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Model 3 LR AWD Range Test

Now that I have owned my Model 3 for over 6 months and 11,000 miles (17,700 km) over the winter half of the year, I decided to do a range test now that I can run without climate control.

The loop is an approximately 40 mile round trip including divided highway driving at 73 mph (117 km/h), rural highway driving at 60 mph (97 km/h), and city driving between 30 and 50 mph (48-80 km/h). I drove the loop approximately 7 times reversing directions each loop, then a few miles around town at the end to finish up the charge. These speed estimates were using speedometer, which is about 1.5 mph (2.4 km/h) higher than actual.

Temperature was 50-62°F (10-17°C), tire pressures were 42 psi (290 kPa), aero caps were installed on the 18″ wheels with factory tires (5.4-6.4/32 tread on each tire, about 4.8 mm +/-), wind speeds were approximately 10 mph (16 km/h).

Battery charge started at 99%, but dropped to 97% in a couple blocks, so saying 97% is the starting point. I think it decided to recalculate the SoC, I didn’t want to go restart my test after charging again and the 3% represents about 9 miles (14.5 km) max, so not a big deal. Ending charge was 0%. Full charge was 76 kWh (101 HP-hours) (this includes charging losses). To nerd out a bit, since this power was drawn over 6.4 hours, the average draw is only about 12 kW of power (16 HP). This is why a load like a heater at 6 kW can make such a big difference in range.

I share the EV charger with another EV, so I use a non-Tesla Chargepoint Home Flex that can work with both, and is capable of charging the Tesla at about 11 kW. Available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KFaZg6

I finished the drive with 294.7 miles (473 km) after about 6 hours and 24 min. My total average speed was something like 46.5 mph (75 km/h) (including a 15 min stop for a snack), which is very close to EPA combined figure of 48 mph (77 km/h). The drive I chose was intending to be similar to that with mix of higher speeds and cruising at slow highway speed and throw in some stop and go. Acceleration was all moderate, no slow acceleration or hypermiling, but no hard acceleration either.

I am unsurprised by the result. Driving in a test similar to EPA rating I returned very close to EPA results. People estimate that once you hit 0 miles range you have about 10 or 15 miles (16-24 km) range remaining, and the fact I didn’t start at 100% means my full range driving until car shut down would be closer to 310-320 miles (499-515 km), which is right at the EPA rating.

I will do more tests in the future, this was a baseline for comparing to other vehicles or situations. Having no climate control really helps the Tesla, if you read my previous post the heater is tough on range. This was meant to be a best case test, introducing climate has too many variables, like was the sun shining providing solar heat requiring more AC or less heater? This is a huge difference, that some other tests ignore when using auto climate setting. I think it is fine to test that, but not if you are trying to run a test that is similar for all vehicles on different days, unless you model the loading of the climate system and how well each performs.

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