Tesla Model 3 Update Brings Big Boosts for Cold Climates

The Tesla Model 3 is getting a heat boost for the cold weather. A new software update that started rolling out this week provides owners of the company’s cheapest-ever electric car with new tools to reduce the effects of the chill, set to reach around zero degrees in the New England area.

The version 44.2 software update makes a number of welcone changes. The update makes in-car climate management easier, enabling users to focus air from the vents into one area, or use a pinching motion on the central touchscreen to split the airflow. Users can also view a clearer 3D visualization of the dashboard , enabling them to drag the air to the desired area rather than tapping. The update notes also state that “window position and charge locking behaviors have been optimized for cold weather.” Reddit user “lambus” shared a video of the new window position in action, which avoids pressing the glass under the top trim to stop the door freezing shut:

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Teslas face a number of challenges in these colder conditions. A study by Teslarati found the battery range drops by around 25 percent in colder temperatures. This is due to the battery working less efficiently than at normal temperatures. Tesla released a software update in December last year to mitigate the worst effects of this, preheating the battery when plugged in to reduce range loss.

The improvements will come as a welcome benefit to Norwegian customers, which ranks as Tesla’s largest market per capita. Inverse spoke with one owner who lived near the Arctic Circle, and he noted that the Model X falcon wing doors struggle in the cold, as does the semi-autonomous Autopilot mode during low visibility. Tesla has worked hard to support its big market, aiming to quadruple its mobile service operators over last summer to get more cars fixed faster.

These updates will pave the way for Autopilot 10, set to include features like Netflix support.

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