Battery size for base model

Battery size for base model

What will the battery size be for the base model that provides >= 215 miles of range? A 70D is 240 miles, and a 70 is 230 miles. A 60 was about 210. Since the 3 is 20% smaller, does that imply it would get about 20% more range for a given battery size, or is it non-linear?

Seems like they should be able to pull off 215 miles with a 50kWh battery on Model 3.

jordanrichard | April 2, 2016

Sounds about right. Though since they are most likely using newer battery technology, perhaps the pack is smaller yet has more range. There also may be a benefit to the pack/car physically being smaller. As Elon mentioned in response to people crying for a larger battery in the MS, sure you can put in a large kWh pack, but then you are expending more energy to move the extra weight.

So with the M≡ being smaller, more energy can go to propelling the car.

Another way to look at it is, take the engine out of a Volvo and put it in a Mini and the engine will get better MPG.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

I am expecting it will be a 50 kWh battery, and will be impressed if they can pull off 215+ miles with something smaller, like a 45 or 40. Rated range will probably be 220 Wh/mi or less.

jordanrichard | April 2, 2016

What was the 40 kWh rated for? I don't remember. Perhaps a 40kWh with newer batteries is able to reach 215. We won't know until "Part 2", presumably.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

The range of 40kWh Model S was about 140 miles. It was discontinued in 2013.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

The Model 3 would need to be over 50% more efficient than 40 kWh Model S to get 215+ miles. Smaller, lighter, better technology, more aerodynamic(?) all add up.

Nic727 | April 2, 2016

Do you think it will be possible to make 500km (around 300 miles) in one charge in the futur?
In Quebec, Canda we don't have a lot of supercharger or normal chargers for electric car, so it would be nice to get a big range if you drive all day to go from point A (like Ottawa) to point B (like Quebec city).

purepwnage5000 | April 2, 2016

The base battery will have to be at least 55 Kw, maybe 60. Even though the Model 3 is 20% smaller, the weight won't be 20% less. Maybe 500 pounds, tops. And even though it might be more aerodynamic, it won't be FAR more aerodynamic.

And no matter the battery technology, it takes X Kw to go X miles. So I'd hope for 60 Kw for the base battery, maybe 85-90 Kw in the bigger one. That would push it beyond 300 miles of range easily.

And, on a percentage basis, having the larger battery being charged and discharged on a daily basis means it would move up and down through a smaller range of its power capacity, thus prolonging its life a little more.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

A 80 kWh battery, assuming it fits, would easily give more than 300 miles of range. The big question will be how big of a battery pack can they fit into in the 3.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

Here's an interesting article discussing weight of Model S :

Total weight about 4600 lbs. The biggest individual items are battery at about 1300 lbs, and the chassis at about 800 lbs. It looks like there are lots of places to lose some weight. 20% lighter doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

flight505 | April 2, 2016

@Chunky Jr.
As you know, Model 3 probably will not use the more expensive and lighter weight aluminum body and chassis of Model S. So, Model 3 might not be 20% lighter.

A smaller capacity battery is lighter, of course. | April 2, 2016

I'm guessing 55kwh including a 5 kWh reserve.

20% lighter car means 20% less rolling friction.
Same or lower drag coefficient plus 20% smaller effective cross section means less energy consumption at highway speeds.

I'm expecting an EPA composite energy consumption for rated range to be about 230 wh/mile (Model S is about 279.) With 50 kWh usable charge this yields a range of 217 miles.

vperl | April 2, 2016

Rumor has it a light weight steel alloy will be used.

biggestfan | April 2, 2016

I am guessing they may not know that part quite yet. By the time it ships, they may have changed configuration of the cells and they might fit more energy into less space. Maybe they have outfitted some with 40s and some with 60 or 70s just to get a feel for how much range each will give. Probably playing with performance numbers too. The Tesla P90D with Ludicrous is damn close to 3 seconds 0-60 quicker than the 70 RWD.

Personally, I would love to know just how quick they intend to make the fast one. I want Ludicrous, but in an S or X it is just too much of my income....but if I can have VERY quick for 70K it sounds like a steal. Might not be as quick as a Model S, but maybe it will be close.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

@flight505 : from the link I shared above, the chassis is only about 17% of the weight. Battery is by far the heaviest thing at about 1300 lbs.

A 85 weighs about 4600 lbs. A 60 weighs about 4300 lbs. There is probably more weight they can squeeze out of battery with new technology. The motor and drivetrain for Model S is about 1000 lbs. There's another possible source of big savings.

I wouldn't be surprised if Model 3 was more than 20% lighter than a Model S. With all the cost cutting they are doing, they are also shaving off weight.

flight505 | April 2, 2016

@Chunky Jr.
Good points, especially if Model 3 has one motor instead of two, or smaller and lighter motor(s).

My P85D weighs 4940 pounds.

Do you know what the different motors weigh?

We still don't know the metal Tesla will use for the body and chassis.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

A quick search showed an article with an interview with Elon where he claimed the motor itself weighs only 70 lbs. But the inverter, differential, etc add a lot of weight. The link above claims 350 lbs for motor + inverter, and 175 for differential. This is 2013 data, so it could be lighter by now.

Red Sage ca us | April 2, 2016

Because General Motors has already announced the Chevrolet BOLT will have a 60 kWh battery pack, Tesla Motors must at least match that as the capacity of the base Model ☰. Personally, I'd hope they go for 70 kWh as bare minimum and offer up to a 100 kWh battery pack option. Since I am mostly insane, if I were in charge of the company I'd just say [FLOG] it, and make the 100 kWh battery pack standard at $35,000, not offering any other size. This, mostly because I expect that offering two or three different capacities on Model ☰ would repeat the same problem that occurred with Model S -- everyone will just buy the highest capacity battery pack. Of course, 18-to-24 months later, I'd introduce a less expensive version with a 60 kWh or 70 kWh battery pack.

Tesla Motors made a mistake with the Model S. They announced ranges and capacities far too early. They were simply lucky that their Customers forgave them for missteps early on. The earliest projections of range were 320 miles, 230 miles, and 180 miles. As reality set in, each of those ranges dropped for the respective battery capacities on Model S. The biggest issue was that the car was designed to perform best on the EPA's two-cycle range test. By the time the car was brought to market, the EPA had switched to a five-cycle range test instead. So, all the ranges were drastically reduced in the official tests. Sure, you could still achieve greater distances by driving in perfect weather, on flat ground, at a constant 55 MPH or slower... But that didn't matter in the Real World.

I believe that is why what we saw the other night is only Part One of the Model ☰ Reveal. The ultimate details about final determination of battery pack capacities, official EPA range designations, and Performance benchmarks will be saved for Part Two. This way Tesla Motors and Elon Musk will be able to speak confidently, firmly, and with all the facts on their side. All Elon was able to say was that the minimum EPA range would be 215 miles. That is certainly better than 200. And I do expect that to improve by this time next year.

By the way... The Toyota RAV4 EV used a Tesla Motors drivetrain. It was a front wheel drive system with a 154 HP motor. It was paired with a 50 kWh battery pack, of which 41.8 kWh was usable. It weighed around 400 lbs less than the Model S 60, and had a drag coefficient of 0.30 -- the best of any SUV at the time. Yet it only managed an EPA rated range of 103 miles. That is 36 less than the Model S 40.

Low power electric motors paired with low capacity battery packs do not give you 'more range'. Please stop lobbying for small battery packs in Model ☰. It would be incredibly hard to manage a range significantly over 200 miles while operating at 194 Wh per mile or less on average.

Koz | April 2, 2016

@220 miles highway (who cares about city or combined)

Keep in mind drag is function of coefficient and frontal area (A) Coefficient probably similar, maybe marginally improved, but width is narrower so A will be less.

My guess is battery size, dimension of pack and kWH, are set. They range will be tweaked as the design of the car is iterated.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

I'm guessing they will have a 50, 60, and 70 for Model 3, and the S at that time will be 90 and 110.

Chunky Jr. | April 2, 2016

@Red : who is lobbying for a smaller battery? It's just pure speculation to pass the time.

jfingas | April 2, 2016


Electrek had a leak noting that there would be a model that can crack 300 miles range. Assuming it's trustworthy (which it should be, since other details were spot on), you'll just have to pay extra to get the range you need.

eandmjep | April 3, 2016

So I read that the size for the 18650 cells used in all current Tesla vehicles if it were increased just 10% in size 18650 for anyone 18mm diameter and 65 mm tall to 20mm x 70mm. would yield 33% more storage. Cool

So I think it will be a 50KWH battery for the 3 but wont weigh as much as a 40 would with the 18650 cells. I know he set the target at 215 miles but also said that was a Minimum figure and that they hoped to exceed that. I took it that when all is said and done if they can squeeze a slightly larger battery in and stay within the $35,000 price target they will. I also thought I heard him say that it would have a different battery configuration but maybe i was hearing things or read it somewhere else.

JeffreyR | April 3, 2016

Elon tweeted today that he is hoping for a Cd (drag) of 0.21 for the Model ≡. The Model S has a Cd of 0.24. So add that factor to your 15% better frontal area and that helps a lot. I agree they will wait until they have a chance to test the range w/ a car that is much closer to production. Elon also tweeted that 1/10th of a millimeter affects the car, and they are still tweaking the exterior.

dd.micsol | April 4, 2016

I'm just going to do some guessing
55 for entry
70 for mid
85 or 90 for high
That's my kw guess.

daniel.rawsteel | April 5, 2016

There is no way the battery will be 55KW for entry. Here are my reasons:

1. Doing comparable calculations it turns out that the base battery should be 45KW or even less
2. I am not sure of how much per KW does it cost or it WILL cost when they actually get to production in 2017 but I doubt it will be less than $300 per KW/h battery PACK (not cell price but whole pack size).
60KW *300 = 18000 only for the battery pack is abysmal price and would NOT make that car profitable by a huge margin. I doubt they can afford more than 10-12K for the entry battery pack which is around that for a 40-45KW entry pack

3: My guess
40KW entry
50KW mid
60KW high (no need for more)
Max range will be 320 miles + and Elon said there is just no point to give more range as its useless the idea is to have network and supercharge on the long trips. The money for the battery that somebody will pay will be better to be put in the SC infrastructure instead of chugging 200KWh battery even if its technically possible

or the can go
45KW entry
60KW mid
75KW high
Mas range in this case will be again > 350 miles

Hi_Tech | April 5, 2016

My guesstimate matches dd.micsol. 55/70/85.

55 will give the real-world 215 miles... yes, we need to talk "real-world", not "rated". Elon has been talking about "real-world" as well... plus, jumping in with 200+ rated miles makes people believe the vehicle can only do 150 in real life.

Chunky Jr. | April 5, 2016

The problem with basing on real world, and not rated, is that the real world range can vary greatly depending on terrain, temperature, wind, speed, etc.

Rated range is an attempt to normalize all those variables.

Red Sage ca us | April 6, 2016

daniel.rawsteel: Most estimate that Tesla Motors' current internal cost is in the neighborhood of $180-to-$240 per kWh. The Gigafactory is expected to immediately reduce that cost by no less than 30%. So that would make for a range of $126-to-$168. So, plug those numbers into your calculations and see what comes up.

Oh, and by the way...

A 40 kWh capacity battery pack would need to have a reserve area for anti-bricking. So, the usable capacity would be more like 36 kWh. Due to losses in the drivetrain due to friction, that would be reduced further, to around 32.4 kWh. Even if the system were efficient enough to manage 240 Wh per mile while driving, that would only allow a 135 mile range.

Or, to go the opposite direction...

For a 40 kWh battery pack capacity to allow a minimum of a 215 mile range, as stated by Elon Musk during the reveal, the car would have to achieve a 150 Wh per mile average.

By the way? The Tesla Model S 40 had an EPA rated range of 139 miles... Probably due to the battery pack being a software limited 60 kWh battery pack. So, literally there was a 33% 'Reserve Area'...

daniel.rawsteel | April 7, 2016

The numbers on the KWh/$ can only help with the profitability of the car but lets wait and see who's going to be wrong here. When you state your numbers like that they make sense , what DOESN'T make sense is 215 miles out of 60KWh battery on model 3 compared to 275 miles out of 70KWh battery on model S

Explain that :)

Red Sage ca us | April 8, 2016

daniel.rawsteel: None of the Tesla Motors vehicles are rated at 275 miles of EPA rated range.

The Tesla Model S 70 is rated at 234 miles range by the EPA.

The Tesla Model S 70D is rated at 240 miles range by the EPA.

Please explain where you found a mythical 275 mile rating.

You can see official data here:

SamO | August 8, 2017

Great call Chunky, Jr.