180 miles of reasonable range M3 SR+

180 miles of reasonable range M3 SR+

I bought a new 2019 M3 SR+ in June, and will start by saying that overall I really enjoy the car. It is absolutely a delight to drive. Being my first EV, I can say that I've learned quite a bit. The first, and most asked thing I've learned is about realistic range.

My conclusion: this car has an advertised range of 240 miles, but expect about 75% of that (180 miles). Why? because the 240 mile range is only achievable under unrealistic conditions.

I've now done a good amount of driving around town and on trips of 200 - 400 miles. I've certainly enjoyed monitoring the energy graphs and keeping notes, and can see that there is nothing wrong with my M3 SR+ battery. What I've learned is that driving in an ordinary fashion - that is, keeping up with the flow of traffic, climbing hills with the flow of traffic, being in stop-and-go traffic, and driving interstate highways at the speed of traffic (slightly over speed limit) - will require a significantly higher load than the "rated" load of the car of 247 wh/mile.

Can I get lower wh/mile figures? Sure. If I drive slower than traffic around me, or stay put at 60 mph on an interstate with a 70 mph speed limit. But that's not realistic. I'm not trying to drive like a nut, or show off the acceleration. I'm just trying to drive the car much as everyone else drives their ICE buggys. What I find is that I'm averaging around 280 - 320 wh/mile much of the time, driving the M3 like an ordinary car. And that translates into lower than advertised usable mileage per charge. If I use percentage of charge rather than miles, then I know that 100% = 180 miles, and a typical daily charge of 80% = 144 miles.

Example: last night I drove almost exactly 100 miles from an 80% charge. It was an interstate posted for 70mph, so I set cruise control for 72mph and changed only when I had to. I got home with 15% remaining, which is consistent with a total range of only 154 miles (less than 180!). I'm sure that the high speed and rainy conditions cut into my efficiency, but that was simply part of driving in the real world.

Looking forward to the much better batteries of the future.

RedPillSucks | 19 novembre 2019

Well, the EPA rated miles are always done under specific conditions for EVERY car.
For example, my Camry Hybrid had an EPA mpg of 44mpg, which I've NEVER gotten.
In particular, it has steadily decreased as I've owned the car. The last time I drove it, I got around 34mpg.
That's a 30% reduction. This is close to the reduction you're seeing with your SR+, so its right in line with other cars

Magic 8 Ball | 19 novembre 2019

The same holds true for any vehicle using any fuel. You will not get rated mpg if you do not drive at EPA test conditions.

kevin_rf | 19 novembre 2019

^^^^^This is why I say the minimum (and I don't care who makes it) Ev range should be 300 miles. Anything less and it actually hurts the market with unrealistic expectations.

Tesla did us all a favor by releasing the 310 LR battery first. It is also why I don't recommend and Ev that gets less than 300 miles of range to anyone.

agkulcz | 19 novembre 2019

it was very easy to beat EPA ratings with my 2015 Golf TDI - I could set the cruise control at 80 and beat EPA highway mpg by 5 mpg without problem. However, we all know how that turned out. That Golf is the very reason why I now drive a Tesla by the way....

Pg3ibew | 19 novembre 2019

What do you mean by unrealistic conditions?
I am going to make an assumption here. ALL CARS give their EPA MPG under very similar conditions. Why would Tesla Be any different?

kevin_rf | 19 novembre 2019

Winter is coming!

(You'll lose three miles of range for every two driven)

paul | 19 novembre 2019

The problem we have is that there is soo much difference in power usage between different driving conditions that there is no reasonable measure. 75mph on the highway is very different between summer and winter, and very different to 65mph, and very different to around town driving. We end up with EPA or WLTP measures that are a blend of driving conditions (but not driving weather) which is useful to no-one.

Perhaps manufacturers should put out something of the form:
At 80F
- 240 miles at 65mph
- 180 miles at 75pmh
- 270 miles around town
25% less at 30F.

Or something like that.

BradPDX | 19 novembre 2019

Like most people here, I've owned and driven a lot of ICE vehicles, and found the EPA mileage figures to be generally reasonable for the way I drive. If a rating has city/highway values, then hitting the city mileage figure is easy. Exceeding the highway value is often easy on a long, steady drive. You know what the conditions are assumed to be.

Example: my last ICE car was a Honda Accord that was rated for 21 city/27 highway mpg. I drove that thing all over, and my around-town mileage varied only between 20 and 22 mpg for years and years. On long drives, I could get 27 to 30 mpg with no extra effort or considerations. I didn't have to think about it and it worked fine.

Not so with my M3. In contrast with my ICE vehicles, hitting the "rated" mileage is difficult - it seems more like a "best case" mileage that I find difficult to achieve in the real world. I haven't changed my driving patterns, I'm still going to the same places.

llim3306 | 19 novembre 2019

@Brad, I took delivery of my model 3 SR+ on 6/4/19. And I have several times charged to 100%, which given me 226 miles. I drive 130 miles daily and charge my car almost nightly. Often I go in spurts up to 80 mph, and it gives me a lifetime average of 246 wh/mile, and so far I have 14,500 miles on the odometer. I agree that the rated 240 range is unrealistic and probably the bare minimum for an EV. I thoroughly enjoy my model 3 but in hindsight, I d have bought a rear wheel drive LR for $10k more. Hopefully, the next OTA update will get us a few more miles......:) Cheers.

Devilstower | 19 novembre 2019

In 6000 miles of mixed driving, including two trips of over 1000 miles all at 75mph on the interstate, I've averaged 242 whr/mile.

I've done over 200 miles a couple of times ... but it was scary, because both times I had under 15 miles of range remaining.

Sarah R | 19 novembre 2019
Tuning In | 19 novembre 2019

There are other things to mention that greatly impact range in addition to what you mentioned. A car full of people, luggage, bigger wheels and performance tires. That 180 goes even further down.

Disclaimer: As it needs to be mentioned again, this happens to all cars. Not just EV’s and/or Tesla.

robert rogus | 19 novembre 2019

My experience is that driving around at a rate of about 220 wh/mi gives you the rated range. If your actual wh/mi is 20% over that (264 wh/mi) this means you lose about 20% range. I get 220 all the time in warm weather but up to 33% higher in cold weather.

BradPDX | 20 novembre 2019

The gist of my post (and concern) is this:

1) In my old ICE cars, I could drive without a lot of thinking and still achieve gas mileage that was very, very close to rated values. I knew with confidence that a full tank could take me 270 miles and it didn't matter much if it was cold, if I drove a few mph over or under a speed limit, or if I was climbing hills. The variations remained small, which made trip planning easy.

2) In my M3, the rated range of 240 miles requires far more engagement to achieve, and may even be impossible if my route includes hills, stop & go traffic, or cold weather. My real results are likely to yield dramatically lower range results due to conditions I cannot control.

Now, all these things (hills, speed, weather) affect ICE cars as well, but my lived experience of driving ICE cars for 43 years is that the effect is far smaller than the variations I experience with my M3. For that reason, I feel that discounting the rated range by 25% yields more realistic expectations that cover more likely conditions.

BradPDX | 20 novembre 2019

I'll just add that if I'd really understood how this would work, I may have ponied up the extra $10K for the LR option. Equally likely is that I would have put off my purchase of a full EV and gone with another ICE or hybrid vehicle in order to save money.

Mike UpNorth_ | 20 novembre 2019

I read on these forums someone once called driving a Tesla is a 'Thinking man's car'.....I very much liked that term/description.
Doesn't sound like you do. Sorry.

bradbomb | 20 novembre 2019

@BradPDX Did you happen to keep one of your Trip Meters going as a lifetime meter and know what your average wh/mi isr? I've had my LR RWD for 16 months now. My lifetime wh/mi average is 231 wh/mi. I have 11k miles on my car and other than one road trip to Vegas, most my miles are done within Los Angeles County. I have not really thought of needing to adjust my driving habits to keep that, but have found over time, my driving habits have changed because of regen. I drive an ICE now and it feels so weird driving and there are times I forget that when I left off the gas in an ICE, I just coast.

coleAK | 20 novembre 2019

In the summer here in Alaska I get the “rated miles” out of my LR AWD around town and if I keep <60 mph on the “highway”. That is regular driving around town, floor it regularity (up to the speed limit), no heat or AC. When I do longer trips running 65-75 mph I get ~20% range loss the same time of year. Really I think the tesla is opposite what I think of in our ICE’s. EV is more efficient around town then highway and the ICE is more efficient on the highway than in town. And as others have stated I’ve never gotten close to EPA rated mpg in any car I’ve owned, I’m lucky to get 75%.

Tuning In | 20 novembre 2019

Interesting Brad. The lifetime on the LR RWD at 25k miles was 233wh/mi and I’m in LA as well. A lot of slow commute miles on the freeway in AP. Some trips to SD. That was back with the 18” wheels and the LRR MXM4 tires.

Tuning In | 20 novembre 2019

Interesting Brad. The lifetime on the LR RWD at 25k miles was 233wh/mi and I’m in LA as well. A lot of slow commute miles on the freeway in AP. Some trips to SD. That was back with the 18” wheels and the LRR MXM4 tires.

Reflex | 20 novembre 2019

The M3 S+ here on is rated at 250 miles with a full charge (identical to my mid-range at 100% charge, go figure!). I've only seen problems with matching the rated range when traveling on the freeway at over 70 mph. Around town, I have NO problems meeting the estimated range. My tires are at 42 PSI.

BradPDX | 21 novembre 2019

I lost my "lifetime trip" a while ago (it was deleted) and so started over. With a bit over 1000 miles on that trip meter, the Wh/Mile is about 300. That last 1000 miles included 350 miles of high speed interstate (70 mph speed limit) so it a bit high, but not crazily high.

My 19" tires are at 42 psi, just like they should be. I know the 19" wheels don't help, but they shouldn't have an effect this large. I've started logging power consumption to get a better handle on it, as I'm very curious.

For those who appear to have no problems achieving rated power consumption (and hence range) I wonder: did you adjust your driving habits at all when coming over from an ICE vehicle? Do you live in a relatively flat place? Is there much stop-and-go traffic in your life? Does it ever get cold where you live? Do you drive right at the posted speed limits, or do you exceed them by a bit (e.g., driving 40mph in a 35mph zone)? It seems that all of these common things may have effects that accumulate.

BradPDX | 21 novembre 2019

I will add anecdotally that I've found stop-and-go traffic (the kind you encounter on a highway when there is construction or an accident) really drives up consumption, perhaps due to the acceleration required again and again to move from a complete stop reducing efficiency. On a recent (awful) trip I was stuck in traffic like that for 2 hours, traveling barely 10 miles in that time. I was largely using AP to handle the constant braking/accelerating, and my consumption jumped to 420 Wh/mi. At the end of the traffic jam, I had considerably less charge than I'd planned upon.

Tuning In | 21 novembre 2019

There is a point where traffic is slow enough that wh/mi would go up due to climate control, but in general my consumption during crawling traffic can go down below 200wh/mi. Even stop and go stays lower than driving 65mph. All of that driving in traffic has greatly helped my lifetime average consumption rather than hurt it.

Phantom_Menace | 21 novembre 2019

I've been able to a get fairly close to SR+ rated range (240 miles) but only during the warm summer months and cruising around 60-65mph (100-105km/h) with AC on low and hugging the right lane. It's totally possible just not a lot of fun :)

kumarplocher | 21 novembre 2019

Brad, perhaps I missed it, but have you been using air conditioning and/or heating? Some folks rely heavily on that, for instance my wife likes a constant controlled climate with the fan setting much higher than I like, and that all eats up range.

kumarplocher | 21 novembre 2019

I should add that your stop-and-go traffic anecdote is strange to my ears: EVs, in my experience, get better range when in traffic than when cruising.

bradbomb | 21 novembre 2019

@BradPDX Living in LA, which is not all flat, I actually get my best wh/mi in stop and go traffic. I never get anywhere near 300 wh/mi unless I am running the heater or seat heaters.

Also, in terms of AP, when I have Autosteer on in traffic (do not use too often, my wife is not a fan of the car driving us), it actually uses around 240-260 wh/mi.

Like I said in my previous post, I never intended to adjust my driving habits from my ICE (Mustang Convertible), but they eventually did change. I think just the regen alone changed my habits from hard acceleration in traffic. The newly updated Hold mode has been a blessing on my new style of driving (minus what others have said about the weirdness of going in reverse in hold mode). I mean I'm trying to not use my brakes and let regen bring me to a complete stop which makes me slowly accelerate which brings up my efficiency.

Actually, speaking of Hold mode, what do you have your car set to (Hold, Roll, Creep) and also do you have it on standard or reduced regen?

ODWms | 23 novembre 2019

Magic 8 Ball | November 19, 2019
"The same holds true for any vehicle using any fuel. You will not get rated mpg if you do not drive at EPA test conditions."

it is mind-boggling that adults have to be told this.

bipper2727 | 7 janvier 2020

I get better range in stop and go traffic. SR+ once got 360 miles on a 90% charge where traffic was steady between 10-25 mph.

KY | 8 janvier 2020

May I know SR+ battery capacity? 54kWH?
Because I calculated base on my live consumption and %, it is around 36kWH....

WW_spb | 8 janvier 2020

Do simple Google search on SR+ battery capacity

bill | 3 mars 2020

With the heat on in the car and the dash cam turned on, I add 20% to the miles I want to drive to figure out the range. A 100 mile drive will actually use up 120 miles of battery in my Model 3.

St☰v☰ | 3 mars 2020

Absolutely agree with @BradPDX. I keep a log of daily statistics and my consumption is 1.42 of battery for every mile I drive. I just turned over 7,500 miles on mine and my lifetime kWh is 1,979 and Wh/mi is 263. Mine hasn't charged to 240 in months, pretty much since 40.2.1 was downloaded. I get anywhere from 218 to 226 @ 100%. I, too, was disillusioned when I bought my SR+ into thinking that I would get 240 miles when I reality I get more like 160 actual miles. For instance, I filled her up Sunday and over the last two days I consumed 124 actual miles driven and my projected range tonight is 35 miles. If I add those together I get 159 miles.

stingray.don | 3 mars 2020


How much range do get in a single trip without idle time when charging to 100% and driving to near depletion?

You may very well be close to 240 miles, assuming warm weather, 18” aero wheels properly inflated, and conservative driving. Short trips typically have a higher wh/mi. Also, idle time uses energy not counted in the wh/mi. Your example would not be indicative of the car’s actual range.

St☰v☰ | 4 mars 2020

@stingray.don - I have actually tried that too. Again, best case was 228. I recently took a trip up north, it was about 900 miles R/T, and used the superchargers. still didn't get over 228, mostly lower. I've also tried calibrating the battery pack, still nowhere near 240. If I had known then about range as I do today, I would have bought the (then) long range model at 325.

RICH_FRANTZ | 4 mars 2020

Be less concerned about how the EPA number matches your vehicle. The uniformity of the test makes it useful only for comparing to other cars.

If the EPA says car abc gets 26 mpg and car 123 gets 30 mpg, then even if the owner of car 123 gets only 25 mpg, he is still probably getting better mileage than the owner of car abc.

wsschultz | 5 mars 2020

I think most people know that getting the EPA numbers in real life is rare if at all on most cars. I think part of the problem is just range expectation and consistency in general.

Even if I have an ICE car that gets crappy MPG, as long as that MPG is repeatable and I fill up my tank to full then I can expect the same range on every tank of fuel. This is how people learn to ride out their gas tanks to the red because over time they know roughly how many miles to expect on a tank given the average MPG of that vehicle regardless of it making the EPA rating or not.

On my Tesla, I'm at the mercy of the BMS. At new I may charge to over 300 miles, after so many miles more maybe 280 or less depending on if its cold or not. So people (especially new owners) pay more attention to the range estimate more because they aren't as familiar with how the BMS is reporting the range. Its especially concerning to some when the reported range drops by 10 miles or more in a short time. Hard to trust the range when it changes frequently.

FISHEV | 5 mars 2020

"This is why I say the minimum (and I don't care who makes it) Ev range should be 300 miles. Anything less and it actually hurts the market with unrealistic expectations."

Early Teslas were under 300, what was the first Tesla to go over 300 mile EPA range?

kkerstetter9 | 5 mars 2020

I have seen a number of reports from owners who have discharged their Model 3 Standard Range Plus down to one or two percent and then charged to 100 percent...putting in around 48 to 50 KW into the battery. Doing a little math that means one has to be below 210 WH per Mile in order to match the EPA numbers. 263 WH per mile give on less than 190 mile range.

dgriffer1 | 5 mars 2020

I have a slightly different question. I have a M3 Performance 8/18 delivery and maximum range started at 310 but now only shows 286. I currently have 35,000 miles and drive 200 miles each way every week. Any thoughts? Is this normal?

stingray.don | 5 mars 2020


The battery meter range is just an estimate that is influenced by external factors such as temperature. It is not an indicator of battery health.

FISHEV | 5 mars 2020

"The battery meter range is just an estimate that is influenced by external factors such as temperature. It is not an indicator of battery health."

The Rated Range you see next to the battery is actually a baseline measure of the battery charge that uses the EPA number of 4.12 miles per kWh.

For the range as affected by conditions you'd want to look at the Projected Range you see in the Energy/Consumption graphic. That has actual range based on last 5, 15 or 30 miles of driving.

WW_spb | 5 mars 2020

Fish is always wrong. You have been advised

jallred | 5 mars 2020

The Rated Range you see next to the battery is actually a baseline measure of the battery charge that uses the EPA number of 4.12 miles per kWh.-fish

It isn’t a “measure” of battery charge. It is a calculation of range based on an integrated estimate of usable battery capacity.

For the range as affected by conditions you'd want to look at the Projected Range you see in the Energy/Consumption graphic. That has actual range based on last 5, 15 or 30 miles of driving.-fish

Projected range is not actual range. Multiple different projections can’t all be the actual value.

FISHEV | 5 mars 2020

"Multiple different projections can’t all be the actual value."

When in fact they are based on 5, 15 and 30 mile projections. PIck the driving conditions that fit.

it's the only actual range prediction the car supplies vs. the Rated Range which is more a measure of battery degradation.

WW_spb | 5 mars 2020

Please flag the idiot and his lies. Green bar is not rated range or measure of battery degradation.