Drivers, warm up your batteries! Tesla app updated with cold weather 'precondition' feature

We deliberately omitted Tesla from our list of brands that let you start, stop or unlock your vehicle remotely with the help of your smartphone, as this car has been developed from the ground up with connectivity and apps in mind. Hey, Tesla cars even get firmware updates, so this latest news from the universe of the world's most popular electric vehicle is not overly surprising.

How about getting your car battery preconditioned from the comfort of your phone? "Preconditioning" refers to the process of warming up the battery so as the software doesn't limit the car's abilities when you drive off. Think of it as a cold start - until a regular IC engine reaches its operating temperature, it guzzles on gas, so leaving it to idle for a few minutes before takeoff is a good idea, if you have time for it.

Tesla's battery behaves in a somewhat similar way - when it's cold outside, the battery's output gets limited, along with regenerative breaking and the charge rate. If you warm up the battery beforehand, though, it will be the equivalent of idling your motor to operating temps, so Tesla just pushed an app update for its car that allows you to precondition the pack in cold weather.

Once it's about freezing outside, an orange alert icon shaped as a battery will appear in the overview panel of your Tesla car app, and you can start the process about an hour before you drive out. Tesla recommends that the car be plugged in at the time to avoid range loss, and the "preconditioning" feature needs your vehicle to be updated to software version 2017.50 or higher.

source: Tesla (Android, iOS)

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