How long can a Tesla idle with the heat on during cold weather

Tesla vehicles are equipped with advanced technology that suits them for freezing conditions. One of the features that make them stand out is their ability to idle with the heat on for extended periods of time without draining the battery.

In this article, we will explore how long can a Tesla idle with the heat on during frigid and what factors contribute to its longevity. We also discuss some tips and tricks to maximize your Tesla’s battery life during cold weather.

How long can a tesla idle with the heat on2

A brief overview of Tesla electric cars

The company has developed a range of vehicles that feature advanced battery technology, allowing them to be charged quickly and efficiently. This technology is used in several models.

Models list

  1. Model S
  2. Model X
  3. Model 3

Tesla’s battery technology is based on lithium-ion cells, which provide a high-energy density, allowing for longer driving ranges with shorter charging times.

Charging system

Tesla has also developed its own proprietary charging system known as Superchargers, which allows for rapid recharging of its vehicles in minutes. This system is available at many locations worldwide, allowing drivers to charge their vehicles wherever they go quickly.

Battery life and range in electric vehicle

Battery life and range are two of the most critical features of an electric vehicle. The ability to travel long distances without having to worry about running out of power is a major draw for potential buyers.

Additionally, electric cars have an advantage over the traditional internal combustion engine in a gas vehicle in that they produce less waste heat, which can help to extend the life of the battery and improve overall efficiency.

However, battery life and range can be affected by various external factors, such as the usage of:

  • Temperature control
  • Climate control system

You may be interested in an article about what happens when a Tesla runs out of battery.

Climate control in electric vehicles

This feature in electric vehicles works differently than in gas cars.

Heat pumps are usually used to heat or cool the cabin while driving. A heat pump uses electricity to transfer heat from one area to another, typically moving heat from outside the cabin into the cabin to provide warmth.

Resistive heating is a type of electric heating that uses electrical resistance to generate heat. This type of heating is often used in electric vehicles to provide supplemental heating when the outside temperature is extremely cold. A resistive heater can also provide an instantaneous heat source, such as for demisting the windscreen.

[NOTE] Resistive heating is rarely used in new models.

Climate control in electric vehicles

Testing methods for idling with the heat on

To determine how long a Tesla can provide idle mode, Car and Driver conducted a test to let a 2019 Tesla 3 Long Range sit in subfreezing temperatures with the climate control set to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The Tesla lasted up to a theoretical maximum of 45.1 hours before running out of energy.

Results: how long does a Tesla idling continue with the heat on?

According to Car and Driver’s test, a 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range can provide an idle mode for up to a theoretical maximum of 45.1 hours in subfreezing temperatures with the climate control set to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is near to the gas car they tested, the 2022 Hyundai Sonata N-Line, which lasted up to a theoretical maximum of 51.8 hours under the same conditions. However, it’s important to note that idling a vehicle for an extended period of time can drain its battery quickly, so it’s not recommended to leave the heat on for too long without charging the car.

Additionally, these results are based on specific testing conditions and may vary depending on factors such as outside temperature, battery age, and vehicle condition.

To supplement the information received, read the article “How Long Can an EV Keep the Cabin Warm When It’s Cold Out?“.

Factors affecting idle mode time with the heat on

Here are two factors that can affect the idle mode time of a Tesla car.

Outside temperature

The outside temperature plays a significant role. The colder it is outside, the more energy the car needs to warm the cabin.

Battery age

The age of a Tesla battery pack can also impact how long it can idle. A newer battery has more capacity and is able to run longer.

Tips for maximizing battery life

  1. Disable Tesla idle mode: Tesla vehicles can enter idle mode when not in use, which uses up energy unnecessarily. To conserve energy, disable idle mode when not in use.
  2. Keep your Tesla’s battery charged: Avoid allowing your Tesla’s battery to drop below 20% charge, as this can damage the battery over time.
  3. Disabling unnecessary things, such as a wireless phone charger or a Tesla computer, can be an effective way of conserving energy.

Safety considerations for idling with the heat on

Idling mode for an extended period of time can be dangerous and should be done with caution. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind when idling:

  1. Monitor the temperature of the engine to ensure it does not overheat. If the engine is running too hot, shut off the vehicle and let it cool down before restarting.
  2. Check your vehicle’s manual for recommendations on how long it is safe to use the idle mode with the heat on. Some vehicles may have different recommendations depending on their make and model.


How long can a Tesla sit with the heat on?

Tesla can sit for up to a maximum of 45.1 hours.

How long can an electric car idle with the heat on?

The answer to this question depends on the battery size and the type of car being used. In the case of Tesla, the result was 45.1 hours.

How long can Tesla run on idling?

It depends on a number of factors. The Tesla idle mode can vary between 16 and 48 hours.

How long will an electric car battery last with the heater on?

The time a car battery lasts with the heater on depends on several factors. The 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range can do it for up to 45.1 hours.


In conclusion, the amount of time a Tesla can work in idle mode with the heat on during frosty depends on several factors, including the outside temperature, the set temperature inside the vehicle, and the efficiency of the heating system.

According to a test conducted by Car and Driver, a long-term 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range lasts a maximum of 45.1 hours in subfreezing temperatures.

One thing to keep in mind is that in cold weather, electric vehicles like Teslas require more energy to heat both the battery and the interior of the vehicle. This means that conserving energy is crucial for maximizing range and minimizing charging time.

Overall, while Teslas are known for their efficiency and long-range capabilities, it’s important for drivers to be mindful of their energy usage during frosty conditions. By taking steps to conserve energy and optimize their driving habits, Tesla owners can enjoy a comfortable ride while also maximizing their vehicle’s range and minimizing charging time.

Cameron Mason

I have been fond of cars since childhood. I have always been interested in knowing the principle of their work, as well as the structure. Therefore, I liked to help my father dismantle cars and fix them. Then I went to college with a degree in mechanical engineering. After all, I decided to connect my life with cars.

Leave a Comment