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Tesla now lets you precondition your car's battery from your phone

With an update to its mobile app, Tesla is now allowing owners to precondition the batteries in their cars and avoid the limitations that come with driving in colder environments.

Published onDecember 22, 2017

  • Tesla limit the functions of the car to protect the battery when in cold weather.
  • Preconditioning the battery warms it up before a trip so owners can avoid those limitations.
  • The process takes an hour, and Tesla recommends the car be plugged in during the process.

Owning an electric car is great because it means you no longer have to deal with gasoline and all of the downsides that come with it. Instead, you get rechargeable batteries in your car, and you get to skip going to the gas station. But one of the challenges when dealing with batteries is how temperature affects them. If it gets too cold, Teslas limit how much power it puts out, regenerative breaking capacity, and the charge rate. 

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To avoid these issues, Tesla pushed a new update to its app that allows owners to precondition their car’s battery. Preconditioning heats the battery so drivers can make full use of the car’s systems. Tesla says to make sure that the car is plugged in when you start the process to avoid range loss. Here are the full notes from the update:

When temperatures are near freezing, preconditioning will also heat your battery for better driving and charging performance. We recommend you plug in to reduce range loss, and start pre-conditioning about an hour before you plan to leave since it can take some time to warm up the battery in colder weather. Note: Requires vehicle software version 2017.50 or above.
In addition, you can now swipe to switch between your vehicles and energy products.

Once temperatures drop to around freezing, an orange battery icon will appear in your vehicle overview that allows you to start the preconditioning process. According to Tesla, that’ll take about an hour, so be sure to plan ahead.

If you have a Tesla, hit the button below to update your app to the newest version.