How Long Can Teslas Sit Uncharged? (With Numbers)

Even though electric vehicles are growing significantly, there’s still some mystery around battery capacity and range, and not all motorists are clued up about electronics in order to determine how big a battery they need.

We all know batteries lose charge when left uncharged, but at what rate does it lose its power? For Teslas, this can be a daunting question because of the potential loss if the battery were to die.

Let’s demystify the numbers and find out how long Teslas can sit uncharged.

Here’s How Long Teslas Can Sit Uncharged:

While it shouldn’t be a typical habit, Tesla owners can leave their cars for over a month uncharged. This should not be mistaken to mean regular usage can still occur.

Also, although owners can leave their Teslas for that long uncharged, factors such as the weather may affect the battery’s state.

How Much Battery Do Teslas Lose When Parked?

Teslas lose around 1% of their battery every day when parked and in certain conditions may lose even more.

Higher consumption when parked may be due to third-party devices installed or even the temperature outside.

Tesla’s high-voltage batteries are vulnerable to cold weather and will lose much more charge in lower temperatures. Cold temperatures slow down chemical and physical reactions in the battery and reduce the battery’s power.

For Teslas, this can even result in much more losses in charge because it is constantly regulated. Regulating and monitoring the battery temperature uses power but may result in a longer battery lifespan and health.

Another issue that may increase battery consumption when parked is when there are aftermarket applications and hardware connected. This equipment is often attached to a 12-volt battery and may use even more power.

Aftermarket equipment such as external displays or all-weather floor mats will use power from the 12-volt battery.

If these accessories are left plugged in, your Tesla will consume more battery when parked.

It’s also important to note that Tesla’s warranty does not cover aftermarket equipment if something were to go wrong. This also goes for third-party software applications that are not made or supported by Tesla.

It’s best to check the Tesla website if you need accessories or certain software for the car. This puts you at ease knowing that the equipment will not harm your Tesla.

You can also find out how much supercharging a Tesla costs.

Can You Leave a Tesla for a Month and Have Battery Left?

Yes, since a Tesla loses around 1% of its charge a day, you can expect to lose around 30% in a month. It is best to charge your Tesla to more than 70% and you’ll likely have some battery left after a month.

In this video, Joy from the Youtube channel TeslaJoy left her Tesla parked for 32 days and the battery losses were kept to a minimum.

Check it out:


Another good practice is to turn off Sentry Mode for the car when leaving it unplugged for a long time.

This also goes for the Cabin Overheat Protection feature which keeps the cabin at a moderate temperature for your convenience.

These features use up even more power when the car is parked and unused. However, certain features such as Cabin Overheat Protection will turn off automatically after a certain period of time.

Sentry Mode is Tesla’s software feature which detects movement around the car and starts recording. This is a security feature for proof of car theft or vandalism whenever the car is parked.

Sentry mode uses the car’s cameras to record video around the car. This can use up a lot of battery when left on.

There’s also the preconditioning feature that keeps the cabin at a certain temperature for your convenience. This feature needs to be turned off if the car will be left parked for a long period of time.

A good recommendation is not to open the Tesla mobile app if the car is left parked. Opening the app actually wakes up the car so that it can report, and this also drains the battery.

How Much Battery Should It Have When You Go On Vacation?

At least 60% charge is recommended for your battery when you go on vacation. When left parked for long periods of time, a Tesla consumes around 1% of the charge per day.

Hence, you should know if charging your Tesla to 100% is a good or bad idea for different conditions.

When you go on vacation, you also want to make sure your Tesla has features like Sentry mode and preconditioning turned off. These features can consume battery power even when the car is off.

When taking into consideration low-temperature extremes, it is best to leave the car at full capacity when leaving. This is to protect the battery from potentially going too low whilst you’re on vacation.

If leaving on vacation, it is also a good idea to leave the car in an enclosed space such as a garage. This is to limit exposure to extreme weather conditions and freezing temperatures.

Vampire drain is when the battery loses some of its capacity even when not on and operating. Tesla car’s vampire drains at a rate of about 1% per day if left unplugged and with all features completely off.

For extended vacation times, it is best to limit the number of times you open the Tesla mobile app. When you open the mobile app, the car turns on in order to report its status and this drains the battery.

Sentry Mode and preconditioning can also use up to around 4% per day when the Tesla is left unplugged. These features can completely drain the battery when left on for over a month.

If the Tesla battery gets to a certain low percentage, Tesla will try to notify the owner of the discharge. If they cannot get a hold of the owner, the car will get discharged and the battery might need replacement.

A replacement battery can cost Tesla owners up to $22,000 depending on the model. However, there are remanufacture battery packs that can cost around $9,000 to $12,000.

Meanwhile, here are some tips for charging a Tesla faster.

Can You Leave a Tesla Unplugged for a Month?

Yes, a Tesla can be left unplugged for a month as it will only lose 1% of its charge per day.

However, it is recommended to charge your Tesla up to 70% if you’ll be leaving it unplugged for long periods of time. Else, there are adverse effects when a Tesla runs out of battery.

Extreme cold or hot temperatures can lead to increased battery capacity losses. Electrical car batteries are vulnerable to extremely hot or cold conditions.

Teslas also monitor and regulate the battery temperature when left unplugged for long periods of time. Regulation and monitoring take a small percentage of the battery’s capacity.

If you know you have aftermarket equipment or applications installed, it is best to uninstall them before leaving the car unplugged.

These can discharge the battery at increased rates and might also discharge it completely.

Tesla’s warranty does not cover the use of aftermarket equipment such as displays, all-weather car mats, and software applications.

It is best to not use aftermarket upgrades because replacement parts for Tesla can be quite expensive.

Why Do Tesla Batteries Drain When Parked?

Tesla cars drain battery power when parked because of features that are left on such as Sentry Mode and Smart summon.

These features drain the battery because they keep the car on when parked.

Another battery hog is using unsupported third-party apps for your Tesla. These can drain a lot of battery power because they keep the car’s main computer busy.

Turning on Garage Mode on the Tesla is also a good idea to let the car sleep and not drain as much battery. This will also disable the automatic opening of car handles whenever you walk around the car.

The Smart Summon and Sentry Mode features are some of the most innovative from Tesla but can be a big battery drain on the car. These features have to be turned off in the mobile app or from the vehicle itself.

It’s increasingly difficult to turn off all the functions and components that keep the car’s main computer on.

As such, the battery will lose some of its capacity even if all features and components are off.

Teslas drain some battery when parked because the main computer needs to be on standby all the time. This is so that you can access the car from the mobile app whenever you need to.

Having the battery on standby also helps to have standby power for features such as Smart Summon. These features need to turn on without delay at the owner’s request and this standby mode drains some battery.

Electric vehicles also need battery monitoring and regulation to make sure the battery is protected. It keeps the battery from discharging completely and regulates temperatures, but this can also drain some of the charges when parked.

What Is Best for Tesla Batteries When Parking for a Month?

Disabling all features that use up battery is best practice when parking a Tesla for a month.

This means disabling Sentry Mode, Smart Summon, and Preconditioning but you can also enable Garage mode.

In extreme conditions, it is recommended to leave the Tesla in a garage instead of an outside parking spot. An exposed Tesla is more susceptible to weather conditions than it is in enclosed spaces.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used in some Tesla models are quite sensitive to cold climates and discharging. This is why battery regulation is vital in keeping the battery at optimal temperatures and monitoring discharge rates.

To be on the safe side, you can also charge the battery to 100% if you’ll be leaving it for a month. This will ensure that the battery does not discharge completely and still be used once you return.

If a Tesla battery completely loses capacity and is at 0%, it goes into low-power consumption mode. If the battery completely drains, it can also damage the vehicle’s components.

Tesla will notify an owner if the battery is very low so that they can get to a charging station as soon as possible. Teslas discharge at a very slow pace in order to have enough power for onboard electronics.

It is also not recommended to charge the battery to 100% repeatedly for lithium-ion batteries. However, this is good practice if you’ll be leaving the car parked for a month.

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