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Tesla Model 3 Performance: My experience with vampire drain

My experience with vampire drain varies a lot. There are a lot of factors that influence it. This is what is my experience so far after one year of ownership:

If you park your car outside, temperature is one very important factor. With my Model 3 Performance I have seen between 4 miles (7 km) per day in winter at temperatures lower than 14°F (-10°C) and less than 2 miles (3km) per week in summer when temperatures are in the 70-80°F (20-25°C) range. I have not had temperatures above 105°F (40°C) often enough, but my feeling so far is that there is a slight increase compared to moderate temperatures, not very much though and not at all as high as in winter. So parking an electric car in a garage in extreme climates definitely makes sense. This kind of vampire drain is most definitely caused by temperature management of the car to increase the life expectancy of the battery in extreme temperatures/climates and is probably one of the reasons why Tesla batteries last as long as they do.

There is also how you use your phone and the app.

If you wake up the car it will most of the time use up about a mile or two (1-3km) of range every time you do that. So being a helicopter parent to your battery won't do you any good...

Software updates wake up the car too, and will usually use up about 5-10 miles (8-15km) of range to download and perform the update (It depends a lot on the size of the update and the quality of the WLAN connection).

If your car is in Bluetooth range of your phone the car will go into sleep mode (the car will still react in less than or about a second to user requests), but it won't go into deep sleep mode (If it takes a couple seconds until your door opens or until the app can wake up the car it was most likely in deep sleep mode). If your car is constantly connected to Bluetooth it adds about 1-2 miles (2-3km) per day on top of the loss created by the ambient temperature. So if your car is parked in a garage or otherwise very close to your phone and you have increased vampire drain, you should try switching off Bluetooth on either your car or your phone (if you plan to not use the car for a couple days). This is only really relevant though, if the car is parked for extended periods of time, like several days, because the car needs something like 4-8h to go into deep sleep mode.

I won't go into surveillance mode, because I have not used it yet, as I have not decided on what setup I want to use (SSD or flash drive and which adapter). From what I gather the drain can be substantial though, if there is a lot of foot traffic around the car. I suspect it will be a mile or two (1-3km) for each event the car records.


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