By Srini Vennam
How long can you go on a holiday before the battery in the Model 3 is completely drained?
I was planning a long vacation for couple of months, so I scoured the internet for options so that my Model 3 wouldn’t die on me while away for my 63 day vacation to India. Many people said that it would last for 30 days, but my vacation was much longer and I did not want to risk coming home to a dead car. My friends were happy to help, but I wanted to see if I could find a solution and not bother any of them.
My search led me to a few options to mitigate the risk:
- Park at the airport and keep it plugged in. It is an interesting solution but would I find a charging spot? How soon would I have to reserve the spot? Would the airport facilities let me stay plugged in for that long?
- Ask a friend to drop me off and leave my car plugged in at home. Only one problem, and a big one: I live in an apartment with no place to plug in (I usually charge at the mini Supercharger in Plano).
- Keep the car at home and take an Uber or Lyft to the airport. This scenario has the same issue as above.
Then it struck me. What if I find a storage location that people normally use to store boxes or furniture and keep my car there. I started calling storage places and, to my surprise, there is not a storage place where you can plug in your car.
Finally, here is the plan I came up with that would work:
I left my car parked in my friend’s garage and didn’t plug it in. He was also on vacation for two months, so it was no issue for him either. I had another friend who was willing to come by to plug the car in, if needed. I gave him my key card and the “Pin to Drive” just in case he felt like taking it for a spin.
To my astonishment, the car is a beast and barely sips electrons when sitting idly.
I parked my car in my friend’s garage with a range of 299 miles on June 3rd. When I returned, I picked up my car and found that it still had 199 miles of range remaining. It used only 100 miles worth of battery in 63 days!
My dear friends, based on this evidence, I believe the Long Range Model 3 can easily go for 6 months without charging. [Editor’s note: Using some features via the Tesla app or checking on it frequently via the app can drain the battery faster. For the best results in minimizing vampire drain, it’s generally a good idea to try to turn off as many connected features as possible and check in on the car as little as possible.]
While I was in India, being a big fan of Tesla, I opened the Tesla App to give demos to friends and family about 10 times. I had some very interesting conversations during those demos which I may share later if there is interest. My Model 3 was not charged the entire 63 days. No remote OTA updates were performed. It is a LR Model 3, but this experiment clearly shows that a Standard Range+ would suffice, if anyone has anxiety parking their car for long durations.
My dear friends, put all your worries to rest and enjoy time away while on a vacation. Tesla has your back.
If Tesla’s automotive glass team and Tesla solar teams can work together to integrate solar into the roof of the car to add 2 to 3 miles of charge per day, the car would actually add range by the time I am back from vacation. You could park your car in the open and still have more charge. I know Elon thinks it’s not worth it, maybe he will reconsider in the future.