They'll appreciate them next winter.
The Tesla Model Y will soon complete something of a milestone, its first full winter. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be a big deal for an SUV, crossover, or really any type of vehicle. But the Model Y is purely electric. Its motor and battery technologies aren't entirely new, but the expansion of Tesla customers across the country continues and that means a wider variety of weather conditions beyond typically sunny California. Heck, even Texas experienced a deep freeze last month.
Electrek reports Tesla is fully aware many Model Y owners have experienced problems in extremely cold temperatures and is currently releasing a fresh batch of software updates to address their complaints.
This new update includes "Minor Cold Weather Improvements and Bug Fixes" and "Additional enhancements have been made to improve the overall experience in cold weather." Specific details about the upgrades are not available but, supposedly, some owners already claim they can notice a difference, specifically with stronger regenerative braking. This system is typically not as strong in the cold because the powertrain needs to warm up before it's activated.
Following the Model 3's first winter in 2018, Tesla received many reports about faulty handling, issues with windows and door handles, and frozen charging ports. All issues were quickly addressed. In general, Teslas handle extremely well in winter thanks to instant torque sent to all four wheels for plenty of traction and control.
One of the biggest concerns battery electric vehicle owners have, regardless if they drive a Tesla, is how cold temperatures hurt the lithium-ion batteries. Range and charging times are often affected. In fact, in a Norwegian Automobile Federation test last year, the organization found that on average, electric vehicles lost 18.5 percent of their official driving range when the temperatures hovered around freezing.
Unlike an internal combustion engine that generates its own heat, EVs have to get that warmth from elsewhere, such as grabbing the small amount of heat the inverters and motors provide. Running a battery heater can be beneficial, but this also requires energy, meaning there'll be less power on hand for the wheels. Software updates can certainly help but further advances in battery tech, specifically energy storage, are what's ultimately necessary.