Have App, Will Play - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S Performance: Have App, Will Play

July 17, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

I'm fairly obsessed with the iPhone app for our 2013 Tesla Model S. Every once in a while I just check in to see how the car is doing. It's like having a baby monitor for your car.

I noticed that it loses some estimated range just being parked overnight. Not sure if it is consuming a small amount of energy while it rests or if it adjusting itself based on my driving style from my latest trip. Either way, I check the app occasionally to see where I stand.

One sunny afternoon I noticed that the app said the interior temperature of the car was 117 degrees F. Yikes.

So, using the app I vented the sunroof to let some of the heat escape. (It's also fun to be able to honk the horn when my neighbor's kids get too close to the car. Tee hee.)

I checked back about 30 minutes later and the app said the car's interior was 116 degrees. Nothing stops the relentless Southern California sunshine.

Before I went out later that afternoon, I used the app to turn on the climate control system and watched as the interior temp quickly dropped.

The car was comfortably cool when I slid into the driver seat three minutes later.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor


  • alex4515 alex4515 Posts:

    Pretty neat feature. I know some cars already have similar features (some Chevy's, not sure about others) but I can't see myself using it with a gas-powered car, as I hate leaving the car with the engine idling un-necessarily. I don't think it would bother me at all to use it with a fully electric model like this one.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Do you have children? If so, do they have gps tracking chips in their shoulders? All kidding aside, that is a pretty cool app. So I assume that the Tesla is always partly on, which may be why the charge goes down a little at night. I'm not sure as I'm not battery expert.

  • smudge12 smudge12 Posts:

    "Not sure if it is consuming a small amount of energy while it rests..." I think the whole post answers that question. The Tesla's gotta be using energy to constantly monitor itself for those live updates. ;-)

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    "It's like having a baby monitor for your car." Great line Donna. Thankfully there are still some old cars around for those of us who like to tinker.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I thought that there was a software update to combat the vampire power loss when parked, and I thought this car had had it done.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Being able to turn on the HVAC before you get into the Model S and while it's still plugged in is a huge advantage. HVAC use is highest when you first get in (since you need to cool/heat the car more than when you're in the middle of your drive), and if it's still sucking juice out of the charger when this is happening you'll get slightly longer range I'm guessing.

  • banhugh banhugh Posts:

    This post sounds like the basis of some nice prank once another editor checks out the car...

  • mfennell mfennell Posts:

    GM's OnStar theoretically provides similar functions but it sucks. The latency is outrageous. Think a minute wait for a response or worse. It sounds like the Tesla system, with a proper data connection, actually responds nearly instantly.

  • mieden mieden Posts:

    Not a WHOLE minute...

  • mayhemm mayhemm Posts:

    @fordson1: Yes, they did originally have a "standby mode" for the car which reduced vampire losses overnight, but then removed it in subsequent updates due to it causing problems (cars refusing to wake up, IIRC). They've since reintroduced it i

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