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 5 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. At 5 years and 67,000 miles I got 291 miles of range.

Tesla made this a little complex since my car was released in 2018 with 310 miles of range, and one year later increased the range to 325 miles through a software update, which I believe increased the usable portion of the battery pack.

The first couple of 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 it 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.

After 5 years and 67,000 of driving I did another full charge and got 291 miles, which is down ~ 6.2% from the initial 310 miles, or 10.5% from the 325 miles of rated range. I suspect that Tesla dialed down the usable portion of the pack through a subsequent software update because my rated range dropped pretty quick from 325 down to 300. In the past 2 years I’ve lost another 9 miles of range.

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 70.5 kWh usable after 5 years.

In terms of battery pack care: my car usually operates between 40-70% SOC and I’ve only done the full charge 4 times. Most of my charging (~88%) is Level 2: I charge at home on a 240 volt 30 amp clothes dryer outlet. The remaining 12% was from supercharging on road trips. I park in cool places in hot weather. I called Tesla about my battery pack status and they said it’s 0.4% below average compared to similar models.

300 miles of real world driving on a single charge is achievable for me in mild and hot weather – EVs are very efficient when it’s warm and AC is not a big power draw. But that range is not possible in cold weather. As a good example of real world range, in 2019 I did a full charge at home before leaving that gave me 325 miles of 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 for that leg of the trip and still had 110 miles of rated range remaining in the pack.

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

I haven’t needed 300 miles of range in the real world – 238 miles is the furthest I’ve driven between charging sessions so far. However, 300 miles of range gives you flexibility, removes the idea of range anxiety, and makes the Model 3 a good car for road trips.

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