Battery upgrade ?

Battery upgrade ?

Would like to reserve one but wanted to know if the standard 220 range could be upgraded to the long range afterwards ?
So the question is does the M3 "standard" have a battery pack limited by the computer , or do you really need a bigger battery to go long range?

KP in NPT | September 16, 2017

There has been no mention that the short range battery is software limited - that would be a lot of extra weight to lug around, much more than the extra 5 or 10 kWh for previous limited batteries so I highly doubt it.

You can delete your duplicate thread by clicking on it, edit in the upper left of the screen.

Gtgramont | September 16, 2017

So the standard and the long range (will) have different battery packs ?...

Thanks for the help deleting my duplicate thread.

ebiggs | September 16, 2017

Yes, we can infer that these are two separate packs from the different weights reported for the two configurations.

Hdcommercials | September 16, 2017

220miles iat 80% charge for daily use is 168miles
310miles at 80% charge for daily use is 250miles

deemo | September 16, 2017

The weight is different between the 2 models: 3549 for Standard vs 3814 for long range due to the larger battery. On the Model S and X the battery is pretty modular, supposedly can swap the battery in a few minutes. Do not know if that is possible in Model 3.

msmith55 | September 17, 2017

It is my understanding that the weight difference required different suspension components, and the model 3 battery was no longer designed for fast change out. It may still be possible to change the battery size, but it won't be cheap or fast.

Randy in Austin | September 17, 2017

See It is a single monolithic battery pack. LR is 96s46p. SR is 96s31p. To upgrade, they would have to disassemble the battery pack and add cells. They can't just add more battery packs.

brando | September 17, 2017

Probably too expensive to change the battery.
For an analogy, consider your 4 cylinder Camry. Upgrade to a V-6? No, change cars, not the drive train system.
Do you throw away your smaller battery? Who would buy it? How much would they pay? check e-bay.

Tesla way too busy to upgrade cars. Ever see any ICE makers doing it?
I suspect you could find someone to do it, after 100,000 miles warranty ends. Still, new may well be a better value, especially if 6-8 years old.

dsvick | September 18, 2017

@Randy, I'm sure that, if they did offer upgrades, they would just swap the existing smaller pack with a larger one, they wouldn't crack the pack open and add additional cells to it, that would be hugely labor intensive to do at the local service center.

andy.connor.e | September 18, 2017

I asked this before, and it would seem rational to think that you would be able to swap out the battery for the larger one at some point like a phone or Lead car battery. While we dont know the answer to this, and as practical as a concept like this should seem, better be an answerable question when it comes time to sign purchase agreement, or take for a test drive.

hoffmannjames | September 18, 2017

I get the impression that Tesla has completely dropped the whole idea of software limiting their battery packs. It is probably not worth it anymore.

andy.connor.e | September 18, 2017


Thats why they got rid of it. Notice they only have 75 & 100kWh for Model S now.

triangles | September 18, 2017

I'm not 100% certain but I think the two batteries will be physically interchangeable as it would make manufacturing more difficult if they were not. Aside from speculating on physically being able to swap out batteries. They've integrated several of the EV components (DC-DC converter etc) into the battery package. so this would make swapping in the larger pack even more expensive. Either that or it may be possible to disassemble the standard battery and replace the 4 modules with modules for the long range battery. The added labor expense would probably put cost in the the ballpark of simply swapping complete battery assemblies.

I think the real question here is are you willing to spend in the neighborhood of $20K for an extra 90 miles in a used car that may only be worth that much when you get around to wanting to upgrade? Obvious answer is, "No!" I can't see the cost being much less than that for a new long range battery pack and the labor to swap out packs. If you're lucky they might offer you some small credit for your old pack but I doubt that. Like it has already been pointed out here it most likely won't make sense economically to "upgrade" the battery as the cost would simply be too high.

andy.connor.e | September 18, 2017

That was a point of mine previously. It would only make sense, but we'd need serious confirmation on this, as im sure alot of people would go with the smaller battery knowing they can upgrade the size later. (Modular design)

andy.connor.e | September 18, 2017

No confirmation, but seems more like a method to replace batteries and not swap them at a "gas stop".

bp | September 19, 2017

Years ago, Tesla/Musk talked about the possibility of battery replacements/upgrades. The pilot battery swap station was going to offer battery upgrades - if you swapped in a battery of larger range, you could keep it by paying an upgrade fee.

But, after 5 years since the first Model S was produced, we haven't seen any official program for battery replacements or upgrades, other than unlocking the extra capacity for software limited battery packs (upgrading from a software limited 60 to a 75).

Until Tesla announces something officially - not a tweet or comment by Musk - but something in writing and either distributed to owners or published on their website, you shouldn't count on ever being able to upgrade to a larger range - at least not through Tesla. That doesn't mean it won't happen - but there is considerable risk if you assume this will be a future option when ordering your car.

giskard | September 19, 2017

BMW designed the i3 with an upgradable battery pack. Any 2015 i3 owner can upgrade their existing 22 kW pack to one of the newer 33 kW packs if they like. I'm sure it's not cheap, but I like the concept. I would hope that a 10 or 15 year old Tesla could have its battery pack replaced rather than being forced to scrap the car.

bp | September 20, 2017

While it should be technically possible to upgrade battery packs, prospective Model 3 customers should look at the history of the Model S - and not count on having the ability to upgrade their battery packs, at least not officially supported by Tesla.

If anyone is concerned 220 miles isn't enough range, then they should strongly consider purchasing the longer range model, than risk having buyer's remorse if they purchase the shorter range car.

However... It comes down to how you intend to drive the car. In most cases, if the car is going to be used for only local driving, assuming overnight charging, 220 mile range (which is similar to the shorter range S/X versions) will likely be more than enough to cover daily driving - and in the rare instance when more range is needed in a single day, there are many options for getting a small charge (3rd party chargers, destination chargers, urban superchargers).

The longer range is likely only needed for road trips - and even then the 220 mile version will be usable on road trips, because Tesla's Supercharger network has stations spaced close enough to allow a car with the 220 mile battery pack to make a long distance trip.

Having the longer range does make road trips easier. With a 90% or full charge, you can go further before having to stop at the first supercharger. And with the larger battery pack, charging is at a faster rate (up until the pack nears 80% capacity).

That said, when we order our Model 3, we'll still likely get the longer range battery, even though we intend to use the car only for local commutes - just in case we decide to use it for road trips in the future.

bmz | September 20, 2017


You are right on the money as far as I am concerned. But what that leaves me with is the fact that what I thought was an ~$40,000 car, is now a $60,000 car. And that is not what I thought I was buying into when I put down my deposit.

I hope (probably unreasonably) that Tesla will realize that the option pricing is inconsistent with their mission statement, and reduced the prices on FSD and the long-range battery.

ReD eXiLe ms us | September 20, 2017

Don't fret. While waiting for option prices to go down, you can spend the next 48 months saving $400 to $500 per month, so that you can afford the price that much more easily at the time of purchase. Sorted. But don't hold your breath.

jordanrichard | September 20, 2017

bmz, unless you have been asked to configure your car now, you are wrongly assuming that Tesla's current pricing/options will always be what they are now. That's is the same has canceling a Tesla purchase because currently there are no superchargers in your area and there never will be because Tesla is done with expanding the network.

Haggy | September 20, 2017

"But what that leaves me with is the fact that what I thought was an ~$40,000 car, is now a $60,000 car."

Based on what? When you will be able to get the car depends on your place in the queue, where you will get the car, whether you already own a Tesla, etc. It might take you longer to get one with the specific configuration you want but that might have happened anyway.

When I put down my deposit, I expected production to start at the very end of this year. I figured that with a decent ramp up in the first quarter of 2018, I'd probably have the car by then if nothing went wrong. I'm now being told that if I want the base configuration and standard battery, I can expect it between December and February, which is still earlier than I expected when I placed the reservation. It's saying I could get the upgraded version as soon as next month, which is far earlier than I expected. And if I want the AWD, I won't get it before May, which is later than I expected in the best case scenario but only a couple of months beyond that.

Considering when the standard battery and base configuration is slated to come out, I can't see how you can call it anything but early.

deemo | September 20, 2017

As I recall the original info when put down deposit 31 March 2016 was a car with EPA range of at least 215 Mi (std rated at 220) accelerate 0-60 in less than 6 sec (std 5.6 sec) for $35K (available by end of year for 35K) - what was promised that is not delivered at $35K (or 40K), why do thing need to spend $60k to get what was promised or were you simply wanting what is in the $60K car and not expecting to pay for it. This is similar to someone wanting an AMG C43 (60K) for the price of a MBz C300 (40K no leather).

Frank99 | September 20, 2017

+1 deemo

EAP is a very nice add-on...but has always cost extra.
Upgraded Interior is a very nice add-on...but has always cost extra
Bigger batteries is a very nice add-on...but has always cost extra.
Performance is a very nice add-on...but has always cost extra
FSD has a great promise...but has always cost extra.
Bigger wheels with lower profile tires is a personal preference...but has always cost extra.
Choice of paint...well....

The $35K configuration of the Model 3 is what I expected for that price on March 31, 2016, and my current delivery estimate of Jan-Mar 2017 is earlier than I expected, but later than I hoped. If you had other expectations, bmz, I'm sorry that you're disappointed.

edtguy | September 20, 2017

I've noticed that $9k of the $14k difference between the premium package 3 and the standard package 3 is the upgraded battery. Is the upgraded battery really worth $9k more than the standard battery or is some sort of premium being tacked on? At a little less than 50% more capacity, if there is no premium, than a standard battery is worth about $18k and the upgraded battery $27k. That's more than half the price of the car. Really?!

Frank99 | September 20, 2017

>>> Is the upgraded battery really worth $9k more than the standard battery
Only you can answer that for yourself. Tesla is certainly making a handsome profit on the Long Range battery, likely significantly more than they make on the standard range battery. I don't plan on getting the long range battery, but my expected usage is mostly commuting with 2-3 long trips a year. On those 2-3 long trips, the LR battery will probably save me about an hour; $9000 to save 2-3 hours a year seems pretty steep. Others have a long commute, where the LR battery might save them an hour a week; $9000 to save 52 hours a year for a few years starts becoming attractive.
With the SuperCharger network, even the Standard range battery will let you road trip to your heart's content; the Model 3 with the standard battery has a longer range than the Model S 60, which according to those who own one is a marvelous road-tripper.

giskard | September 22, 2017

Don't forget that the long range Model 3 comes with more than just a bigger battery. It's quicker (.5 second quicker 0-60 mph), has a faster on board charger, can be Superchareged faster, has a longer warranty, etc. Everyone's situation is different. For example, I drive farther than a standard Model 3's range quite often and charging infrastructure is pretty sparse in my corner of the world. That makes the bigger battery + faster Supercharging well worth the $9k addition to me. Even if there was a quick charge EVSE around every corner I'd be tempted by the increased acceleration (I like fast cars :) ). But only you can answer whether the benefits are worth it to you and whether they fit your budget.