As an intense cold snap grips Canada and parts of the northern United States, many car owners are finding their vehicles struggling to start or maintain performance in the frigid temperatures. However, a recent test by a Tesla owner suggests that electric vehicles can handle extreme cold weather far better than many people expect.
Test 1 – Sentry Mode On:
Bruce conducted an experiment to determine the battery drain impact of enabling Sentry Mode in extreme cold temperatures. With the security feature on, his Tesla lost 7% battery capacity overnight as temperatures reached around -40°C. This suggests cold weather resiliency remains robust even when battery-dependent features like sentry cameras are active, as their background processes have little effect.
Test 2 – Sentry Mode Off:
He again tested his Model 3’s cold weather performance by parking it outside overnight as temperatures plummeted to -40°C. Starting at 78% charge, the Tesla lost 4% battery capacity over 12 hours with Sentry Mode disabled. This demonstrates the vehicle’s ability to withstand extreme low temperatures with minimal battery drain.
Not only did the Tesla maintain most of its charge, but he reported that the door handles worked normally despite the icy conditions. He was also able to drive the vehicle without needing to precondition the battery. This is good news for current and prospective EV owners concerned about range loss and performance in cold weather climates.
While gas-powered cars also suffer decreases in fuel economy and potential failure to start in extremely frigid temperatures, Bruce’s test suggests modern electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 have closed this performance gap significantly. As more auto manufacturers roll out EV options, tests like this demonstrate their viability even in areas known for harsh winter conditions.
With many countries targeting aggressive electric vehicle adoption goals in the coming decades, proving EVs can withstand freezing weather will be key to consumer confidence and meeting policymaker targets. Tesla’s apparent resilience is therefore great news for the overall electric transition journey.