What to do with your Tesla when going on vacation or storing it for longer periods of time

By Nuno Cristovao

We’ve covered how much to charge your Tesla for everyday use, but when going on vacation or planning to store an electric car we have just a little extra planning to do.

Always keep your Tesla plugged in when going on vacation

The most crucial part of a Tesla is the battery. One advantage Tesla has over the competition is their excellent battery regulation. Batteries in a Tesla last longer when compared to the competition due to Tesla’s excellent battery monitoring.

There are four major contributors that lead to lithium-ion battery degradation, which we would like to minimize. The first two we don’t have much control over, which are the age of the battery and the number of charge cycles (the number of times the battery has been charged and discharged).

However, the last two, we do have control over. Lithium-ion batteries don’t like to remain in a very high, or very low state of charge. That doesn’t mean we should never charge to 100% or use it down to 5%, but it’d be wise to minimize those occurrences. The last thing is the temperature of the battery. For the most part, Tesla handles this automatically. The batteries are heated and cooled to stay in a healthy temperature range without you ever knowing, even if the car is off. The car will also limit power when driving if necessary.

If you’re going on vacation and leaving your car at home or at the airport here are some things to consider.

If you can leave your car plugged in while at home or the airport

  • If you can leave your car charging, then absolutely do this, this will make things much easier and let the car control everything itself without you ever having to worry about it
  • Lithium-ion batteries are best stored at around 50% of charge, so set your charge level in the Tesla app or the car to 50%. The car will automatically use some energy when needed to cool or heat the battery, and it’ll get this power directly from the power source instead of Tesla’s batteries.
  • Keep the car in a garage or under a cover if possible, this will help keep your car away from extreme elements such as snow, ice and heat. In general, this is just good practice.

If you can not leave your car plugged in at home or the airport

  • If you can not leave your car plugged in while going on vacation there are several more things we need to account for to prevent any possible issues longer term.
  • If the weather is extreme, whether it’s extremely cold or hot and you can not park in an isolated area and are going away for more than two weeks, then you may want to consider a different mode of transportation. If the car battery is drained completely, it could lead to battery damage since the car can no longer keep the batteries at an ideal temperature and it’ll no longer be able to protect itself from harsh weather.
  • If you're going to be gone more than a few days, try to have your car charged to 90% as it will consume some energy as it's parked. If you're only leaving for a day or two, then a 70 - 80% charge should be more than fine.
  • Since your car will be unplugged and unable to charge, you can help preserve the battery by turning off Sentry Mode if it won’t be needed as this consumes quite a bit of energy.
  • You will also want to turn off Stand By Mode in the Autopilot menu. Standy By Mode keeps your car's computer on so that you have instant access to features such as Summon. However, it does use additional energy.
  • To further preserve the car's battery, you can turn off Cabin overheat protection, which is used to keep the cabin from overheating. The car attempts to keep the cabin below 105°F.
  • Keep the car away from harsh weather, if it's winter then keeping it in a parking garage and away from wind will help. If it's the dead of summer, then also try to keep it under a covered area in the shade if possible.
  • If you’d like to check in on your car, it will need to have a good cellular connection.
  • Before leaving, confirm that the car has a good connection so that you can check on the battery level if needed. However, do not open up the Tesla app often, as doing so will wake up the car and keep it awake for about 15 minutes, consuming more energy. Only check on the car if you absolutely need to.

Keep in mind the amount of charge you’ll need in your car when heading back home or reaching your first charging destination. If you’re leaving your car plugged in, then you can expect the car to remain at the same charge percentage if there are no power outages. However, if the car is not plugged in, it may have a significantly less charge when you return.

As you can tell, it will be much easier and safer if you’re able to leave your car plugged in while going on vacation, especially if it’s for an extended period of time.

If you plan to store your Tesla for longer periods of time, you should find a place to keep your Tesla plugged in and follow the “if you can leave your car plugged in” tips above.

Two Door Cybertruck is Unlikely Now, But May be on the Radar

By Kevin Armstrong
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
MissJilianne/Twitter

The Tesla crowd of enthusiasts has eyes everywhere. Twitter user @MissJilianne caused quite a stir after visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which recently opened a new Tesla exhibit. The Model S Plaid owner and FSD Beta tester posted a few pictures of her visit, including some artwork at the Cybertruck display.

The artistic design shows the Cybertruck in a two-door version. Miss Jilianne asks: Are we not going to talk about the beautiful artwork of a two door Cybertruck displayed at the @Petersen_Museum Tesla exhibit?

Her tweet generated discussion on social platforms and Tesla blogs, and it had mixed reactions. @KounisTou tweeted: It's not only that, but it has a totally different, dare I say better looking? A-pillar design with a wraparound windshield like early Semi prototype. Looks great. Except maybe that it looks a bit too much like a Lamborghini.

That may be the biggest clue to this spectacular piece of art. Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, is a huge fan of the “wedge” design. He grew up with Lamborghini Countach posters on his wall. Other responses to the picture believe it is the origin of the piece of art. It is likely an early sketch of what the Cybertruck could look like, and there were likely several. Given von Holzhausen’s love for the Countach, this is quite likely an early concept he was sketching out.

Elon Musk has publicly stated his support for a smaller truck. On November 24, 2019, he tweeted: Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.

However, the four-door version is due in 2023. CNBC interviewed von Holzhausen right in front of the Cybertruck. He stated, “Cybertruck will look, for all intents and purposes, just like the one behind us, maybe slightly smaller, a few percentages, but in general, this is what the truck will look like.”

Still, the designer did say something else during that interview that leaves the door open for a possible two-door Cybertruck. The creative mind behind the Model S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck was asked to pick a favorite. His response was, "My favorite one is the one that is coming. I can't talk about (it).”

For a man that loves sports cars, it was believed that he was referring to the second-generation Roadster. Maybe he is referring to a smaller Cybertruck that looks a lot like those wedge cars that inspired him to become a car designer.

Tesla has a history of providing sketches to early reservation holders of their vehicles. It waits to be seen whether Tesla will do the same for the Cybertruck when deliveries start next year.

Below you'll find other sketches that Tesla provided to Model S, 3 and X reservation holders.

Model S Sketch

An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
Electrek

Model 3 Sketch

A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
Electrek

Model X Sketch

An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
Not a Tesla App

Tesla reveals the Semi's efficiency, motors and Supercharging capability

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla deliveries the first semi trucks to Pepsi Co
Tesla deliveries the first semi trucks to Pepsi Co
Tesla

The first Tesla Semis have been delivered, and so has the promise to adhere to the company’s mission: accelerate the advent of sustainable transportation. Yes, it took five years from the first peak at the Semi and three years longer than initially projected, but the Semi is set to change the trucking industry the same way the Model S, 3, X and Y changed the automotive industry.

While Tesla has been increasing the number of passenger vehicles it produces worldwide; these large trucks are not needed at the same level. The company states that 15 million passenger vehicles are sold in the U.S. every year, but only a couple hundred thousand big rigs. So why would Tesla put so much time and effort into something that doesn’t sell as many units?

Musk’s response, “it seems like a small percentage, but it (semi-trucks) is actually 20 percent of U.S. vehicle emissions. Because you’ve got a huge vehicle, and it’s being driven all the time.” Musk said, “Over a third of all the articulate emissions (are from semi-trucks). So, from a health standpoint, particularly in cities, this is a huge impact, like gigantic — that’s why we are doing it.”

The Semi is a Recruiting Tool for Truckers

Back in 2017, Elon Musk said he could drive a Tesla Semi. That was quite a statement, given that trucks this size usually come with anywhere from 10 to 18 gears. However, the CEO did just that five years later. He drove the newest member of the Tesla lineup to the event to deliver the Semi to Pepsi Co. Musk said, “It’s like driving a Tesla, literally.” That is because it’s built the same way with a single stalk to put the vehicle in drive, reverse, neutral or park. “It looks sick. I mean, you want to drive that! That thing looks like it came from the future… It’s fun. It looks awesome, there is a big shortage of drivers, so if you are a truck driver and want the most bad ass rig on the road - this is it.”

The Semi is known as the Beast

Senior Manager of Tesla’s Semi Engineering, Dan Priestley, explained why many people refer to the Semi as the beast. “(It has) three times the power than any diesel truck on the road right now. So you’ve got all the power you need to get the job done, but the other reason that it’s a beast is because it is efficient, you can go 500 miles on a single charge on one of these things. It’s the mix of those two - this is a game-changer. What’s awesome is both of those are enabled by our 1000-volt powertrain. This is the first vehicle we are doing with that.”

That max power combined with hyper-efficiency is due to a tri-motor power train system. One motor is for highway driving and will always be engaged, while the other two are for torque and acceleration. Those motors use the system straight out of the Model S Plaid powertrain. Priestly said, “These are clutched automatically. No driver input is needed. It is seamless.”

Musk commented on the Semi’s performance, “It looks crazy. It looks like an elephant moving like a cheetah.” He was also astonished at the size of the motor powering the Semi. It’s described as the size of a football, “I find it amazing that this enormous thing can be pulled by something that you can carry in your hands — it’s like, wow, that is power density.”

500-mile Range

The Semi has been tested in all conditions in the real world, in a lab and virtually. One of those real-world tests was proving the naysayers wrong by taking the Semi for a 500-mile drive, fully loaded, from Fremont to San Diego on just a single charge.

Elon Musk later revealed on Twitter that the Tesla Semi's current efficiency is about 1.7kWh/mile, but that there is a path for Tesla to make it even more efficient. It's not clear whether the additional efficiency could be achieved through software or if it would require hardware changes. The quoted 1.7kWh/mile efficiency is a pleasant surprise, as many were expecting the truck to have an efficiency of about 2kWh per mile.

V4 Superchargers

Speaking of charging, the new V4 Superchargers were also revealed. They produce 1 megawatt of energy and will be used for the Semi and the Cybertruck.

Tesla's Semi Delivery Event

Musk finished the event with this message: This is going to revolutionize the road, make the world a better place in a meaningful way.

More about the Semi can be found in our story, Everything We Know About the Semi.

Semi in Christmas Parade

PepsiCo made quick work of their first Semis, putting them to work in a local Christmas parade for all to see.

View All How Tos

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

Tesla News

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.