An improved design would have an option to either control the temperature and/or turn it off automatically after 3 minutes. Another option might always activate when entering the car and the temperature is below a set limit.
Optional on a number of vehicles. For example, a 2013 BMW 328i has a heated steering wheel option for $190.
As of 2021, a heated steering wheel is included as standard in all vehicles. For original the Model S, it was added in Dec-2014 as part of the optional cold weather package (which is standard now).
EVs can use thousands of watts heating the cabin, or less than a hundred between seats and steering wheels. Why do European gas-cars have hotter electric seats than Tesla? Along with steering wheels, the practical effect can be longer range.
Very surprised to find this was not part of the Cold Weather package. I guess it has to do with the 3rd party steering column being used , and maybe the California-centric design, but is mandatory in any winter package. On my long commutes I avoid the cabin heater except to defrost the front window and only use the heated seat. Sitting for 2-3 hours with icy hands is a major issue that shouldn't be.
I will add it myself using a carbon fibre heating tape wrap over the lower half of the wheel plugged into the 12V and covered by a removable custom leather/cloth sleeve.
This might sound wierd, but this is a MUST for me as I live in cold Norway and have colder than average hands.
I configured my Tesla S dream car, but have put my reservation on hold hoping Tesla will add this feature in the winter package as soon as possible. I am sure it is only a matter of time until they do. The question is how much time...
This feature is relatively common in cars that are delivered to cold climate countries now. It can at least be found on cars like Volvo, BMW, Merceses, Hyundai and of course Nissan Leaf.
On obvious feature of an electric car because of the the potential power savings of heating all of the inside of the car and an obvious feature of a car in the price segment of the Model S.
If you havevn't tried a car with this feature in cold climate you really should, if you have the opportunity. I agree with Don N: "I would gladly pay several hundres dollars for it.