Car Road Trip

How to Maximize Tesla Range & Reduce Battery Drain

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Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Rose Morah

Wondering how you can maximize Tesla range when going on long road trips?

This article has some great tips to help you extend your Tesla range, or rather get more miles from a single charge.

The article also provides tips for reducing Tesla battery drain when parked outside overnight.

This is what we are going to cover in a nutshell:

  • Different range measurements
  • How to get maximum range while driving
  • How to deal with range anxiety on a long road trip
  • Tips to reduce battery drain

But it is important to also point out that the displayed range on the Tesla screen is usually not accurate. 

Personally, I have not seen it have any big impact on my driving, and it has also not been consistent. 

To help you understand the Tesla range better, let’s take a look at how Tesla vehicles report range.

See also: 7 Smart Long-distance Tesla Road Trip Tips.

  1. Regulatory Range 

These are a range of tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), and the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

This is not the actual range because it does not give calculations based on how you actually use your car.

  1. Rated Range

The rated range is one seen on the Tesla screen or in the Tesla app when you set it to distance’ on the range display.

This type of range only measures how far your Tesla can go and will vary based on the factors that affect the range.

However, this is not the most accurate range measurement because it does not reflect your actual driving.

  1. Actual Range

To get the near-most accurate range, you will need to check it out on the energy app.

This is the most accurate range measurement as it gives you the results based on your actual driving and factors other driving variables.

The range from these three range measurements hence doesn’t usually match because they are all measured differently.

See the Longest Range Electric Car in 2022.

See also: Cool and Must-Have Tesla Model 3 and Y Accessories.

How to get maximum range while driving

  1. Keep your car clean

Keeping the exterior of your Tesla clean can help increase the number of miles covered. When particles build up on the car over time, this can affect Tesla’s range.

Before heading out with your Tesla, always keep out things like leaves and other debris under the hood and near air intakes.

  1. Tire Pressure

If you are going on a road trip during the cold season, make sure you have the right tire pressure.

Tire pressure affects your car’s efficiency, which directly affects the car’s range. The tire pressure should be up to the optimum level, or as recommended by the tire manufacturer

To avoid over-inflating your tires during the cold season, I’d recommend you measure your tires after driving for about 30 miles after they heat up. This way you will get an accurate measure of the tire pressure. 

If you’re looking for an excellent pocket-friendly tire pressure pump, consider checking out this one on Amazon.

Additionally, if you are looking for quality wheels or the next set of tires for your Tesla, checkout


What Causes Low Tire Pressure (And The Solutions).

Tire Pressure Guide: What is the Proper Tire Pressure For Vehicles?

  1. Use the Tesla Energy app

To get an almost accurate range while going on a Tesla road trip, I’d recommend you use the energy app. You just need to go to the energy app and set it to 30 miles then select the average range.

The miles will change and give you the right range based on how you are driving.

  1. Use chill mode and regenerative braking

As you are probably aware, chill mode reduces how fast your Tesla can accelerate.

Chill mode also reduces the number of times you are going to change your tires.

This is because it helps the car run more efficiently, thus helping save your tires.

When it comes to regenerative braking, be sure to set it to “Standard” if your Tesla has that option.

Related: Best Tires For Electric Cars (Regular Tires VS. Special EV Tires).

  1. Choose the right wheels.

The size of the wheels matters.

Bigger wheels minimize the number of miles covered due to reduced efficiency as a result of increased rolling resistance.

The vice versa is also true for smaller wheels.


5 Tesla Supercharging Tips To Speed Up Your Charging Time On A Road Trip.

Reasons Why Your Tesla Is Charging Slow At A Supercharger.

  1. Change the suspension height settings.

Tesla Model S and X owners can maximize their range by setting the adjustable suspension height to “Low”.

This helps reduce drag, which affects range.

  1. Avoid running the heater and AC.

If you need to extend the Tesla range depending on your situation, you will need to turn off the heater and the AC.

Additionally, if you are driving during the cold season, try using the seat and steering wheel heaters and avoid the cabin heaters. 

Seat and steering heaters use lesser energy, which you will need to maximize range.

Therefore, during the cold weather, try using the seat and steering wheel heaters instead of the cabin heater as much as you can as they use far less energy.

  1. The cargo in your Tesla

Taking too many staffs with you when going on a road trip will definitely affect your range.

To maximize the Tesla range you will need to carry less. This may include removing your roof racks.

Lesser weight in your car means that it is going to run more efficiently.
  1. Your driving style and weather

Your driving style affects your range.


  • Driving at high speeds. You consume more energy when you drive faster.
  • Braking. When stopping in traffic try not to use your brakes but instead use regenerative braking.
  • Driving on an uphill road, or in windy, rainy, and snowy conditions will definitely affect your range.

When driving in these weather conditions or in changing temperatures, the predicted range will keep changing drastically.

  1. Pre-condition your Tesla before departure

Set your car to precondition before departure ( when plugged in).

This will help the car to be more ready before you start driving. It will hence run more efficiently and thus maximize the number of miles covered.

How to deal with range anxiety on a long road trip

I would recommend you get a good Tesla trip planner app to help you plan your charging stops and get close to accurate charge estimates for your charging stops/destination.

See also:

Best EV Route Planner in 2022 (According To EV Owners).

How to use Tesla J1772 Adapter at non-Tesla public charging stations.

How to reduce battery drain on tesla overnight

To reduce battery drain and extend your Tesla battery life when parked overnight, here is what I would recommend:

  1. Disable the Sentry Mode 

If you are going to park your Tesla overnight or for a long time in a place where you feel it is going to be secure, be sure to turn off the Sentry Mode.

This will significantly help prevent Tesla battery drain overnight.

This is because Sentry Mode uses power when left on.

I realized that Sentry Mode prevents the car from going to sleep (full power down). In most cases, whenever I live it on I experience more battery drains.

Tesla automatically shuts down, hence turning off the Sentry mode once the remaining battery hits below 20%.

This means that your remaining battery will retain the 20% charge till morning.

If you are worried about battery drain and the security of your car, you can also nest an outdoor cam and go ahead and turn off the Sentry Mode.

2. Shut Down the car

When Tesla is completely asleep, it does not use any energy. You will, therefore, not expect any battery loss on your Tesla when parked. This is, especially if you need enough range to take you to your next destination the following morning.

3. Do not open the Tesla app.

Minimize how often you open the Tesla app on your phone. This is because according to Teslafi’s experiment, each time you open it, you ‘wake’ the car thus leading to energy and battery loss.

4. Check if you have other Tesla apps running in the background.

For those Tesla owners who have more than one Tesla app, it is important to check that non is running in the background as they could be draining your battery overnight.

5. Disable the cabin heat overprotection.

I realized that there was a massive improvement in battery loss reduction after I started disabling the cabin heat.


If you are still noticing massive battery loss, especially if you recently bought your Tesla, I would advise you to call a service agent to test the battery. This might help identify the real problem.

Hello there! My name is Rose. I’m passionate about electric cars and clean energy. My adventurous spirit and journalistic pursuits make each day fascinating and far greater. I consider traveling not just about the grandeur moments, but the little elements that transform the whole experience.