How to Maximize Range on Your Tesla: A Complete Guide


maximize tesla range

Having a Tesla comes with different nuances than driving a gas-powered automobile. Charging and range are important to understand. One of the most important things you can do is keep up with your vehicle’s range. Ensure that it lives its most extended and most productive life while avoiding premature battery degradation. How can you maximize the range on your Tesla?

Similar to improving miles per gallon in a gas powered vehicle, some of the same techniques can be used on electric vehicles. There are other factors, like battery degradation and weather conditions that can impact your range. Read on and learn what it takes to maximize your Tesla range.

How You Drive Has an Impact on Your Driving Range

One of the main things that isn’t covered in your range recharge number is how you are driving. You need to know that driving erratically and going faster than everyone on the interstate will significantly reduce range. To conserve battery power, it is best to drive conservatively and avoid flooring the accelerator.

The best way to learn about your Tesla is to get out there and drive it. It will be a fun ride, but keep notes to determine how much power will be used on your commute and drives to your most visited places. Be sure to take in all variables and record them for your most accurate estimates.

The Weather Will Affect Your Tesla’s Range

If you live in a cold environment, be prepared for your Tesla to use more energy when the temperature begins to drop. The batteries and electrical system have a way of using excess heat to build more power, but a significant amount is also used to get the car to comfortable temps on the inside. 

One of the most important things to remember when driving your Tesla in the elements is that you can always prepare for them. If the days are warm, you can expect to ride with the windows down and AC off. During the cold, be ready to wear your jacket and hat to provide the same heat as the car. Heated steering wheels and seats use far less energy than the vehicle’s climate control. If your Tesla is equipped with heating steering and seats, be sure to use them when it’s cold.

The Electric System is a Drain on the Batteries

The large touchscreen monitor on the dash is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to electronics on the car’s inside. There are other computer systems that will have an impact on your car’s range. You should learn which systems can be powered down to see if they can help give you just a bit more range.

Driving Uphill Places Extreme Strain on the Tesla Battery

Climbing a mountain or traversing a series of steep hills can cause substantial energy use. Going into the hills will drain the battery faster than you could imagine.

Pulling extra weight is a major killer of range. If you have one of the models with a towing option, you can pull a small trailer, but the range is severely limited. You should know how far you need to travel and if there will be hills or sections of large uphill grades. The importance of understanding the hills can mean the difference between getting there and being stranded.

Monitor Your Power Gauge to Extend Range

Inside your Tesla, a gauge shows you how much energy you are expending/creating. You should try and make it so that the meter reads in the 0kW range. This means that the car is functioning off the energy that it is created while in transit. The braking system and other parts of the drivetrain create heat that helps power the batteries.

One of the things to look for is hills that can be coasted and places that you can stay away from other cars. Being away from other vehicles on the roadway ensures that you don’t waste any energy that could be stolen by having to jump on the brakes or impede your coasting. Build a large area between you and other cars on the road to prevent energy losses.

Paying extra attention to the power gauge is going to pay dividends. Keeping your car at a net-zero energy usage means that you will have to charge the vehicle less often. Less charging means that your power bill is drastically cut as well as time spent in one of the Tesla supercharging kiosks.

Stay Away from Congested Traffic Areas

Stopping and starting the car repeatedly will have a severe effect on how much energy is used. The strain of the car’s weight, hills or no hills, will keep the battery under constant stress if you are in a congested area. If you live in a large city, you can expect to spend more time recharging if caught up in the traffic.

Learning to drive on side-streets and backroads will go a long way to keeping your range up. Getting to know how your Tesla operates in traffic will give you a better indication of what the stop and go traffic can do to your battery. Braking will increase the heat on the computer sensors and cut down on the energy the car can recoup.

Sitting in traffic will have no ill effects on the range of your ride. Preparing for the eventual traffic jam or traffic problem will be critical to the range of your car. Know the traffic conditions before you set out to keep from spending too needless time on the roadway.

Keep the Cargo to a Minimum in Your Tesla

Another big thing that will crush your range is extra weight. Towing a trailer or having a cargo space full of items will cut miles off your range that could see you not make your destination. You should make sure that you don’t have an excess of items as too much weight will drain the battery like you would not believe.

For some models, those with the towing package, you could see the range of your Tesla halved by adding an excess amount of weight. Be prepared if you will tow this kind of weight by knowing where the nearest charging stations are located and making sure that they are on your route.

Passengers are cargo. While you can’t always know the weight of all the people in the car, you can make an educated guess and decide if you need more time to charge. Always try and err on the side of too much range as opposed to not enough. If you are a sticker, you can load the seats with weights and check the mileage for yourself.

Find the Actual Range of Your Tesla

One of the biggest things that stands out about Tesla is the EPA rating for mileage. There are two schools of thought about the ratings, but you should know that by keeping a record of your trip, you begin to form your range that could be much different than the EPA ratings. Be meticulous with your documents, use dashcam videos if possible, and determine how to drive your Tesla.

A combination of all the factors above will give you the actual range of your car. Learning how to balance all of the elements is going to take some time and riding. Remember to adapt the driving style that will give maximum performance from the car and the batteries. Also, drive it like a stock car. You have to know what it will do in a pinch as well.

Being stranded is one of the biggest fears of the Tesla owner. Going entirely without power in the Tesla is hard to do as it will retain some energy to keep critical parts of the car going. If you can run it all down, be prepared to have a tow truck help you to the nearest charging station or your home.

Ways to Protect Tesla Battery Life

Knowing how to protect your battery will be a massive factor in keeping the car’s range consistent and dependable. Chemical reactions inside the battery are what make the whole car work. There are ways to perform maintenance tasks with the batteries to help you reign in wasted energy and possibly improve battery performance over a while.

Some ways to protect your Tesla battery life are:

  • Regular Charging Sessions – A great way to keep your battery functioning at its top level is to keep a regular charging session. A typical session will keep the battery from being overstressed and forcing other portions of the systems to fail. Also, it allows the battery to function regularly without impedance from the supercharger.
  • Keep Away From the Supercharger – While Tesla Superchargers are convenient and fast, they can be hard on the battery. Try and charge your car with the charger in your home to protect against surges. Superchargers could break down the battery over time. 
  • Lean on the Brakes for Extra Power – Innovation is the name of the game at Tesla and braking is a way to create power. The braking system can save heat generated by braking and keep it to improve range or give you more energy for outlets while riding inside the car.
  • Protect the Battery in Cold Weather – Cold is hard on everything, especially electronics. If you live in a place that stays below freezing for large portions of the year, you could need to have a warmer installed to keep the chemicals inside the battery from becoming too frozen to function.
  • Regular Maintenance Sessions – Make sure that you go into the dealership for your maintenance sessions regularly. Hooking the car up to the sophisticated computers will let the mechanics know if any issues keep the vehicle from performing its best. Having a good mechanic can take the Tesla a long way.

Tesla Range by Model

Tesla has some fantastic models on the market. They had come a long way since 2012 when their range topped out at around 260 miles. They come with all the bells and whistles of modern automobiles and have ranges that can exceed 400 miles. Each of the models is stylish and will make you the envy of the neighborhood.

Don’t be fooled. Tesla also makes one of the fastest production cars on the planet and have a truck that broke the internet the day it was announced. The Tesla cars aren’t just eco-friendly box-type cars. They have an attitude and will outperform any other electric vehicles that are currently on the market. 

The Model S is Long Range and Great Looking

A Model S Tesla is an amazing car with a 400-mile range, depending on the model type. An upgrade for the Model S, called the Long Range Plus, integrates several aspects of range saving ideas that make the car the leader in battery life and range. The computer systems are finely tuned to create the perfect performance out of the Model S.

One of the most significant ways to cut weight in the new model type was to rebuild the seats. Tesla went back to square one with the seating and even changed the materials they use to construct all interior seating in their cars. That’s an attention to detail that most other car companies have never had the foresight to use.

Learning how to cut weight from the car has become an art form at Tesla. They took their entire body design back to basics and even cut weight from the wheels. They have changed how the air conditioning unit conducts air from the outside to ensure the car gets fresh air as it moves to save extra weight made up of fans.

A Model 3 is Eco-Friendly and Stylish

The Model 3 has a range of 350 miles and is a dual motor rear-wheel-drive car. The Model S was based on the 3’s design and is one of the leading models to undergo a significant weight reduction. Even though it is a light car, it still maintains enough strength to surpass all of the collision and roll-over tests that the mad scientists at Tesla could throw at it.

A great thing about the Model 3 is the dual motors. It sounds like something out of a Hot Wheels catalog, but the Model 3’s dual engines can propel the car upwards of 160mph. It can even make the trek from zero to 60 in 3.1 seconds. That makes it fast and able to travel just as far as any gas-powered vehicle.

Tesla Model 3 is one of the fastest charging models on the market. When it is used in a Tesla charging location, it can acquire a charge that will give it 175 more miles of range in only about 15 minutes. That is great for people who want to take an extended trip but don’t want to spend it sitting in a supercharge location.

The Model X is the Buzz of the New Car World

Nothing catches the eye like the gull-wing doors of the Model X. The Model X is the SUV model Tesla and has a range of 371 miles. That’s a long way to go with the seven passengers that will fit inside. The car is one of the hottest models on the market and will become a favorite driver as soon as you take it out on the street.

The Model X stands up with all the other Teslas in its range capacity. In a 15 minute window, at a Tesla supercharger station, the Model X can get a 140-mile charge. Having an extra 140 miles on your battery will allow you to make spontaneous trips with your family.

The Model X will go from zero to sixty in 2.6 seconds, making it the fastest SUV on the market. The AWD model allows each of the tires to gain traction and enables them to climb hills and make passes when feeling frisky.

Tesla Model Y is Economical and Great for Driving in the City

The Model Y is a fantastic vehicle in that it is so versatile and allows you to carry some light cargo if needed. It has around 70 cubic feet of space once you lay down the back seats. While it looks like a smaller car, there is no space wasted inside of this eco-monster machine. The AWD feature allows you to power when you need it for hill climbing and long commutes.

When it comes to having a safe and efficient car, the Model Y is the one to shoot for. They are low set to the ground, which makes them safe and less drag from the air can increase the range of your ride by more than you’d think. Less drag means you can build up serious speed on the downhills.

One of the best things about the Model Y is how well it takes a charge. Like the other standard superchargers on the interstate, Tesla’s charger will give the Model Y a 160-mile boost in just under 15 minutes. That means you can completely recharge the drive time in a half-hour and back on the road for another 320 miles of driving.

The Tesla Roadster is the Fastest Solar Powered Car on the Planet

The top dog in the Tesla garage is the Roadster. It will travel over 600 miles on a single charge and can reach speeds of over 250 miles an hour. It will make the trip from 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds. Also making it the quickest car of any type on the planet. You will pay for it as the price tag is over $200,000.

When it comes to aerodynamics and cutting weight in cars, the Roadster is a testament to how much Tesla cares about efficiency. They use high-quality aluminum that is light and will withstand the speed forces placed on the car.

The Roadster is the king of battery-powered cars. While Tesla has spent the majority of its time building towards an eco-friendly mid-sized sedan, the Roadster shows the company’s potential to build a vehicle that can perform as well or better than other companies that have been on the market for decades.

What Makes Tesla Batteries so Potent

Tesla is not only the maker of fine automobiles and solar panels, but they make some of the best batteries on the planet. The battery’s power and efficiency have made it one of the most profitable companies in the world. When the battery size changed in the early 2010s, there was little to be excited about. Today their batteries boast over 600-mile ranges in some models.

Today, the batteries inside the Tesla model cars are the height of technology. They were created by Tesla owner Elon Musk and a group of the best battery scientists on the planet to make a record-breaking and industry standard-setting battery. They have also pioneered several different types of recycling of expensive metals like cobalt.

Being able to recycle their old batteries makes them available for upgrades. These upgrades can drive the prices down for newer models, and the consensus is that Tesla will begin to create an electric car battery that will cost around $80. This is astounding as the other leading battery development companies in the market are shooting for $100 with no finish line in sight.

Battery Life is Crucial to a Tesla’s Range

Back in the day, before anyone knew what a Tesla Model S was or how the car could perform such feats, the haters began to say that the batteries would degrade over time. The main argument behind this was the amount of money needed to sink into degraded batteries would negate the savings in fuel costs. The haters couldn’t have been more wrong.

When the first Model S rolled off the assembly line in 2012, users began to document the car’s performance and eventually came up with some startling facts about the battery’s performance. More than half of the users who responded to the call were noted to have less than 5% degradation in battery performance.

People wildly underestimated the company’s ability to improve on its designs. Recently, Tesla became one of the first trillion-dollar companies, and Elon Musk became the richest man on the planet. That didn’t stop the innovation; this year, they announced a new way to bundle the batteries to remove a step from the assembly process. 

Conclusion

A Tesla’s range is one of the most important things to test when breaking them in. It can be affected by several different factors like the weather and how you drive your vehicle. Using your speed to move downhill and ceasing to use electronics inside the car will allow you a few extra miles if you continue to watch your speed.

The batteries are what make the Tesla such a formidable automobile. They have ranges that far outstrip their competitors, and each year they produce a new model that has further improvements. A company dedicated to perfecting its craft, like Tesla, goes beyond making a product and begins to create art.

Fabville

Kevin has been involved in the custom automotive scene since he bought his first mini-truck in high school and began modifying it. He also has interest in sustainability, DIY projects, and various forms of fabrication. Seeing improved technology of batteries, he has made a concentrated effort over the last few years to transition away from fossil fuels. From lawn care to automotive.

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