A winter notebook: Model 3 standard range

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Mar 20, 2019
Lansing, MI
Tesla Owner
Model 3
I’m interested in hearing about the real cold weather actual miles vs range indication with details on temps and charging for departure. I realize we’ll get a bunch of different factors that make straight-line comparisons difficult but look at this more like a notebook we northerners (or anyone this winter) can look back on to compare practices vs experiences. I’d rather get more details than standards.

So I’m in my third winter with out Model 3 Standard+ and have found it difficult to achieve 50% of range indicated when I leave when temps are below to around 32 degrees F with little wind. If I charge to a departure time and leave from my non-heated attached within 15 mins of that time, drive 14 miles, (about 8 on highway at 75 mph and rest about 35 mph) to a parking garage and leave 8 hours later to drive home (not turning on climate before leaving), I can count on pulling up to my wall charger in my attached garage having used about 80 miles.

I’m sure I’m leaving out important details. Look forward to learning from others.


Jan 26, 2018
Pittsburgh, PA
Tesla Owner
Model X
A ratio of 28 actual miles to 80 rated miles is indeed horrible. I’m curious about some of your other stats, like what Wh/mile the car is reporting and how many kWh it says it is adding back to the battery each day when you charge? Also, how much is sentry mode on?

My Model 3 has an average of 301 Wh/mile this winter. That of course is an average only of when it is being driven. Teslafi shows that over all winters (I’m also on my third) I average about 80% efficiency when the temp is between 20 and 40 F. So I would expect driving 28 miles would use about 35 rated miles. On average. I’m also somewhat sparing on using the heat.

My car usually lives in a somewhat warm garage, but it did spend 2 weeks outside in January. During that time I had sentry mode on, which used about 20 miles per day. The battery was also cold soaked and from Teslafi I could see that was as much as 5% sometimes, or another 15 miles or so, that is temporarily unavailable but not actually used.

Mine is a LR AWD which I recognize is different than your SR+ RWD, but for order of magnitude effect, it should be relevant.

D. J.

Active member
TOO Supporting Member
Apr 10, 2016
Boulder County, CO
My (fall) 2018 MR RWD probably has an added 20 miles on your SR+ -- 260 vs 240 mi. The Stats app Battery Health graph shows a current winter range around 235 mi which matches what we're observing for winter driving around 20°F and the cabin set to 66-67°F. When we do our usual weekly "ski day", it's about 100 mi each way - we stop and supercharge for about 10-15 min to be able to get home with a comfortable 20-25% buffer. That includes a climb from 5200' to 11,000' in the morning and a corresponding descent in the evening.

So we're at about 90% of our rated range at the 2.2 year mark - seems to match other battery degradation graphs that I've seen on various Tesla sites.

Note that short drives are not going to give you good data - you'll have much more of an effect from heating in those scenarios.

And if you do mostly short drives without periodic deep cycles (90% to below 10% then back up to 90%+), the battery management system won't get a chance to calibrate so the mile-range estimates will be way off.
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  • Agree
Reactions: garsh

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