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Tesla Owner: Vampire Draw Slain, At Last

The owner of a 60 kWh Tesla Model S electric vehicle recently wrote a story about his experience with his Tesla Model S’ “vampire” power draw. His name is David Noland, and he said it consumed 4.5 kWh per day, which is almost equivalent to leaving a 24,000 BTU air conditioner on for two hours (that would consume 4.8 kWh). As a result, the vampire draw alone used approximately $16 of electricity per month (at a rate of $0.12 per kWh).

Tesla Motors recently released a software update to drastically cut this vampire draw (software version 5.8). However, while 85 kWh Tesla Model S owners reported that the update virtually eliminated this problem in their cars, David’s power consumption was still 3.5 kWh per day, 22% less than it was prior to the update. So, David wrote up his story on Green Car Reports.

Image Credit: David Noland from Green Car Congress.

David Noland’s Model S being serviced.

Someone tweeted Noland’s story to Elon Musk, who then had his team look into the matter. To his surprise (before knowing about Elon getting word of the matter), Tesla remotely determined that there was an electrical issue, then called him and offered to replace his 12 volt battery. He accepted the offer, and they arrived to replace it two hours later. They also upgraded the software to a newer version of 5.8 (1.49.25).

On Green Car Reports, Noland said what I was thinking:

A problem that I didn’t know I had was fixed almost before I knew it, with zero effort or inconvenience on my part. Amazing.

If this is the future of automotive service, count me in.

The Final Test

Since he and his wife were going to fly to Memphis to visit relatives for a weekend, Noland took the opportunity to charge it up to its normal 80% level, make a note of the range, and see how much it lost during the vacation (which was 81 hours).

The Model S started with 140 miles of range, and that decreased to 126 miles over the course of their vacation. That is a loss of 14 miles, which he said is a 75% improvement! It only consumed 3.6 kWh over the 81-hour period. Problem solved.

For more stories like this, visit our Tesla Motors channel or our overall electric vehicles channel, and don’t forget to subscribe to our electric vehicles newsletter!

Image Credit: David Noland.

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Written By

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:


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