Tesla vehicles can travel some of the longest driving ranges of any other production electric vehicle on the market. It is natural for estimated range to change, particularly over time or with a recent change in temperature. Read more about the range and efficiency of your Tesla.
Range is the estimated distance your Tesla can travel on a single charge. For battery-powered cars, you can also think of range as the amount of energy your battery has stored at a given point in time. Tesla drivers can choose to display range as either a percentage of battery energy remaining, or an approximation of remaining kilometers that can be driven.
Displayed range in your Tesla is adapted based on fixed EPA test data, not your personal driving patterns. It’s natural for this to fluctuate slightly based on how you charge the battery throughout its life and how the onboard computer calculates range.
Your Tesla’s actual range depends on many factors, particularly your environment and personal driving habits. The best way to monitor your personal range is with the Energy app, located on your Tesla’s touchscreen.
The Energy app located on your touchscreen is designed to help you maximize efficiency and range. The Energy app lets you:
- Monitor the amount of energy your vehicle uses while driving and parked.
- See how much energy is consumed by different vehicle components, driving behaviors and environmental conditions.
- Compare the actual energy used to the trip projection and the battery indicator.
- Receive personalized suggestions for using energy more efficiently based on your driving patterns.
To access the Energy app, open the apps menu on your vehicle’s touchscreen and select the Energy icon.
Your driving behaviors and environment play a big role in achievable range. To maximize range, it’s important to watch your driving speed and keep regenerative braking in its ‘Standard’ setting, if selectable regenerative braking is equipped on your vehicle.
As you drive, be mindful of common reasons your range may decrease more rapidly:
- High driving speeds
- Energy from speed, or kinetic energy, is proportional to the square of the speed. By doubling your speed, you increase energy consumption by a factor of 4.
- Cold outside temperatures
- Increases tire and air drag.
- Stop-and-go driving in hot or cold weather
- Tesla vehicles are efficient in stop and go traffic but in high or low temperatures, the climate system runs for a longer period of time without the vehicle moving.
- Short trips in hot or cold weather
- When the vehicle is hot or cold, the climate system will run at full power for a few minutes to get the cabin to desired temperature. In extreme cold temperatures, Tesla vehicles will also use energy to heat the battery.
- Uphill driving
- Inclement weather such as rain, snow and headwinds
- Head or side winds will increase air drag on the vehicle. Rain and snow increase tire drag.
- Use of after-market equipment (wheels, tires, roof or trailer-hitch racks, etc.)
Your Tesla vehicle has an electric powertrain that is highly efficient and, therefore, does not produce much heat. Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, however, use the wasted heat from engine inefficiencies to heat the cabin. With Tesla, your vehicle generates heat for the cabin which consumes the energy from the battery. If equipped, your Tesla vehicle uses a heat pump which provides heating capabilities to reduce range consumption and to heat up the cabin while driving. To maximize heating efficiency, set the climate control, seat and steering wheel heating to “Auto.”
You can improve efficiency of the cabin heating by reducing your selected acceleration mode, allowing the heat pump to take more heat from the battery to efficiently heat the cabin instead of maintaining the battery’s ability to provide peak acceleration performance. ‘Chill’ is the most energy efficient mode, especially in cold weather. To adjust your acceleration mode, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Pedals & Steering’ > ‘Acceleration’ from the vehicle touchscreen to adjust the amount of acceleration you experience when driving. Select from one of the following modes:
- ‘Chill’ limits acceleration for a gentle ride and optimizing cabin heating in cold weather.
Note: When Chill is selected, Chill displays on the touchscreen above the driving speed.
- ‘Standard’ provides the normal level of acceleration on non-Performance vehicles.
- ‘Sport’ provides the normal level of acceleration on Performance vehicles.
Though some range effects aren’t completely avoidable in cold temperatures, there are some ways to mitigate them.
- Keep your vehicle plugged in whenever possible. This will help the battery retain some heat. The onboard computer will automatically prevent over-charging.
- Precondition the battery before turning on your Tesla vehicle. When possible, plug in and charge while you precondition. Preconditioning will heat the battery and allow the heat pump system to use that heat in the battery to heat the cabin and battery when driving.
- Set the climate system on Auto and adjust the temperature as needed. Minimize the difference between outside temperature and set temperature on the climate control to reduce consumption.
- If equipped, set steering wheel and seat heaters on Auto.
If you expect to drive in low temperatures, follow these winter driving tips.
- Try to avoid keeping the battery below 20% charge for an extended period of time. When the battery is too low in charge, the battery icon will turn yellow and the available range will drop if the vehicle is parked in colder temperatures.
- Charge the battery to the appropriate charge limit for your vehicle based on the installed battery. To adjust the charge limit for your vehicle, open the Charging screen on your touchscreen or in the Tesla app and drag the slider. Different batteries require different charging routines for optimal performance. Your vehicle’s touchscreen will display the recommended charge limit for your battery.
In addition to what’s been covered, here are a few extra ways to drive more efficiently and conserve range.
- Maintain your vehicle’s tire pressures. Inflation recommendations are listed inside the driver side door jamb.
- Remove unnecessary cargo to lighten your load – more weight requires more energy to move the vehicle.
- Remove roof racks or rear racks when they are not in use.
- Reduce aerodynamic drag. Close all windows and change air suspension (if equipped) to ‘Low’ or ‘Very Low’ when driving at highway speeds. For Model 3 cars with aero wheels, install aero wheel covers.
Why is my displayed estimated range decreasing faster than kilometers driven?
Displayed range is based on regulating agency certification (EPA) and is not adapted based on driving pattern. Your driving behaviors and environmental conditions can impact your vehicle’s efficiency, and therefore its range. To see estimated range based on personalized energy consumption, open the Energy app.
After charging is completed, why is the estimated range less than expected?
It is normal for estimated range to decrease slightly over the first few months before leveling off. Over time, you may see a gradual, but natural, decrease in range at full charge – this depends on factors such as Supercharging regularly or the mileage and age of the battery. Your Tesla will inform you in the unlikely event a hardware issue is causing excessive battery or range degradation.
Why does estimated range decrease overnight while my car is off?
It is expected for a Tesla car to consume around 1% of charge per day while parked. In some cases, you may notice that consumption is higher. We recommend deactivating features such as preconditioning, Sentry Mode, Keep Climate On and any aftermarket equipment when not needed. It’s best to keep the vehicle plugged in when using those features when possible.
Note: Aftermarket equipment connected to the 12V system and/or third party mobile applications which collect data about your vehicle can decrease range while parked and reduce the battery lifespan. Tesla does not recommend using aftermarket equipment, and any damage to your vehicle’s hardware or software resulting from unauthorized access to vehicle data through non-Tesla parts or accessories is not covered by warranty.
Does outside temperature impact range?
Yes. Range can be impacted by extreme cold or hot temperatures; however, the impact will seem more noticeable in cold weather. Tesla high voltage batteries are regulated to keep the battery temperature within optimal boundaries. Even if the vehicle is not being operated, the high voltage battery temperature is monitored and regulated to prolong its lifespan and performance – this is why you may notice the compressor running even while parked. If you’re driving in low temperatures, view tips for driving in colder weather.