Model 3

Driving Tips to Maximize Range (manual)

I hope this helps new owners who missed manual or simply ignored it.

Driving Tips to Maximize Range
You can maximize your driving range using the same driving habits you use to conserve fuel in a gasoline-powered vehicle. In addition to driving habits, energy consumption depends on environmental conditions (such as exceptionally cold or hot weather and driving on roads with steep hills).

To achieve maximum range:
• Slow down your driving and avoid frequent and rapid acceleration. Consider using Chill Mode (see Controls on page 136) and Speed Assist (see Speed Assist on page 134) to assist in controlling your acceleration and speed.
• If safe to do so, modulate the accelerator pedal instead of using the brake pedal when gradually slowing down. Whenever Model 3 is moving and you are not pressing the accelerator pedal, regenerative braking slows down Model 3 and feeds surplus energy back to the Battery (see Regenerative Braking on page 69).
• Set Stopping Mode to HOLD to gain the benefit of regenerative braking at low driving speeds (see Stopping Mode on page 70).
• Keep tires at the recommended inflation pressures (see Tire Care and Maintenance on page 188), ensure tire alignment is within specification, and tires are rotated when needed. Rotating tires will reduce uneven tread wear, increasing your vehicle's efficiency (see Maintenance Schedule on page 186).
• Lighten your load by removing any unnecessary cargo.
• Fully raise all windows.
• Limit the use of resources such as heating, lights, and air conditioning. Using seat heaters to keep warm is more efficient than heating the cabin using climate controls.
• Precondition the vehicle while it is plugged in to ensure the cabin is at a comfortable temperature and windows are defrosted (if needed) before your drive. Use the mobile app to precondition your vehicle by touching Climate > Turn On Climate and customizing your preferences (see Mobile App on page 174).
• Features such as Sentry Mode, Headlights After Exit, and Cabin Overheat Protection can impact range. Disable features that are not needed.
• To prevent an excessive amount of energy consumption while the vehicle is idle, keep the vehicle plugged in when not in use.
• Minimize the use of DC chargers (such as superchargers) for optimal Battery health. The power meter on the touchscreen and the Energy app (see Energy App on page 80) provides feedback on energy usage. With this feedback, you can become familiar with how driving habits and environmental conditions impact how much energy Model 3 is using.

Factors Affecting Energy Consumption Several factors can affect your vehicle's rate of energy consumption, including:
• Uphill travel: Driving uphill requires more energy and depletes range at a faster rate. However, driving downhill allows your vehicle to regain a portion of its expended energy through regenerative braking (see Regenerative Braking on page 69).
• Customized settings: Energy is consumed by accessories like lights, heating and cooling, media player, Sentry Mode, etc.
• Short trips: It takes energy to bring the cabin and Battery to a specified temperature when starting the vehicle. You may see a higher average consumption when the vehicle is used for very short trips while climate controls are enabled.
• Temperature and weather conditions: In colder weather, precondition the vehicle before driving (see Cold Weather Best Practices on page 86).
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Comments

  • Good stuff. Thank you for consolidating.
  • This is a very good list and the 2 biggest rocks in the bucket that affect range on _road_ trips are net speed (ground speed + wind speed) and use of the resistance heater. For short trips, your last 2 bullets are bang on and I would save those to share with new BEV owners who will start generating "WTF happened to my range / Tesla lied etc...)" posts as soon as cold weather arrives.
  • I have sold my XC90 and now we are fully electric. My second car (actually - wife's car) is e-golf. That wagen has nice option - "range" or whatsoever it's called button. Really nice to have it for short city trips. I don't need my cabin heated up if I am going to ride 5 minutes. In e-golf I am just pressing one button and all mighty heaters and fans are restricted to 1/3 of their power (I suppose)
    Really miss that feature in mod3
  • B u m p
  • Agree. I want the ability to turn the resistance heater off without having to adjust cabin temp. Simple way to control a significant battery load in the winter.
  • You can turn climate control off without changing the temperature settings.

    One reason most Tesla owners find it unnecessary to turn off the heater is the range is so much more. I can see in the e-Golf (83 miles range 2016, and 125 miles later), you're always super concerned about range. Hopefully in the Tesla, you really don't need to be as concerned. Enjoy being comfortable - the idea is not to have any compromises over an ICE car.
  • > @Twochewy said:
    > Agree. I want the ability to turn the resistance heater off without having to adjust cabin temp. Simple way to control a significant battery load in the winter.

    Functionality already exists. Just touch the fan icon to turn off/on the climate control.
  • Touch the fan icon for two seconds. Doesn’t seem too much to ask.
  • > @"TeslaTap.com" said: > One reason most Tesla owners find it unnecessary to turn off the heater is the range is so much more.

    Actually you see a lot of Tesla owners talk of turning off heater and suggesting to do that and turn on just seat heater to extend range.

    Always an extreme suggestion but we do see it a lot on the Tesla forums. Kind of fits on the "no car wash" and other "it's a delicate flower not a car" line of thinking.
  • > @FISHEV said:
    > > @"TeslaTap.com" said: > One reason most Tesla owners find it unnecessary to turn off the heater is the range is so much more.
    >
    > Actually you see a lot of Tesla owners talk of turning off heater and suggesting to do that and turn on just seat heater to extend range.
    >
    > Always an extreme suggestion but we do see it a lot on the Tesla forums. Kind of fits on the "no car wash" and other "it's a delicate flower not a car" line of thinking.
    >
    >

    From the manual "Using seat heaters to keep warm is more efficient than heating the cabin using climate controls." Has nothing to do with what Tesla owners recommend.
  • > @WW_spb said:

    > From the manual "Using seat heaters to keep warm is more efficient than heating the cabin using climate controls." Has nothing to do with what Tesla owners recommend."

    And that's why you see Tesla owners suggesting turning heat off to get more range.
  • we are referencing the manual. thats correct
  • > @andy_connor_e said:
    > we are referencing the manual. thats correct

    @"TeslaTap.com" was referencing Tesla owners.

    > @"TeslaTap.com" said: > One reason most TESLA OWNERS find it unnecessary to turn off the heater is the range is so much more.
  • Tesla Owners telling you to do something referenced in the manual are not mutually exclusive.
  • > @andy_connor_e said:
    > Tesla Owners telling you to do something referenced in the manual are not mutually exclusive.

    Indeed which made your non-sequitur comment even more irrelevant.
  • Good list,

    I didn’t see mention of the Aero covers but they can add up to 4% efficiency on highway speed long travel.
  • B u m p
  • Keep it up for newbs
  • What is up with the unnecessary bumps?
  • > @"TeslaTap.com" said:
    > You can turn climate control off without changing the temperature settings.
    >
    > One reason most Tesla owners find it unnecessary to turn off the heater is the range is so much more. I can see in the e-Golf (83 miles range 2016, and 125 miles later), you're always super concerned about range. Hopefully in the Tesla, you really don't need to be as concerned. Enjoy being comfortable - the idea is not to have any compromises over an ICE car.

    Yes, but not only that. Sometimes aggressive heating is just a waste of energy. OK, in Teslas we might have a lot of energy accumulated, but waste it for what ?

    And there is another issue - vw doesn't switch off heating completely, juts reduces it by IDK - 50 - 70 %. There still is a airflow, which is important. Your advice to kill fan is only solution, but its not the best
  • @Heliogabals - I can understand in a lower-end car some owners want to be very frugal. With a premium car like the Model 3, I'd expect most want to be comfortable while they drive. Heating for comfort isn't a waste of energy. For EVs to be a success, most potential owners are not willing to compromise comfort over what they are used to.

    The heater automatically reduces power once the cabin gets to temperature. So a 50% limit on heating like the VW uses only serves to slow the cabin heating up. Keep in mind Tesla uses the waste heat of the motor and batteries to heat the cabin. The VW has a simple resistive heater. If you were to slow your heating in the Tesla, you may waste energy in the Tesla, as the excess heat is just sent to the radiator.

    To be fair, there are so many variables, such as outside temperature, inside desired temperature, the speed you are traveling (higher speeds cause more heat in the motor and batteries), the battery temperature at the start of the trip, and I'm sure a few other factors. So there could be conditions where heating the cabin quickly uses more energy than delaying the cabin heating up. My guess is fast cabin heating vs. slow cabin heating costs about 1/2 mile of range on a trip in the worst conditions. In better conditions, it may cost nothing in range.

    Now you will have range loss on any EV to maintain the cabin heat, but Tesla's design is still more efficient than VWs. In the VW, I can see the concern owners have with the design they choose and the limited range.
  • I recently figured out an easy strategy for improving highway range. It’s based on the fact that regenerative breaking is not 100% efficient so you don’t get back as much kinetic energy as you put in via breaking. In other words coasting downhill and letting the car accelerate a bit is better than using regenerative breaking to try to recapture the energy.

    Here’s what I tried:

    Say you want to go about 70 mph (traffic permitting):

    - When transitioning from uphill to downhill slowly increase speed setting to 71 (higher if a steep hill and you can safely)
    - When transitioning from downhill to uphill slowly decrease speed setting to 69

    Note: Car accelerates less aggressively if you change speed by 1 mph and wait until it gets to that speed before increasing again.

    I expect that increasing the spread (68-72) would be even better but would likely annoy other drivers.
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