This Is What It's Like To Take A Tesla On A Winter Road Trip

There are plenty of criticisms that float around regarding electric cars, but two of the big ones are: can it road trip, and can it handle cold temperatures? In a recent video, Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained set out on a journey in his Tesla Model 3 to answer those pressing questions.

Fenske decided to hop in the car with his cat Bucket and take on the challenges of the winter weather in a 2500 mile journey, where temperatures were as cold as zero degrees Fahrenheit, or -18 Celsius. Basically, it’s a icy, snowy extravaganza, about as extreme as you can get without getting closer to the Arctic circle.

You can check out the full video below:

This video is the natural follow-up to a previous Engineering Explained video, where Fenske took his Tesla on a 2000 mile road trip in the summer to see how it would fare. There are, of course, unique challenges to heat when it comes to EVs, but today it’s all about that icy chill.

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I won’t spoil the whole video for you, but I will lay out a few of the biggest things Fenske talks about, like:

  • Tesla’s charging optimization strategy, where it attempts to get you to your destination with the fewest number of stops
  • Suboptimal battery performance due to cold—and how that changes the journey
  • How to optimize cabin temperature to ensure your powertrain will actually work
  • How to tackle broken superchargers
  • Projected battery efficiency vs. cold weather battery efficiency
  • Cost of EV road trips compared to an ICE road trip

Basically, this covers just about all of the questions you could possibly have about taking an EV out for a long winter drive. It’s a great watch worthy of 23 of your minutes—especially since these are issues more and more people are going to be encountering as the world grows slowly more electrified.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

halftrackelcamino
Half-track El Camino

There is no chance of my watching a 23-minute YouTube video, but I would’ve loved a longer article that summarized what he went through because it’s a topic I’m definitely interested in.