How Long Can a Tesla Idle with the Heat on? (Solved & Answered)


How Long Can a Tesla Idle with the Heat on?

There are a lot of misconceptions about how long a Tesla can idle when the heat is on and stranded in a winter storm. These myths have deterred potential Tesla buyers from living their dream for no quantifiable reasons.

In short, You can leave your Tesla idling with the heat on for about 24-72 hours without causing battery damage. But these numbers are vulnerable to change depending on the outdoor temperatures, state of battery charge, and many other factors.

How Long Can a Tesla Idle with the Heat on?

Tesla can sit idle with the heat on for about 24-72 hours. But these numbers may change if your Tesla has either resistive heating or a heat pump and the ambient temperature.

These components will later start draining the battery and exhaust the charge. But there is no need to worry since you can recharge your electric vehicle at the nearest supercharger station.

My favorite thing about Tesla is its high-tech features. A Tesla in an idle mode will lock the doors; turn off the headlights and climate control system to minimize the battery drain rate.

The resistive heater in the Tesla help keeps the driver and passenger warm during cold weather. It also keeps the batteries charged when stranded in a winter storm.

i recommend keeping your Tesla idle with the heat on when waiting in line or parked in a parking lot. The idle mode help prevents theft cases or other related issues while away.

But the idle mode will make your Tesla experience a slight decrease in performance after parking for some time. However, it will regain its usual performance after driving for some time.

Factors Affecting the Period a Tesla Can Idle with Heat on

Most Tesla models can stay in an idle mode for 24-72 hours with the heat on without causing battery damage. But these numbers are susceptible to change due to the following factors:

Battery Size

A Tesla model with a large battery can stay in idle mode with the heat on for about two or three days without depleting the charge. On the other hand, a Tesla model with a small battery can idle with heat on for less than 24 hours.

Heater Draw

The earliest Tesla models relied on resistive heating to keep the driver and passenger warm during winter weather. The heating coil draws additional electricity from the battery to drain the battery faster while in idle mode.
Those Tesla models with heat pumps transfer heat from the motor stators to the cabin to warm the car during cold weather. It helps save the battery and allows the driver to switch to idle mode with the heat on.

Accessory Draw

It comprises onboard electronics and sound systems that consume about 500 watts to 1kilowatts in an hour. A Tesla car in an idle mode tends to consume less energy since these components are turned off automatically.

Outdoor Temperature

Tesla vehicles in idle mode consume more energy during cold weather. More heat is transferred from the battery and motor stators to the cabin to keep the driver warm. A Tesla car idling in zero temperature weather will drain the battery faster than expected.

Battery State of Charge

A fully charged Tesla can idle with the heat on for about two to three days without ruining the battery. But a slightly charged Tesla will not last for five hours when idling with the heat on since the electricity is not sufficient for operation.

Tips to Conserve Energy while Your Tesla Is Idle

Lock Doors and Hatches

Leaving the doors and hatches of your Tesla open will drain the battery quickly. We recommend keeping the doors and hatches closed when your Tesla is idle.

Remove the Wireless Phone Charger

I suggest removing your phone from the charger pad when your Tesla is idling. It helps minimize charge depletion in the meantime.

Turn off All Lights and Accessories

Tesla headlights, interior lights, taillights, and infotainment systems can drain the battery charge quickly while in idle mode. Turning off all the lights and accessories will help save power in the long run.

Close the Sunroof and Windows

Closing the windows and sunroof will keep the interior cooler and reduce energy loss due to the air conditioning system. It will allow the battery charge to survive for a longer period when the Tesla is idling.

Switch to Range Mode Settings

Switch your Tesla to range mode settings on the climate control to minimize energy loss caused by air conditioners or heaters. These settings are ideal when your Tesla is idle during warm weather.

Does the Heater Drain the Battery in Tesla?

A heater can drain a battery in Tesla since it uses 2.4 kilowatts in an hour. Most heaters have coils that require additional electricity from the battery to keep the cabin warm during winter weather.

I suggest picking Tesla models with heat pumps instead of resistive heaters. These heat pumps usually use less energy than resistive heaters. It will help minimize battery drain by conserving energy.

Conclusion

A Tesla can sit idle with the heat on for two to three days without damaging the battery. But these numbers are susceptible to change due to some factors shown above.

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Jimmy Mitchell is an electric vehicle aficionado who has been following the space since Tesla first hit the scene. A longtime proponent of sustainable transportation, Jimmy was one of the first to buy a Tesla 3 as soon as it came out. He loves nothing more than helping others learn about and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. When he's not evangelizing about EVs, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family and travelling throughout south east asia

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