My name is Marco. This is my first post on the forums and I am a first time Tesla user since reserving Model 3. A little history about myself, I'm an Aerospace Engineer that specializes in fluid dynamics and aerodynamics of aircraft/spacecraft. This does not give me any special powers of predicting the physical possibilities of the Model 3, but I am here to constructively analyze the Model 3, speculatively of course. I wish I could do it qualitively but unfortunately I do not work at Tesla. (Note to Tesla, if you are hiring any Aerodynamicists, let me know haha)
So like many, I've been giving a lot of thought about the Model 3. I have driven a handful of Model S, and I currently lease a Gen 2 Volt. After listening in to the Q1 Earnings call, I have a lot of confidence in Tesla. However, I'm now dissecting the battery options. What we know is the base Model 3 will have a battery pack less than 60kwH in size. This will deliver an EPA (not Tesla rated), 215 miles (or more) per charge. I think with the CD being closer to .21, and some weight shedding, the Model 3 could approach ~235 miles EPA. With that, I expect real world driving range around 190 miles per charge. This is also for a strictly real wheel drive powertrain and one motor.
Now we know we'll see Dual Motor options, and with Mr. Musk's confirmation of performance models, we know larger battery packs are essential. Let's say a 55kwH battery is base. The battery pack is going to be much simpler and smaller than the Model S. They physically cannot fit the Model S/X battery platforms because the dimensions are too large for the Model 3 wheelbase. This is where I get a little worried about battery sizes. I believe Tesla will offer 3 versions of the Model 3, like Model S. The base car, the largest battery pack for maximum range (dual motor), and then a performance Model 3 with the same battery as the max range model, but with a larger rear motor to deliver more acceleration. What could the sizes be? I'm not really certain. It all depends on the chemistry of the battery. Energy density is increasing. I think a good indicator is Model S. If we see a 95D, 100D, etc in the next year or so, we know that density is increasing with the same dimensions.
My honest guess?
55kwH base = 230-240 miles
70kwH D = 290 max range (could be above 300 if CD is .21, and driving the speed limit)
P70D = 270 miles max performance
Though this is just one persons opinion. I invite you to critique, offer your own 2 cents, and begin a conversation. I believe it would be epic for Tesla to have a 300+ mile Model 3. Though its doubtful, not because of it beating it's Model S brother, but mainly for manufacturing simplicity. Making 2 battery packs for the first few years is much easier than making 3 over that span of time. 2 lines vs 3 lines.
Looking forward to your responses, and I apologize in advance if there are any typos, writing this on my phone.