By Erik Watkins

How To Precondition Tesla Battery?

Last updated: Apr 12, 2023
how to precondition tesla battery

Preconditioning a Tesla battery is crucial to ensuring optimal performance and range, especially in cold weather conditions. Warming up the battery before use can operate at optimal temperature, improving efficiency and reducing wear and tear. However, many Tesla owners don’t know about Tesla preconditioning battery for fast charging.

Whether you are a new Tesla owner or have had your vehicle for some time, understanding how to do this procedure can help your car perform at its best. Plus, this will ensure it performs at its best in any extreme weather conditions. Let’s learn more in-depth details with this post!

How Temperature Affects Your Tesla Battery

Preconditioning is the process of heating up your automobile battery to the proper level before charging or using it on the road. On particularly chilly winter days and scorching summer days, your battery needs preconditioning.

Temperature can impact a Tesla battery in several ways. Both hot and cold weather can decrease the battery’s efficiency, affecting the vehicle’s range and performance. To be specific, high temperatures can degrade the battery faster, while extreme cold can temporarily reduce its capacity.

Temperature Affects Tesla Battery

Note that the battery must be at an optimal temperature for the regenerative braking system to work effectively. Therefore, it’s essential to keep the battery within the optimal preconditioning temperature range to ensure top-notch performance and prolong the battery’s lifespan.

When You Need To Perform Precondition Tesla Battery

Here are some situations where preconditioning is necessary.

  • Cold weather: In cold temperatures, preconditioning the battery can help increase the battery’s efficiency and range. The battery can be heated using the Tesla mobile app or preheated automatically if the vehicle is plugged in.
  • Hot weather: In hot weather, preconditioning the battery can help prevent overheating and reduce the risk of battery damage. The battery can be cooled using the Tesla mobile app or pre-cooled automatically if the vehicle is plugged in.
  • Supercharging: Preconditioning the battery before supercharging session can help speed up the charging process and reduce the time spent at the charging station.
  • Long trips: Preconditioning the battery before embarking on a long trip can help optimize the battery’s performance and range, ensuring a smooth and efficient journey.

How To Precondition A Tesla Battery

Below are several methods you can use to perform this task, such as using the application, navigation systems, climate control, etc. Let’s take a closer look at each approach!

1. Use Tesla App

Precondition A Tesla Battery

The Tesla mobile app allows owners to precondition their Tesla battery remotely, providing a convenient and efficient way to optimize its performance and reduce range loss. Owners can heat or cool the battery using the app before driving, ensuring it’s within the optimum temperature range.

2. Use Navigation Feature

The navigation feature in Tesla vehicles allows owners to precondition their batteries by setting a destination and enabling the “precondition” feature. When the feature is activated, the battery will be heated or cooled automatically before reaching the goal, ensuring it’s within the top temperature range.

3. Charge At The Supercharging Station

The car software begins preconditioning to the appropriate temperature for charging as you approach your destination. It happens without your intervention; nothing needs to be done.

It often begins 20 to 25 minutes before the time you are supposed to arrive at the battery charger. Nevertheless, depending on the weather, it can start as soon as 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled time.

4. Utilize Climate Control

Using your Tesla’s climate controls system is a different manual method of preconditioning a battery. The air conditioner can be activated or programmed to defrost the vehicle; both can begin the battery preconditioning process.

You can either do this while driving or remotely if you’re not, in which case you can use the Tesla app. Touch the temperature display in the settings screen’s bottom left or bottom right corner to start your climate settings.

5. Precondition Manually

You can prepare your battery without utilizing either of the two techniques mentioned above. In addition to preconditioning your battery, the Temperature Controls area of your Tesla may be accessed both in-car and remotely via the Tesla app. Both activate the A/C system, and the Defrost mode will begin preconditioning the battery.

Why Should You Precondition A Tesla Battery?

Preconditioning your Tesla battery is a simple yet effective process with lots of benefits, such as improving performance or lengthening its life expectancy. 

Enhanced Performance

The vehicle’s acceleration and range may be increased when the battery is at the ideal temperature range, making for a more pleasurable driving experience. Before driving, the battery should be preconditioned to ensure performance optimization and to slow down the battery capacity decline.

Conserve Energy

Preconditioning your Tesla reduces the overall amount of battery power used during your trip, especially if you precondition while plugged in. This is because your Tesla battery doesn’t have to use as much energy to maintain the temperature since it is already operating at its best.

Shorten The Charge Time

Shorten The Charge Time

When the li-ion battery is preconditioned, it is more receptive to charging and can absorb energy more efficiently.

This means the charging session time can be reduced, as the battery can be charged more quickly and effectively. Tesla vehicles also have a feature called “scheduled charging,” which allows drivers to set a time for the car to begin charging and preconditioning.

Prolong Battery Lifespan

When a lithium-ion battery is subjected to extreme temperatures, such as those in cold weather, it can become less efficient and experience more wear and tear. 

By preconditioning the battery, it is warmed up to its ideal operating temperature, reducing the stress placed on the battery. This can extend the battery’s lifespan and improve its overall performance.

Some Other Ways To Keep Your Tesla Battery From Harsh Temperature

If you want to protect your Tesla battery from potential damage caused by extreme temperatures, you can apply the following tricks.

  • Use shade: If you must park your Tesla outside, park it in a shaded area to reduce the amount of direct sunlight hitting the car. You can also use a car cover to insulate your Tesla from harsh temperatures. It’s especially useful during the winter months.
  • Charge at optimal times: Charge your Tesla during off-peak hours when the battery is less likely to be affected by extreme temperatures.
  • Limit fast charging: Avoid frequent fast charging as it can generate excess heat that can damage your battery. Try to stick to charge level 2 whenever possible.

Do you know you can also keep your Tesla battery from harsh temperatures while driving? Here are some tips for you.

  • Use the seat heaters for warmth: Compared to the cabin heater, seats utilize less energy. Reduced energy consumption is achieved by turning down the cabin temperature and employing seat heaters.
  • Accelerating tip: If you must accelerate, do so gradually rather than frequently and suddenly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Maximum Wattage I Can Use To Precondition My Tesla Battery?

Tesla’s owner’s manual provides the recommended maximum wattage for preconditioning each model. Still, as a general guideline, most Tesla models can handle up to 7.2 kW of power for preconditioning.

How Long Will It Take To Precondition Tesla Battery?

Generally, preconditioning the battery takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Yet, the time it takes to precondition a Tesla battery can vary depending on several factors, such as the outside temperature, the battery’s current state of charge, and the desired temperature.

How Much Is Preconditioning?

This procedure can charge you 21% lower than a cold (non-conditioned) EV and 39% lower than using a gasoline engine. 

This demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of electric vehicles, particularly when the battery is preconditioned to operate at its optimal temperature. 

Due to this, Tesla owners can save money and reduce their carbon footprint while enjoying an efficient city driving experience.

Should I Precondition A Tesla Battery In Summer?

Yes. Preconditioning the battery in hot weather can help reduce the risk of battery degradation due to high temperatures. Keeping the battery at an optimal temperature range can help prolong the battery’s lifespan and overall performance.

The Bottom Line

What does preconditioning a battery for fast charging mean? It is a simple and effective way to improve its performance and prolong its lifespan. By following this post on preconditioning your Tesla battery, you can ensure that this component is operating at its optimal temperature.

This will improve battery efficiency, reduce charging times, and prevent wear and tear. With just a few extra minutes performing this task, you may have a smooth and effective drive, no matter the weather.

Automotive Mechanic at PowerAll

With 7 years experience in management positions leading automotive mechanics at PowerAll, Erik Watkins wishes to share useful knowledge and information about automotive mechanical equipment.


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