Analyst: Base Tesla Model 3 To Get 65 kWh Battery, 225 Miles Of Range

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 45

Tesla Model 3 Camp Out

Tesla Model 3 Camp Out

Sam Jaffe, an analyst at Cairn Energy Research Advisors, has just chimed in on battery capacity and range figures that he expects Tesla to announce for the base Model 3 tonight at the reveal.

According to Jaffe, the base Model 3 will come with a 65-kWh battery pack that provides approximately 225 miles of range per charge.

We can’t confirm these figures right now, but they do seem in line with expectations and Jaffe has often been right in “predicting” Tesla-related details in the past.

Jaffe added that he believes the individual cells in the Model 3 will have ~35% more energy than each cell found in the Model S and Model X.

Tonight’s Model 3 reveal should lock in some details, but we don’t expect all questions to be answered just yet.

Source: Bloomberg

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45 responses to "Analyst: Base Tesla Model 3 To Get 65 kWh Battery, 225 Miles Of Range"

  1. Chris O says:

    Tesla has already indicated it won’t show all its cards so maybe the eventual battery size(s) will remain an object of speculation for some time to come.

  2. Brendan says:

    I would be surprised if it’s not their standard 70 kWh battery pack. For the past several quarters, they’ve been condensing their battery line, eliminating less popular sizes, purportedly for efficiency purposes. Since the Model III is all about efficiency, I would assume that they would try to have a standard pack size in there. Or am I missing something?

    1. Ambulator says:

      Tesla is moving to new cells, so there is no efficiency reason to keep the overall pack size the same.

    2. arne-nl says:

      “their standard battery pack”

      There is no standard battery pack for the Model 3, they will have to create a new one as the car has other dimensions than the Model S.

      1. Brian says:

        This. The Model III’s platform is completely different from that shared by the S/X. Therefore it will need a new pack design.

        1. Spec says:

          They could still use the same pack size though. Well, it may be a bit thicker.

      2. Brendan says:

        Ahh, that makes sense. Thought I must be missing something. Thanks.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Brendan said:

      “I would be surprised if it’s not their standard 70 kWh battery pack.”

      Then prepare to be surprised. The Model ≡ will be a smaller car. The Model S is an unusually wide car; likely the M≡ won’t be. There’s no way a Model S (or X) battery pack will fit.

      And as has already been mentioned, the Model ≡ will be using the larger Gigafactory cells, so those wouldn’t fit properly inside a Model S pack.

      1. Anti Lord Kelvin says:

        Make sense. For me, but I’m not a analyst, new improved battery, drag coefficient of 0,20, and smaller car than Model S would permit the base Tesla III to have this range (225 EPA miles) with only a 55 kWh battery pack. The high end version would go to 290 EPA miles of range with a 70 kWh battery pack, but I’m not expecting the batteries specs for this night.

  3. Someone out there says:

    Makes sense. Basically, they have to match and beat the Bolt. At the same time it can’t be significantly better than the S or X or it would kill those markets. It will get the latest iteration of the battery chemistry but then again that will probably find it’s way into the S and X too.
    Essentially, the 3 will be better than the equivalent gas car but less than the S line.

  4. Pete says:

    If they will reveal 65 kWh battery for Model 3 the Model S sales will suffer a bit, or they just announce a new 80 kWh base Model S, top 100 kWh and cancel the old versions.

    1. TomArt says:

      That would be consistent with how they handled Model S improvements.

  5. Brian says:

    Interestingly, the Model III is supposed to be 20% smaller, but the cells will hold 35% more energy. This means that the car’s pack should – in theory – hold about 8% more energy.

    1. Nice! So – 8% More of a 60 kWh pack – is right on, about 64.8 (or as this story says – 65) kWh!

      1. Brian says:

        True. But moreover, this implies that at the high end of battery sizes, they can fit a 97.2kWh battery in the chassis. Obviously that would be pricy, but just imagine the range on that car! It could be the first true 300-mile (EPA) EV!

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Brian said:

      “…the car’s pack should – in theory – hold about 8% more energy.”

      Only if it’s exactly the same size in proportion to the car as the Model S, with exactly the same proportion of its volume occupied by cells (as opposed to the cooling system and other stuff). This is very unlikely.

      Tesla will choose a battery pack size, and capacity, to fit the Model ≡… which is not merely a Model S with everything scaled down by 20%.

      1. Brian says:

        Yup. Very rough numbers, which were intended to be a back-of-the-envelope kind of calculation. It’s all just speculation.

        I guess my point was that the smaller size and higher density roughly cancel each other out. So it’s not unreasonable to try to fit the same amount of kWh in a 2018 Model III as in a 2016 Model S/X. Cost is another issue entirely.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Hmmm, well, I could have worded my response to you less critically.

          You did specify “in theory”, and so far as I can see, you’re correct. I should have started my post with “But in practice…”

      2. Anti Lord Kelvin says:

        Don’t forget the 0,20 drag coefficient thing that Elon Musk spoke about, because in this case, and combining with the smallest area of the car, we would need to add something like 20% of range for a same like battery pack of a Model S.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yes, but this is somewhat counterbalanced by the fact that the Model ≡ will have a mostly steel body, so heavier in proportion to the size than a Model S.

          However, I do think lower drag will have more impact on required battery capacity than the greater weight.

  6. David Murray says:

    At this point, I’m tired of reading predictions when we’ll actually know something official by the end of the day.

    1. Brian says:

      Then your best bet is to turn off your computer until about 9:29PM PDT.

      But don’t worry, since this is only “part 1” of the reveal, there will be plenty of predictions to come.

  7. jerryd says:

    65kwhr will give it near 300 mile range and just too big to sell at $35k.
    Maybe for the
    I’d bet under 55kwhr as cheaper to build an EV that takes less power than build a big pack.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      I agree. No way the base Model ≡ has a 65 kWh pack for $35,000, and 65kWh sounds a little low for the higher spec ≡s
      IF the Models S/X move to 80/100 kWh packs, then the Model ≡ may work with 60/80 kWh.

    2. Bert says:

      I also agree, I’m pretty sure model 3 will be rated at more then 3.5 miles / kWh, EPA rated.

  8. EVfans says:

    Model s 60kwh version can achieve 208 epa miles

    Only 48kwh can run 200 miles for model 3

  9. AtlantaCourier says:

    My Prediction:

    Base Model, $35,900, 60 kWh, 245 EPA Range
    Upgraded Model $45,900 85 kWh, 305 EPA Range

    1. TomArt says:

      I’m no expert, but that seems a bit high to me, given price point and Model S/X considerations.

      I’d expect maybe 55kWh and 65kWh, both clearing 200 miles EPA.

    2. Rich says:

      I’m in line with you. My guess:
      I think the Model 3 will either be 65kWh & 85kWh or 70kWh & 90kWh packs. However, in order to avoid cannibalizing sales on the model S/X, they’ll have to move the S/X pack sizes to somewhere in the 100kWh and 120kWh. If Tesla isn’t ready to upgrade the S/X pack sizes, we won’t hear the Model 3 pack size in tonight’s announcement.

      1. AtlantaCourier says:

        Yes, I agree. For my numbers to make sense, the top end Model S needs to have a range greater than 300 miles. I think this will happen before Model 3 begins production if not by the end of this year.

        The Model X on the other hand doesn’t need to exceed 300 miles because it has selling points even the Model S can’t match.

      2. Daniel says:

        did read “somewhere” that a hacker had pursed the code in a M/S and had found accommodation for a 100KW pack or “P100D”

        1. Jay Cole says:

          …might I suggest, (=

          Longer Range 100 kWH Battery (P100D) Coming Soon For Tesla Model S/X – Hacker
          http://insideevs.com/p100d-coming-soon-for-tesla-model-sx/

          1. Daniel says:

            But .. of course. Do indeed! I had forgotten that it was here that I saw it lol!!

  10. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I will be very surprised if the Model ≡ has a battery pack as large as 65 kWh. In this price range, Tesla will be pinching every penny. Tesla has said the M≡ will be a “200 mile” car, and there’s no good reason to aim for 225 miles when you’re touting 200 miles. If Tesla was aiming for 225 miles, they’d certainly say so.

    My guess is a bit less than 60 kWh. The Bolt uses 60 kWh to achieve ~208 miles. The M≡ will have better streamlining, so should be able to use a slightly smaller battery pack.

    1. AtlantaCourier says:

      “there’s no good reason to aim for 225 miles when you’re touting 200 miles”

      But there is a good reason to “tout 200 miles” when you are actually aiming for 225 (or more).

      That reason would be to provide a low target for your competitors to aim for…GM seems to have fallen for it.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        On the contrary, it has been the nearly universal general rule for plug-in EVs to have a lower EPA rated range than what the maker touts. The Model S85 was touted as a “300 mile” car; the Leaf as a “100 mile” car. The former was EPA rated at 265 miles, the latter… well, it varied from year to year, 75 miles is a good comparison, as that using the same EPA test cycle as the Model S rating.

        GM surprised a lot of people, including me, by making what appears to be a firm promose of ~208 miles of real-world, EPA rated range. Before that announcement, a lot of people — including me — were expecting these nominally “200 mile” EVs to have about 150-160 miles of real-world range.

        Has Tesla upped the range of the Model ≡ in response to the Bolt? Maybe. But they’ve been pretty firm at promising that $35k price. They can’t increase the planned pack size without significant cost-cutting elsewhere.

        Anyway, my guess is we’ll find out tonight just what the pack’s kWh rating is, which should give us a rough estimate of real-world range.

    2. Rich says:

      “Tesla has said the M≡ will be a “200 mile” car”
      I believe Musk said the model 3 will be real world usable 200 miles. This wouldn’t translate to a hair over 200 miles EPA rated range unless you live in a year round temperate climate.
      Either way, 200 miles will be good. 250 mile range would be great. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Rich said:

        “I believe Musk said the model 3 will be real world usable 200 miles. This wouldn’t translate to a hair over 200 miles EPA rated range unless you live in a year round temperate climate.”

        No, it would translate to significantly less than 200 miles of EPA rated range. Remember that Tesla touted the Model S85 as a “300 mile” car. GM is the first plug-in EV maker to tout what apparently is actually the EPA rated range, rather than an inflated or “best case” range.

        We can hope that Tesla will follow GM’s lead here, and report an actual real-world driving range. But that’s probably a forlorn hope. I love a lot of things about Tesla, but their level of hype ain’t one of ’em.

      2. Daniel says:

        For my scenario “and perhaps many others as well” I’d need at least 300 miles “real world” freeway speed range with ability to quick charge, to be able to go all in. Living in southern AZ. keeps things warm enough most of the time. The problem is the distance between the metro areas themselves and their relation where I live.

        250 miles would allow me to reach Tucson with range to get around town once there and to find a plug to top off (or add enough miles ) to get back home. However to Reach Phoenix (without routing through Tucson “approx. 75 miles out of the way” to top off the charge) would be a stretch. Do-Able? Yes but I’d arrive Phoenix needing a plug pretty badly with limited range to move about the city and would need a full charge to get back home due to elevation change.

        Good thing I have a Volt. I’m just waiting with wallet in hand for the first manufacturer to come up with something that can give me 250 miles of range at a price point I can justify and or afford.

        CPO Model S was looking really good until all of the low hanging fruit vanished overnight off of the CPO website. There were Model S options there that were slipping into the mid 40K to 50K range. But overnight they were all gone and currently the least expensive CPO units are 65K>

        I guess that’s Teslas way of artificially supporting Model S resale values??

  11. Murrysville EV says:

    I predict 60 kWh (55 kWh usable), 205 miles range under ideal conditions. YMMV. Its looks and performance will give pause to potential Bolt buyers.

    If the Model 3 is offered as a lease, orders will go through the roof. I’m still hesitant to buy an EV based on the huge depreciation of my former Leaf.

    Supercharger use will not be totally free for the Model 3.

    However, I also predict some shifting of the capacities in the S & X line to make more room for the Model 3 by the time it is released.

  12. Phr3d says:

    predict no kWh definition given, as two years+ from now, who Knows? 40 and 60 as the final, depending on the mileage that amount can deliver in 2+ years, but no more than 40 on the ‘unavailable, so who cares?’ stripper.

    1. phr3d says:

      hehe, ayep..

  13. Ian says:

    They still have over a year to tinker with increased density and improved anode / cathode. My best guess is once they bump the S and X to P100D and P120D, the model 3 will roll off the lines with 70D and 90D…I’m really hoping the Model 3 reveal has at least a 70kwh battery. That’s at least a 241 mile range and will outpace the Bolt easily. 90 kWh would place it around 310 miles.

    1. Ian says:

      Or maybe they tell everyone 65kwh and just bump it up next year anyway.

  14. Anders says:

    I really look forward to see the full specificstion list of the car, and all the possible upgrades (All-wheel drive, larger battery etc.)..
    The design is so nice!! 🙂