Polar vortex 1, Tesla Model S 0? Possibly. Norway is certainly a long way from the sunny California climes where the luxury electric vehicle is made and, while the cars are popular in that country, the country's cold weather is creating problems for car owners, the Norwegian website News in English reports.

As winter has set in, a number of Model S owners are reporting charging problems. One driver was stranded with a dead battery on Christmas Eve, while others have said Tesla's recharging cables are having a hard time holding a charge when the temperature gets substantially below freezing levels. Tesla has acknowledged that Norway has a different kind of electric grid than the US (and not just because it's 99 percent hydro-powered) that could be causing the problem. The company has reportedly sent Norwegian owners country-specific updates for the on-board recharging software.

Once charged, the Model S works just fine in Norway. In this December video, posted by Norwegian Model S owner Bjorn Nyland, a Model S manages to drive for about 233 miles on a single charge in temperatures that reached only about 21 degrees Fahrenheit, and even then the car had about another 25 miles worth of juice left. Tesla has been well-received in Norway in part because of extensive government incentives as well as perks such as bus-lane access and free parking.


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  • 32 Comments
      jim5437532
      • 10 Months Ago
      Alleged Uncommanded Tesla Model S. Acceleration A complaint was filed with the NHTSA, allegedly a customer had uncommanded accelerations in cold conditions. Allegedly the vehicle was taken in for service in part for uncommanded acceleration, allegedly the uncommanded accelerations continued after the vehicle was serviced by authorized Tesla service. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=C&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=10562266
      kca124
      • 10 Months Ago
      "cables have a hard time holding a charge" What is this author smoking. Cables don't hold charges, they carry current to the batteries, which "hold a charge".
        leong
        • 10 Months Ago
        @kca124
        how about "electrons in Northern Europe are heavier in winter due to high latitude and code temperature."
      Beier
      • 10 Months Ago
      newsinenglish.no has cited 'DN'. At dn.no there are a short summary with quotes from Tesla. (there is supposed to be a longer article available for paying customers.) The connectors or conductors are not mentioned to have anything to do with aborted charging. It is the box on the cable, which is mentioned. It sounds like the EVSE has electronics to measure the ground connection, and the ground test fails, which orders disconnection from the power grid. A good ground connections may proove hard to establish on a rock, and in areas where the underground primarily consists of bedrock. The software upgrade to the car changes the test to be less strict. Perhaps Teslas ground connection test was stricter than in the cars and EVSE's from other brands, that did allow charging from outlets that Teslas cars rejected to use? A reference in Norwegian: http://www.dn.no/dnBil/article2754202.ece
      Letstakeawalk
      • 10 Months Ago
      Why is Tesla replacing cables then? http://www.vg.no/bil-og-motor/artikkel.php?artid=10142719 The owners are complaining that they haven't had problems with any other BEVs, and they seem to think it's a Tesla issue. Tesla is saying it's not the car, but the cables or maybe the Norwegian grid. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/26085-Many-owners-with-UMC-problems-in-Norway-specially-during-cold-weather/page3 I doubt the Norwegians are going to change their whole grid, and I'm not convinced that the cables and EVSE are the problem due to the success of other BEVs. Aside, quite frankly, I think the behavior of the moderator "bonnie" is a bit over-the-top, bullying the poster "newbie". "Newbie" simply wants to keep the thread on topic, while "bonnie" wants to focus on "Newbie". "It is not off-topic to try to determine the motivation when we see a focused effort like yours. Your multiple merged posts may have started this thread, but that does not mean you are the one to decide what is and is not on-topic." (material quoted under Fair Use doctrine)
      EZEE2
      • 10 Months Ago
      I am glad everyone addressed Danny's macaroni art picture posing as an article. As the resident rocket scientist (rocket did blow up) I was feeling obligated to explain the absurdity of the article, but everyone has it well covered. Anyone know what the actual problem was? We first have battery cables not holding a charge (face palm) and then a 'different kind of electric grid.' With most electric grids, electricity comes out of outlets and such, but I guess in Norway that might not be the case?
        bluepongo1
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZEE2
        @2EZEE D. King = fact free or fiction. Other rocket scientist here ( M.H. Kane/ mine made it to the ISS & beyond.) A quick summary : Tech growing pains. :-)
        AndY1
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZEE2
        I've read the TMC thread a week ago. One issue seems to be a UMC, which often fails at temperature below 0°C. In case of a public charging station (Type2 Mennekes - 3 phase up to 22kW) or another manufacturer of the mobile EVSE unit, the same Model S charges without a problem. However with the update, which would prevent socket meltdowns, owners started having charging problems they didn't have before, even with the charging units, that are not from Tesla. So, these are the problems: - failing UMCs - to sensitive charging software update reporting false positives
        Grendal
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZEE2
        It snows electricity in Norway. Or maybe they pull the energy from the Northern Lights. I actually like that snazzy grey S zipping along a snow packed road.
      jeff
      • 10 Months Ago
      It is not the cables, but issues with the electrical infrastructure. The cars detect these electrical fluctuations as possibly dangerous and shuts down the charging... I suspect that once Tesla identifies the parameters that cause the issue and verifies that they are safe, a software update should solve the issue.
        Grendal
        • 10 Months Ago
        @jeff
        That's what I was thinking. Maybe the system is reading fluctuations. The newest update makes the system more sensitive to that and gives it the ability to shut it down to avoid a fire.
      Grendal
      • 10 Months Ago
      No matter what the problem is, it seems that Tesla is aware of it and is working hard to get it fixed ASAP. I am curious to find out what the exact problem was. I'm sure it had to do with the harsh conditions though.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        Other BEVs seem to handle it fine. Maybe Tesla's engineers should just crib some notes.
          Grendal
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          If that is what works then I'm all for it. The last thing we want is a bunch of angry Norwegians, that's not a pretty sight.
      Joeviocoe
      • 10 Months Ago
      Rotation... the problem could certainly reside in an EVSE... and still be correctable from a over-the-air update. Most problems in the EVSE will be caused (or at least detected) by current flow, and the fluctuation of that current. The on-board charger has most of the smarts in the whole charge system... and it controls how much current is being drawn. I think it is much too early to fully understand the problem. And await a real technical overview of the problem (rather than poor translations and wild speculation).
      Joeviocoe
      • 10 Months Ago
      --"Why is Tesla replacing cables then? " A simple keyword search for "EVSE" in that article, (and turning up nill) leads me to believe they do not have a word for EVSE, and simply call it "cable".
      jim5437532
      • 10 Months Ago
      Tesla has been selling cars in Norway like hotcakes, despite the fact that Tesla has been an epic fail in Norway. Again Tesla is being reactive, rather than proactive. Tesla did not properly research and test the Norway power grid in Norway. Tesla again has made faulty designs. Tesla improperly designed its charger system, for the Norway power grid. Tesla engineering, customer service and support has been an epic failure in Norway. Despite customers complaining for several weeks, the problems went unresolved. Disgruntled customers went to the media because Tesla did not resolve the issues. Despite major problems for several weeks, management claimed that they were unaware of the problems until it hit the headlines. So there are also major communication problems at Tesla. Tesla is trying to put a Band-Aid on the problem in Norway, with a software update. It's much like the problems with the faulty charge connectors in the US being a fire hazard was not being properly addressed even though the problems were apparent for many months. Tesla didn't issue a recall until after the authorities were notified of the fire hazard and injuries from their defective products. Tesla tried to put a Band-Aid on the problem with a software update, but a Band-Aid was insufficient and the update allegedly had a dangerous fault that in some cases could increase the fire hazard. The software update was supposed to reduce the current when a fault was detected, but allegedly in some cases the current was increase when a fault was detected. Apparently they rushed the software, so it had dangerous glitches. The software update was insufficient, so they recalled almost 30,000 Tesla S' to replace adapters. The upgraded adapters will likely significantly help reduce the risk of a fire hazard, but it still does not fix the underlying problem. Tesla skimped on safety on some of the charge connector designs. Some of the Tesla charge connectors are prone to overheating, melting and burning. Tesla isn't taking the safety hazards seriously, it is playing semantics and blame games. Tesla is trying to scapegoat its design problems, on faulty house wiring and faulty outlets. While there undoubtedly are and will be some house wearing and wall outlet issues, that should not be used as a red herring to draw attention away from faulty Tesla designs. Most of the charge connector failures I have seen, have been the fault of Tesla's charge connections. Not house wiring or wall outlets. Tesla is a greedy corporation that skimps on safety. Tesla and their minions are very vindictive and hate constructive criticism, skeptics and safety advocates.
      Rotation
      • 10 Months Ago
      I thought the problem was the EVSEs? If this is the case, why is a car firmware update fixing it? My understanding is that the EVSE is showing a ground fault because the EVSE doesn't like Norway's unbonded delta power. How would this be fixed by a software update, especially when the EVSE doesn't take software updates over the air or at all?
        Rotation
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        I should add another thing, supposedly Teslas in Norway already get a different EVSE than the rest of Europe due to their unbonded power. For what that matters.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 10 Months Ago
      FTA: "The problem is tied to the recharging cables that come with the Model S cars, because they don’t hold the charge in cold weather." This seems like an absurd comment. Cables aren't designed to hold a charge, they conduct a current. Do they mean that the cables are losing conductivity?
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Hmm.. a certain paid writer fails to understand what they're writing about again.. :P My guess.. contactor shrinkage O_O
          Joeviocoe
          • 10 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDdjeCtux3k
        Joeviocoe
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        --"The problem is tied to the recharging cables that come with the Model S cars, because they don’t hold the charge in cold weather." http://www.newsinenglish.no/2014/01/20/norwegian-winter-parks-popular-tesla-electric-cars/ A bad translation from a Norwegian website. And Danny doesn't have the knowledge to pick up on that.
          JakeY
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Letstakeawalk "Once they've written something in a public forum, it's out there for anyone to quote." No it isn't free for anyone to legally quote, it's only usable if it's considered fair use. A lot of users on TMC have that disclaimer to remind others that they are not giving implicit permission to use their posts (esp. large parts of it). This also serves as warning to some forums who copy and paste TMC member content in whole as thread starters. And courts have ruled that if the quoted text is deemed as competition or a valuable part of the original, even if you quote a very small section, it can be a violation of copyright. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/fair-use-rule-copyright-material-30100.html
          Rotation
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          JakeY: I mentioned that above. The issue isn't the lack of a ground from the service entry. The issue is that the 3 phase power is not grounded (bonded) at any point. That means that all 3 phases can be of any possible potential to ground, including 0V to ground, or hundreds of V to ground. This can make it difficult to detect ground faults and can cause spurious detection too.
          JakeY
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Letstakeawalk The major red flag is spamming multiple forums about the Norway UMC (which got him reported by multiple people; he got let off with a warning, maybe even two, but this is a bannable offense esp. for a new user). He also started this thread about window wipers: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/26234-Window-wipers-breaking-off-in-Norway-Known-weakness-apparently-fix-available He did start his membership in a unrelated forum posting about painting undersides of the car (but even if you assume he was malicious, he would have no choice but to start off with relatively positive posts, as moderators have to approve your first posts before you can freely post on TMC). Shortly after he went to a thread complaining about taillight condensation. And his only other neutral/positive posts were at a thread speculating about a P110+. The bulk of this posts are about the UMC and window wiper in Norway. You can see all his posts here: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/member.php/20448-Newbie
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          What other posts has "newbie" posted, to make him/her such a suspect? Honestly, I just wanted a reason to quote "bonnie". Every time I read one of his/her posts, with the "disclaimer" underneath, makes me want to quote something. That moderator has a serious misunderstanding of how the internet works, much less copyright. Once they've written something in a public forum, it's out there for anyone to quote.
          JakeY
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Letstakeawalk "Aside, quite frankly, I think the behavior of the moderator "bonnie" is a bit over-the-top, bullying the poster "newbie". "Newbie" simply wants to keep the thread on topic, while "bonnie" wants to focus on "Newbie"." If you know the whole context you would know that is not that case. Newbie is a new member that almost exclusively posts negative things about Tesla. That's fine in and of itself, but he also spams multiple sub-forums with the same negative posts. When people point out and report his spamming, he pulls out the "please say on topic" card. The moderators (including bonnie) have moved all his posts into one thread which is why that context is missing.
          JakeY
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Joeviocoe "I think it is much too early to fully understand the problem. And await a real technical overview of the problem (rather than poor translations and wild speculation)." Ditto on that. The translations are poor and no one has posted a plausible technical explanation yet of what might be the cause (only speculation). However, I do know it's true that Norway gets a different EVSE from the rest of Europe because of their special grid called "Isolated Terra" or IT where there is no ground connection from the power source. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthing_system#IT_network Users however have reported that charging works with hard wired EVSEs from other brands, so it may have to do with the connection with the mobile EVSE (not sure what socket they use).
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          "This also serves as warning to some forums who copy and paste TMC member content in whole as thread starters." That makes total sense, and I agree that would be a violation. However, making the actual disclaimer is kind of pointless. The copyright vests immediately, regardless of whether there's a warning or not. "Once they've written something in a public forum, it's out there for anyone to quote." Quotes are always allowable, especially when attributions are given to the original author. Taking entire posts wholesale, and reposting them for commercial purposes, isn't. I am very familiar with Fair use, which is why I invoked it.
          JakeY
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Letstakeawalk "However, making the actual disclaimer is kind of pointless. The copyright vests immediately, regardless of whether there's a warning or not." The practical use of that disclaimer is to discourage people from copying by serving as a reminder. It's similar to a sign that says a property is under surveillance or has security system. It's illegal to steal regardless of that sign, but it serves as a useful deterrent. "Quotes are always allowable" It's more nuanced that that. Giving credit and quoting smaller section is not always allowable. The article I linked says that if the quoted parts are deemed as the most valuable parts, then it may still be a violation. Basically quality comes before quantity.
          Rotation
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          My understanding was that Teslas charge okay from other EVSEs (presumably Mennekes or J1772, as nothing else has a Tesla connector on it). However, I'm starting to doubt this. It's starting to sound like it actually is the car, given the software update strategy.
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