As many of you have been following this channel already know, my Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus gets about:

  • 2/3 of its battery range rating in ideal conditions
  • 5/8 of stated battery range in cool weather
  • 3/8 of its stated battery range in extreme cold weather

Video version of this article here:

Tesla’s range estimates are so bad they were ranked LAST in an August 2020 study:

  • Audi E-Tron – 92% of claimed EPA range
  • Polestar 2 – 82% of claimed automaker range
  • Jaguar I-Pace – 80%of claimed EPA range
  • Polestar 2 Performance Pack – 79% of claimed automaker range
  • Tesla Model 3 Performance – 75% of claimed EPA range

There are a few things about driving style you should know:

  1. I don’t have four heated seats turned on or the cabin temperature turned on high during cold weather testing
  2. When I’m testing there are no jackrabbit starts  or 140 km/hr (90 miles/hour) highway speeds
  3. The Model 3 is nearly always parked in the garage and frequently that is a heated garage at my office, at least during the day

Basically, my use of the vehicle is very rational and not at all excessive.

As I’ve said many times in the past that the Tesla range’s pathetic performance is actually fine for me on 99 out of 100 days, because like a lot of people, my family has two vehicles.  I just treat the Model 3 ST+ as my ‘city car’ and it’s wonderful for that.

What bothers me is the hype from Tesla fanboys who either don’t really know what they’re talking about because they’re inexperienced with electric or with luxury vehicles, which are often the same thing these days, or are just blinded by Elon musk’s brilliance.

So after many conversations and more than a few fights with a few people who tell me that my battery range is so unacceptable and so off the norm that I need to take it back to Tesla and then get a lawyer, I decided would take it back to Tesla service for third time.

This time I was happy to deal with a Tesla service manager named Zach was very good with me and explained a number of things that are certainly unclear in Tesla’s warranty and support:

  1. Tesla does not warranty driving range
  2. Tesla only warranties the charge range
  3. Tesla knows that the charging range is a calculated number and as such is fictional

Further, I was made aware that Tesla support frequently receives complaints about how far off the actual driving range is from the stated range and that they are aware that other manufacturers like General Motors and Ford are better at sitting the drivers expectations because their range calculations are based on temperature and previous driving history.

Tesla Model 3 Range Estimates are Fiction

And adding to that, Tesla checked my driving history and found that my Tesla M3 SR+ is actually getting 2% better than the fleet average for the 2019 version.

So at this point I have decision to make:

  1. sell the vehicle
  2. Get a lawyer
  3. Get over it

Well, I’m not about to get a lawyer and go up against a company with more than $15 billion in near cash floating around. So that leaves me with selling the vehicle or getting over it.

I think what I’m going to end up doing is keeping the vehicle for the next few months, or possibly another year and then sell it and buy a different BEV or maybe even a PHEV.

It is notable that the only people that claim that have argued with me about range are people with the Tesla long range battery, so I wonder if Tesla is just screwing over the standard range battery buyers.

This is a sad ending because while the Model 3, and all Tesla’s, have serious deficiencies they are still excellent vehicles and this deficiency is more about “truth in advertising” than it is about the actual product.


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