In a recent blog we touched on some of the changes that can occur with a Tesla rental when the temperatures get really cold. What it boils down to is that the Tesla range will be reduced when it gets too cold, and that recharging a cold Tesla takes more planning. After all, we spent dozens of blogs telling you how great Teslas are, so we thought we could spend a couple telling you about a couple of negative aspects that only occur during the coldest days of winter.
So where’s that second blog about how Teslas work in winter? Right here! And don’t worry, they’re not all negative. In fact, when you rent a Tesla you might actually be safer than you are in a standard gas-powered car.
The Regenerative Brakes
If you’re not familiar with regenerative brakes, here’s a quick primer. There’s a lot of kinetic energy in a car that’s moving, and when you depress the brakes that energy has to go somewhere. In a traditional car that energy is absorbed by the brakes and released as heat, so it’s essentially wasted. But with regenerative braking, that energy is captured and used to charge the battery!
When you start up a Tesla that’s been left out in the cold, regenerative braking won’t work. Now don’t panic, because the traditional brakes will still work! But, because the batteries are too cold to be charged without damaging them, that energy has to be bled traditionally as heat instead of being used to charge the vehicle. Once the batteries warm up, regenerative braking will return.
Your Cabin Heater Becomes a Power Sink
Okay, so it’s cold outside. Really cold. While the cabin heater usually doesn’t draw much power, it can use up to 6kW on the coldest mornings. That’s the same as the amount of power as you’d use to go 40 miles per hour! The colder is it, and the warmer you want to be, will determine how far you can go. Luckily the wattage draw from the cabin heater will get better as the car warms up.
The Center of Gravity
Because of the evenly-distributed nature of the battery under the car, Teslas perform well on the ice and snow. The center of gravity is certainly more centered than on your average vehicle.
Snow and ice lead to accidents no matter what kind of vehicle you’re in, so you might as well be in a safe one! Teslas receive five-star safety ratings (the highest possible) from the NHTSA, because Tesla Motors are as focused on making a safe car as they are on making a safe one.
The fact is that all cars, gasoline and electric, do worse in cold weather. And just as you have to make allowances for your current gasoline or hybrid, it’s important to know what to expect when you rent a Tesla. Are the relatively small problems associated with the cold insurmountable? Well, considering that Norway has the most Teslas after the United States, we don’t really think so! Check out our Boston Tesla rentals right here!