Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater

The Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater is a component of the car's thermal management system that helps regulate the temperature of the battery pack.

The Tesla Model 3 Battery heater in a conventional combustion engine car has two functions. It heats the interior of the car and cools the car engine. Tesla Model 3 battery coolant can also be heated by residual heat from the Car engine while the car engine is running and reducing the need to run the battery heater. On previous models, the battery heater was a separate, pluggable, physical part that draws current and heats the battery coolant and therefore the battery.  So, the Heater for Tesla Model 3 batteries is ?

The Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater is a component of the car’s thermal management system that helps regulate the temperature of the battery pack. It is designed to keep the battery operating within an optimal temperature range for performance and longevity. The battery heater is particularly useful in colder climates, where low temperatures can negatively affect the battery’s performance and efficiency.

Typically, the electronics that power the motor are used as efficiently as possible and generate as little waste heat as possible, since most of the time  waste heat is actually lost. In the Model 3, they’ve come up with a clever scheme where the electronics can be switched to intentionally run inefficiently when the battery needs to be warmed up. This achieves exactly the same effect as the old split radiator but saves money and space by removing the radiator and its piping. 

Notice that there’s nothing magical or physical here: power that would have gone to a separate radiator is now routed to the engine, so the engine (in this particular mode) is using more energy than it normally would to move the car. All that extra energy is converted to heat. So the Model 3 wouldn’t be more (or less) efficient overall if it used a separate coil.


Model 3 Cars With battery Heater

Tesla Model 3 cars are equipped with a battery heater. The battery is filled with a gel that keeps the battery temperature within safe limits. 

This can cause wear when the vehicle is not in use. No need to worry unless you only have  a few miles left on the battery.

I live in Norway and it is very cold here. I usually plug the car in when it’s really cold, even if I’m not charging. I don’t have to, I do. 

I left my Model 3 car unplugged outside at the airport for 3 weeks in winter. Nothing happened, battery consumption was minimal. 

Tesla Model 3 are actually great winter cars. You jump in the car and it’s instantly hot. The rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 is also great to drive in the snow, the dual engine is just a dream to drive on snow and ice. 

What would happen if you didn’t have battery heaters or didn’t turn them??

-20F isn’t enough to actually destroy the battery, although as you get colder you’d eventually get to the point at where the electrolyte freezes and the battery is empty. 

When they sit and are stored, batteries  like to be cold. The main reason  you need a battery heater is that you can’t charge a lithium battery in very cold weather (instead of charging the properly, the metallic lithium will build up in the cell and eventually destroy it).

The minimum charging temperature  is around 0°C (depending on the exact cell type) so in most parts of the world even in mild winter conditions the battery will need to be warmed up to charge.

Second, while you can draw energy from the battery in cold weather, you  get much less energy than if the battery were warmer – there’s a trade-off  between using the energy to warm up the battery and getting more energy out of the battery because it’s hot.

The control logic of the Tesla switches on the battery heater when the temperature is very low and when it is only moderately cold it simply uses the engine’s waste heat to get closer to the “ideal” temperature.

That’s one reason why Tesla vehicles are significantly more efficient over long distances than over short ones.

Model 3 Heater 

Maximizing Your Model 3’s Winter Range

Given the physics, EV batteries may not perform well in the cold and use a lot of extra energy to keep them at a comfortable temperature. All this means that less energy is required to drive, affecting overall range.

That’s bad news out of the way. The good news is that some of the problems associated with electric vehicles in cold weather have been exaggerated. 

While you may find your range is reduced during the colder months, there are many things you can do to minimize the impact. But it’s worth looking into ways to maximize cold-weather range, especially if this will be your first gas-free winter drive.

One of the things we often hear about electric cars in the winter is the fact that lithium-ion batteries are very sensitive to extreme temperatures. 

Too much heat accelerates decomposition, and too cold slows down the ions responsible for capturing and releasing energy.

As bad as it sounds, it’s only half the picture. First of all, the performance of Lithium-Ion batteries is affected only below freezing (0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Car manufacturers are well aware of this fact and have taken steps to ensure that batteries are kept at the optimum temperature.

However, the main problem in cold weather is the heater. Air conditioners consume a lot of electricity, while gasoline cars can use the exhaust heat from the engine, electric cars have to heat all the air from the start. 

Also, consider that the largest EV battery has less energy than a small to medium gas tank. Therefore, less stored energy should be used.

So in cold weather, EV drivers basically have to balance themselves. Maximize range and time before you need to recharge while feeling comfortable enough to drive effectively. 

Why a Battery Heater is Essential in Tesla Model 3

Driving a Tesla Model 3 with advanced heaters will prove to be a huge benefit to any driver who purchases them. Safe for long distance travel in winter or cold climates. 

It also saves you money in the long run as less energy is radiated into the environment and reused to heat your car where it is needed.

A heat pump uses energy (also known as heat) available outside the vehicle to heat the cabin. Also, the inefficient use of energy by electric vehicles to heat the interior in winter can significantly reduce range. 

A considerable amount of heat is dissipated from the battery and drive unit. This energy can be ‘recycled’ to heat the cabin instead of being dissipated outside.

Tesla model 3 Heater around (W)4800

How to Optimize Model 3 Heater for Maximum Efficiency

The Tesla Model 3 Heater features several innovations such as the ‘Super Manifold’ and ‘Octovalve’ that improve the efficiency and integration of the heating system. 

In very cold weather when other heaters are insufficient the Tesla Model 3 system can generate its own heater to keep the cabin warm and prioritize power. 

Another priority for the Tesla Model 3 when designing the heater was to reduce complexity. For example, the engineer needed a new configuration for the coolant circuit, so three valves he combined into one. 

Additionally the introduction of the super manifold allowed Tesla model 3 to significantly reduce the number of components.

Maintaining and Troubleshooting the Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater

Not only is a non-functioning heater on a brand new Tesla Model 3 annoying, but it can even pose a safety/health hazard if you live in a place with harsh winters and temperatures well below freezing. 

Well, that’s exactly what appears to be happening with the latest 2023 MY Model 3 with its new (and oft-discussed) heater.

We don’t know for sure at this point, but we can’t ignore that this problem only afflicts electric cars with heaters. Electrek spoke to the owner of his 2021 Tesla Model 3 in Canada (who is from Quebec).


The owner said the car just stopped blowing hot air into the cabin, and when she took her car to Tesla, she offered a replacement electric car until the problem was fixed.

But they said it would take a while because many other people had the same problem and had brought their electric cars in for repairs and were overwhelmed. 

This suggests that the problem is fairly widespread, but has never been officially acknowledged by the manufacturer until now. 

Some Tweets Related to Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater

Tesla battery Heater in Snow

Benefits of the Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater

Conventional internal combustion engine heaters have two functions. Keeps your car warmer and your car’s engine cooler.

The heat generated by the engine must escape somewhere so that the engine does not overheat. Some of the heat is dissipated through the vehicle’s exhaust system. The remaining heat is used to heat the cabin.

Tesla cars are different in that the engine needs to be cooled not only while driving or idling, but also while the car’s energy storage system is charging.

Teslas can be safely driven in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit, but can only be charged at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To enable charging at low temperatures, the energy storage system’s cooling circuit has a heater that only works during the charging process.

Tesla engines are much more efficient than traditional internal combustion engines and contain fewer parts, so less energy (and gasoline) is wasted to propel the vehicle and heat it.

At the same time, this forces Tesla to use a different heat source to keep the cabin warm and the engine cool, affecting the distance the car can travel on a full charge (sometimes around a 40% reduction).

Stopping areas in cool weather can be reduced by preconditioning the car, such as turning on the car while connected to an energy source and activating the heater to warm the cabin. 

This simple preconditioning reduces some of the energy required to heat the vehicle. This is because the temperature in the passenger compartment only needs to be kept constant, not increased. 

ModelTesla model 3 
FunctionsTwo It heats the interior of the car and cools the car engine.

Let’s Take a Look At the Energy Consumption of The Tesla Model 3 Heater 

Tesla Model 3 can heat the cabin to 52°F (11.1°C) when the driver seat heater is set to one bar and the general heater is at maximum. Consider the amount of energy required to heat up to.

The car was connected to the grid, but charging was scheduled for a later date, so it was possible to see how much of the Tesla’s available 32 amps was being used for heating.

As it turns out, it needed about 4,800W – about 20A at 240V (although it was still 1-2kW higher maxing out at 27A).

The auxiliary heater switched off the driver’s seat heater consumed approximately 500 W (2 A at 240 V). This represents a typical heating requirement of over 4,300W. 

Will Increase Model 3 Battery Heater From 2.5kW to 6kW

It works as a battery heater, although it generates waste heat from the inverter to the coolant circuit to warm the pack. It lights up when the battery temperature drops below a certain threshold (about +5C in my observation), but only when it’s charging or preheating. 

Otherwise it won’t turn on to maintain battery temperature in cold weather. If the battery is below approximately -4°C, the BMS will not charge the battery until it warms up to this level or above. 

The time before actual charging begins is linearly proportional to the onset of outside temperature below this limit. It took a full 71 minutes to heat up the battery before it actually started charging, and I saw the worst at -28°C. 

The measured amount of power this heater was consuming (Total wall power minus battery charge rate) was ~2.5kW. This value is programmable and seems to have been coded to 2.56kW since last year.

My own API measurements up to May 15, 2019 corresponded to this amount. This is a 5/15/2019 Model 3 AWD, charged 3 days ago from 80% to 90% at 2.5°C.

Measurements on August 3, 2019 show that the battery heater consumes up to 6 kW. This is my Model 3 AWD on Aug 3, 2019, charging from 80% to 90% today at 1.5°C (internal temp not included to show cab heater not working) I was.

When charging above 240V/32A and the vehicle temperature is above -4°C, this change has little practical impact on charging time. Below this temperature, heating power is increased, resulting in up to 60% less waiting time before charging begins.


Tesla model 3 cars have battery heaters and coolants. The battery pack is filled with a gel that keeps temperatures of the battery within safety limits. This can cause a little usage while the Tesla car is not in use. Nothing to worry about unless you only have just a few miles left on the battery.


What is the Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater?

Tesla vehicles are equipped with battery heaters. The battery pack is filled with a gel that keeps the battery temperature within a safe range.
This may result in lower consumption when the car is not in use. Unless you only have a few miles left on your battery, don’t worry.

Why is The Battery Heater Important?

These heaters help maintain and control battery temperature to maintain battery power and functionality.

How Does the Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater Work?

The Tesla Model 3 heats the cabin via a resistive heating system that involves passing electrical current through resistive heating elements that generate heat that is blown out of the vents.

How Can the Battery Heater Extend Driving Range?

Heating a car in winter takes a lot of energy. However, you can limit the amount of battery used for heating by running the heater while connected to the charger. 
Some Tesla models allow you to precondition or warm up the battery before driving to extend the Range. 

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Bharat Suthar

I am principal creator of electriccarexperience.com. I like riding Electric Car, UTV in mountains and Terrain, Also I try to share all the real life experience here in the site.I am really dedicated to write about my experience. I love doing all the outdoor activity including riding electric car, dirt biking and hiking.

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