Model 3

Best Charging Strategy for Extremely Short Commute?

I drive just 1.8 miles each way on my daily commute, and have been looking for some suggestions on the best charging practices in that scenario.

I took delivery of my 3 LR AWD on June 29th, with a year of free supercharging included. I have three supercharging locations within 10-15 minutes drive each.

After 4 months I have just over 1,100 miles on the clock. I have taken just one 200-mile round trip on the highway, before which I charged to 100%. Once or twice a week I might have a day of 20-40 miles running errands or visiting friends. I have pretty much been following the Owner's Manual recommendation to just plug it in each day set for 80%. Home charging is easily adequate despite being just 20A/100V, resulting in 6-7 MPH charging. Charging cost at home is a measly 4.162¢ per KWH!

I did run the battery down to around 20%, one time, then went to the supercharger and ran it up almost to 100% in order to "exercise" the battery. I have noticed the displayed range at 80% SOC declining a bit (4 miles or so since new) and that brought me here to seek advice from others on the best strategy for charging. Or is it best to just forget about without worry?

In case you are wondering why I would invest in such a car for a 2-mile daily commute - I am on the cusp of retirement and plan A LOT of road trips to enjoy the Tesla experience!


  • Just leave it plugged in as suggested in the manual. The range estimate might get a little out of calibration with short charging cycles but that does not affect your actual range.

    For more information, just use the search feature. This topic is posted at least once per week.
  • Agree with stingray.don_98527447 posted so many times for more info I say just do a Google search you will find endless web sites, videos, endless info will keep you busy for weeks maybe months.
  • adding to the others' good suggestion. Leave it at about 60% charge level as well for optimal battery life. If you think you may need to make a long run, charging to 70% or 80% won't be particularly bad either.
  • How many miles a year do you put on the car?

    The fewer and smaller the battery discharge/charge sequences the less battery degradation. Li-on batteries don't have a "memory" they way the older Ni-cads did but they do get a memory effect as far as reading the charge which 100% charging can clear.

    If you want to look at your battery degradation, there are some tools to do that.


    Battery Health App.
  • Do not take any of these 3rd party apps too seriously. At best they tell you something about calibration. Avoid charging above 90% unless you really need to. I keep my battery between 40% and 75%.
  • I had a short commute of about 5 miles at my last job. Decided to ride my bike there on my day off to see how long it would take.
    Was only about 10 minutes longer but since it's 90 degrees with 100 percent humidity, I was covered in sweat. Then decided that it's better to drive.
  • Sigh. FISHEV is present. Public Service Announcement:
    FISHEV is a known troll of several years standing and several user
    names who pushes an anti Tesla narrative. Please
    take his opinions with a grain of salt, avoid any advice he may
    suggest, and do not let him implant any Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt
    about Tesla or your car into your own opinion.
    FISH truly, duly like to waylay newbies. And, by this time, there's all sorts of solid-looking, but mostly wrong stuff on the web.
    The battery management on Tesla's is superior; at 23K miles on ours, there's no real battery degradation, which is consistent with other solid reporting around here. But not with FISH.. Whose ownership of a M3 is actually an interesting question.
  • @VoltsInVegas I would only supercharge to 100% on a road trip where superchargers were far apart, or if I need extra range arriving at a destination with no charging. The last 10% is slow to add. It is not good for the battery to sit at 100% for too long. If you only charged to 100% a couple of times it does no harm. I would charge to 70% for daily driving and whatever you need to % for a road trip.
  • I would ride a bike or walk. Leave the car at home with an 80% SOC.
  • Since COVID hit haven’t been driving nearly as much. Only put 3k miles on the Tesla since May. I have the charge set to 50% and leave it plugged in, when I’m planning on a longer trip bump it up accordingly. Other then that just drive it and plug it in when I get home, even if I only use 2%.
  • If you really don’t drive much, then you could charge to 70-80% and wait until you are below 60% to charge.

    You can easily try and do whatever is most convenient provide you avoid extremes.
  • > @coleAK said:
    > Since COVID hit haven’t been driving nearly as much. Only put 3k miles on the Tesla since May. I have the charge set to 50% and leave it plugged in, when I’m planning on a longer trip bump it up accordingly. Other then that just drive it and plug it in when I get home, even if I only use 2%.

    This is the best answer.

    If you charge with a very low current, like from a normal socket, i.e. single phase, 13 A, you can go to 60% without any disadvantage. That is the point, cell voltage 3.92 V, below which the cells practically do not degrade and will last for thousands of cycles. Even charging at 11 kW (three-phase, 16 A each) does not raise the voltage much, and only for a short time, so one could still argue for 60%.

    The good thing about the Tesla batteries is that above 60% they do degrade, but still very little. So there is not much harm in occasionally charging higher for longer trips.
  • I agree with coleAK and hgmichna.
  • > @hgmichna said: > The good thing about the Tesla batteries is that above 60% they do degrade, but still very little.

    Nothing like that at
  • I'm only putting 120 miles a month on my car this year due to the pandemic, just weekend shopping. I leave my car plugged in with the charge level set to 75%. Setting the level below that won't make a significant difference in battery life but it won't hurt either. Don't supercharge unless you are on a roadtrip, Level 1 or 2 charging is easier on the battery. Don't worry about losing your free miles either, do the math and you'll see that they aren't actually worth that much, a thousand supercharger miles are only worth $70 and that assumes that you need to charge at a supercharger, plug in your own electricity rate and assume it's 250KWh and you'll see that it's not worth the trip to the supercharger.
  • Set your charging limit to 70% unless you want the extra range for whatever reason that something could possibly come up and would warrant having the extra range buffer. But there are also superchargers everywhere. I keep mine at 70% daily and charge to about 90-95% when i have to take a trip to my neighboring city.

    But all in all, the difference between charging to 70%, 80%, and 90% are pretty negligible differences.
  • In present day, there really should be any reason to charge to 100%. However should you do that, be sure to set off right away.
  • ^^^ I charge to 100% any time I’m going to take a trip out of town which is usually 200-300 miles. And yes set it to finish charging directly before we are set to depart.
  • Charge to 75% and see how many trips you can take until it drops to 25%, then charge and repeat.
  • You should get it serviced then put it up on blocks to preserve it. Then buy a used Leaf for running into the ground. It probably won't take long, so patience is not required.
    Refer to the manual under "Storing for long periods".
    BTW, is it a P version?
  • Well, he is going to need a lot of patience wearing out a million mile battery.
  • I leave all my Li-ion tools on the charger. They last in excess of 8 years.
  • If you get a new Model 3 SR+ from China with an LFP battery, the recommendation is to charge it up to 100% once a week.

    Don't do this on any of the classic NMC batteries though.
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