How Does a Tesla Electric Car’s Heater Work?

It is safe to assume that a Tesla electric vehicle’s cabin heating system will match Tesla’s other innovative features to keep the consumer warm and comfortable.

How Does a Tesla Electric Car’s Heater Work?

A Tesla electric car’s internal heating system is designed to be innovative and efficient.

Not only do Tesla cars have built-in cabin heaters to warm up the air inside, but more modern and latest versions of Tesla electric cars come with additional heating features.

These impressive features include seat warmers, more advanced cabin heating, and a heated steering wheel to eliminate the need for additional woolen gloves when driving.

Why Is an Efficient Cabin Heating System So Important?

The importance of an efficient cabin heating system depends on where consumers life and the general regional temperature of the area the consumer usually drives around.

According to electric car experts, cold winter conditions can cause an electric vehicle to lose nearly 40% of its actual range.

This is because a significant amount of the battery’s charge goes into keeping the car’s temperature at normal levels.

Due to this, Tesla has designed highly innovative cabin heating systems that reduce the effect a heater can have on the battery’s range and minimize energy wastage.

The introduction of these innovative heating designs has further contributed to the increase in global popularity and sales of Tesla electric cars.

They have once again proven that Tesla is a brand that pays attention to its consumer’s unique needs and wants. However, many questions arise when one talks about a Tesla electric car’s heating system.

These questions have been frequently asked by interested buyers or people who have yet not moved to driving electric vehicles.

How long will a Tesla electric car be able to keep temperatures warm and toasty? Will prolonged usage of the heating system affect its battery charge or range?

Moreover, what can a person do if their electric car runs out of battery charge during a snowstorm?

The answers to these questions go a long way toward convincing people to make the shift to electric vehicles and in particular, Tesla electric vehicles.

Continue reading to learn how a Tesla electric car’s heating system works, how it affects the battery’s charge, and whether it is efficient enough to provide warmth during extreme weather conditions.

Moreover, this article will also include top tips to help you stay warm during a journey while reducing your dependency and usage of the Tesla electric car’s heating system.

How Does a Tesla Electric Cars Heater Work
How Does a Tesla Electric Cars Heater Work

Read How To Afford a Tesla Electric Car

The Mechanism and Technology Behind a Tesla Electric Car’s Heating System

To understand the technology of a Tesla electric car’s heating system, we will shed light on the heating system of two of Tesla’s most popular and globally selling electric vehicles; the Tesla Model 3 electric sedan and the Tesla Model Y electric SUV.

Let’s get started!

Tesla Model 3 Electric Sedan

The Tesla Model 3 electric car is a compact sedan designed to carry 4 to 5 passengers at a time.

The Model 3 electric sedan is Tesla’s first-ever commercial electric car and is still one of its highest selling products due to its performance and relatively low purchase price.

As is Tesla’s MO, this sedan has been through continuous changes and innovations to cater to the growing needs of various consumers.

Just like that, its cabin heating system has also gone through multiple innovations to offer advanced levels of heating to its passengers.

The Tesla Model 3 electric sedan is designed to incorporate a unique energy-saving mechanism as part of its heating system.

The Model 3 sedan uses the extra heat energy from the electric car’s infotainment unit, its battery, and the drive unit, and collects it before it gets wasted.

This mechanism increases the overall efficiency, reduces energy wastage, and uses the same heat energy to heat the Model 3 electric sedan’s cabin area.

Moreover, the Model 3 electric sedan comes with a heating manual mode and an auto mode. The auto mode in the Model 3 electric sedan allows the car to maintain the desired cabin temperature at all times.

The automatic heat blower is designed to increase its speed when the car’s windows need to be defogged. Once that is done, the speed automatically goes down to reduce battery usage and increase efficiency.

Although the auto mode offers great benefits and reduces the passengers’ need to pay attention to the heating system’s settings, it also uses up more battery charge than the manual mode.

Hence, a great tip for Model 3 electric car owners is to use the auto mode cabin heating for shorter inner-city trips and switch to manual heating mode for longer trips to preserve battery life.

This is especially important if one has to drive through a rural area with barely any EV charging stations.

Furthermore, the Tesla Model 3 electric sedan comes with seat heaters to keep the bodies of its passengers warm during a trip.

These seat heaters allow the passengers to reduce their cabin heating temperature as the seat’s heat is warm enough.

Instead of a single button that can turn on all the seat heaters, Tesla designed a mechanism that requires a passenger to manually turn on their seat’s heater.

This feature ensures that no energy is wasted on heating a seat that is not in use.

Due to all these features, a Tesla Model 3 electric sedan is an excellent purchase for a single person or a small family living in a cold region where traveling without internal cabin heating is extremely hard.

Read How Much to Rent a Tesla?

Tesla Model Y All-drive Electric SUV

The Tesla Model Y electric vehicle is the second all-drive electric SUV that Tesla has introduced. This massive luxury electric SUV is excellent for a large family of 6 to 7 individuals.

The Model Y electric SUV has received several awards for being one of the best electric SUVs in the market to date.

This appreciation is due to the electric vehicle’s many features, including its unique highly efficient heating system.

Just like the electric cars designed by Audi and Nissan, the Tesla Model Y electric SUV uses a highly innovative heat pump system to heat the cabin and keep it comfortable at all times.

Here’s how the heat pump works and some of its benefits.

How Does the Tesla Model Y Heat Pump Work?

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV’s heat pump system is designed to use the energy for maximized efficiency.

As a matter of fact, the efficiency is almost 100%. The mechanism behind the heaters is almost the same as electric space heaters.

The Tesla Model Y’s built-in heat pump is designed to use 1 kW of the stored or collected energy to produce nearly 3 kW of heat energy.

This mechanism minimizes the effect of the heater on the battery and allows the driver to continue their journey without range anxiety.

The heat pump is designed to use the temperature difference between the electric car’s refrigerant and the external cold air.

Due to this temperature gradient, the electric SUV has to use less energy to heat the internal cabin.

The temperature difference allows the external air to move into the electric car. The heat pump takes in all the heat energy from the outside air and releases the compressed air back into the environment.

The heated air is then blown into the car’s cabin space, which heats the cabin and keeps it at a comfortable temperature. 

As a result, the heating system is no longer dependent on the electric car’s battery, and the battery charge does not go down.

Tesla electric car heaters
Tesla electric car heaters

Read Tesla Electric Car Model X Versus Model Y: Which is the Better Electric Vehicle?

Benefits of the Tesla Model Y electric SUV’s Heat Pump System

  • Unlike traditional gas heaters that usually take at least 15 to 20 minutes to heat a vehicle’s cabin space, the heat pump drastically reduces the time delay and does the job almost in less than 10 to 15 seconds.
  • The Model Y SUV’s heat pump mechanism is designed to be incredibly efficient, with barely any energy wastage.
  • At times, consumers who have gas heaters in their automobiles have to turn on their vehicle’s cabin heaters at least 20 minutes before they can enter their car to ensure that the inside is not too cold. Doing this exposes their vehicle to potential automobile theft and wastes a lot of energy.

Instead, the heat pump’s system of heating the car’s cabin in mere seconds eliminates the need to turn the heater on and leave the car unsupervised for several minutes.

Read How to Check a Tesla Electric Car’s Battery Health

Why is Heating an Electric Car Problematic During Winters?

The main reason why people are generally skeptical about Tesla or any other electric car is the battery’s range.

The fact that the range could get badly affected by excessive heating system use further discourages people from switching to electric vehicles.

Some of the reasons why heating an EV during the winter becomes problematic are as follows:

  • The electric car’s battery is already automatically being used to heat the car’s motor and other electrical components. This reduces the range by 40%. If the electric car’s heater is also turned on, this will increase battery usage and the range will drop further.
  • The driver will have to recharge their EV more frequently, and hence, their EV running costs will go up.
  • The more often an electric car’s battery is fully depleted, the more its charge storing capacity gets permanently reduced. As a result, the electric car will be able to offer less range and won’t make it too far.
  • With a poor heating system and compromised battery range, the consumer will have no other option but to turn to gasoline-powered vehicles or expensive public transport.

Other Tips for Staying Warm in a Tesla Electric Car

Although the built-in heating system of a Tesla electric car is designed to be highly effective and energy-efficient, there are still other ways passengers can stay warm without depending on the EV’s cabin heating.

Some of the golden tips for staying warm in a Tesla are as follows:

  • Carry a portable electric heater whenever you have to travel in your Tesla during extreme winters.
  • Pack multiple double-insulated blankets and wrap them around your bodies when traveling in the Tesla electric car.
  • Place multiple hot water bottles on the seats of your Tesla electric car at least fifteen minutes before getting the car. The bottles will help warm up the seats, allowing the trip to be more comfortable.
  • Wear multiple layers of clothing.
  • Carry some hot soup and coffee in insulated flasks of bottles to keep your bodies warm.
  • Carry some high-energy snacks such as candy, chocolates, and nuts to remain active and energized.

Final Thoughts

Having a Tesla is a luxury many people can dream of. However, many owners are scared to use their Tesla EVs during extreme winter.

Fortunately, these people have nothing to worry about. When you buy a Tesla, you can trust that the car’s engineers have thought of just about everything to ensure you’re comfortable at all times.

These people are often surprised to see just how effective and energy efficient the heating system of a Tesla electric car can be. The unique technology that Tesla uses not only allows excellent cabin heating but also helps reduce excessive battery usage.

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