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Benefit of leaving the truck plugged in when the weather is cold?

2455 Views 22 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ChasingCoral
Now that the weather has turned cold, every time I shut down the truck, I get a message on the screen that because of the outside temperature I should leave the truck plugged in.

My question is if I am not charging and have not set a destination time, what is the benefit, if any, to leaving the truck plugged in during cold weather?
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  • When you go to drive, you can pre-condition the cabin using "shore power" rather than the battery. This will increase your range and may be more economical as their are losses inherent in charging/discharging any battery.
  • Keeping the truck plugged in will help keep the 12v topped up
  • PowerUps require the truck to have sufficient charge in the 12v battery. Keeping the truck plugged in will help make sure PowerUps install.
Ok that all makes sense. I also hadn't thought about effect on the 12v battery from the cold.
You're just going to lose range by not plugging it in.

The truck needs to maintain the battery at a certain temperature, so that will drain some (minimum) power overnight.
Then the next day when you go to drive, the truck needs to use energy to warm up (condition) the battery. That will use up more power (more than the overnight).

So if you have your truck plugged in, it can just draw power from the wall to do both of those things, instead of pulling from the battery.

I don't pick up my truck until Saturday. So I can't say how much impact those two factors have on the trucks range, but it definitely will have an impact. And the colder it is, the more the impact.
I did notice this week after three days of not driving I lost about 2 percent of the charge. Temps at night here are going into the mid 20s and I park outside because the truck won't fit into the garage.
Keep in mind that leaving your vehicle plugged in when it is very hot or very cold allows the truck to prevent stress on the battery. Whereas the unplugged vehicle will still keep the battery temperatures out of the danger area, when you get in to go it still may be pretty cold. We can begin the argument of how much stress it puts to use the battery cold, however most experts agree that it does stress a lithium battery to use it cold.

Conversely, most modern EVS will use a little bit more power to keep the battery in the "happy" zone when it is plugged in. The "happy" zone is the threshold where the stress is zero or negligible when the vehicle is used at that temperature.

For the longest and happiest battery life, most manufacturers will tell you to keep the vehicle plugged in, especially in extreme temperatures.
Good info. Thanks.
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