Tesla Model 3: Rated Range over Time

October 2019. California.

I bought a 2018 Long Range RWD Model 3 in April 2018. I have fully charged the car 4 times. At 24,000 miles a 100% charge gave me the full advertised rated range of 325 miles (520 km). At 43,000 miles a full charge gave me 300 miles of rated range.

The first three 100% charges each gave me the full rated range* advertised by Tesla. When my car was 18 months old and had 24,000 miles on the odometer I still got the full 325 miles of rated range.

My next 100% charge wasn’t until my car was 3 years old and had 43,000 miles on the odometer. I got 300 miles, which is down 3½ percent compared to the initial 310 miles of rated range when the car was new; and 8% down compared to the 325 miles of rated range after the software update.

In terms of kWh: Total capacity of the battery pack was 80.5 kWh when new (EPA calc), with ~74.5 kWh usable. The software update increased the usable portion to ~78.2 kWh. I estimate that I’ve got about 72 kWh usable right now.

In terms of battery pack care: I very rarely charge over 90%; 85% of my charging has been on Level 2; I charge at home on a 240 volt 30 amp clothes dryer outlet; I park in cool places in hot weather. I called Tesla to ask about my battery pack status and they said it’s slightly above average for 2018’s with similar mileage. Tesla battery pack degradation is not linear, with many owners reporting a sizable 5% or more drop in the first 20,000 miles, that levels off after that. My pack capacity stayed high through at least 24,000 miles and then seems to have dropped down to 300 miles rather quickly. I’ll be following my pack over the years to see how my car fits on the curve moving forward.

300 miles of real world driving on a single charge is achievable under the right conditions. Never in winter. On one road trip I did a full charge at home before leaving and that gave me 325 miles of rated range. It was 48F degrees that morning and I used the seat heater to keep me warm. I drove 223 miles to the first supercharger averaging 60 mph. Under those conditions I had 110 miles of rated range remaining in the pack. On a more recent trip I charged the battery to 90%, and stopped every 140 – 160 miles between superchargers leaving 100+ miles in the pack at each stop. My strategy is not to have the fastest charging speed, but rather always have some extra miles in the pack to deal with any unplanned detours (you can read about that here).

Desert View Drive during a 2021 family road trip to the Grand Canyon.

223 miles is the furthest I’ve driven between charging sessions so far. I haven’t needed 300+ mile of range yet, but the extra range gives you more options, removes the idea of range anxiety, and makes the Model 3 a good car for work and family road trips.

*Rated range is the estimate of how far you can drive based on the amount of energy stored in the battery pack.