How to Precondition A Tesla Battery

Just like how your old gas-powered engine ran better warm, so too does a Tesla. But in this case, things are a little different.

Preconditioning is something you need to be aware of in order to make the most of your new Tesla vehicle and the following are the most common questions on this topic. answered.

What is Tesla Preconditioning?

Tesla batteries charge a lot better when they are warmed up, so Tesla provides a preconditioning function to help you do this. This helps your battery function at its optimum which means more range and a longer battery life overall.

Tesla recommends you precondition (ie. warm up) your battery in cold temperatures (around 32 degrees F / 0 degrees C) or below. This is usually done for a certain period prior to either driving or charging.

How Long Should You Precondition For?

The amount of time you need to precondition your Tesla for depends on the temperature outside. However, most Tesla owners find that 20 minutes is enough at 32F / 0C, and if it gets colder then maybe ten minutes longer.

You can test it yourself in your area and see what is required by monitoring if regenerative braking is available or not on your Tesla screen.

Should You Plug In For Preconditioning?

If you are preconditioning at home, it pays to plug your Tesla in while preconditioning. This is because it can use a reasonable amount of charge to warm up the battery, with some Tesla owners claiming it takes around 2kW.

And given you are warming the battery for better performance, it makes sense to do it from an external source!

Driving A Tesla Model Y

Preconditioning For Driving

Preconditioning helps your battery function better in cold temperatures for charging, but this also means regenerative braking is affected (because this charges the battery). So, it is also recommended to precondition your Tesla car before heading out into the cold.

How To Precondition For Driving

One way to precondition for driving in the morning is to use Scheduled Departure. This ensures your battery is ready for driving when you leave.

Supercharging A Tesla Model 3

Preconditioning For Charging

It is also very important to precondition your Tesla for charging. In fact, you may not even be able to supercharge your Tesla if your battery is not warm enough

The simplest way to do this is to either:

  • Click on the Predconitionging or Defrost Icon (Snow Icon) on the Tesla App on your phone
  • Use the Climate controls to warm the vehicle (and battery) before you leave or charge
  • Use the Schedule Departure feature for the time you plan to leave or charge

You can learn more via the Tesla owner’s manual on the subject of Cold Weather Best Practices.

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