Getting poor battery efficiency

Getting poor battery efficiency

Ever since I've got my Model 3 back in September (driven ~2000 miles since), I've averaged about 320wh/mi. I wanted to ask if anyone else is experiencing this. About 1k miles in, I turned on strong regenerative braking which has helped a bit, but watching my energy consumption graph, I still see the average use well above Tesla's 241 wh/mi "rated" efficiency, usually somewhere in the range of 280-320. I am not driving particularly fast either.

This was especially bad when I was driving up from LA to SF this past weekend. On a 310 mile charge I was typically getting about 220 miles of actual use. What's the point of buying a long-range model of the car when I'm getting nearly 30% less actual range?

I've noticed when I first start driving the car every morning the wh/mi for the first few miles is 450+ wh/mi. Is this normal? I've also never once gotten <= 241wh/mi on a trip of any form since I got the vehicle. I went to a Tesla service center and they seemed to put the blame on me for driving habits, or that the battery hasn't "calibrated" itself yet. This all seems bogus to me, since I don't see anyone complaining about this online.

Is anyone else with a model 3 getting upwards of ~320wh/mi on the average? Really concerned and honestly a bit disappointed.

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

Lots of people are complaining about not getting EPA estimates and it usually is related to the model and driving habits. You didn't mention whether you've got the less efficient AWD or even less efficient performance model or even less efficient 20 inch wheels. Tons of threads about this exact subject if you look around the forum.

vinikun | 13 november 2018

I've got the standard aerowheels, AWD, non-performance. Is the AWD really that much less efficient than RWD?

I read another long thread on the topic and it seemed to revolve around cold temperatures as a theoretical culprit, and wasn't even conclusive. I live in Los Angeles, one of the hotter places in the US.

So far I'm wondering if anyone who has experienced this issue has gotten it resolved somehow.

LA-Fohlen | 13 november 2018

Well, if you got better efficiency before and nothing really changed to the configuration of the car ever since I don't see why your efficiency goes down the drain that much. You're in California so the weather will only be a limited factor. Unless you changed your driving from a grandma to the racing style I would think that somebody should look into it.

I just got my car about a week ago and the weather changed here from the 60s into the 30s and even upper 20s but at least from what I've seen now the difference is only about 50wh/m.

christian | 13 november 2018

I have the dual motor non P with aeros, and my average since getting my car in September is 336 wh/mi over about 1,900 miles. I do punch it from time to time but even when I try to "hypermile", I'm still usually over 300. It's getting worse now as it gets colder (Seattle).

I realize that some of the things I do are causing this:
1. I don't have the Aero covers on.
2. I have to take the highway to go almost anywhere and it's a 70 MPH highway, so I'm usually going 75-80 MPH within my first 2 min of driving anywhere.

It is a bit concerning to see other people with similar setups getting way better wh/mi, but I know there is a break-in period where the wh/mi is supposed to improve, I know that it's gotten pretty cold (40s-50s). So I'm not going to get too concerned until next summer when I try it in warmer weather with the aeros on. It does concern me a bit if I want to take a long trip this winter, to visit family in CO or something. I'm sort of thinking that I may not make it there with the distance between superchargers, which is disappointing. I can only take long trips in warm weather I guess...

vinikun | 13 november 2018

@LA-Fohlen the better efficiency is after I changed regenerative braking from low -> standard. Efficiency is still nowhere near the rated amount though.

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

AWD takes about a 10% hit. You buy the long range battery to go further than smaller batteries. Pretty simple. My P3D travels significantly further than my P85+ for significantly less money. Seems like you're very early on the learning curve and not recognizing normal behavior. One guy took his car in to service with a similar complaint and Tesla informed him, and all of us, that the culprit was his tendency to drive 90 MPH, despite claims similar to yours. Please don't waste the time of a service center until you're more up to speed on the basics of EVs. They've got a lot more pressing issues that will only get pushed back further.

Maybe start here:

derotam | 13 november 2018

@Bighorn, this is just the beginning of hearing all those complaints. We are just starting the first winter after the mass production has been well underway.

StealthP3D | 13 november 2018

I have the P3D+, in So Cal weather has been around 75-85. From last charge average is 370wh/mi.

gcklo | 13 november 2018

I have the LR RWD, 18" Aero wheels, Mostly highway miles between 70mph to 80mph (which is supposed to be less efficient), average around 230wh/mile.

So, definitely getting more than the Tesla published 310 miles per full charge

vinikun | 13 november 2018

What are people who just drive local roads experiencing with wh/mile? A lot of my commute is local roads which could be contributing to it?

joe.lynn.atp | 13 november 2018

@vinikun: To answer one question, yes it is normal to see a very high number for the first couple of miles. It takes a lot of energy to get moving, and you are dividing that by a very small number. If you are driving at a steady, moderate pace, that number drops off pretty quickly as you continue to drive.

You don't define "Not particularly fast". I think to get the rated range you need to be under 65MPH on a relatively flat surface. Increasing speed over 70 definitely impacts your average. Starting from a stop quickly hurts. Climbing hills hurts, Rain hurts. AC and heat hurt.

I am at 255 after 3300 miles in a LR AWD. But I have had trips over 300 when I am doing 75 or more for most of the trip. OTOH, I was stuck in traffic going into Philadelphia in rush hour, creeping along at 10MPH for much of the trip, and I got 190 for that trip. So YMMV.

ODWms | 13 november 2018

Maybe I’m lucky, but I have the PD3+, and don’t have anywhere as bad numbers as I’ve read in the forum. Not super efficient either, but I’m rarely seeing any continued averages over 300, and I drive like a maniac some of the time. Obviously, when I really do put it down, my mileage suffers, and I expect that. But most of the time even with the big wheels and added power, I really can’t complain about my results.

joe.lynn.atp | 13 november 2018

On secondary roads where I can travel for miles at 35-55MPH with only a few stops, I can get around 220. If I am frequently stopping at red lights and getting back to speed quickly I will be in the 260-290 range. Short trips with frequent stops tend be higher too.

Search the internet for hypermiling: There are many techniques that will benefit any car: Look ahead of you and ease off the accelerator when you see you will need to stop. I very rarely use my brakes except to stop below 5MPH.

vinikun | 13 november 2018

Thanks everyone - I think a combination of some extra break in on my tires/battery + some driving technique changes via hypermiling + adjustments in expectations based on driving conditions (start/stop, hills vs flat surface, average speed) will help a lot in getting over this.

I've just been really disappointed, and it's caused me to obsess about energy efficiency while driving, making driving strangely stressful. This is too bad because it's at odds with everything else about the car which has greatly improved my enjoyment of driving in general. I keep on thinking that maybe there's something messed up with my power draw or battery, but maybe that's not the case. If I see the issue persist after the 5000 mile mark, I'll re-evaluate.

Tesla_User | 13 november 2018

Based on my observation (and not based on real data collected from Tesla Service), 99.99% of battery efficiency problems are related to driving conditions, such as: Speed, Use of Climate control, wind, weather etc.

I have gotten 215 Wh/Mi with no climate control and speed of 45-50 mph and have also gotten 350 Wh/Mi at the same speed but with the heater on and outside temp around 25. Higher the speed, colder the temp, higher the Wh/Mi.

So is something wrong with the battery? No, nothing. So what does Tesla's 310 mile range at 240 Wh/Mi efficiency mean? Nothing much than such an average of some sorts, with the caveat that your mileage will vary.

walnotr | 13 november 2018

I once hit 800 Wh/mi when I drove from parked on the street into a friend’s steep driveway. It is all relative and as others have said, it takes awhile to average out to a lower number. Currently I am at a 258 Wh/mi average with almost 10K on the car. Most of it highway miles in a variety of conditions. The best was 208 Wh/mi going 70-75 with a nice healthy tailwind.

slingshot18 | 13 november 2018

When someone complains about efficiency, can we stop blaming AWD? The rated spec is 310 miles, or 240ish wh/mi. We all know the RWD is more efficient, but that's also why it's very common to see RWD owners reporting better than 240wh/mi.

What Tesla states is that 310 miles range is good for all varieties. If RWD is better, no one with a RWD will complain. But if it's actually worse, people will very much complain. That's false advertising and it should not be accepted. But what know it's actually the former and all varieties should get 310 min. So if someone has a problem getting that, we should at least help them work through the process to help determine where the issue might be. Me, Tesla has started to come around that I may actually have a problem with my car.

gballant4570 | 13 november 2018

So far I have a lifetime average of less than 240wh/m with an AWD dual motor car. But as the weather gets colder, its creeping up..... hard to see a realistic wh/m based on 9 Oct to13 Nov I reckon. Next year I'll have better data.....

My car has never charged to 100% and showed 310 miles however. I doubt that it ever will - it shows 305-306. There is nothing wrong with that.

slingshot18 | 13 november 2018

@gballant4570 What wheels? Weather? Driving style?

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

It’s all relative. RWD has a Monroney sticker that says 130 MPGe whereas the AWD variants is 116, hence the 10% figure. EPA results for the RWD was 334 rated miles, which is why early cars (all RWD) had no trouble achieving the 310 miles. This was a new phenomenon vs the Model S where exceptionally few got anywhere close to rated miles. Now that the AWD is out in earnest, people think they should match the results of early cars because “ they’re all the same.” Well, no, they’re not. That’s where the conversation begins. People who know me know that a pet peeve of mine is “Indignorance” or indignation out of ignorance. I apologize to the OP for snark—clearly my level of patience for this is slight and I should probably let newer people field these basic questions. But I have a hard time letting misinformation go unanswered.

Magic 8 Ball | 13 november 2018

Stick with it @Bighorn you are by far the mostest bestus real world data gatherer, on these cars, contributing here.

Been here for months and rarely a day goes by where I have not learned something new about these cars, mostly from you.

slingshot18 | 13 november 2018

@Bighorn if you've paid attention to my comments, I've never once compared my car to a RWD and never once complained I wasn't getting 334 miles of range. I'm using the stated range of 310 miles for my specific car. Why would I not? It also doesn't bother me that most of the RWD cars I've driven or been in get significantly better than the 310 miles in southern California. I expect that.

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

One pertinent point is that getting rated miles has not been a thing until this inaccurately labeled RWD Model 3. Parity in a Model S 85 was 278 Wh/m. I averaged about 350 the first couple years, though that has come down to 324 after 213k miles. I was in the middle of the pack and anyone who matched rated miles was a definite outlier. Expecteding to match RMs or crowing fraud for having difficulty achieving it is entirely foreign to any previous Tesla owner. My Model 3 is at 274 Wh/m after 24k miles with 18” Aeros. It was 300 recently going to CA and back. Why this would engender anger or frustration is beyond me as it has little bearing on anything. Sure, if you were only able to budget $20 a month for electricity and it’s $26, make a stink. Otherwise, it’s mosltly neuroticism over information that’s never been available to driving consumers before.

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

I should add that parity in a Model 3 is 236 Wh/m.

maztec | 13 november 2018

I am also in Seattle. I take a ton of shorter drives 15-20 miles. Seattle has a lot of tall hills and I am constantly crossing them. Even when I drive conservatively my average Wh/mi is super-high. Right now my lifetime average is 435 Wh/mi for 319 miles. However, when I go on longer drives, in the 70-80 mph range, I generally hit 240-300 Wh/mi. Basically around the city I hit about 50% efficiency, yuck. Long range I hit about 80% efficiency.

Note: I don't gun it very often, I use regenerative breaking a lot (rarely use the brake), I have aero wheels, car is AWD LR.

So, the big question from me is that whatever I'm doing - I'm assuming it's the hills and cold - is this causing damage to the car? Or keep on keeping on as long as the car gets better mileage on the long drives.

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

So instead of getting 130 MPG by driving in a consistent and flat fashion, you’re getting 70 MPGe. No harm at all. Hitting efficiency goals mostly matters traveling supercharger to supercharger or if you don’t have a consistent location to plug in each night. It’s just physics—no sense trying to alter the laws of nature.

rbortins | 13 november 2018

Getting closer to 240 mi actual range, only 500 miles so far.

VolleyballNE1 | 13 november 2018

If you want to get the rated miles, you'll have to average around 241Wh/mi. So for me that means on my highway, I have to be driving no more than 60mph. But unfortunately, I can't do that. So my wh/mi is more in the 300s. Use the energy chart to help you change your driving to achieve the rated range. It's not feasible for me and that's okay. I know why I can't get that and it's not because of the car.

maztec | 13 november 2018

@Bighorn: I drive in a consistent, but not flat fashion. It plugs in at home and there are very few Superchargers near Seattle - only used them two times so far on longer drives. No worries.

slingshot18 | 13 november 2018

@Bighorn It's certainly information that's been available before. I know what my ICE car is rated for. I know what my ICE mileage is.

I compare and deal with it appropriately. I also compare with other model 3 owners. Other than a few outliers I see on the forums, the vast majority get significantly better mileage than me. Same cars. Similar commutes. Maybe we should be open to a certain percentage of cars that might have something wrong with them. Tesla Service is.

And this has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with knowing the car I just bought is performing appropriately. I did the same thing with my last car. Does it get the stated 0-60 times? Does it get the stated mileage? Why would anyone buy something and be happy not to get what was advertised?

By the way, I just had a loaner Model S 75D I drove for 600 miles. I got very close to parity, easily. Not exactly, but within 5%. I'd be happy with 10% on the Model 3. Not happy with 20% on the Model 3.

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

Don't take my comments as specifically directed at you. I'm mostly trying to build the knowledge base for the OP. You may well have an issue. Most people don't, but you wouldn't be the first.

dalesmith1962 | 13 november 2018

@vinikun, I got about 280 wh/mi for the first 2000 miles (LR RWD Aero). After getting familiar with driving the car I have become much more efficient by slowing sooner and allowing regen to provide most of the stopping with very little use of the brakes.

It took me quite a time to get out of the habit of running up on a turn too close before letting off the accelerator. This required me to use the brakes too much.

I routinely get about 230 wh/mi now even getting about 245–255 wh/mi when drive 70mph! When driving at 40mph or less for long distances I can get below 200 wh/mi.

Focus harder on your style of driving. You will figure it out eventually.

dalesmith1962 | 13 november 2018

@Bighorn “I should add that parity in a Model 3 is 236 Wh/m.”

I usually get parity around 240 wh/mi. When I get below that my mileage estimate goes down less than the actual miles driven.

Bighorn | 13 november 2018

Calculated over a single 295 mile drive by me, dividing kWh consumed by delta rated miles. Results have consistently been between 234 with the early RWD (Bjorn's 310 mile drive) and 236 on the AWD.

slingshot18 | 14 november 2018

@Bighorn Fair enough. Apologies for misreading your comments.

GMan88 | 14 november 2018

We have a LR RWD with aero wheels [cover is usually off]. We are averaging about 232 wh/mi over 3,200 miles. Most of our driving is in hilly San Francisco; most of the drives have at least 1 other passenger, and about 1/2 of our rides have 4 passengers [2 adults [180 lbs and 130 lbs] and 2 children [85 lbs and 70 lbs]. We don't baby the car; we drive it like a normal car; occasionally I'll "stomp" on the accelerator. My wife recently drove from SF to LA [with our two kids] and was going with the flow of traffic [75-80] and, extrapolated out, would have gotten about the 310 mile range [I didn't reset the trip odometer to get a clean Wh/Mi reading, but I was keeping track of projected miles vs. miles traveled]. During this road trip, she drove with the aero whell covers on and PSI at 45. I'm pretty impressed with the efficiency. My thoughts: maybe a longer "break-in" will work; check the PSI; use regen.

GMan88 | 14 november 2018

We have a LR RWD with aero wheels [cover is usually off]. We are averaging about 232 wh/mi over 3,200 miles. Most of our driving is in hilly San Francisco; most of the drives have at least 1 other passenger, and about 1/2 of our rides have 4 passengers [2 adults [180 lbs and 130 lbs] and 2 children [85 lbs and 70 lbs]. We don't baby the car; we drive it like a normal car; occasionally I'll "stomp" on the accelerator. My wife recently drove from SF to LA [with our two kids] and was going with the flow of traffic [75-80] and, extrapolated out, would have gotten about the 310 mile range [I didn't reset the trip odometer to get a clean Wh/Mi reading, but I was keeping track of projected miles vs. miles traveled]. During this road trip, she drove with the aero whell covers on and PSI at 45. I'm pretty impressed with the efficiency. My thoughts: maybe a longer "break-in" will work; check the PSI; use regen.

JH89 | 14 november 2018

Will try not to be too repetitive from my comment in another thread, but here are the highlights I've seen so far of big efficiency factors, in addition to habits like accelerating and braking rapidly:

- Cold temperatures (including use of the heater)
- Speed (Anything above 60 is worse, and it gets much worse as you go up from there)
- Wind

LoveMyM3 | 14 november 2018

AWD/19" wheels/NonP - 2200 miles, Lifetime avg is 274 Wh/m

Besides my higher Wh/m what puzzles me a bit is that the loss of battery charge as displayed does not equate the energy consumed since the last charge. Anybody else notices that?

Ex. After my last charge, I was at 80% (248 miles range). It went down to 66% (205 miles); my estimate is it lost about 75 KWH * 0.14 = 10.5 KwH of charge.
Now when I look at the energy consumption card "since last charge" it shows 23 miles, 7 KwH, 304 W/H
Where is the missing 3.5 KWH gone?
Just curious. Know may not be significant. But will still like to know if anybody has any idea?

Bighorn | 14 november 2018

How long has it been since last charge? Likely unregistered losses such as vampire drain or fans, etc operating when car is parked.

Pepperidge | 14 november 2018

5 kWh heater, 200 Wh/mi to motor.
Average speed: 25 mph, 400 WH/mi (200 + 5000/25)
Average speed: 50 mph, 300 WH/mi (200 + 5000/50)

StealthP3D | 14 november 2018

The funniest thing about this thread is that people obsess over it because they have the data. Most ICE cars don't even give you that level of detail. Just as an ICE car will eat up more gas when you have the air conditioner on, or drive > 55, they are just as inefficient. Relax, you'll know if there's a problem cause your car will tell you with a message on the screen.

slingshot18 | 14 november 2018

@StealthP3D Not necessarily. I have a potential problem with efficiency and Tesla is having me do some experiments. No warnings on the screen.

-Nik- | 14 november 2018

My AWD/ 18" wheels (no caps) is averaging mid 260's with a lot of hill/ grades (3500' to 9000') daily with just over 7300 miles. I'm happy!

efuseakay | 14 november 2018

Just enjoy your cars, people. If there are any issues with the battery packs/drive unites etc, Tesla will know and they'll more than likely contact you.

nachilau | 14 november 2018

I suggest you can let the AutoPilot drive a while and see if you still see a very poor efficiency. My AWD with wheel cap is around 270 is I let the AutoPilot drive on highway average 70 to 80 mph.

sroh | 14 november 2018

AWD is definitely less efficient than RWD. 8-10% sounds about right. Our RWD is at 230 wh/m over 7K miles. Our AWD is at 249 over 2,500 miles. Both wiith 18" wheels with the aero covers off. Similar driving.

Efficiency has improved over time. Our AWD started at about 280 wh/m but has settled in. I suspect battery and tire break-in are the main reasons. Also seldom using A/C now. And decreased number of launches.

dmaini | 14 november 2018

I have a AWD 18inch Aeros VIN 105XXX. Just drove this morning from Cupertino to Sacramento 128 miles. Pumped up the tire pressure int he morning about 60F in the garage to 44psi. Started off with 310 miles on full battery. ended in Sacramento at 179 miles of battery. Looks like the car did about 244Wh/mile and the outside temperature varied from 52 to 65F. Used autopilot most of the way and the tire pressure went up to 47psi while driving. I have just about 1050 miles on the car. I am very happy.. my lifetime is currently around 265 Wh/mile.

dmaini | 14 november 2018

Oh.. the speed was mostly between 65-77mph. Smooth sailing by Auto Pilot.

LoveMyM3 | 14 november 2018

The observations were made immediately after charging

Good to know. Seems like a Fixed cost of battery heating is about 5KWh. Well, the question then is if the display "Since the last charge" counts that in or not? If not that might explain the discrepancy.