On behalf of GSD Rides, we’d like to wish you a Happy New Year! In terms of growth for us, it was hard to beat 2016, because we added two new Teslas for rent and have pre-ordered another. People certainly love renting Teslas in Boston, and we’re more than happy to accommodate.
Of course, with the new year comes cold and snow, so you might me wondering how well your Tesla rental will do now that it’s winter? Considering the technology behind it, it’s a very legitimate question. After all, batteries lose their charge faster when it’s cold. It’s true of all battery-powered devices, whether they’re nickel-cadmium, lead acid, or alkaline. Unfortunately, it’s also true of the lithium-ion batteries in our Tesla rentals. Here’s how it could affect you during your Tesla rental.
When dealing with your Tesla rental, the coldest weather we experience experience in Boston could reduce the range by as much as 40%. Because Teslas already have the longest range of electric vehicles, you’ll still be getting around 120 miles from them before you have to recharge. Considering how most people drive them around town, that’s really not a concern.
In a traditional gasoline-powered car, there’s a relatively small battery that’s trying to get things going every time you turn the key. When it’s cold, it’s harder for it to provide the electrons to start your car, and you’ll hear that “whir whir whir” as the starter motor tries to ignite the gasoline. On top of that, gasoline has to be vaporized in order to burn, and it’s harder to vaporize cold gasoline.
We’re happy to let you know that there’s no change in how a Tesla starts up. There’s no warm-up period like there is with some cars, so you can sit down and go with without any delay. That brings up another interesting point…
As we mentioned, the battery in a traditional gasoline car doesn’t really have to do much. Once it gets started, the alternator takes over and it just sits there until the next time you have to start things off. But if the battery can’t get things started in the first place, you’re out of luck. Dead battery = you’re stuck.
When it comes to Teslas, the battery is the main event! Instead of a 39-pound lead-acid battery, you have 1,200 pounds of power under your Tesla just waiting to release its energy. While the amount of power might be diminished by the cold, what each cell is producing is available for you to use and you can drive normally. You might not get to Ludicrous mode, but when the road are icy that’s really not what you need anyway!
Okay, so we just pointed out a negative, positive, and positive, so let’s end with a mixed bag. When your Tesla rental has been sitting out in sub-zero temperatures, you can’t charge it. Trying to do so would harm the battery cells, so the car won’t allow it. Fortunately, once you turn it on it will use some of its power as a battery heater. This will allow you to recharge it once you get to the next station.
Cold-weather driving can take some getting used to, but rent a Tesla for long enough and you’ll adapt. And don’t worry, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know.