RESOLVED - Battery degradation within 3000 miles on M3?

RESOLVED - Battery degradation within 3000 miles on M3?

Not sure if existing M3 owner has similar experience. When I first picked up my Model 3 in April this year, I was getting 281 miles at 90% in the morning after charging it nightly.

After couple of weeks, I started noticing that the estimated miles at 90% was slowly going down to 280 miles when charged up to 90%. At first, I figured it must've been a software calculation thing as it is purely an estimate. But then it keeps doing down, 279...278.... And finally this morning it sudden went down to 276 miles at 90%.

I have only driven close to 3k miles on the M3. Not sure if this is normal or can even be called as "battery degradation"?

czamara | 03. Oktober 2018

I'm just speculating here, but I wonder if what might be happening is that it gets to the set maximum charge percentage (e.g. 90%), then stops charging. At that point it is subject to any "vampire drain" that might be happening (cooling system, system waking, etc.). Charging doesn't necessarily start again automatically when the charge drops slightly, or it would be cycling continuously. So you might complete a charge to 90% @280 miles, then come back the next day and see it at 275 or something?

Just a thought; it might not apply to the OP and other's issues, but something to consider.

Mahodges | 03. Oktober 2018

Y'all have tiny miles on your model 3. I have 15k miles on my model 3. You will experience most of your degradation in the first 6 months. This is normal for lithium ion batteries. The battery will degrade some 3-4%. Then it will slow dramatically to 1% per year of driving. This is very normal. Unless you live in some extremely harsh conditions, where you could experience 2% degradation per year. Still there car will reliably last longer than a toyota Camry.

fskott | 03. Oktober 2018

Thanks, @Mahodges. Sounds about right to me. With my car at 291 miles range after four months, 5,400 miles, that's 6.4% degradation, a good 50-100% more than the expected degradation you note, and that's why I'm just a bit concerned.

Tesla is looking at mine right now, remotely/OTA. Sorta expected they'd get back to me by now (since they said they would by noon PST and it's 2pm currently), but I'll wait. Will post what they say when I hear back.

ADinM3 | 03. Oktober 2018

I seem to be down only about 2% at 6.5k miles (5 months), so happy camper here.

BTW - Does anyone remember and can repost the link to an excellent and detailed battery chemistry comparison and explanation YouTube video posted here maybe 3 months ago. It was a PhD professor discussing findings of a research project and was maybe 20-25 minutes long. I must not be using the right keywords because I can't find it.

fskott | 03. Oktober 2018
Bighorn | 03. Oktober 2018

Totally normal for that last one percent to take hour(s) as cells are balancing. It's also not unusual to have a certain rated mileage at full and no miles click off for several miles. Like I've said, the car is incapable of accurately measuring its range. Physics.

gballant4570 | 03. Oktober 2018

All this discussion makes me think that I'll just leave percentage showing rather than miles.....when I get my M3.

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

@gballant4570 - Yeah, I feel your pain. I was wondering about that, too. But, since the range is based on constants (EPA tests, etc) and never varies its calculation based on how you drive, both percentage and "range" display will tell you about the same in terms of how far you can go on what charge you have left (ie, not much accuracy). I keep it on range, because at least I can mentally discount/enhance the range based on current terrain, energy consumption (A/C, air heating, etc) and my mood in terms of acceleration for any given trip. The range at least gives you a, for want of a much better word these days, "lodestar" against which you can make your own adjustments.

But really, whatever floats your boat is your best choice, in the end. (though, as you say . . . . you need to get the "boat" first!)

Bighorn | 04. Oktober 2018

SOC is the better option in my experience. The NAV predicts what your arrival SOC will be at the destination. Best to stay in the same units. I can also pretty quickly get a sense of the car's range per percent. If you're getting near parity on efficiency, you'll get 3 miles per percent, but it's not unusual for that to be between 2 and 2.5 if there's a headwind or the heat is going. I keep an eye on the miles to destination and the remaining SOC to temper my energy usage. For example, if I'm confident that I can get 2 miles per percent, I'll wait until the SOC is more than half of the remaining distance before I feel totally free to crank the heat or play cat and mouse with another performance car.

jefjes | 04. Oktober 2018

@fskott- Tesla ever get back to you with what they found?

Bighorn | 04. Oktober 2018

I can answer that since he's about the hundredth guy/gal to post this.

jefjes | 04. Oktober 2018

@Bighorn- So what is the answer? Just focus on percent until the range gets down to an unusable amount before asking questions? Just accept Tesla saying they see no problem with an 8-10% range loss in 3200 miles? I'm still hoping it will be a software glitch and they will be able to fix it without it being a battery replacement but for the extra $9k, I don't expect we're to just ignore it.

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

Weird B-Horn answer there, consisting of mostly an unsolicited swipe at me, but that's fine. (apparently, it's not allowed to post questions/concerns on a forum that cannot be searched, at all)

An actual answer can be found here: I had to call them back. I happened to get the same service rep, and he apologized, said he lost his notes for me. OK . . . .

The actual answer is in two parts:

(1) Service rep said he was wrong, they cannot remotely tell anything about a Model 3 battery (apparently that's an S/X thing), so they did not do anything re my car/battery, he was just waiting for me to call him back.

(2) They had no explanation for the drop, other than to say maybe it was due to ambient temperature drop. This, even though the ambient temp in my city when I just did my 10-100% "re-calibration" was 80 degrees. Not exactly a chilly day, and similar to temps when I was getting much higher range numbers. I'm very familiar with EV range decrease due to colder (for CA) temps, and this is not a temp

(3) He had no idea if a 10-100% charge cycle would recalibrate the battery. I could bring in the car and they could look at it if wanted to, and then they could look at the battery pack (but no OTA).

So, that's it. Now I know that they cannot assist OTA for these issues, so if anybody is concerned and you've got a 3, the only way you can have it looked at, is to make an appointment and go in and have them do it that way.

Of course, since this site cannot be searched, my experience will be quickly buried under more recent posts, so expect this question to come up again, and again. And again.

hokiegir1 | 04. Oktober 2018

I think people are getting WAY too hung up on range estimates displayed.

As others have noted -- did you (general -- not anyone in particular) freak if your ICE was routinely getting 20% lower MPG than the EPA estimate on the window sticker? Or did you just fill it up as needed and go on with your day, possibly asking at your next service visit or maybe not. I can tell you both hubby's Santa Fe (rated at about 24-25 mpg combined) and my prius (rated at 50 mpg combined) were getting less fairly consistently, and while we may have noticed the average being lower than expected, when we'd fill the tank and it would give us a range estimate, we wouldn't even know what the prior one was much less think it was an accurate estimate.

The cars are *too new* to be stressing over this as much as some people are. And using the example of the person who had 118 miles on a full charge, that was a special case where the car was sold at auction -- likely left unplugged for MONTHS during the process. If you are maintaining yours by driving it regularly or leaving it plugged in if it will be sitting for an extended time, then it should be fine. And if it's not, that's what the warranty is for. There's no sense panicking over it right now. Yes, you can *generally* keep an eye on it, but the people getting upset because of a 3 mile change is just not reasonable. Even 10 miles is something that can be adjusted by driving style and conditions.

I do think the people reporting the issues seem to be those who are doing very short depth of charge cycles regularly (80-70-80% type thing), or they have short drive cycles with frequent idle periods to facilitate the lower SOC (so, drive 10 miles a day, but trying to run the battery to 20% primarily from non-driving reductions like cabin overheat). I'm sure these things play into the car's ability to estimate the battery capabilities to at least some degree.

The best thing to do for your car is to DRIVE IT. Give it some real data to work with for awhile. No, it doesn't base the range estimate on your driving style, but how can you expect it to accurately measure battery capacity if it hardly ever uses the cells?

jefjes | 04. Oktober 2018

@fskott- Good on you for the response and nice to know they can't really tell OTA about what's going on with the battery cells. They are waiting on some parts to come in for my car on an unrelated issue so I will ask the mobile tech if he can hook up to my car when he's here to look deeper into this. Last time he was here, he hooked up with his laptop and slightly recalibrated the down position on my passenger door window to match the driver's door which he noticed himself and wanted it to be even. Tesla service is great and will go above and beyond for owners from what I've seen. If we're not really experiencing a problem and everyone that has bought a Model 3 is having the same range results under the same conditions, then I'm good with that but would just like to be sure for peace of mind. If you go in to have them check this issue, please update this post for us.

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

Yeah, understood HokieGir1. Funny, though - when you google "prius bad mileage what's wrong" (I did Prius because you said you have one) you find that, indeed, there are a fair number of forum posts about people who actually do freak when their car seems to get lower-than-expected mileage. So it's not just an EV thing, necessarily.

That said, taking the long/historical view, modern EV battery tech is no doubt still in its infancy. General understanding of it (including my own) is definitely going to be on some sort of learning curve, and we're likely near the bottom of that curve still. This means a lot of posts about stuff that some who are further along the curve may find tiresome, but most just don't know what's up with the intimate details of how an EV works, and so the posts will continue.

My own concern/explanation of this is based on a few things - (1) I paid $9k more for more range, and also compensating for a significant dip in range doesn't mean just a few more stops at the gas station as it does with an ICE, so I pay attention to that, maybe more than I should on any given day, but we all have our things that we pay attention to; (2) typically you don't have to pay that much more for an ICE that gives you better mileage, or at least not the cost equivalent of literally another ICE engine, or more (so you tend to just mutter and fill up a little more often if your MPG sags more than you think it should); (3) The Internet. Forums. We have these things, though for some reason this official Tesla one has no search functionality (breeding repeated questions being asked/discussed, over and over again, especially as thousands of new Tesla owners come onboard, monthly), so with an easy click and keystroke, you can be posting your questions/concerns much more frequently. This amplifies the visibility and frequency of concerns/complaints.

If this forum had search functionality, I for one would use it to see who already has asked a question I might have, and save me and others a bunch of time re-hashing stuff that has already been answered, or at least fully discussed/argued/etc. They update the car software all the time, maybe it's time to update the forum platform.

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

(Just amending my above comment, Item (2): Usually a less-efficient ICE is what you pay more for - the "performance/bigger" engine!)

Bighorn | 04. Oktober 2018

A few search options, though I usually use

As to recalibrating, you have to fully cycle the battery several times, not just once.

To point out that this might be the hundredth time in 6 years this has been asked and answered is more about reassurance. In other words, it's not uncommon and service will most likely tell you there is nothing wrong. It's not a personal dig. Until you are needing to make 250 miles between superchargers, it's kind of a moot point. It is physically impossible to measure rated range and there are reasons for variability that I've alluded to elsewhere. I know that's hard to accept, but it is reality.

I tried to address your concern on a very similar active thread.

mpratola | 04. Oktober 2018

When degradation occurs, should it happen smoothly/slowly over time or quite suddenly? I lost about 1% between my last charge about 2 days ago and this morning.. so that is about 1% gone in 1 charge event recovering maybe 60 miles driven. There is a possible confounding factor as I also received my first software update so not sure if that could confuse the calculation (obviously it should not, but who knows).

More generally, I am a little suspicious of some of the behavior I am observing but will collect more data/experience with the car before asking about it here. I'm currently at ~650 miles and day 13 of ownership.

Bighorn | 04. Oktober 2018

Firmware updates can lead to different numbers. 1% is well within the noise. I lost 11.5% over 197k miles on my Model S and it was a fairly steady, or small steps. There are large pooled data sets that show the expected degradation curves. They're pretty flat, though if there is a step off it is usually early in life.

hokiegir1 | 04. Oktober 2018

I had a really long reply typed up and got logged out automatically and lost it when I hit save. *sigh* @Bighorn actually covered a couple of my points above, though. I'm not going to try to hit all of them, but...

LR with 25% degradation (which would fall under the warranty and result in replacement) will still be more than SR brand new. You are still getting what you paid for. At no time did Tesla or anyone promise the car would ALWAYS get 310 miles rated. They said "Under these specific circumstances, a new battery will get 310 miles."

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

@Bighorn - Thanks for the link to the site. Will definitely avail myself of it, and I see it's a link to a specific google search string using some advanced methods (which is fine, I learned something!). And also thanks for the explanation re pointing out the sometimes repetitive nature of some of the issues on this forum. I get it now . . .

I will say, there is a big difference between having Tesla check out an issue via a telephone call and an OTA look-see, versus physically going in to the service center, taking that time out of one's day. As it stands, now that I know that insofar as the battery life/health/degradation is concerned, they can do nothing of any substance remotely, I probably will not pursue this further in the near-term unless I see a really drastic drop/change. Just gonna let it ride and keep an eye peeled for any more drastic drops/changes . . . .

In the end, then . . . I'll be doing what you recommended: Nothing really, just keep an eye on it in case I see something more drastic, maybe re-calibrate now and then, and if nothing drastic does occur just have them take a look when I do bring the car in for service.

Have a great day!

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

I know, H-Gir1, I know. I never thought or ever ever asserted that Tesla promised me an eternally new battery; that would be silly.

However, if I experienced the 25% degradation you accurately describe as still being more than the short range model, still by definition I would in fact literally not be getting what I paid for - that's why it would be replaced under warranty. I did not just buy (for $9,000) a battery that would get more range than the S/R; I bought one that is guaranteed, for a time at least, to not degrade past a certain amount/percent, even if at the end of that excessive degradation I could go further than a similarly situated S/R model.

In other words, I paid $9k for a battery with significantly more range, mile for mile, month for month, % degradation for % degradation, than the cheaper model. Apples to apples. My concern has never been that the battery might be degrading in capacity (of course it will, it's a battery); the concern is only if it is degrading more than it should be.

These are early times for my battery, so my observed apparent 6.4% degradation after 5,400 miles is just that - an early indicator, a data point and not conclusive obviously. It's too early to know for sure if it's truly got a problem, or if this is just the vicissitudes of a new battery that will even out and eventually follow the degradation curve we all have seen in S/X's. All of this does not prevent me from going to the forums and seeing what others are experiencing at a similar age/mileage with their 3's, and posting my thoughts also.

Note of caution: With 50,000-plus new 3's hitting the streets every month, most being purchased by folks new to EV's, get ready for a whole lot more posts about concerns with battery range/etc.

Bighorn | 04. Oktober 2018

Thanks for the update about not having remote telemetry on the Model 3 battery. I learned something, if that is fact the case. You'll also learn that we often get wrong answers from employees depending on the source. Omar was told something inaccurate about his battery despite several service tech putting their heads together, on which I appropriately called BS and was vindicated. I recently had my Model S battery diagnosed remotely which is what got me a new battery. One of the bricks when bad while I was driving in Canada, leaving me stranded on the side of the road. Not sure why they would hobble that feature.

Thanks for your understanding--enjoy the heck out of that car:)

hokiegir1 | 04. Oktober 2018

@fskott - part of my post that got lost was the fact that I'm also still a relatively new owner as well -- about 6 months and 14,000 miles, and I've never owned an EV before. So yes, keep an eye on it because if the 6% is actual degradation, then yes, that *could be* an indication of a problem. But if you are looking at single data points for short charge cycles, then that's probably not and it could just need to be driven more for a few cycles.

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

Yes, BigHorn, I had that thought/suspicion, too - that the Service Rep I talked to (and maybe whomever he talked to) just doesn't (don't) know what they're talking about. I've heard similar stories, too!

It's a little bit wild west out there, it seems with these cars. That's sorta part of the fun (for me, and I suspect you too, and a lot who have these cars), though you do have to have the stomach for it!

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

@HokieGir1 - I had a Fiat 500e for a three year lease term, and then a god-awful Leaf with horrifically poor range for a short while as a "bridge" car until my Mod 3 finally came available. So I do have, literally, years of experience with driving an EV.

Funny, though - smaller proportionate changes in battery capacity/range/degradation that were sometimes not even noticeable on an 85-mile range EV appear three to four times larger (and scarier!) when you have a super-duper big battery/range like we all have with the 3.

So, though I've had all this "experience" with EV's, it's actually mostly a brand new experience, when the range and battery is so much huge-er (not a word, I know!).

mpratola | 04. Oktober 2018

@fskott I thought there had been a recent post about Tesla proactively contacting a customer because of some battery readings they were seeing(?). In any case, I find it hard to believe what they told you, it makes no sense that they wouldn't be monitoring things.. kind of seems against the Tesla DNA. I have heard lots of incorrect statements by Tesla employees -- I know they mean well, but they really ought to study the product they are representing.

@Bighorn Thanks -- yes, I recall seeing those graphs for Model S :)

fskott | 04. Oktober 2018

@MPRatola - Yes, I was disappointed with their answers and suspect that they were a little bit not accurate. But, gotta pick your battles. If my battery starts to really go south, I'll pick up the cause again and make an appointment and press for a more thorough check.

jefjes | 05. Oktober 2018

Some pretty sound advice coming from fellow owners and like fskott, I too came from another EV (2012 Leaf) with a smaller battery and diminished range (down 3 capacity bars) so just makes me more anal at monitoring battery issues. I will try to be less obsessive about it and give it more time and miles to see if an actual problem comes up. Still, the best car ever and will remain a Tesla follower no matter what as I believe in the mission.

@Bighorn- Thanks for your patience and advice on this thread and many others.

@hokiegir1- Glad you've got your car and are still following the forum as your comments are almost always positive and supportive of Tesla and fellow owners. Look forward to reading more of them.

dannno | 06. Oktober 2018

I feel your pain. I am getting 290 miles at 100%, 260 at 90%. I have 2500 miles on my car. I have only charged to 100% a handful of times, and have never had over 295@100%. So, while I understand there may be significant deg. early on, I can't help but feel that I didn't get what I ordered, since I have never had a car with 310 RATED range. I haven't contacted SC yet, waiting to see if it gets worse, and going to try some deeper cycles.

On the plus side, maybe my battery will reach the 70% deg. within the warranty period, and I'll get a free fresh one after 50-100k miles :)

Charg3d | 06. Oktober 2018

@fskott I have a P3D which has the same charging range issue as yours. Mine was like this from when it was first delivered (i.e. no degradation has occurred during ownership).
100% - 290 miles (only have done this twice)
90% - 260-263 miles
It now has 2000 miles and the charging range has not changed (up or down)
Service center has done remote tests and review of the logs and they say the battery is healthy.
I also have a RWD Model 3 with 10,000 miles which still charges to the expected 310 (100%) and 278-281 (90%)
I was advised to charge to 90% for 2 weeks to allow battery to re-balance and then the SC would look into the issue with range further if no change.
This is a new car and I agree with you that I think it is reasonable to expect it to read at least close to what they advertise it as the rated range (310 miles). Especially since many people are getting the advertised charge level, including with P3D.

dannno | 07. Oktober 2018

Sounds like we are in the same boat. I've got a P3D- with the exact same numbers. I just did a 100% to ~8% cycle on a road trip and am now charging up at 110v (I don't have a 220 plug yet, also makes me curious if you are charging at 110v too, maybe that could have something to do with it?). Early indications are not encouraging, but maybe something will happen in the balancing phase up near 100%.

Please report back if you find anything out, as will I.

ANTHONYROSEJR | 07. Oktober 2018

Having similar issues my hope is that it was one of the software updates. Went from 310to 290 at 100%. I treat the battery great usually charge to 70-80 percent. But it does have an 8 year warranty if it’s a problem I hope they take care of it.

Geo77 | 07. Oktober 2018

interesting read here...i too am a little concerned about my battery, as I've had the M3 for less than a month, 90% on day 1 was 278 it is 268. I thought it might be factoring in my wh/mi average though or something and recalculating based on how i drive?

dannno | 07. Oktober 2018

For anyone following this problem, there is another group over at TMC with the same issue. That forum actually allows you to follow a thread and has notifications so easier to keep an eye on. URL is

Charg3d | 07. Oktober 2018

@dannno I have a Tesla Wall Connector so I can charge up to the full 48 amps. I was told by service center that Model 3 re-balances differently from Models S and X so that I didn't need to go low and then to high, rather to keep it charged at 90% when ever it's not in use.They said it could take a few days to a week to balance. I've been doing this just under a week and have not seen any change. But perhaps if it doesn't hurt I can do the low to high cycle, and perhaps even Supercharge which I have not yet done with this car. I will go over to TMC where it is easier to follow a thread. I would like to give specific names and VINs of cars with similar issues to mine to the SC so they can see if there are any commonalities. will message you on TMC

MTTPA | 08. Oktober 2018

I'm having the same problem -- 100% was 291 miles this morning after cycling (AWD non-P). Guess I'll try the charge to 90% this week and put a call into the SC.

tyrellfolkes | 08. Oktober 2018

I don't know if it's true or not, but I feel like it bases your, distance on charge, to your driving style like a gas car averaging your, miles till empty. We've been "playing" pretty hard with our right pedal and noticed a drop in range at 90% charge from when we 1st picked up the car 3 weeks ago. We did charged it at a Supercharger on our way home the 1st time. Then we only had access to a 110v charger for the 1st 2 weeks which gave us a whopping 4 miles/hr! We now charge on 220v 24a that gives us 21 miles/hr and we do plug in every night. I haven't switched the display to Energy, to see if that has changed tho.

slipsey | 08. Oktober 2018

I'm just back from service.
My 3 had been consistently fine for a month (charging to 70% every night), then overnight lost 4% (to 298 @100%). I had done the calibration thing (charge to 100%, run down to 5%, back up to 100%) with no effect. They told me that if the pack had a problem, the car constantly monitors it and would inform them automatically, and "they all are doing something like this", and it just is how it goes...I trust these service guys, been dealing with them for 5 years and they are knowledgable and conscientious, but of course, this is a new thing for everyone...

djgarrett21 | 08. Oktober 2018

For those who like data, TeslaFi has a "battery report" feature that will track your estimated 100% range. Lots of other cool metrics. You can sign up for a two week trial, or for a month with a referral code. Google will yield plenty of referral codes (my username here works too). I just signed up myself so not necessarily trying to plug the service as just say that if you're concerned about battery degradation TeslaFi could be a useful tool to track that.

slipsey | 14. Oktober 2018

I'm not feeling as trusting of Service now...I'm losing about 1 mile per day of max charge...down 5.5% now...there are too many of us for this to be what is supposed to happen...I wonder if there is a significant flaw in the Model 3 battery design that just now is surfacing...took a month for it to start dropping on mine...

adam | 25. Oktober 2018

When I went into my Service Center on 9/19 about other things, they did a mandatory "battery management upgrade". They said this was necessary because of an earlier firmware upgrade. In my service PDF from that day, it says:

Concern: Update Battery Management System (BMS) Bootloader
Pay Type: Warranty
Corrections: Update Vehicle Firmware and Bootloader

I currently have 6,037 miles on my Model 3's odometer. Today I charged to 90% and it says my range is 278 miles. 90% used to give me 280 miles. After 8 220-volt charges and 1 Supercharge, my TeslaFi battery degradation report says I've lost 1.7 miles.

slipsey | 28. Oktober 2018

Looks like range estimate simply may be inaccurate sometimes:
We have found that in cases where the battery is consistently charged to a lower state of charge, between 60-80% capacity, estimation becomes less accurate and tends to underestimate the true capacity of the battery. The result is an incorrect reduction in the displayed range estimate. This does not affect the true range of the vehicle, as the end-of-drive conditions are based on real-time battery measurements of reducing battery power, rather than software estimates. In any case, we recognize the inconvenience and negative user experience associated with this incorrect and reduced range estimate, and we are developing more accurate estimation algorithms which will be pushed over the air to the car when available. In the meantime I would recommend scheduling a service appointment through your Tesla account online and our technicians can assist in a kind of re-calibration for the range estimates you are current seeing.

Best regards,
XXX, Executive Care

Bighorn | 28. Oktober 2018

That’s what the old timers have been trying to get across every time this comes up. #groundhogday

JPWhite | 29. Oktober 2018

Do Tesla's take into account battery temperature when calculating remaining range or is it always ideal range regardless?

sean | 29. November 2018

I just got off the phone with support regarding this issue. (My vehicle shows 280 miles at full charge with 4300 total miles on my 4 month old car.). The support guy I talked to said this IS by design as It takes into account the outside temperature and recent driving. (I make a lot of short 5 mile trips so the car does a lot of cabin heating). He said they are “trying to be more realistic with their range estimates” on newer vehicles and software.

Just thought I would toss this out there.


Mike UpNorth_ | 29. November 2018

Interesting. Thanks for the share....Did he mention this was new to a certain software update?

bradbomb | 29. November 2018

@sean Just to double check, you have the charging limits set to 100% and not the default 90%? Default settings have the car charge to 90% which is 279 or 280 miles on the meter.