKok (Sillvva)

    I'm waiting until solid-state batteries are in production vehicles. Not only do they have a longer range (600 miles) and charge faster, but they are also supposedly cheaper.

  • TheCodingOwl

    The point about traveling by EV is, that you change the way you travel, BUT I will argue that the way we used to travel long distance wasn't that different, then with an EV, after all. We used to drive long distance (Germany to Spain) when I was young. It was a 1,400km ride and every time we stopped to fill up the gas tank, we sat down and ate at a restaurant or on a bench. These stops took up an hour of travel time, each, easily, so an EV would have been recharged long before we finished eating. It is honestly extremely rare to make such a trip in one consistent go and not stop for an hour to eat or even spread out your legs from time to time.

  • Jerah Barnett
    Jerah Barnett

    Probably late to the party but damn this dude sounds exactly like Neil Brennan.

  • The real Zack Snyder
    The real Zack Snyder

    When the technology and infrastructure gets good they will be awesome but for now i cant have one.

  • Nella well
    Nella well

    I would question those short charges vs. battery life, you'll only get so many cycles right?

    • Jan Junker
      Jan Junker

      I believe (but might be wrong) is that when you count cycles you count "full" cycles. And in general the battery like to stay put around half capability.

  • Jgburch

    8 hours out of 38 hours? The weight gain would be tremendous if you had to eat that many hours while your car charged. I'd rather have the 8 hours back so I could spend more time at the destination. And then again you've got another 8 hours lost on the return trip. Fun. Fun. Fun.

  • Black Dragon
    Black Dragon

    I haven’t seen None of theses Electric Car out when Houston, TX lost power, this year until power came back on, just unbelievable how people forget theses Car’s are useless in Cold Winter with limited range, and if you get stuck on the freeway you are doomed.

  • Black Dragon
    Black Dragon

    EV are junk

  • shortylickens69

    Its nice, I test drove one a couple years ago. Expensive but quality. I think I can wait another year or two. We need more and better chargers around the country. And my Nissan still works fine.

  • Christopher Levin
    Christopher Levin

    I ❤️Bucket

  • 4Lo

    I am really curious to know where these EPA range at speed numbers are available. You mention them at 11:47

  • Norberto Nova
    Norberto Nova

    Great video as usual, do you plan to make a video on dry steering?

  • Cr Hu
    Cr Hu

    20" wheels🙄.

  • Cr Hu
    Cr Hu

    Lithium ion batteries last longest when dis/charged between 30-70%. 80% is a fair target, and you should recharge as soon as you are at or below 30. And as noted this is faster because the last charge from 70-90% gets much slower. And you should only charge above 90% you should only do it if you believe you will be out of range of any charger.

  • Cr Hu
    Cr Hu

    Judging from the comments this is a cat video. 🤣

  • Kevin Connolly
    Kevin Connolly

    I’m in the uk and considering a m3 long range . It’s way cheaper than petrol we pay over £6 a gallon

  • Alessandro Fulignani
    Alessandro Fulignani

    Thank you, but i delive you should do a comparison with a Diesel car. With 60 Liters of diesel with my 4X4 200Hp Passat i use to drive for 1000Km..and my engine is getting old. If you do a comparison with a new generation 150Hp 4X2 VW car, with 40Liters of Diesel you will drive for 960Km....That's driving in normal mode. If you drive in Tesla mode (With an egg under the gas pedal)... well i guss you can drive for 200Km more.

  • DblOSmith

    What people don't know is that ICE doesn't have as much change in the winter BECAUSE ICE is so inefficient. They waste so much in sound and heat 100% of the time, that it doesn't take much to recoop some of that waste heat to heat the cabin.

  • kashyap amble
    kashyap amble

    I would happy to see electric vehicle basics concept series, as u already done for ic engine cars

  • Bern W
    Bern W

    Wow, $2.50/gal, gas cheap in Jan 2021 - 4 months later almost $4 per gallon and going up quickly. At least we don't have to put up with mean tweets!

  • Bern W
    Bern W

    Can you run the HVAC while charging?

  • Scott Reynolds
    Scott Reynolds

    Wow, what horrible mess, I'll stick with gas.

  • richie

    Tons and tons of really useful information. And of all the cross country Tesla videos I have watched this one would give me the most confidence to venture outside of Phoenix AZ - that is - once my Model 3 arrives next month! Starting out the longest trip will be to the Fry's Food down the street.


    I love the cat!

  • A C
    A C

    8hrs charging on a 2k mi road trip vs maybe 40 min fueling in a ICE car, yeah no. Stick local with EVs is the message I got from this. And a near 20% drop in range is silly.

  • Coyote112 12
    Coyote112 12

    Sounds like a major pain in the ass. My wife is already impatient as is stopping at a gas station during a road trip.

  • Claudio Wenzel
    Claudio Wenzel

    I think is very cute when someone says EVs are bad because you spend so much time charging them when in a long road trip. As if everyone does that all the time.

  • Claude Kment
    Claude Kment

    Unfortunately he talks too much. Many posters show themselves and are motor mouths. Keep it simple we don't care what you look like. A few quick video clips and written data.keep trap closed.

  • ObiWan PEZ
    ObiWan PEZ

    "I'll be keeping the cabin at a comfortable 70ºF." Me, from New England: "I'll be keeping the cabin at a comfortable 64ºF." *drives 20+ miles further every charge*

  • Great Awakening
    Great Awakening

    This has a lot of losses in one night. There's problems. Thank you for your videos!

  • Mike Post
    Mike Post

    For around town and daily commuting electric is great, starting the day with a full charge and pre heating/cooling the car in a garage while connected to power, if you have one, is a nice bonus, plus a climate controlled place to sleep if your SO kicks you out for the night lol. Now for a road trip, it isn't for me, I do a slightly over 1000 mile drive a few times a year and it isn't a sightseeing trip, I want to make good time, at this point in time it would be impossible for an electric car to get there in the 13-14 hours it typically takes me (I don't stop much and drive fairly fast), it would require a 2 day trip with a hotel, any savings the electric car had vs my 45+ MPG gas car are gone because of that.

  • Joel Chambers
    Joel Chambers

    The charge time per stop is the biggest issue with EV and why I think Hydrogen is going to win the hearts of many. A 40min stop every few hundred mil would be unacceptable for any sort of real world long roadtrip

  • Aussie MGTOW
    Aussie MGTOW

    Dont know why they dont use the heat from the motors for heating.

  • Taha Autos
    Taha Autos

    Really appreciate this info, Canada gets harsh weather. Could you try this experiment with the following vehicles: HUMMER EV, mustang EV, and Mercedes EQS? Thank you

  • scrubby Bard
    scrubby Bard

    Just seeing the video title made me miserable, can't imagine somehow deciding to get one

  • AlightBULLDOG

    Spending at the very least 3x longer at a power station and that's giving it the benefit of the doubt that it's only taking 20 minutes per charge and that the gas mileage I would get is worse than what I actually get in my half ton. And if I took a more efficient car like a new SUV which still isn't the most fuel efficient it would spend even less time at a station.

  • Hell_Pike

    They will probably do more in the future to recoup heat lost in the car, from the brakes specifically they could scoop air and try to capture heat and maybe even from the shocks

  • Paul Popoff
    Paul Popoff

    -18C is cold, but it's not extremely cold, I would like to see how it behaves at -30C. The problem is that it's hard to find a civilized place with Tesla chargers. (even in Russia.. Especially in Russia)

  • Torntoad T. Horntoad III
    Torntoad T. Horntoad III

    Driving a Tesla allows you to be responsible for causing a much wider range of environmental damages than you could cause by driving an i.c.e. car. The Tesla probably actually has a larger CO2 footprint though, which could theoretically slow down the coming next impending ice age. If earth has a large volcanic eruption or if the earth gets a period of reduced solar heating, then theoretically the greater amount of total CO2 produced in the manufacturing and driving of a Tesla could offset all of the mining, deforestation, and chemical pollution caused by Tesla manufacturing. Elon will probably destroy planet earth anyway though, because he's promoting cryptos which are consuming massive amounts of power which he believes can come from nature for free.

  • Carnage88

    Real world case study of a cold trip in an EV. Do the same trip in a Leaf + next time lol