Driving a dual motor Tesla Model S 85D EV in winter

Calgary native Willy Kalmanovitch purchased a Tesla Model S 85D last year. He is a skier and wanted the dual motor car for driving to the ski slopes in winter. He also wanted the larger battery (the standard battery is 70 kWh) so he could have the longest range possible before he needed to stop for recharging.

Recently he and 3 friends piled into his Tesla for a ski trip to Lake Louise, 110 miles away. He made sure to have his battery fully charged before he left home. He made one 10 minute charging stop along the way, just to be on the safe side. Those 10 minutes of charging time got him an extra 40 miles of range.

The first thing Willy noticed driving on snow and ice covered roads was that his Model S had astounding traction when the going got slippery. “In spite of the icy conditions, it felt as if I was driving on dry pavement with the Model S. The traction was amazing! I even performed a test panic stop which resulted in a rapid deceleration in a perfectly straight line. I have not driven another all-wheel drive vehicle that could compare,” he wrote on Tesla’s blog.

The second revelation was how quiet it was inside the car as they were driving along. “The most noticeable differences driving a Model S on the highway was that the four of us could carry on a normal conversation since it was so quiet in the car. In other vehicles, it is always difficult for the rear seat passengers to converse with the front seat passengers because of engine and icy road noise,” he wrote

In addition to amazing traction, the Tesla has other advantages for winter driving. After a full day of skiing, Willy used his smartphone app to remotely warm up the car as he was leaving the slopes. By the time he and his friends got to the car, it was toasty warm inside. A quick stop for coffee on the way back down the mountain let Willy plug in again for a few minutes, which gave him more than enough battery range to make it home comfortably.

People worry a lot about range, particularly in winter. Cold batteries just can’t go as far as warm batteries. But with a little planning, range anxiety can be eliminated. Charging 10 minutes on the way to the slopes and another 10 minutes on the way home was all that was needed. In the end, range was nothing to worry about at all.