Tesla Model 3 Range: How Far Does It Actually Go?


Range is a big aspect of any electric car. An electric car’s range is how far it can go on a single charge, so it is quite an important detail to pay attention to. The Tesla Model 3 is a very good car all around and is not only Tesla’s top seller but one of the most popular electric cars on the market. There is an important question that you need to ask though, what is the range of the Tesla Model 3?

How far does the Tesla Model 3 go? The 2022 Tesla Model 3 has an EPA estimated range of 267 miles. The 2022 Model 3 Long Range has an EPA estimated range of 334 miles. Depending on what year and trim level your Model 3 is, this range can vary. The Model 3’s range may also be less than the estimate due to driving habits and driving conditions. 

The range is how far an electric car can travel on a single charge, so your vehicle’s range really determines the extent of what you can do with your electric vehicle. Without a charge, your electric car is nothing more than a big hunk of metal. The average range of most electric cars is around 200 miles so an estimated range of 358 miles is actually quite impressive. Tesla also has one of the biggest charging networks in the country, so you shouldn’t have to worry about going somewhere where you wouldn’t be able to charge your vehicle. 

EPA Rated Range Of Each Trim Level vs Actual Range Reported By Customers

Currently, there are three different trim levels for the Model 3: the standard trim rear-wheel-drive Model 3, the Model 3 Long Range, and the Model 3 Performance. The Model 3 Long Rand and the Model 3 Performance feature a dual-motor all-wheel-drive drivetrain. Each of these trim levels comes with different estimated ranges and these ranges have varied from year to year, so the numbers might be a little different depending on what year your vehicle is. 

A 2020 Tesla Model 3 standard trim level was tested by Edmunds to compare the EPA estimated range to the actual recorded range. The 2020 Model 3 had an estimated range of 250 miles and found the car to only have a range of about 232 miles. That is a 7% range deficit from the estimated to the actual range. If the 2022 standard trim Model 3 also has a 7% range deficit that would mean that that actual range is around 248 miles. 

Edmunds also tested a 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance which had an EPA estimated range of 310 miles. When Edmunds performed their real-world test they found the car to have a range of 256 miles. The range deficit for this trim level was greater than the range deficit for the standard trim level at 17.4%.

If the 2022 Model 3 Performance has that same deficit it would have an actual range of 260. The Model 3 that was tested however was from 3 years ago so there is a good chance that the deficit isn’t quite that much and that there has been an improvement. Tesla has worked hard to continually improve its vehicles so the actual range maybe over 280 miles. 

Caranddriver.com tested a 2019 Model 3 Long Range that had an EPA estimated range of 358 miles, which is super impressive. After testing the car for months, the Car and Driver team found the car to have an actual range of about 310 miles. That is a range deficit of about 13 percent which would give the 2022 Model 3 an actual range of 289 miles. 

All of these deficits aren’t necessarily signs that Tesla is lying to us about the range of their cars. The way you accelerate and drive can have an effect on the range of the car as well as driving conditions like the weather and temperature. Model 3 owners have reported that they notice that driving at high speeds, on the highway, for example, tends to actually drain the battery and decrease the range. 

How To Increase Your Range Through Driving Habits

This range will, of course, vary when taking into account driving habits and driving conditions. Accelerating quickly and letting your car idle for extended periods of time can shorten the range of the Model 3. Driving in steep terrain or extreme heat or cold can also cause the range of the Model 3 to decrease. 

The way you drive can have an impact on the range you get out of your vehicle. One of the greatest things you can do to optimize the range of your vehicle is to avoid pushing your motor. Doing things like accelerating quickly or maintaining high speeds for long periods of time can drain your car’s battery quicker because it requires more electricity for your motor to work harder. 

Many reports from Model 3 owners say that the Model 3 actually has the greatest range when you are just using your vehicle around city streets. Moderate speeds between 20-60 mph seem to be the speeds at which you can get the most out of a charge. Accelerating gradually and slowly after stopping at stop signs and stoplights can also help. 

Temperature can also have a big impact on the actual range of your Model 3. The cold especially can be detrimental to the charge that your battery has. Consumers have found that the Model 3 has a better range in warmer summer months like July and August when compared to colder winter months like January and February.

The Model 3 will automatically use some of its charges to keep the battery at a certain temperature to be ready to drive, but parking and storing your car somewhere that is warmer inside, rather than outside during cold months, can help your car have a greater range. The longer you drive in cold weather though the more the range of your car is going to decrease due to being in the cold. 

Extreme heat is also not healthy for your car and also doesn’t help improve the range of your vehicle. Doing things like parking under parking structures, inside parking garages, or under trees in the shade can help your Model 3 from overheating and will allow you to have the greatest range possible. 

Another suggestion I would have is to only charge your Model 3 to 80% at times when you don’t need the car’s full range. Doing this can help keep your battery from degrading at a quicker rate. Though it isn’t necessarily a driving habit but just a way to take care of your car and its battery, it can still help you get the greatest range possible for your Model 3.

How Much Will Range Increase In The Future?

No one can say exactly how much Tesla Model 3s, or any electric car for the matter, will increase in range in the future. All that I can say is that there are many people and companies researching how to improve range and batteries because for a lot of people the lack of range that electric cars have is the biggest reason that they don’t buy an electric car. 

Technology continues to develop and for the past decade, technology relating to electric vehicles has been improving at an incredible rate. As technology relating to batteries and efficient energy usage improves no doubt the range of these vehicles will continue to improve. The car market as a whole is moving towards electric vehicles, so I suspect that we will see some major improvement in the range of electric vehicles over the next 10 years. 

How Is The Tesla Model 3 Range In Comparison To Other Tesla Models?

The rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3 actually has the smallest range out of all other Tesla Models. The Tesla Model S has the greatest range out of all the Tesla models with an EPA estimated range of 405 miles. The Tesla Model X and Y both have very impressive ranges as well with EPA estimated ranges of 348 and 333 miles respectively. 

The Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest Tesla model you can buy which can help explain why there is such a difference in the range between the standard Model 3 and the other Tesla models. If you buy a Model 3 Long Range however you will be able to have a range that is very similar to the ranges of the Model X and Y.

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