RESOLVED - Battery degradation within 3000 miles on M3?

RESOLVED - Battery degradation within 3000 miles on M3?

Not sure if existing M3 owner has similar experience. When I first picked up my Model 3 in April this year, I was getting 281 miles at 90% in the morning after charging it nightly.

After couple of weeks, I started noticing that the estimated miles at 90% was slowly going down to 280 miles when charged up to 90%. At first, I figured it must've been a software calculation thing as it is purely an estimate. But then it keeps doing down, 279...278.... And finally this morning it sudden went down to 276 miles at 90%.

I have only driven close to 3k miles on the M3. Not sure if this is normal or can even be called as "battery degradation"?

noleaf4me | 9 juin 2018

Something is not the service center

Teslaguy | 9 juin 2018

Don't charge nightly unless absolutely necessary. Cycle it a couple times and see what you get.

Alex_SD | 9 juin 2018

I had the same drop to 276 miles at 90% on my car. I charged it once to100% and let it go down to 10%. I got my 279 miles at 90% back. It's called range restoration. It's kinda of a re-calibration process. No worries! Also, supercharging helps with re-calibration...

Frank99 | 9 juin 2018

With such a small change in range, it's hard to tell exactly what's going on. The car estimates range by measuring battery voltage, and guessing how much power is left in the battery from that. Very small differences in battery voltage could make big differences in range estimation. Try driving until range gets down to 10-20 miles, then charging to 100% one night, then driving until you're below 90%. Charge up to 90% the next night, and see what your estimated range is. This kind of cycle will help reset the car's estimating ability.

The good thing is that, if your range is truly indicative of battery degradation, within a few months there's no doubt you could get a new battery under warranty.

We know that there's a fairly steep battery degradation from 100% to 95% over the first 30,000km/20,000 mi or so (see the chart tab on ) which then levels out to 90% capacity after about 300,000 km / 200,000 miles. This would be a loss of about 15 miles of range over 20,000 miles. You're about 15% of the way to 20,000 mi, so expected degradation might be 1 mile.

Frank99 | 9 juin 2018

aaand Ninja'ed by Alex. At least we both agree...

Coastal Cruiser. | 9 juin 2018

"aaand Ninja'ed by Alex. At least we both agree..."

Are you sure you didn't just copy off Alex's paper?

Ha. Just kidding. But although you guys have likely addressed the OPs question splendidly, on a separate note I wonder if it's best to assume that the degradation curve of the Model 3 will be similar to the S/X. With the Model 3's unique cell chemistry we may witness a unique degradation pattern. Just a thought. I wonder if anyone has started an M3 tally sheet.

By the way, frank, are you certain that the range estimate keys on cell/pack voltage? Given the flat charge curve of Lio batteries I would expect they would use other/supplementary metrics to determine range/SOC. On the other hand that would explain why cycling the battery would sharpen the range estimate.

nvjx | 9 juin 2018

My car has also dropped down to 276 after about 3K miles.

Frank99 | 9 juin 2018

CC -
I'm assuming a range estimate from voltage. They could certainly do a coulomb-counting approach and integrate every charge/discharge cycle, but without having a fixed point that they could recalibrate at, I'd imagine that any systemic errors would build up over time and make the estimate worthless. So perhaps a combination - coulomb-counting for the flat areas of the discharge curve, then specific voltage measurements for specific levels of charge to recalibrate the coulomb-counting.

Haggy | 10 juin 2018

There should be no real range loss after that many miles. It's probably reporting it wrong, and charging to 100%, driving until it's low, and repeating can reset things. I've done that on my Model S. I'm surprised that it needs to be done though, because that's not a lot of miles and there's nothing wrong with charging to 90% each night.

SCCRENDO | 10 juin 2018

I have 12500 miles. My 90% is around 281 and if left drops down to 278. The other day it went down to 276. I have not fully charged much but the other day charged to 100% and left it charging for about 30 mins and my 100% went to 312 and my 90% is back to 90%. It’s called RECALIBRATION

TexasBob | 10 juin 2018

@Teslaguy "Don't charge nightly unless absolutely necessary. Cycle it a couple times and see what you get."

That is very bad advice. From the Owner's manual: "The most important way to preserve the Battery is to LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE PLUGGED IN when you are not using it... When plugged in, Model 3 wakes up when needed to automatically maintain a charge level that maximizes the lifetime of the Battery. There is no advantage to waiting until the Battery’s level is low before charging. In fact, the Battery performs best when charged regularly." [emphasis in the original - page 107]

So plug it in every night and leave it plugged in when not in use.

billlake2000 | 10 juin 2018

If you only read Alex, Frank, and SCCRENDO, you will know what's happening and what to do. Triple whammy. Forum can't get much better than that.

dd.micsol | 11 juin 2018

Try this.
Don't charge nightly-get the battery down below 15% then charge it overnight to 100 percent or allow 90% overnight and then allow full charge when you're awake so you can drain that 100% down to 90% so you don't damage the battery. I've had to do this many times in my S. If you do the 100% overnight and it does-drive it immediately to get back to the 90%. Leaving the battery full is not good for it.

ravisundaramam | 11 juin 2018

This is exactly what I am doing today.

I did not charge overnight for about 10 days, to see what the "vampire" loss people are talking about. It is almost nothing. No loss most nights, and suddenly 2 miles and then back to no loss. I lose miles without driving only when I am parked in the hot baking sun. Everyone says the battery cooling will kick in and consume miles to keep the battery healthy.

Toady I charged to 90% over night. Kicked off a 100% charge at 6:15 am. Will reach 100% just in time to leave for work. I will take the long road to arrive at 95%. Hopefully it is not damaging to leave it at 95% in the lot for the day. I am going to resume regular nightly charge to 70% from now on.

WardT | 11 juin 2018

You guys talk about adjusting to 90% charge, I find it awkward to adjust the slider on the battery charge screen. I wish they had a better way to set the charge limit to a specific percent charge, i.e. 80 or 90%. When I use the slide, I don’t know that it is set exactly where I had it before after I’ve moved the slider around around. I looked in the manual and confirmed there was not a direct input box for percent charge. Funny, for all the time spent on developing a nice graphic display of the can and green battery, they sort of missed the ease of use concept.

stockbandit91 | 11 juin 2018

I get 276 to 281 still at about 3,700 miles. Since the beggining a 90% charge has been anywhere in this range, may last charge was 281 still. I wouldn't read too much into it.....yet.

My last 100% charge was 311 miles, will do another one for a road trip this weekend and we'll see.

rxlawdude | 11 juin 2018

@WardT, try the slider control on the app. It's a bit easier to lock to the every-10% tick marks.

ravisundaramam | 11 juin 2018

@WardT: That UI can be improved. It should respond to a scroll wheel, it should give feedback about the percentage or miles, it should be "notched", at 5% increments. No one needs finer adjustment than that.

billlake2000 | 11 juin 2018

wardT, yep, second that.
rx, you mean the app is easier than the screen? If that's what you mean, then I'm gonna try that.
my app currently not working, or I would try it as I write.

BearHs | 20 juin 2018

Finally got a chance to try the "recalibration" process on my M3 yesterday, and I am now back to 280 miles at 90% this morning!!!!!!

Thanks Alex, Frank, SCCRENDO, and dd.micsol for the recommended steps by running the battery low, recharge (i supercharged it) to 100% and let it drop back down to 90%.

gmkellogg | 20 juin 2018

This is such a great and underrated post. It's a shame we can't pin them.

cquail | 20 juin 2018

We have over 8K miles on our Model 3. A 90% charge fluctuates between 282 and 276.

Frank.du | 30 septembre 2018

Thanks so much for the info on this thread. My model 3 is at a little over 4K miles and I was down earlier this week to 261 on a 90% charge , just draining the battery (but plugging in everyday and not charging until it was under 50%) I got to 75 miles at 25% so the reporting is "adjusting" I'll charge to 90% tonight and then to 100% tomorrow and report back.

cnistal1 | 1 octobre 2018

Thanks to everyone for this info. I have been having the same issue when charging to 80%. Will try cycling as everyone has suggested.

jefjes | 1 octobre 2018

Will discuss this info with Tesla tomorrow if they don't contact me today. I've been charging to 70% nightly for a couple months and what began as 217 miles is now down to 196-200 miles. Tesla is supposed to be looking at my data from my car to see why I've dropped so much in just 3k miles of driving. If they confirm that my battery is fine, I'll try these recommendations- "Try driving until range gets down to 10-20 miles, then charging to 100% one night, then driving until you're below 90%. Charge up to 90% the next night, and see what your estimated range is. This kind of cycle will help reset the car's estimating ability.". If it works where my range returns to normal, I'll be a happy camper and not be worried about a bad battery. My range started dropping after the first and the only day I had charged to 100% at home, drove to a supercharger 2 hours away and charged back to 100%. Since I had just updated my firmware that morning, I thought that it might be software related but I've updated to 36.2 since and it's just gotten worse.

mikes | 2 octobre 2018

I'm looking at battery charge % only, never bothered to look at the range. Not knowing what all goes into the calculation of the range, this can vary widely. I drive roughly 60 miles a day, which is about 20% battery capacity. I recharge at night with a regular household outlet, which is about 3 mph charge for about 10 - 12 hours. This gives me about 10% back every night. Over the weekend I usually don't drive so it will charge to 90% by Sunday night. I start with 90% on Monday morning, using about 20% every day and recharge about 10% at night, that leaves me with about 30% on Friday night. This has worked out just fine so far, never looked at the range in miles as I believe that can be very inaccurate depending on temperature, heat/ac, lights etc. Assuming 100% charge is 310 miles, then 1% is 3.1 miles. So you're worried about 1% charge difference!

Frank.du | 2 octobre 2018

Well, unfortunately that didn't work for me. And my full charge was 294, my 90% is consistently 261 even after the full charge. Bringing my car into my local Tesla SC to check!

Lbrooks51115 | 3 octobre 2018

Frank.du there are so many variables that go into range calculation. If I were a betting man your 16 miles of what you feel is battery degradation is more a reflection of other environmental factor ( temp, terrain, and speeds).

12Brent | 3 octobre 2018

Lbrooks. This is with the car sitting still after charging and the available range it reports. It has nothing to do with driving. I'm having similar issues as Frank. I have 8000+ miles in 4 months. My 80% charge has dropped from 248 to 236. Not a big deal, but was somewhat surprised. I tried charging to 90% to see what would happen and only got 265 of reported range. I did as suggested and drove to 15 miles of range and tried to charge to full. At 100% it said I had 300 miles (off by 10 miles). I never got a charge complete notification but the charging rate really slowed down to 5kW and nothing happened for 30 minutes. Not wanting to leave it sitting with a full charge, I finally stopped charging and drove it down to 90% again. Reported range based on charge is still off, and I assume it's software calibration and not degradation, but my OCD of wanting things to add up correctly is nagging at me. :)

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

First, it's my understanding that the range you see on the screen is the "rated range" and is not one that is calculated based on past driving info/etc. So that number should only change if there is some degradation, cell failure, or if the software is off (so recalibration is needed?).

Second, for me, with 5,400 miles (over four months), over the past month or so I've been getting an extrapolated total range of high 280's to very low 290's ("extrapolated total range" = range in miles divided by percentage of battery remaining. e.g., 233 miles showing on display, which when changed to percentage shows 80% charge, so 233 / .8 = 291.25).

Not wanting to rely solely on such extrapolation calculations (which for the record in the first two months had me at 308 - 310 consistently), I just did a re-calibration cycle last night / this morning, bringing my state of charge down to around 15%, then charged to 100%.

Result: 291 miles range. In my opinion, that's too low for just over four months / 5,400 miles.

I've called the SC and they're currently remotely/OTA looking at my car/battery. We'll see what they say . . . .

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

(BTW, I'm historically over the life of the car at around 254Wh/mi. I know some report mid 230's . . . maybe that's a factor. I have the Aero wheels with the big caps off, so just the "naked" wheel with the center caps . . . the looks which I happen to love . . . )

JAD | 3 octobre 2018

You are all going to be told that it is normal to have your range drop by 5% or so in the first months. That is what batteries do. It will stabilize and remain in the 5-10% loss for years. It is only a problem if you lose 20% or more quickly.

matine.real | 3 octobre 2018

Question, how are you seeing the percentage. Is it solely base on when you enter a trip on your GPS. It does tell your percentage will be when you arrive at you destination. The odd thing is, when I extrapolate it to get the total range, it sits between 320-340. This is using the percentage and range left when I get to my destination. That would be nice but I've charge it to almost 100% once and it read 307.

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

For the record, 90% on my car right now consistently gives me around 260 - 264 miles currently . . . . the average extrapolation-to-100% of which is almost exactly the 291 miles I got when I "recalibrated" to 100% SOC last night. That number was consistently in the high 270's when I got the car (so 308-310 extrapolated full charge), and has been noticeably dropping over the past month, to the 262 that it is today.

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

@matine.real - I simply change the display from range to battery percentage. You do this by hitting the main menu (the car icon, lower left on your screen), then choosing Display, then touching the upper-right gear icon, and then you can switch your "energy" from range to percentage (or something like that, I'm not in the car right now).

So, all I do is go to that screen, switch from miles range to percentage, note the miles, note the percentage, then divide the miles by the percentage, and voila - extrapolated total range.

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

@JAD - Right, yes I understand this - the 5% initial drop over the first several months seems to be well-documented with the S/X models. The 3 uses a new battery, a bit different chemistry, and I don't think that anybody knows at this early stage if the different chemistry will cause a divergence in the observed degradation curve that has been seen with the S/X's. So, the 3 batteries may or may not behave similarly, but the S/X degradation curve is all we've got at the moment.

With 5,400 miles, 4 months (time factors in, too), I'm currently at 6.4% degradation with a 291 total range. This is I feel just a bit faster/more than I expected.

The Service Center is looking at my battery as I type this, remotely via OTA, and promised to get back to me today. So we'll see what they say. They may well say - hey, that's just expected degradation, baby - suck it up! Or not . . . . .

matine.real | 3 octobre 2018

@fskott - Thanks! I didn't realize that. Guess I need to play with my car more.

JAD | 3 octobre 2018

Fskott, ok, but I will be extremely surprised if they didn't say that is normal. My P3+ with 1200 miles just 99% charged to 280. A bit low, but expected after years with the S. It varies and drops initially then flattened as with all batteries. Doubt the new chemistry will change that other than the LR may have an artificial cushion built into the 310 rated range.

Bighorn | 3 octobre 2018

Since the car is incapable of accurately measuring range, throwing around words like degradation is slightly cavalier. Especially if the range isn’t being challenged by actual driving. I never saw a steep early drop off with my Model S —it was a fairly steady decline to 11% over 197,000 miles. And I’m aware of 5 year old cars that haven’t seen but a couple percent drop off in actual range.

Bighorn | 3 octobre 2018

I’ve driven my Model 3 over 20,000 miles in the first 6 weeks and a 99% charge after 14k mi was 304. It had been 307 at delivery. It happened to be about 30 degrees cooler which could also account for a smaller number.

12Brent | 3 octobre 2018

@fskott, keep us posted, I'll be interested to hear what they say. I don't think your lifetime efficiency should change these numbers at all. They are calculated using a set efficiency and don't adjust to driver's habits. Amazingly, I'm at a lifetime efficiency of 196 Wh/mile (includes a road trip to Sante Fe at 75-80 mph). I also have my aero covers off... I can't explain my good efficiency (thin air at high altitude?) but I'm seeing a drop in rated range too despite averaging well above the reported range.

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

@Bighorn, as I understand it, at least the 3 displays what's called "rated range", which I believe is a range calculation based on a static set of assumptions (what those are, I don't know), and those assumptions do not change based on how the car has been driven.

What I take this to mean, is that, though the stated range may not be and exactly accurate estimation of how far the car will go (and is not expected to be, since what you drive/how you drive is usually not the same every time anyway), it should be consistent and only change if (a) there is indeed degradation, (b) the software is not properly "calibrated" anymore (though I'm not clear on this "calibration" thing), or (c) some cells are going out.

In other words, the car never endeavors to give a 100% accurate measurement of the range you'll get when you get in and start driving it, but at least that number should remain consistent, as it is based at least on whatever assumptions Tesla punched in to it's "range" algorithm.

I had a Fiat 500e, and I know that car (and I think other EVs) actually do look at your past 50/100 miles of driving and endeavor to provide a range that is based on how that trailing amount of miles went. But it's my understanding that Tesla's range does not do this, at all.

And I prefer Tesla's static/rated range, because then I can better evaluate if the battery is doing/behaving badly (so to speak). I.E, if I'm getting 291 miles range at 100% SOC, then it's not at all a result of how I recently drove the vehicle. That factor is removed from the evaluation of the health of the battery.

Dislaimer: I've obtained the above info about the "rated range" from other forums. Maybe it's wrong. I don't know, but it makes sense to me and does the best in explaining how my range is displayed.

Bighorn | 3 octobre 2018

Rated range is indeed a fixed rate constant applied to the kWh capacity based on the 5 cycle EPA test. Models S and X have both a rated and ideal range, the latter being based on an earlier 2 cycle test. Model 3 doesn’t show two options fortunately, nor do they state the size of the battery. Too much of a headache related to trying to defuse angry misinformation. As for why it would show a decrease early on, the most likely answer is calibration, not degradation, which I think was the ultimate message of this thread with the update of it being RESOLVED.

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

@FAD, they may well say it's normal. At least I'll know and have that peace of mind. With all due respect to all posters, including yourself, I'll feel better hearing the battery's ok from Tesla itself than hearing that from anybody else, really . . . Hope you understand!

And if there is a cushion built in (which I heard also, and which would be great), then actually it seems to me that it would make my decreased range number even worse, I think. IE, if the battery secretly has 330 miles range when fully charged, then 5% degradation on what is really a 330-mile rated range battery is still 313.5 miles remaining range, and you'd expect to see the 310 miles still displayed as your total rated range, I'd think.

But 291 range like I have, using my example of a cushioned battery that really has 330 miles, well that's almost 12% degradation. That definitely veers into the land of Too Much Degradation Too Quickly.

I got the 330 range number from my recollection (and just-now re-googling to confirm) of the articles that came out in early 2018, that suggested that the true range was actually 334 miles, but Tesla convinced the EPA to reduce, or independently reduced itself, its stated range to 310. There was speculation as to why Tesla wanted to reduce to 310 - some said it was to account for self-driving ultimately, or just to be sure that everybody was happy with their range, or maybe some other
reasons - but the 334 mile range number was tossed about quite a bit back then . . .

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

@Bighorn - I did notice that "RESOLVED" in the OP, but it doesn't resolve it for me. In his subsequent post, OP said he did the recalibration and all was right after he did that (range back up to acceptable numbers).

I also did a re-calibration cycle, and it made no difference/improvement. My extrapolated estimate - high 280's to low 290's - was borne out by a 10%-100% recalibration cycle = 291 miles stated range.

So, sadly, I cannot give my car a "RESOLVED" stamp on this one, just yet . . .

jefjes | 3 octobre 2018

I'm in the process of letting my battery drain down to the recommended 10-20% so I can charge it back to 100% to see if it returns to the 310 I was getting for the first 2 months which gave me 217 miles at 70% nightly charge. Since I now only get 196, I had Tesla download my data and they said everything with my battery looks fine and to try the drain and charge method to see if it helps. They said since the cars are so new that there is still much they are learning about them too. Reading comments above doesn't give me much confidence that it will make any difference but worth a try I guess. Since I don't drive a bunch, it will take a couple of days without charging to get it down.

Bighorn | 3 octobre 2018

It was resolved in the poster’s mind because he saw a bigger number again. The most knowledgeable Tesla people I’ve spoken with dissuade recalibration as useless. What matters is what the car can do, not some number on the dash. You’re confused about the 334 factoing into this rated number. 310 is what the car is programmed to show at delivery.

Tesla can rule out bad cells, but given the current delivery scaling, it’s probably better that 5000 people perseveratng on this don’t request special queries just to put their mind at ease, and just ask during an annual service visit. The warranty isn’t going anywhere and if you’re not taking long trips to even see if there’s a concrete issue, the point is moot.

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

@Lbrooks51115 - Actually, the rated range is based on a static/fixed set of assumptions (Bighorn described it as a fixed rate that the EPA uses with its 5-cycle test). Other EVs (not Teslas) indeed will take into account some trailing amount of miles/time, look at how the car was driven during that trailing time/distance and re-calculate range constantly to account for how the car has recently been driven. For those cars, a bunch of hills recently driven will cause the stated range to decrease, while a lot of downhill driving recently driven would cause such cars to give a higher range.

Teslas, as I understand it, do not do this. It's a fixed constant, and the range number you get is the Rated Range. There are three ways this rated range typically can change: (1) degradation, (2) software/calibration, and (3) failing cells.

I like Tesla's way of using fixed constants to calculate range, since it is better set up for evaluation of battery health (i.e., you can do the 10-100% re-calibration cycle yourself, and if that doesn't fix things, you know you might want to call up the service center to see if you've got an issue - as I have just done!).

On the other hand, if you had a car that constantly changes its range calculation based on recent driving, you'd not know if you were heading into the land of Too Much Degradation / Battery Issues, or whether it's just because you drove up some steep hills lately with the A/C on . . . .

fskott | 3 octobre 2018

@Bighorn - Sorry, 100% do not care about Tesla's current workload/challenges. I bought the car at considerable expense (for me), I'm concerned about the battery, and so I'm asking them if they can take a look. If others want to do the same, have at it. Five people, or 5,000 - I really don't care at all. But thanks anyway on behalf of Tesla for looking out for them.

It's an OTA thing anyway, they tell me. And even if it wasn't, even if it took more time for them, screw it - I'm concerned, so I'm having them evaluate.

matine.real | 3 octobre 2018

I went to lunch and decided to check the numbers on my car. Here's what I got before and after lunch.

205 miles @ 66% = 310.6 total range
197 miles @ 64% = 307.8 total range

Granted it does round off to a whole percentage so they will never be exact. I have 1700 miles so far. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

On another note, when I was charging to 100% it stayed at 307 miles with 40 mins remaining. The wait time never dropped below 40 mins. This is at 243 volts @ 32 amps, 30 miles/hr. I had to go to work so I to cut it short because I got tired of waiting. If I set the charge to 80%, which I normally do, the wait time and count down is always correct. I know at higher percentage, its does take longer. Wanted to see if anyone else see this too.