When Tesla released the Model Y in March of this year, there was a brand new feature hidden underneath the frunk that no one knew about, a heat pump. CEO Elon Musk described the new heat pump and Octovalve as some of the best engineering he’s seen.
Switching from a resistive heater, like the one in the Model 3, it was hoped the heat pump would greatly improve the range and efficiency of the Model Y in cold weather.
With the first signs of winter happening this past weekend in Alberta, where temperatures dropped well below zero and the white stuff making an appearance, one owner took his Model Y out to see how it stacked up to his previous Model 3.
Tesla fan and data enthusiast @kkvr2823 owns a Long Range Model Y in Calgary with the optional 20″ Induction wheels. At the start of his test, the outside temperature was a balmy -8°C (17.6°F), interior temperature was pre-set to 22°C (71.6°F), and the car was charged to 90% (459km or 285 miles).
During the test, the HVAC was turned on for the majority of the drive, set at 22°C (71.6°F) to prevent the windows from fogging up. To be as consistent as possible and to avoid any skewing of the data by his personal driving habits, Autopilot was used for 95% of the test.
After driving for 103.1km (64.06 miles), the Model Y consumed 21kWh of energy, resulting in an impressive 205Wh/km (330Wh/mi), or 66.2% efficiency according to data from Teslafi.
In comparing the efficiency data in the same temperature range to both the Long Range AWD and Standard Range Plus Model 3, the Model Y came out on top beating the LR Model 3 by nearly 2%.
On the surface the fact the Model Y lost about 35% of its efficiency might not sound like much. But when you consider the extra weight and decreased aerodynamics due to its bulkier size, the fact it was more efficient than the Model 3 becomes much more impressive.
As the Model Y gets to experience its first winter, we will surely see many more videos and tests of how it performs in cold weather. But for now, it looks like it is off to a promising start.
Be sure to follow @kkvr2823 on Twitter for more data on his test drive, and check out our list of winter driving tips for Tesla owners in cold climates.