Tesla Vehicles Are Among the Most Efficient EVs in Winter Months

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla's vehicles are well-equipped for winter temperatures.
Tesla's vehicles are well-equipped for winter temperatures.
@lovemesomemusk

Teslas are among the most efficient electric vehicles in cold weather, according to a Recurrent study.

Cold weather often affects the range of electric vehicles due to two reasons. The colder weather alters the battery’s chemistry slightly; therefore, the range is decreased. The decreased range could mean some owners may have to modify their trips in the winter months when compared to warmer seasons.

Electric Vehicle Heaters

However, the biggest contributor to the decreased range for electric vehicles is due to heat production. Since electric vehicles are much more efficient than their internal combustion counterparts, they produce very little excess heat. Whereas heat is a byproduct of gasoline engines and can be funneled into the cabin to heat the passengers, electric vehicles need to produce additional heat to keep their passengers comfortable.

Resistive Heaters

This is typically done in two ways, either through electric resistance heating or through a heat pump. A resistive heater is like a space heater you may use at home. Electric current passes through wires causing them to heat up and the heat is then blown into the room.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are more complicated and work much differently than resistive heaters, however, they're also more efficient in most cases. They work by using outside air to warm up a refrigerant that is then pressurized to increase the temperature of the refrigerant. The refrigerant then flows to the inside of the cabin where the vehicle air passes through it, causing it to warm up and flow into the cabin. While heat pumps are much more efficient when compared to electric heaters, that efficiency is reduced the colder it is outside.

Which Teslas Have Heat Pumps

All newer Teslas use heat pumps instead of resistive heaters due to their increased efficiency. All redesigned Model S and Model X vehicles use heat pumps, as well as all Model Ys. However, some Model 3 vehicles between 2017-2020 use resistive heaters to warm the cabin, which makes them less efficient in colder months.

Find Out Your Type of Heater

If you don't know whether your Tesla has a heat pump or a resistive heater, you can find out by simply looking at your car's software. Your vehicle's heater type will be listed if you navigate to Controls > Software and then tap on Additional Vehicle Information.

Due to Tesla's unique heating system and its efficiencies, Recurrent found that Tesla vehicles hold some of the best range among electric cars. So, Tesla owners may not have to make as many modifications to their commutes. They're able to manage this because of their state-of-the-art battery technology, as well as using localized heating through heated seats, steering wheel, and cabin, as well as their advanced heat pumps.

Tesla's vehicles are well-equipped for winter temperatures.
Tesla's vehicles are well-equipped for winter temperatures.
RecurrentAuto

A new study published by Recurrent pulled data from 7,000 electric vehicles from the 14 most popular brands, including Audi, BMW, Hyundai, and Tesla. The data for each vehicle was gathered via the onboard telemetry and real-time usage. The vehicles were used in freezing (20-30 degrees F) temperatures and warm 70° F. As temperatures drop below 50° F, heat pumps start becoming less efficient.

Recurrent’s findings concluded that Tesla’s Long Range AWD Model Y and Model X 75D lost 15%, while the Long Range Model 3 with 75kWh battery lost 17%, and Model S P100D lost 19%. Compared to the Chevy Bolt, which lost 32%, and Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, which lost 30%, Tesla’s vehicles appear to be better equipped for cold weather. Unfortunately, Recurrent tested older Teslas that did not contain heat pumps, which means that Teslas numbers would have been even better if Recurrent used newer models. Even so, Tesla had some of the best performing vehicles.

Comparing Heat Pumps vs Resistive Heaters in Teslas

As Tesla continues to make improvements to its vehicles, their battery supplier, CATL, recently announced they’ve produced a battery that offers 430 miles of range.

How Tesla's FSD Beta Has Expanded Over Time

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla

Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.

Number of Testers Over Time

Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.

Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.

In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.

Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.

FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones

Date Milestone
October, 2020 Opened to select testers
Late 2020 ~ 1,000 added
October 2021 Start of expansion through Safety Score
January 2022 Available to 60,000 testers
March 2022 Expansion to Canada
July 2022 Available to 160,000 testers
December 2022 Available to 285,000 testers
January 2023 Access given to 400,000 owners

Faster Feedback

The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.

This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.

FSD Will Make the Roads Safer

The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.

Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.

With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.

Tesla Accessory, Ctrl-Bar Adds Physical Buttons to the Model Y and Model 3

By Kevin Armstrong
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.

That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.

How It Works

Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.

Ctrl-Bar Video

The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras

The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.

In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.

The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Creative Company with a Track Record

Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.

Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.

Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.

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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 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

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