Tesla under reporting range of Model 3 according to EPA data

Tesla under reporting range of Model 3 according to EPA data

It looks like Tesla is under reporting the range of the Model 3. According to the EPA, they find the long range model 3 has a range of 334 miles, not 310 miles. Good news!

phil | September 19, 2017

Well, EPA did not test, did they? The 334 is a self-reported number from Tesla, if I understand the EPA process - please correct me if I'm mistaken about this.

Still could be good news. I've been planning on waiting for the smaller battery. Perhaps I should reconsider...

carlk | September 19, 2017

Does it have 80kWh or 75kWh battery?

hoffmannjames | September 19, 2017

The article says that the long range Model 3 had a 80 kWh battery pack.

slasher0016 | September 19, 2017

EPA did test, you can see the results in there. They combine the results for highway/city and then multiple it by .7 to get to the "range."

andy.connor.e | September 19, 2017

How you drive can have the largest impact on your range. For instance, i get nearly 45mpg on the highway with my 25/35 rated vehicle. Im sure if you have an idealistic driving style, you could easily add 20 miles to that 310 estimate.

phil | September 19, 2017

slasher0016 | September 19, 2017 'EPA did test, you can see the results in there. They combine the results for highway/city and then multiple it by .7 to get to the "range."'

So you believe EPA got ahold of an actual Model 3 and tested it? I'm pretty sure this is false. In the vast majority of cases, the manufacturer conducts the testing and reports/certifies results to EPA, so obviously you will see the results on the EPA site/reports.

andy.connor.e | September 19, 2017

At this point, i thought arguing about stuff like this was long in the past.

dsvick | September 19, 2017

"At this point, i thought arguing about stuff like this was long in the past"

Hi, welcome to the forums .... you must be new here. :)

phil | September 19, 2017

Where do you see argument? This is a simple factual question. We should be able to determine the source of the data, which may be helpful in understanding the numbers. I believe both the 310 and the 334 come from Tesla, which would support the Teslarati view that Tesla is intentionally (and legally) underreporting range. As opposed to EPA having tested a single car and getting a different result due to variation in manufacturing or test conditions.

This is merely a quest for enlightenment, Andy. If you look for arguments everywhere, you will probably find them!

carlk | September 19, 2017

hoffmannjames I seem to remember 75 kWh was mentioned for the long range model before. Maybe that''s what made the difference?

phil | September 19, 2017

Reading a bit further, it appears that the 334 was not reported by Tesla, nor by EPA, but rather estimated by a forum member based on EPA city/hwy mileage. Not sure at this point whether it means anything. FWIW, the same forum discussion estimates that the smaller-battery Model 3 also gets more than the claimed 210 miles.

KP in NPT | September 19, 2017

I believe I read that the actual kWh for the long range is something like 83.

Daryl | September 19, 2017

This question has probably been answered, but I can't find it; that is:

Is the estimated range based on using the full capacity of the battery, from 100% to 0%? Or is it based on the Tesla default charging limit, which I understand tops out at 80% or 90%.

I am assuming it is based on the full battery, which means that under normal circumstances I will not see that much range.

As a comparison, my Volt will only charge to about 80% but there is no way to skirt that limit, so the estimated range is about what I get in actual every day driving.

LostInTx | September 19, 2017

This news encourages me to engage in unintentional self administered gratification. Twice. On purpose.

El Mirio | September 19, 2017

@Daryl Tesla does not impose charging a limit, they say charging to 100% is fine as long as you use it. Keeping the battery at 100% charge over an extended period of time is not recommended, hence they recommend to charge to 80 to 90% if you don't use 100% right away.

The EPA range is based on 100% charge.

LostInTx | September 19, 2017

All I know is that if I drive responsibly, I can get from my house in Houston to the best BBQ restaurant in Texas and back without charging.

That, my friends, is the sweet spot.

deemo | September 19, 2017

If you take what Tesla reported to the EPA from thier tests which was I believe 455 Hwy and 495 City and put it into the formula you get ((455*.45)+(495*.55))*.7 =334 EPA projected range. You can report less than this figure and speculation was it was too close to the Model S 100D at 335 so reduced it.

ReD eXiLe ms us | September 19, 2017

The EPA Website still does not list the Tesla Model 3 among either 2017 or 2018 vehicles yet.

Daryl | September 19, 2017

There are no Tesla vehicles listed for 2018.

ReD eXiLe ms us | September 19, 2017

Daryl: Correct. I mentioned the MY because though the earliest Production Model X cars arrived in 2016, they were all listed as 2016 Model Year cars. So, no Model X is shown on the EPA Website for 2015.

ReD eXiLe ms us | September 19, 2017

DOH! "...arrived in 2015..."

Chargedmr2 | September 19, 2017

@LostInTX so, where is this BBQ that you speak of??

hsadler | September 19, 2017

Haha.... Tesla will not produce a 2018 model of any kind.

Until Jan1, 2018.

agkulcz | September 19, 2017

Just what I always wanted, my own Extra 24 Miles of Range. I will name them George, and I will hug them and pet them and squeeze them....

ReD eXiLe ms us | September 19, 2017

hsadler: Perhaps. The Model Year is designated by the VIN. once again, every Model X built in 2015 was a MY 2016 vehicle, officially.

akgolf | September 19, 2017

I wonder if the short range models range is also higher than reported?

nadurse | September 20, 2017

Page 6 of the embedded document on the link in the section 'Manufacturer test comments': "Internal test results for MY2017 Model 3 Long Range. Range determined by using SAE J1634 Multi-cycle test procedure..."

Further if you look above and read in the charts, it specifies the test location to be the "Fremont dyno".

So yes, its a Tesla test, and its on a dyno so not real world conditions, which is probably why EPA discounts the values to 70%... and yes it appears to be legal to under report values to the public.

Theres actually some other interesting pieces of info in this EPA report. Things like curb weight 3837lbs and other stuff that gearheads might find interesting.

noleaf4me | September 20, 2017

Even more range would be awesome.....I want to drive this baby to my home town, which is 711 miles door to door.....would love to do it with just 2 shorter (30-40 minute) stops!!

LostInTx | September 20, 2017

Chargedmr2, Cooper's BBQ in Llano, Texas. Sooooo good. Some clamor about Franklin's in Austin but I think it's underrated, plus it had a massive unintentional fire during Hurricane Harvey.

Cooper's in Llano - worth the drive.

ReD eXiLe ms us | September 20, 2017

What amazes me is that leadfoot speed demon Tesla Owners and EV Naysayers alike seem to agree that a true 'Real World' range would have another 0.7 multiplier applied against the EPA rated range. Some seem to think that should be applied again for range in Winter conditions so that people who experience actual weather -- not those spoiled folk in California -- won't be mislead as to useable range. In multiple discussions over the years they have colletively demanded that they shouldn't have to 'drive like a granny' to achieve the stated range, and that Tesla's cars demand to be driven 'Like You Stole It!'

Let's see...

310 miles ___ EPA Range Rating
217 miles ___ Leadfoot Range Rating
152 miles ___ Dead of Winter Range Rating

Personally, I think such pessimism is utterly ridiculous.

phil | September 20, 2017

akgolf | September 19, 2017 "I wonder if the short range models range is also higher than reported?"

See above post for link. The same forum thread estimated 239 for the short range model 3. If this is true, I would have no need for the long range model

Carl Thompson | September 20, 2017

It seems likely to me that Tesla simply feels that for their electric cars the standard 0.3 reduction (0.7 multiplier) from the ideal is not sufficient to approximate real world driving. It's possible that in some ICE cars 0.7 works but in Tesla EVs 0.6 is more appropriate.

The purpose of the range numbers are to approximate what customers can expect in the real world and not to post the highest score the EPA will allow. If the numbers don't actually approximate real-world driving then lawyers can and do file class action lawsuits (it's happened many times). Therefore it's in Tesla's best interest to lower the range figure as necessary to have it match what customers can actually expect.

It's also worth noting that Tesla has apparently applied reductions to it's other cars. Yet we don't hear owners of these other Teslas talking about how they far exceed the rated range with real-world driving. Just about every owner account I've read (a lot) says that when they bought the car they got the rated range and then it drops to a few miles _lower_ than the rated in a few months and stays there relatively stable. So Tesla's reduction do seem aimed at keeping it real.

The idea that Tesla accidentally "made the car too good" or reduced the range simply to "sandbag" doesn't seem reasonable. If they wanted to sandbag they could easily just increase the buffer size which would have the positive side affect increasing battery longevity and thus _decreasing_ future warranty claims. They would be more likely to do that then to accidentally give you a car that has higher range than their high-end car when they clearly want to make sure that it doesn't.

Sorry to rain on your free miles parade.


3dwin | September 20, 2017

So what would the range be on a standard range model 3 be? If not 220 would it be 250? Using the epa calculations.

slasher0016 | September 20, 2017

@phil How do you think the EPA got a result without doing a test? I really can't tell if you're trolling, but to put a window sticker on the car that shows EPA range -- guess what the car has to be tested. And if you've been paying attention those stickers are all over the internet. Here's one such example:

https://goo .gl/AGttjV

(remove the space after the 2nd o)

Iwantmy3 | September 20, 2017

I don't think this necessarily impacts the range on the standard "3". The long range version appears to have a useable capacity of 78.27 KWHr based on the EPA report. I would guess that the standard "3" is 52.18 KWHr. (exactly 2/3). This would still give the standard "3" 220 miles.

phil | September 20, 2017

slasher0016 | September 20, 2017 "@phil How do you think the EPA got a result without doing a test?"

I answered this clearly in my post above. In almost all cases, the manufacturer conducts the test. The manufacturer (Tesla, in this case) reports and certifies the results to EPA. EPA then publishes the numbers.

What part of this are you not understanding?

El Mirio | September 20, 2017

@Phil i think EPA physically tests the car.

Tesla had a delay on the X earlier this year too since EPA could not complete testing on time

Iwantmy3 | September 20, 2017

The test report is included in the article linked. The test was done by Tesla. (It says so in the report)

SUN 2 DRV | September 20, 2017

Phil is exactly right.

Slasher: Google for "Self-reporting" and Self-certifying".... it's a very common practice in many industries... and it's exactly how EPA numbers get set... BY THE CAR MANUFACTURER... and some manufacturers use numbers that are too Optimistic, so when the EPA discovers anomalies the mfg pays significant fines, but after the fact...

deemo | September 20, 2017


Please quit with the troll type comments - you are purely speculating with no data or knowledge. They do not need to under report, they are choosing to do so.

In my experience - I get closer to the rated miles for Tesla 75D than for any ICE or Hybrid car I have ever had. Over the approx 14000 miles that I have owned the car, I have averaged 298 w/mi vs rated 289 w/mi (75Kw/259mi) a 3% diff and have gotten 294 w/mi miles over last 2k or so miles (1.7% diffi). Most ICE cars are lucky to get within 15-20% of rated MPG.

The main difference between real world and EPA is the ideal conditions for test and at aslower speed than most people travel.

rxlawdude | September 20, 2017

I wish this site had a twit filter.

slasher0016 | September 20, 2017

@Phil I did misread your initial post; I thought you were stating that the test was never done, not that Tesla themselves did the EPA test. Reading comprehension ftw. | September 20, 2017

@deemo: Sorry to say the relationship between your overall watt hour per mile number and the EPA test result is purely coincidental unless your driving profile deliberately matches the EPA test specs. But you are getting some nice results.

Carl Thompson | September 20, 2017

"They do not need to under report, they are choosing to do so."

They are not forced to under report by the EPA. But as I said the EPA number reported is supposed to represent what what a real world driver (driving like a grandma perhaps) can expect. If Tesla posts numbers that are too far out of line with the real world they _will_ get sued. They don't want that. And as someone else pointed out if their numbers don't represent the real world the EPA can fine them.

The 0.7 figure does not have magical properties that 100% perfectly turn ideal range numbers into real-world range numbers. Some cars need further adjustment to make the EPA number real. I think it's much more more likely that Tesla is simply making that further adjustment than "sandbagging."

Another point is that we've seen pictures of the center screen of the the car while it is charging. None suggested that the car's range would be higher than what they claim. Or are you also suggesting that Tesla has programed the computer to lie?

"Please quit with the troll type comments - you are purely speculating with no data or knowledge."

How is suggesting a plausible explanation for why the EPA number might be lower than maximum allowed a "troll type comment?"

Carl | September 20, 2017

@KP: 83 kWh sounds about right if you assume the 2170s are about 5% more energy efficient than today's 18650s

JB said in. A talk last Nov. that the efficiency would be 10-15% better. 5% would be more realistic.
With 5% assumption the 4416 2180s in the M3 long range pack should hold about 82.7 kWh.
@Iwantmy3 reports 78.3 kWh useable above. That would suggest a buffer of about 4.4 kWh which would be reasonable.

At 65 mph with a 20% weight advantage over the MS and maybe 10% air resistance advantage (lower coefficient of drag and smaller frontal cross section) the M3 should burn about 270 watt hours per mile vs 320 or so for the RWD MS. This equates to 290 miles at 65. The EPA test produces about 14% less energy burn than constant 65. Bottom line: with the numbers you folks have, the long range M3 should show an EPA rated range of 333 miles. | September 20, 2017

@noLeaf4me: Don't want to rain on your parade but a 711 mile trip broken into 3 theoretical 237 mile segments would require two charging stops gaining about 62 kWh each if you toddle along at 65 mph with no change in elevation and no headwind. The maximum rate at which the M3 big battery will charge is at 92.7 kW. That means the best you could hope for is 40 minutes. In reality it will be longer than that because the Supercharger will lower the charging power as charging progresses.

KP in NPT | September 20, 2017

Or @noLeaf could make 3 shorter stops, which is a better use of time. :)

Iwantmy3 | September 21, 2017

Based on the reduced cross-sectional area and slightly lower Cd, the "3" should have ~19% less drag than an "S" (by my numbers). That could give the "3" 318 miles of highway driving (same as EPA reported number).

For an EV that gets charged every night (as most will), city driving range becomes irrelevant at some point. How does anyone put on over 300 miles of city driving in a day? For long range EVs, the only number that counts is the highway range. This is the number that gets shown on Tesla's website. It may be that they are basing their 310 mile range quote on HWY only numbers. (I believe that the "s" does better on the hwy than in the city due to its increased weight)

Highway EPA rating was 318 miles
2.5% margin gives 310 miles.

Carl Thompson | September 21, 2017


There is a formula that is used to derive the single(combined) range number from the city and highway numbers. You can't just pick one or the other.


hsadler | September 21, 2017

@ ReD eXiLe ms us

"hsadler: Perhaps. The Model Year is designated by the VIN. once again, every Model X built in 2015 was a MY 2016 vehicle, officially."

Didn't know they had changed. Or else our Apr '13 MS is actually a 2014 model?