Tesla Model X Versus the Winter, the Winter Wins (Even without Trying)

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When SUVs go head to head with the winter, it usually involves mountains of snow, four-wheel-drive, and occasionally even some shoveling. In this case, though, all was needed to take the Tesla Model X out was a freezing temperature.
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One reason people buy SUVs is to be ready for the winter. Well, it’s not so much a reason as an excuse. They are too embarrassed to admit they do it for their own ego, for the sensation of power it gives you over smaller cars, that they need to come up with alternative reasons.

The cold season is a known enemy for any type of vehicles, SUVs included. Not only do the snow and ice reduce grip severely, but the cold is also bad for battery performance. But don’t think EVs are the only ones affected by this: a large diesel engine might refuse to start due to the low voltage in its 12V battery. When that happens, you’ll gladly take the reduced range of an EV over the no range at all of your diesel truck.

However, it’s EVs we’re here to discuss – particularly the Tesla Model X. With winter closing in on the Northern hemisphere, everybody’s making the necessary preparations to get through it without incidents. But while for many that means checking the windshield washer fluid is freeze-proof, fitting the winter tires, and checking the 12V battery, for the Tesla, the most important thing is to make sure not to forget pre-heating the vehicle.

Most electric vehicles spend their parked lives in a garage. They have this privilege over some their fossil-fuel-burning counterparts due to their need to recharge overnight as well, meaning people who buy them usually have access to a garage as well.

However, those who don’t – or who often leave the car outside for long periods of time in the cold – and drive a Tesla Model X might want to watch this clip. It shows Bjørn Nyland’s experience with his electric SUV on a chilly November morning after the X had been left outside.

The damp atmosphere combined with the sub-zero degrees Celsius temperatures meant that the car was covered with a thin film of frost. The rear spoiler popped out just fine, but the front door took some convincing to open. Since they’re completely electric, the car felt there was some opposition from the ice and decided to abort the procedure.

The worst part was it failed to lower the window enough to clear the framing so pulling the door manually could result in breaking the glass. Bjørn was lucky enough to get away with it, but we wouldn’t recommend pulling too hard if it doesn’t give in easily.

Folding the mirrors proved to be impossible as well, as did shutting the door closed. Well, from the outside at least, because once he got inside and pressed the brake to “start” the car, it worked. To be fair, the conditions were far from extreme, and by the time the video ends, the Model X had almost defrosted by itself. As Bjørn says, he should attempt the test under more demanding circumstances, though we’ve already seen what a barely noticeable layer of frost can do to the car.


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