As you may know, the Tesla Model 3 now comes standard with a heat pump, which wasn’t the case too long ago. All Tesla’s other current models come standard with heat pumps, but earlier Model 3 sedans were equipped with a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) resistive heater. You really don’t need to understand the technology, but it’s nice to know if one works better than the other and if the difference is notable.
For all the folks who may not be following, our good friends Kyle and Alyssa of Out of Spec Reviews have taken to braving the bitter cold on quite a few occasions these days to provide us with much-needed cold-weather coverage of electric vehicles. They sit out in the cold so we don’t have to, apprising us of details about electric car range, charging, and so much more.
This recent video in Kyle and Alyssa’s growing series of winter weather coverage requires the two to freeze their butts off in the name of science. Well … to be clear, Kyle admits to not being an HVAC expert and not using the most scientific processes or equipment, though these tests clearly seem to get the job done and provide valuable information for EV owners in cold climates.
Kyle and Alyssa film the intro and some other parts of the video sitting in their warm Rivian R1T electric truck before heading out into the cold to freeze in the Model 3 sedans. It’s around -20ºF and the two Model 3s have been sitting in the bitter cold for hours with their windows cracked.
The goal is to see if the 2019 Model 3 with the PTC or the 2021 Model 3 with the heat pump warms up more quickly. While one would assume the heat pump will rule, Kyle says he’s honestly not so sure how it’s going to play out. He also reveals in the video description that the results were not as he expected.
Check out the video to learn which Model 3 heater wins this unique race. Once you’ve watched, share your cold-weather EV wisdom with us. Do you own an EV with (or without) a heat pump? Have you had to deal with really cold weather? Share your personal experiences with us in the comment section below.