Actual Range vs Predicted Considering Wh/mi

Actual Range vs Predicted Considering Wh/mi

I've heard it said the Tesla battery range prediction is based on the standard Wh/mi constant of 241.9. I think the 241.9 is the number used in the EPA battery miles calculation. If that is correct, when I take a trip with a lower Wh/mi average than 241.9, my actual trip miles should be more than the predicted battery miles. The miles I get between charges is never more than the predicted miles. I average 82% of prediction. The 82% average is the number of actual miles between charges divided by the difference between the initial predicted battery miles and the final predicted battery miles. Of course, there are the phantom losses, but things still don't add up. I have a spreadsheet recording every detail of the trip between charges: miles driven, starting predicted miles, ending predicted miles, kWh consumed (by the trip report) and date/time stamp. I calculate what the phantom losses would have to be for the battery prediction to be 100% of actual between each charge based on the actual trip Wh/mile. That phantom charge calculation averages about 12 miles/day. When the car sat at LAX for a week, the calculated phantom charge was only 2.3 miles/day, which is what I think is the real number. I've also heard the Energy graph is better, but I haven't checked it.

My question is how are the predicted battery miles calculated? It can't be based on a Wh/mile constant. If it were, when I have a trip with a low (200 Wh/mile) energy use, I would get more actual miles than predicted miles. Given the way we drive and our climate, my all time Wh/mile is down to 237 over the 12,000 miles and one year of ownership. My last 10 trips between fill-ups of electrons has averaged 225 Wh/miles, yet my actual range is only 82% of battery prediction.

M3BlueGeorgia | 04. April 2019

Wrong way around. When Tesla run the EPA test on the LR+RWD Model 3, the usage works out to 241 - 242. Different cars have different results.

Your usage will almost certainly be different, and probably a little worse.

Bighorn | 04. April 2019

There is a Wh/m rate constant that varies between different models. 241.9 is not one of them. Assuming phantom loss is the only unattributed consumer is false. Hundreds of pages have been written about this and I often encourage people to not reinvent the wheel because a lot of subtleties derail 99% of the results regardless of the person’s background.

Carl Thompson | 04. April 2019

I've noticed that my Model 3's efficiency numbers don't add up too. This is compounded by the readings from my EVSE which has a display telling how much electricity went into the car. My own calculations and those of the EVSE suggest that the Model 3's displayed numbers understate its energy use. How much? I'm waiting for late spring when we have consistent warm temperatures to test thoroughly but so far it looks pretty significant.

gballant4570 | 04. April 2019

Mine add up. The break point is somewhere between 235 and 240 wh/m. I consistently get more miles than estimated out of a charge when my wh/m for that charge are in the lower 230's or less. I have some days where my average for the dat is in the 180's, and that is when it become fairly noticeable. If my daily average is 232, I'll only get 5 or so miles more when I add the miles traveled to the remaining miles estimated and then compare to the estimate before I drove the car that day. If I looked too closely, I would find that they wouldn't add up exactly. I'm sure there is some rounding going on, perhaps in more than one place....

cconklin1 | 04. April 2019

I find the emphasis on the Wh/Mile numbers provided in the car itself somewhat might reflect driving style and efficiency on a; macro scale...but isn't the real measure the Wh/Mile on a "wall to wheels" basis, that reflects the entire energy use per mile of the car. Over 5,000 miles on my LR RWD 3, I'm showing about 370 Wh/Mile in that measure. And I can tell you that there is absolutely no way I will get 310 miles of range out of the car, regardless of what the display tells me....

Jiver | 04. April 2019

Why all of the worry about estimated range? I find that by looking at percent charge I know much more about my battery state and burn rate than using the estimated miles view. The energy screen provides very detailed information on current usage and arrival estimates. Between percentage and the energy screen I have an excellent idea of if I am going to reach my destination or not. Estimated range seems irrelevant.

If I want to know the guess at "miles" I can use 10% = 31 miles (LR AWD). That's what the display would tell me. It would be wrong, though. The energy screen would be more accurate as to how much range I have left. And yes, I could do that in reverse -- divide miles left by 31 to arrive at percent -- but why go to that trouble?

The estimated miles do not take in to account terrain or wind or weather. Percent remaining always does. My drive to work is downhill. My drive home is uphill. I use a greater percentage going home than I do going to work. The percentage display makes sense to me. Estimated miles remaining makes no sense at all. They tick down slower in one direction than they do in the other, and in neither direction is 1 estimated mile = 1 real mile.

gballant4570 | 04. April 2019

Before I got my Model 3 I was convinced I would want to see SOC on the screen displayed by percentage. Instead, I find the miles display to be more useful. Along with the wh/m, I know generally what the energy screen would tell me if i displayed in - unless I want to know the instant energy effects of acceleration, etc.....
In my area there are many hills, do nearly every drive evens out rapidly with regard to elevation. There is one part that doesn't - I live near the top of one of the higher hills for miles around, so my wh/m quickly drops from the initial 1200 or so to about 70 on the first 2 miles, all down hill. But I got to go back up the hill when I get home.
I always remeber the estimated miles showing when I leave, and like to add the traveled miles to the remaining estimate and see that the two numbers add up to more than the original estimate. As the weather warms, that happens more and more often.

beaver | 04. April 2019

TeslaFi says my M3 LR RWD efficiency target is 217 Wh/mile on 8.3

gballant4570 | 04. April 2019

beaver, that sounds a little low. My AWD LR has only ever shown a max of 308 estimated miles on a full charge, but I can increase that to 320 by averaging 230 wh/m. Using 73.6 kwh as available battery size, a 217 wh/m avg should yield a bit over 339. I thought the RWD LR was rated at 325, which at a capacity of 73.6 would require a wh/m avg of 226.46. Now 339 is really close to 325 x 1.05, but my 5% increase does not appear to apply to range.....

gmr6415 | 04. April 2019

You can get better than expected range. I go from Central FL to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville frequently. It's a little over a 360 mile round trip, mostly highway, but there is some stop and go for about a half hour through a few small towns. Before 2019.5.15 I was doing the whole trip with a Wh/mi of between 202 and 220. I do charge when leaving Jacksonville because on my route there aren't any other chargers until I get home. I've attached an image of a trip card where I did the whole trip using 208 Wh/mi. Since 2019.5.15 my car seems to be doing even better (LR RWD).

eandmjep | 04. April 2019

On a trip I use the 242 as the target. If I average 218 which is 90% of 242 my range drops 90% of the miles I traveled. It's pretty consistent. Winter changed that but those numbers are back with warmer temps. Lots of driving over days in short bursts charging In between, factoring In vampire drain etc and it won't compute but on a single charge driving for hours the math for me is pretty consistent around that 242.

FremontDave | 04. April 2019

I have a SR+, which is supposed to have a range of 240 mi with a 55KWh battery. So this works out to 229Wh/mi. On the Energy Consumption graph, there is a solid "Rated" line of just about that.

My Wh/mi is generally above that (based on the provided trip info). So I usually derate the "miles left" accordingly.

OutOfTheStars | 04. April 2019

It has been only 4 days since I got my M3 AWD. My work trip is 30 miles one-way and I am getting around 250 wh/mile range 50% highway and 50% local. I noticed engaging auto pilot improves the range and also AC has big influence. This morning it was a bit chilly in Central Florida and I turned off AC. I was able to manage under 200 wh/mile.

gmr6415 | 04. April 2019

@FremontDave, @kanike, Your cars are too new. Give them 2000 to 2500 miles. That's about when I noticed improvement in mine.

Bighorn | 04. April 2019

@Fremont Dave
Good for approximations, but 55 kWh is likely not the actual number and the "Rated" line has never quite matched the true ratio.

coleAK | 04. April 2019

So the range number on the battery meter never changes, it’s set to a default. That is why I keep it set to % instead of miles. I’ve found the energy app in the car set to the longest 30 mile window is a pretty good predictor of range. It’s much like the trip mpg in ourICE cars.

FremontDave | 04. April 2019

@Bighorn How should I derate the "miles left" then given a specific Wh/mil (e.g. mine is usually 270)?

coleAK | 04. April 2019

@dave. Is it always 270 miles left in the energy app graph? Or on the useless battery meter? The battery meter never changes it’s based on the EPA rating ~240 Wh/mi.

Bighorn | 04. April 2019

What I’ve done when on long, uninterrupted trips, I derive the battery capacity by extrapolating from kWh used over a delta SOC. I also look at delta Rated miles vs kWh used. You can also derive capacity in kWh by multiplying your derived Wh/RM by rated miles at 100% SOC.
My P3D has a rate constant of 234 Wh/RM. The LR RWD is closer to 219. I suspect the SR+ is better still.
Unlike the Model S, kWh data is not granular to the tenths place, so precision is not as good without access to better data from programs such as TeslaFi.

WardT | 19. September 2019

FWIW, I’ve done some more testing on short and long trips to understand why my predicted battery miles is off. I have found on short trips, say 20 miles, the calculated battery miles before and after is based on a constant 219 Wh/mi. On a longer trip, say 200 miles, the calculated battery miles before and after is based on a constant 222 Wh/mi. I suspect these two estimates are really just the variance in my testing and the battery miles is based on the same Wh/mi in both cases. When taking a trip, I get more battery miles than predicted if I drove slow and used less than 220 Wh/mi. If I drive such my Wh/mi is higher than 220 Wh/mi, my battery miles is less than actual. I’m averaging about 234 Wh/mi and usually get about 85% of the battery miles. Seems like Tesla would adjust the Wh/mi like the energy screen shows.

Bighorn | 19. September 2019

218 give or take is the rate constant for the RW drive and 234 is for AWD.

Bighorn | 19. September 2019

You shouldn’t be seeing that big an efficiency hit consuming 234 Wh/m. About half that. Maybe you’re not doing a continuous run?

xberthe | 14. Februar 2020

I'm newbie here and have a tesla X. I can't find either in the app or in the car, the counter allowing to know what was the miles used for a trip versus the real miles dones. I'm sure it is somewhere but I just got my car thanks for your help.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 14. Februar 2020

“ I'm newbie here and have a tesla X. I can't find either in the app or in the car, the counter allowing to know what was the miles used for a trip versus the real miles dones. I'm sure it is somewhere but I just got my car thanks for your help.”

You don’t use miles to drive, you use energy. Real miles driven can be obtained from the trip card. So can total energy consumed. Anything represented as miles “consumed” is an abstraction.

LostInTx | 14. Februar 2020

Listening to sage advice that a charged Model 3 is a happy Model 3, I've done just that, every night, without exception, for about 3 straight weeks now. I charge to 80% every night.

Since religiously charging, a funny thing has happened. My range, when viewed in miles and extrapolated to 100% charge, has slowly but consistently increased. What was an extrapolated 100% range of 286 miles 3 weeks ago has crept up to 294 miles this morning.

I'll leave to others to explain the rationale behind an increase like this..

andy.connor.e | 14. Februar 2020

Must be negative degradation.

LostInTx | 14. Februar 2020

Your valued input is always appreciated.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 14. Februar 2020


Jallred has a good discussion about the precision of the displayed values, and how much rounding can impact such an extrapolation.

LostInTx | 14. Februar 2020

@M-A-B-MCMLXXX, thanks - I read through that thread, at least as long as my attention allowed. It offers some good insights but I was pseudo-wondering if consistent charging simply improves the efficiency of the battery, or at least provides a more arithmetically accurate depiction of range.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 14. Februar 2020


I expect the biggest variability is uncertainty in stored energy. *Maybe* consistent charging improves that valuation.

xberthe | 15. Februar 2020

You don’t use miles to drive, you use energy. Real miles driven can be obtained from the trip card. So can total energy consumed. Anything represented as miles “consumed” is an abstraction.

So If I would have to think "energy used" for a trip versus real distance? I know it is impossible to know how much power/energy you gonna use for a trip as it depends of your way of driving, speed, weather conditions (hot/cold/windy,etc..) So I"ll check now where to find the value after charged 80% and see what I use for my daily trip versus the distance.

andy | 15. Februar 2020

I use a combination of the display in miles of range and then the navigation to show the expected predicted charge percentage when I will drive at a supercharger.

The latter uses your current trip consumption, the former gives you a big picture view.

Lifetime usage is around 271 because the car is mostly driven on the motorway (70mph limit) and it’s been cold and wet weather for much of the last 6 months.

You see a noticeable drop in predicted range and rise in energy consumption when the outside air temp is 7C or lower and when the sun is down (which it has been through to the start of working hours and from 3:45pm for much of the time, although the days are also now opening out).

Driving on a (very rare) sunny day has a huge impact - you hit the sweet spot of the car acting as a greenhouse, but also not needing aircon to cool it. If you are “lucky” enough to be in free flowing congestion on the motorway (or dual carriageway) and cruising at 50-60 then you get double bubble and some great results in my experience.

FISHEV | 15. Februar 2020

“I'm newbie here and have a tesla X. I can't find either in the app or in the car, the counter allowing to know what was the miles used for a trip versus the real miles dones. I'm sure it is somewhere but I just got my car thanks for your help.”

To answer the question, no, Tesla does not provide that useful metric directly.

Best metric on actual range vs. Rated Range is Projected Range. You will find this using Energy/Consumption graph which will show Projected Range, instantaneous and average, for last 5, 15 or 30 miles whichever the drive thinks is most appropriate.

If you compare the Rated Range (the miles that shows when you toggle Per Cent or Miles for the green battery display) and the Projected Range in Energy/Consumption, you’ll get the difference between actual and Rated Miles.

The Energy/Consumption graph shows the car Rated Wh/mi and your average Wh/mi which gives a “lifetime” difference between Rated Range and your actual range based on driving.

For example, my car, LR AWD is rated 310 miles for 75kWh battery. 242Wh/mi but my 18,000 mile average is 276Wh/mi, so I get about 12% less than rated range.

teslamazing | 15. Februar 2020

@xberthe If your a newbie, like everyone suggests, refrain from listening to any posts by fishev.

Also they have Model X forums, why not post and ask there ?

ReD eXiLe ms us | 15. Februar 2020


M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 15. Februar 2020


“ So I"ll check now where to find the value after charged 80% and see what I use for my daily trip versus the distance”

That’s a good way to proceed. I use about 25% on my round trip commute to work. Note that will fluctuate seasonally (more in winter, less in summer).

The Trip display within the energy App is perhaps the most useful tool. Enter a destination, and the car will based on the planned route chart its expected remaining charge along the way. Then, as you drive, it charts your actual remaining charge along the way. If you’re above the prediction, you’ll arrive with more charge than the end point. The opposite is also true.

I think it would be neat for those data to be overlaid on the map rather than having to toggle to a different screen (think colored lines along the route similar to traffic but with a legend for remaining charge. Then you could see where you’ll be with how much charge.

FISHEV | 15. Februar 2020


Nice that Ford is doing that up front vs. Tesla hiding the Projected actual range deep in the menu system.

“The Mustang Mach‑E system will continually provide expected remaining range calculations that account for the charge status and weather effects. At the same time, owners can check the FordPass Charging Network to find charging locations along the intended route. Mustang Mach‑E does everything it can to help make range anxiety an outdated concept.“

teslamazing | 15. Februar 2020

Dickriding a car that's not even out yet. Too funny.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 15. Februar 2020

“ Projected actual”

That’s almost as good as when you said “about two to be exact.”

teslamazing | 15. Februar 2020


andy.connor.e | 15. Februar 2020

Whats the estimated actual range?

WW_spb | 15. Februar 2020

Bahaha Nice

FISHEV | 15. Februar 2020

"Whats the estimated actual range?"

Tesla offers Rated Range and Projected Range.

Rated Range is ideal range.

Projected is actual range.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 15. Februar 2020

Note to potential owners: tesla does not anywhere offer anything which can be represented as “actual range.” Projected Range within the energy app will display 6 very different values depending on user settings. None are “actual.”

WW_spb | 15. Februar 2020

Projected by definition can't be actual. Love Fishy logic

FISHEV | 15. Februar 2020

"Projected by definition can't be actual."

But usually is.

jallred | 15. Februar 2020

Always isn’t.

teslamazing | 15. Februar 2020

Projected is projected. Actual is actual.

End of story.

Maybe use the term "theoretical"

jallred | 15. Februar 2020

When you make up your own definitions you get to argue about anything and say anything.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 15. Februar 2020

Note to potential owners: to know how far you can go, you need to know a lot more than how much energy remains in your battery. You need to know the future. Clearly this is impossible, and actual range is therefore a fallacy.

Trip mode knows not only where you’re going but how you’re going to get there (i.e., route), and therefore offers the best understanding of range. None of the 7 range displays know where you’re going.