Driving a Tesla Model S in winter conditions

Tesla owner Rob S. has posted on Teslarati.com about his experience driving his standard Tesla Model S (no AWD) in winter conditions. Rob lives in Boston, which got whacked with a massive winter storm recently. But that didn’t stop Rob from getting around town in his car.

Much of that he puts down to having the proper tires for the job. He has fitted Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2’s to all four corners and says they have performed superbly. On snow, just mash the throttle and let the traction control system do its thing. The car will just move confidently forward with no detectable wheel spin.

Rob dismisses complaints by other Boston area Tesla drivers that their cars can’t climb a small snow covered hill. He says that’s because they are trying to do it using the summer tires their cars came with and suggests that anyone who drives in winter should have the proper tires for the job. Otherwise, it’s like trying to ski while wearing tennis sneakers.

Acceleration is great fun with the right tires and Tesla’s brilliant traction control system says Rob, but braking is another matter entirely. There is no ABS system ever devised that can outwit the laws of physics. He recommends setting your regenerative braking to its lowest level to keep the tires from losing traction when you lift off the throttle.

Having the proper tires is crucial, too, but so is applying the lessons your driving instructor taught you when you got your first driver’s license – leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead, watch out for people following to close behind you, use extra care on turns and allow yourself ample opportunity to bring the car to a halt when you need to.

In other words, plan ahead and drive wisely. Even if you drive a Tesla, you still need to use common sense.

Posted by Steve Hanley

Steve Hanley is a car nut and Formula One addict who occasionally drives his Mazda MX-5 on track at HPDE events. He has been known to drive to Nova Scotia just to see the lupins in bloom or to Watkins Glen for a weekend of historic racing. He writes about automobiles, technology and travel from his home in Rhode Island.

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