Range Question

Range Question

Hello Everyone,

Just got my Model 3 in Dec. I have an honest question about the range. I tried to do my homework before posting. I understand there are many people who find the range to be less than they expected and factors like speed, acceleration, heater use, and outside temperature all reduce your range.

-Charged last night to 90% or about 220 miles.
-Drove 11 miles in the morning, city driving, no fast accelerations, heater on low, 2 people on board, 40's temp.
-Drove 11 miles home in the afternoon, same drive, 50's temp.
-Sentry mode on for about 7 hours. Climate off.

>> My range bar is down to 170 mi. (50 mile loss) Projected range (30 mi, Average) is at 116 mi. Efficiency is 333 Wh.mi since last charge.

My my math, this 22 mile drive was 44% efficient. Remaining efficiency is projected at about 68%

Just wondering if this seem about right?

Bighorn | January 9, 2020

You can’t really combine multiple trips and get cogent data. Moreso with large unrecorded draws like Sentry.

gballant4570 | January 9, 2020

Short drives are less efficient. Your wh/m starts out quite high, and then comes down as you drive. 11 mile trips with sentry running between will never get close to the EPA basis (234). Check your efficiency after a 150 mile drive for example.

Using the energy graphs will also help clarify things.

chamberlain.jason.l | January 9, 2020

I should also add that this is pretty common on 150 mi city trips too. My efficiency has never been below 280 and is mostly over 300. This was just one example. 70% is pretty typical efficiency.

vmulla | January 9, 2020

I had the same question and @bighorn answered it for me. Read his input to avoid the noise, there are other good inputs too if you want to go through the entire thread - but there's spurious info in the thread too you'll have to weed it out :(

gballant4570 | January 9, 2020

Type of driving is also a factor. I do not drive as much high speed interstate miles as some do - my lifetime wh/m avg reflects that, currently 242. I see some days that come in below 200.

Bighorn | January 9, 2020

There is a pretty broad range of average efficiencies depending on the model. 300 is normal for Ps on 20s. Closer to 280 on 18s. RWD maybe 220. Winter numbers will also suffer.

gballant4570 | January 9, 2020

Heater will add a good 30 to wh/m avg.

chamberlain.jason.l | January 9, 2020

I have a Model 3, 240 range, RWD.

How much heater are we talking about? Outside is 45-55 and I set the inside temp to 70-73. Is that considered a lot of heater use?

chamberlain.jason.l | January 9, 2020

Thank you @bighorn. Your reputation precedes you.

I have the smaller wheels with aero covers. I think the published efficiency is 240-250?? I’m nowhere near that ever. Only had the car 1 month in winter though.

I live in Northern CA and I’ll be curious to see how things are in the summer. 70 deg most of the year.

gballant4570 | January 9, 2020

I have temp set on 68, all the ti me. When I run heat with the fan on 1, it will add about 30 to the wh/m. That is observation, no measurement or data backup.
Outside temp is perhaps less important than sun on the glass. Cold, sunny day is better than a less cold wet &cloudy day.

BTW, seat heaters are cheaper to run, but won't defog your windows.....

My car is a LR AWD, so type of miles & driving are significant. Lots of stop & go is also less efficient. You harvest with regen while stopping, but you still lose energy.

chamberlain.jason.l | January 9, 2020

Thanks for the link @vmulla.
Looks like you were wonder about a 10% discrepancy. I’ll read deeper though.

My loss is regularly 30%, sometimes more. I simply don’t understand the people who are getting 220Wh/mi or say “the range is pretty accurate”. My experience is WAY different thus far.

Has anyone heard of cars that have had REAL problems with defective batteries or hardware? Is that possible or extremely unlikely?

Bighorn | January 9, 2020

Experiment by starting with the battery warm by completing your charge before departure and pre-heat the cabin as well. You could probably get where your going without heat using seat heaters to get a sense of summer efficiency. I imagine your Wh per rated mile parity is under 220. Sentry mode uses about a mile per hour.

Bighorn | January 9, 2020

Defective battery is highly unlikely. A reduced efficiency, were there a real issue, would likely occur elsewhere like a bound brake caliper, etc. Again, I suspect no issue, as people with short trips will get skewed data. Quantifying efficiency is more pertinent to making supercharger to supercharger legs and not how many round trips to work one can make. It’s not like buying 10 gallons of gas—batteries hold much less energy and frictional losses add up to significance. Heat is not a waste byproduct, so is an expensive auxiliary draw.

FISHEV | January 9, 2020

You are getting about average winter range which takes about 30-40% out of the Rated Range. Here's a graph of how efficiency arcs from winter to summer.

Those 7 hours of Sentry Mode cost you 2-3kWh, 8-12 miles of range which doesn't help when low temp issue are taking a 30% bite out your range already.

chamberlain.jason.l | January 9, 2020

Thanks everyone. Great discussion and information.

@FishEV - I am not sure I understand that chart correctly. Looks like a 12% difference between summer and winter. Plus, whose winter is that? My winter is only down to the '40s in the morning (harsh CA winter, ha ha) and much of the country is much colder for more months and more hours of the day.

Where are you getting 30-40% reduction?

vmulla | January 9, 2020

I had two use cases over my 85K+ driving of Teslas.
1. Short runs where range wasn't something I paid attention to
2. Long distance non-stop between Superchargers, I got excellent efficiency numbers in this case.

Both those situations are not cases where range loss stands out (I would factor in temp variations)

When I encountered 80 mile trips with a 1-2hr break I noticed a discrepancy on the return. That's not something I did much off until recently. I learned that it was battery temp cycling that was eating my range - I eliminated other causes from being major factors.

I suggest that you focus on wh/m number, that too focus on average across an entire year - mine is at 246wh/m over 50K miles and 2yrs. If you're getting great overall efficiency and are able to use your car without impact to your daily life then you'd be satisfied. If you look at point in time numbers, they might throw you off.

I got 170wh/m efficiency on my best drive and 380s on some other drives. No point celebrating one range number and fretting over an other, it's still the same efficient car.

Like others have stated, it's more important to know your car so that you can avoid poor decisions.

Pay attention to efficiency in wet/snowy conditions, that's an interesting learning experience too :)

WardT | January 9, 2020

Over 20k miles on our M3 we have averaged 82% for the actual range vs battery range. When I go on a long trip the actual vs battery range is usually in the 80's%. On longer trips are driving 75 MPH. All of this is in the 60-80 F ambient temps. I calculate the necessary Wh/mi necessary to match the battery range is about 205. The EPA says it should be about 234 Wh/mile. I don't understand it all but I get about 82% of what I expected I would get. No biggie, since it is cheap to charge and I usually charge at home and it doesn't matter much.

Bighorn | January 9, 2020

Don't go down the rabbit hole that is FISH, the resident troll. Challenged with truthiness.

Sellotape | January 10, 2020

I’ve owned my M3P for three months and done 6k mi. I’ve averaged 385 Wh/mi over that time. That’s down to two things: weather (cold ~5ºC, dark, wet and windy) and frequent enjoyment of the performance features of the car.

To me, that made the ‘Typical’ line on the energy graph puzzling to say the least, so I decided to do an experiment.

Yesterday, I drove in the light at about 10ºC after a supercharging session where the batteries got nice and warm. I was on a flat, dry highway and the car averaged 290 Wh/mi driving mostly at about 70mph. If I dropped the speed to 65mph, then the consumption dropped markedly and even further when I switched off the cabin heater too. I conclude that there are ways to squeeze lots of extra range out of the battery if you really need to.

So, I think the OP has nothing to worry about.

Even at my high average Wh/mi, I’m saving a great deal in fuel compared to my previous ICE car. Range and interruptions for charging just aren’t an issue in my experience with my most frequent daily use being about 120 mi.

kevin_rf | January 10, 2020

The OP's watt hour numbers are inline with what I see for winter numbers. I'm often down by a similar amount on short trips for little things like groceries and the mall. Come summer, the numbers go back to normal.

When winter driving, I use a rule of thumb of three miles lost for every two miles driven. (Which would be about 360 watt hours per mile)

Btw. 34k miles, LR AWD, second New England winter.

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

The corollary I’ve used is 2 miles per %. Same thing and easier math.

derotam | January 10, 2020

@chamberlain.jason.l: So key words from you were "city driving" and "heater" with the further information of "inside temp to 70-73"

So at 40-50F outside temp, you are going to be running maybe a bit less than 2kW constant on the heater to maintain that inside temperature. Let's go with 2kW to make it easy. 2kW at 30 miles an hour will add ~66Wh/mile. But remember that is only if you AVERAGE 30 miles per hour.

Two quick notes: All power usage while in a driving mode(D, R, hold) will count toward your Wh/mile for your trip counters. Any time spent in PARK will not count toward trip meter but will obviously still use battery energy.

I agree with others that with shorter trips and city driving, your "mostly over 300"(Wh/mi) looks about right.

One last thing about your HVAC control. You said you have the heat "on low" What do you mean by that? Are you keeping the system in manual mode with the fan speed at a low value? I would recommend leaving it in AUTO. The AC will mostly be on for humidity control but that power usage would be a very small blip for your power usage. Remember also that if you are in manual mode with a low fan speed, the car may have trouble actually heating the cabin because of the low air flow, so it would put more power to the heater. The fan power is also a low power draw. I would have to go back to my numbers but I think it maxed out at about 380W at fan speed 10, and the power draw doesn't really start to move up drastically until about speed 5-6. It is not a linear function.

FISHEV | January 10, 2020

“Where are you getting 30-40% reduction?”

Average decline you’ll see in below 40 deg operation. The graph is from StatsApp for Tesla using data from all Model 3 subscribers.

WW_spb | January 10, 2020

Looks like full time Job for Fish to comment with his wrong information everywhere he can possibly can.

WW_spb | January 10, 2020

One can

Magic 8 Ball | January 10, 2020

FishEV is an evil person.

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

I’ve seen climate draw included in the energy efficiency figure while in Park. That’s how I saw over 8000 Wh/m on my first 0.1 mile click after departure. I think off and on is the delineator as to whether a draw is recorded.

derotam | January 10, 2020

@Bighorn: I REALLY hate to say it but I, conservatively, believe you are mistaken. While I do believe there may be a very short period of time before you put the vehicle from park to drive that MAY be accounted for in the trip meter, it is a very short(10's of seconds at most) time period.

Do you also think that battery preconditioning power would be accounted for in the trip meter while in Park?

Should be easy enough to test though...

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

The 8000 Wh/m tells the tale—several minutes of climate while idling empty in the driveway before departure. It was in the Model S, so the possibility of a difference exists.

derotam | January 10, 2020

Yes, Model S could be the difference. I'll work on getting some current data on my 3.

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

I’ll see if I can get an early high number on my 3 as well.

jallred | January 10, 2020

I've never seen it happen. But it could, it is just software. Both numerator and denominator are accumulations of different CANbus values. These numbers come across the bus asynchronously, so it is possible to have the numerator (energy) be valid when the distance traveled just increments a little bit, creating a large wh/mi number. It certainly isn't typical that they accumulate all of the energy while the vehicle is stopped to create big spikes at the start. They roll a fairly small time window of data for the calculation. Somebody early on, probably added a filter that discards really large values.

SnowZA | January 10, 2020

I have the SR+, and have had it now for just under half a year. I've noticed the efficiency per trip fluctuates a LOT based on all sorts of factors. Raining? Different number. Wet road? Different number. Cold temperature? Lots of different numbers. I don't have a closed garage to park in, so the battery is at the mercy of whatever temperature changes happen over night. I've had mornings when it has been around freezing, and the battery has been quite happy, no cold soaking, reasonable efficiency, and other mornings which have been around the same temperature, but the car throws up range reduced battery warnings because of the cold even though it was about the same temperature outside.
I think the battery takes a while to warm up / cool down, and is never in exactly the same state at the end of a drive as the previous ones - conditions are slightly different every day. Which means that it is hard to predict exactly what you are going to get out of it on any given day in the future. I do notice that around 6 or 7 degrees C seems to be some sort of a threshold for efficiency, though (that's around 44 F, I think). When the temperature is above that, I tend to get 30km trips at around 165 wh/km. Below that, that same trip can easily be around 220 wh/km. And on a hot day last summer, I did that same trip with around 135 wh/km... (my climate control stays on auto at 20C, which is about 68F)
Overall, I wouldn't worry about it too much, especially if you have only had it in the winter. It is going to be higher. Keep an eye on it over time, and if it stays bad in warmer weather, then there could be something to be concerned about.

Magic 8 Ball | January 10, 2020

@SnowZA Good post +1

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

For years, people came in here asking why they see 1000+Wh/m efficiency when they pull out of their driveway. And I’ve been explaining small denominators and the relatively minor draw necessary (100Wh) to show that over the first tenth of a mile. Obviously, it quickly reverts to the mean. Since I pay no attention to it, I can’t say whether the treatment is different on the 3 until I look intentionally.

chamberlain.jason.l | January 10, 2020

Great conversation everyone. Thanks for the kind and useful information. Sounds like my vehicle is most likely functioning normally. This is what I needed to understand, being new to EV. My goal is to be able to drive 140-180 miles around the beautiful San Francisco Bay area without having to worry about range. Looks like I am going to be right on the edge of this, and in retrospect I would have more seriously considered getting the 325 mi version for my peace of mind, though I did not want to spend the $ at the time. Worst case, I may need to supercharge for 10 min during this type of trip to get me home. I found that 9 min adds 50 mi of range). I can live with that.

Paraphrasing someone above - don't obsess on the numbers, enjoy the car, supercharge if needed once in a while. That is where I am at now. It will get the family everywhere they need to go 95% of the time. For the 5% exceptions, there are no shortage of superchargers on my routes.

Thanks again everyone!

Pg3ibew | January 10, 2020

@snow, THAT....... should be slapped on every single post starter that makes a post about RANGE. Or Batteries. It seems that everyine thinks their problem is unique.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | January 10, 2020

"For years, people came in here asking why they see 1000+Wh/m efficiency when they pull out of their driveway. And I’ve been explaining small denominators and the relatively minor draw necessary (100Wh) to show that over the first tenth of a mile. Obviously, it quickly reverts to the mean. Since I pay no attention to it, I can’t say whether the treatment is different on the 3 until I look intentionally."

I can easily get my M3 to show transient spikes like that. I think I've seen over 2000Wh/mi.

jallred | January 10, 2020

Hmm, maybe I just don't look often enough. Now that I think about it, I rarely fire up energy graph right out of the gate.

derotam | January 10, 2020


11:12:00am entered car,stepped on brake, entered PIN, turned HVAC off, reset trip meter, HVAC set to Manual, AC on, Fan speed 10, all vents on, max temp(HI). Car stayed in park.

ScanMyTesla showed a power draw of 7.5-8kW

11:20:00am, turned off HVAC and seat still in PARK for 30 seconds

11:20:30am, put I to drive and started driving.

.1mile on trip showed 324Wh/mi. .2mile showed 239Wh/mi, energy graph on 5 mile range showed no massive spike.

derotam | January 10, 2020

The power draw for the entire 8 minutes stayed at 7.5-8kW

Model 3 LR RWD, 2019.40.50.7

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

My data
Turned on climate high, Precondition to supercharger. Wait 5 minutes. In Park the entire time.
Data at 0.1 mile was 2737 Wh/m.

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

When I stepped out of the car, battery preconditioning message went away, so I sat in the car and it remained on for the 5 minute warm up.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | January 10, 2020

jallred I don’t see it on the energy graph ( it tops out at what, .9kW/mi)? I see it on the trip card.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | January 10, 2020


derotam | January 10, 2020

2737 while sounds "high" doesn't seem to come close to the expected value. What value would you have expected? And I am assuming you did this on your 3?

8kW just for cabin heat over 5 minutes should have given you 6,666Wh/mile. Adding 3.5-7kW for preconditioning would have made the number even higher.

jallred | January 10, 2020

oh. Sorry, by not reading well, I've been wasting your time.

I see big numbers on the trip card sometimes. I thought it was mostly because I usually start with a hard acceleration.

I figured most people understand that an averaged rate gets better with longer data collections. And really sucks with super short data collections.

derotam | January 10, 2020

Wait, rethinking my math.

derotam | January 10, 2020

8kWh / 12 × 10? For expected .1 mile value?

Bighorn | January 10, 2020

With the car cold, the climate didn't come on full bore immediately, so 5 minutes is probably too long for calculation purposes. 6 kW over 3 minutes would get you 3000 Wh/m at 0.1 miles.