Bjorn Crowns Tesla Model 3 Efficiency King After High-Speed Test


Also shows its superiority at the Supercharger

Our favorite Norwegian electric vehicle YouTuber has just named the Tesla Model 3 the efficiency king. The coronation was made after Bjorn Nyland completed a couple more range tests in the Long Range Dual Motor version of the mid-size sedan. We have the video of the high-speed test above, and the “typical” speed run below. Nyland also put together a video discussing his findings with Supercharging the Tesla Model 3 (bottom). Last week, he had tested the Performance version.

Being world-famous — in the EV world, at least — has its privileges. Nyland was graciously given the use of a Solid Black example of the all-electric, sporting 18-inch wheels and the standard aerodynamic wheel covers. To underline the generosity of the loaner, they apparently drove it up from San Diego to L.A. for Nyland’s use over the next couple of weeks.

The first test saw the YouTuber take a battery-draining trip at an average speed of 90 kph (56 miles per hour). This was meant to simulate a mix of city and highway driving. The run saw him climbing to a significant altitude. Interestingly, the miles-long descent from those heights saw the car limit use of the brake regeneration. On this trip, he found the car capable of driving 560 km (348 miles) on a charge. Its official EPA range is 310 miles.

The high-speed test stayed a bit closer to the L.A. area, and the footage even includes a shot of the test hyperloop tube snaking along the shoulder of the highway near SpaceX in Hawthorne. It was at the end of this test that Nyland is pretty enthusiastic about the efficiency returns he got from the Model 3. At about 120 kph (75 mph) it demonstrated an efficiency of  176 Wh/km (283 Wh/mile), indicating a range at these speeds of 260 miles.

The Model 3’s only competitor in the efficiency arena appears to Nyland to be the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and he puts out a call to any L.A. owners to take part in an efficiency challenge. While we wait to see if anyone takes him up on his offer, we’ll just remind you that, while the South Korean car may demonstrate a higher efficiency, it’s also not burdened by a huge battery and enjoys a significant weight advantage to the Tesla.

In the video centered on the Model 3 at the Supercharger (bottom), Nyland points out that the car can handle all the power the equipment can dish out until it reaches a state of 50 percent of charge. Then, the charging rate quickly declines. It will be interesting to see how, or if, this changes with the introduction of Supercharger V3.

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69 Comments on "Bjorn Crowns Tesla Model 3 Efficiency King After High-Speed Test"

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The discontinued LR RWD M3 is even more efficient. On long trips I get at least 275 miles of range with 3 people and luggage at 75-85 mph.

Exactly! I am really annoyed they discontinued that model, to me it was the best of the Model 3 cars. I fear it was ended because it was too efficient making it the best Tesla in the stable for long range travel.

Me too — but I have one so I DON’T CARE. Frankly those models may be worth more in the long run…

Seems unlikely to me. It’s the best EV so far, but there will be better ones someday. As time goes on, Tesla will have more energy dense batteries, meaning 310+ miles with less weight in batteries, meaning lower Wh/mile.

People keep thinking wrongly about this. Weight is nearly completely irrelevant for the range that matters.

City range over 150 miles is just irrelevant — speeds are so low in cities you can’t go farther than that in a day of city driving anyway.

Highway range is hardly impacted by weight, for the very simple reason that the energy to overcome rolling resistance is a function of the distance you roll, independent of speed, while energy to overcome drag increases proportionally with speed. At highway speed drag completely dominates, and it’s not affected by weight. So adding 200 kg of passengers to make the car 9% heavier would increase overall consumption by 1-2%. That’s basically just noise in the signal, drowned out by much more significant factors such as the wind and ambient temperature.

So, you’re saying that if the Model 3 sheds 600 lbs, it’s nearly completely irrelevant?

For highway driving, Yes. It would have a meningfull impact on city / stop-and-go driving.

“For highway driving, Yes. It would have a meningfull impact on city / stop-and-go driving.“

Rather than a vague answer, you ought to use a function to explain your answer so those that can use differential calculus or better yet, just look at the beta coefficient(s) to ascertain the independent variable’s influence on range of mileage.


And the handling and acceleration benefits would be phenomenal!
But highway range – minimal.
Now – at 600 pounds less, you could shrink the tires and get reasonable handling. You could knock 20% off the tires and tires are 20% (roughly) of highway resistance. So 4%.

Urban driving makes a significant use of regenerative braking and though much more efficient than friction braking, there are small, round-trip losses:

city – highway – model
136 – 123 – Model 3, lower city speeds make it more efficient
101 – 102 – Model S, earlier induction motors less efficient
86 – 89 – Model X, earlier induction motors less efficient

The permanent magnet motor of the Model 3 is significantly more efficient especially in regenerative braking.

When driving 120 kp/h on the highway for hours, yes.

Not really, especially as ride sharing is a popular way to make money. I have hit 300 miles in a single day of driving Uber. I wish I could get a long range RWD Model 3. Most days I only drive 200 miles and the RWD would allow me to drive on one charge then recharge at home on solar.

Tesla still has more demand than supply capacity. So Tesla get rid of trims that slow the production ramp or that have low gross margin like 75kwh Model S and X. I expect these trims to be back if Tesla need the demand they would generate. So maybe later this year when the incentives run out.

Shows once again how far in the lead Tesla is in that they can be both very high performance and very efficient at the same time!
Other manufacturers have shown that they on the other hand are either/or in that regard.

Other manufacturers have efficiency, but to get that kind of power they need large batteries, which they tend not to use, or they do FWD drive trains that might not handle the power well, etc.

They have? I reckon most are inefficient AND have bad performance.

But it’s not that difficult to replicate what Tesla’s doing here. The low drag is the reason for the high-speed efficiency, but it wouldn’t be possible if the car was high and easy to get into and out of like a Kona.

Well, as you say it is drag for several of them Ioniq EV is as efficient on highway, more efficient in town, but much less performance.

Model 3 superiority is simply a result of superior batteries, electric motors and aero. This applies to performance and efficiency.

As an example, I have both a Model 3 RWD and an EPA rated 220 mile range Bolt EV.
With the Bolt if I drive it at 75-80mph on the freeway I only get around 125-150 miles range.
It is obvious that the far superior Aero of the Tesla makes the difference here.
Now, the Ionic also has great aero and is very efficient but certainly does not have great acceleration as another example.

I am willing to bet the base SR version will be even more efficient with lower weight.

You are probably right, but the range won’t work well for me for long distance travel. Slower charging and a bit of a stretch with cold weather.

It begs the question – why is the Mid-Range Model 3 less efficient than the Long-Range RWD Model 3? In theory, the main difference is fewer battery cells and therefore less weight in the battery pack. Why is the EPA kWh/100 miles rating lower?

My guess is they changed the tire pressure recommendation since the original tests. It used to be 48 psi iirc.

Weight in not so important with EVs, I never studied in depth about the subject but with regeneration the energy to accelerate more weight will be recovered during slow downs… Tire friction should be worse and I’m sure other factors influence negatively heavier EVs but still…

I think the main reason is due to batteries. While liion batteries maintain capacity very well at different charging rates, capacity do decrease. Capacity of typical liion batteries is lower at 2C than at 1C (just an example).

I did a bunch of testing with my Model S.
50 lbs is about 1% range.
I could never get a reliable change in the range with less than 250 lbs. I do haul a lot of stuff to and from the kids, weighed with bathroom scale when loading.
I take the exact same routes pretty often to visit so I trust the results.

Thanks for the data! 🙂

Nice data, thank you.

Mid-Range is only marginally less efficient. Probably because power output from batteries is not optimized for the drive motor.

MR uses standard silicon IGBT power components vs silicon carbide MOSFETS in the motor inverter. Probably at least 2% eff. gain.

Then why does the MR TM3 have lower energy efficiency than the LR TM3?

Kmb3 seems to have a good answer re tire pressure. I’d love to see more tests done with different tire pressures, both the old and the new recommended pressures.

But just speculating here: Perhaps the lower efficiency of the MR TM3 is at least partly due to Tesla optimizing the car for the LR version, including tuning the motor and the power electronics to the LR’s battery pack and power levels.

The MR version, with a different battery pack and different amounts of power available, isn’t quite optimal for the design. Perhaps that results in slightly lower energy efficiency?

What Sandy Munro said about the astonishing level of sophistication and efficiency of the TM3 rear motor does, in my opinion, support the idea that the motor was precisely optimized, or tuned, for the exact original characteristics of the LR TM3 and its powertrain, which included the LR battery pack.

Because the manufacturer can set the range to lower numbers than the test results say. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how it works.

Hyundai/Kia also plays this game, and rates the e-Niro as having slightly more range than the Kona, but they have the same power train and Kona is both lighter and has less drag. In other words the real world range is guaranteed better in the Kona, but according to the official rated range it’s the reverse.

Also, weight has very little to do with how far you can go. Nobody drives 300 miles in a city in a day; doing so would require 20 hours of driving without a wee break! At high speeds almost all the energy is lost to drag. You spend the same amount of energy to overcome rolling resistance whether you go at 20 or at 200. Increase the weight of the car by 200 kg by adding passengers, and mass increases by 10%, so does rolling resistance. On the highway you now consume 1-2% more because at least 80% of your energy loss is to aero.

It is amazing to me how rolling resistance – as found by internet searches – is poorly misunderstood. Estimates about it are all over the place – literally from 5% to 50% of total energy used. Machine design has a good discussion – summarized to be – very little change up to 55 mph but then a gradual but significant increase. The statement that 20 and 200 are the same (presumably you are talking km/hr) is just blatantly not true. Speed at a point does matter. On cyclist forums – where a lot of this is – they say it doesn’t but the speed and tire composition is very different. Weight increases rolling resistance but not by much. It is fair to say that at lower speeds – below 50 mph or so – rolling resistance is significant. Up to 50% although 30% is probably better. After 50 mph, aero dominates. At 80 mph – aero is over 90%. But all this estimating is just that. Obviously on the smaller Tesla rims (with LRR tires) there is less effect than on the HP tires (OEM on larger rims). I could not find a graph to say that LRR tires maybe… Read more »

The EPA range is still hopelessly optimistic so derating can make sense if you are worried about disappointing your customers.

Also, I drive Uber and I can hit 300 miles city driving in about 10 hours with beaks.

Sould have said a mix of highway and city.

Yes but it will charge slower, battery will loose longevity from additional cycles over its lofetume and have less power.

I am also glad I got mine when I could. I have no interest is AWD and spending $5k more for less highway efficiency and range.

Eric Way of NewsCoulmb channel wants to compare Bolt in side by side test, no word from Nyland. It would be interesting if that comes true.

Ha! That was awesome.

So. Cal. Road Alert: Please keep your eyes peeled for a sighting of the “Orange Hat Guy”.
He may be possibly doing 75 mph in a Chevy Bolt, on the 405 freeway, after the evening traffic rush hour has subsided (10PM ish).

Interesting that Bjorn has not responded. I mean this should be an easy win for the Model 3, no??

If it’s an “easy win,” then maybe it’s not worth anyone’s time to test it?

I mean, I’d like to see it just for fun, but it may not be a worthwhile use of Bjorn’s time.

(FYI, I’m not responsible for the “downvote” :D)

Eric Way has confirmed the challenge is a go this Saturday.

283 Wh/mile is equivalent to 119 mpg. How’d I arrive at that figure, you ask. (1000 x 1/283) gives us miles/kWh. I then multiplied that by 33.7 kWh/gallon of gas. This is what uses for their conversion. This yields mpg equivalent or mpge. While 119 is impressive for a high speed test, what is more impressive is how well this and many other EVs perform in more typical driving conditions involving a mix of urban and rural driving where that regenerative braking system comes into play. I drive under such conditions here in Northern Virginia just outside Washington, DC, and I achieved 157 mpge for 2018 with my 2015 Nissan Leaf. The regen system generated 32.1% of power used by the electric motor. I drive almost exclusively in Economy mode and shift to B when slowing down.

Don’t convert to MPGe without also accounting for wall charging efficiency. say 85%, so maybe 101 MPGe. The car is rated at 112 MPGe highway, but that usually works out to be similar to highway efficiency at about 65 mph.

Nah, charging from the wall is more efficient than that. And remember- the charger is in the vehicle; the wall component is only a current and availability negotiator to tell the charger in the car what it’s going to get and how much it can consume.

32% recoup is very impressive!

Hopefully this pans out:
“Most of the energy in regenerative braking is lost as heat, maybe 80 percent,” says Grape. “Perhaps 20 percent is recouped. The electric motors are very efficient at generating that power, but the battery just can’t accept the charge rate. If you combine our technology with the lithium battery, we can accept up to 90 percent of that energy.”

That Grape guy doesn’t know what he is talking about. Most regeneration is under 50 kw and that is the rate that most cars fast charge at. If I had to make a guess I’d say 70% of the car’s energy (AVAILABLE FOR REGEN – in other words minus rolling losses, air resistance, etc) makes it back to chemical energy.

A possible confusion here, is If I claim 70% then how come people just driving around only get 32%? The reason is the car has to push itself down the road while it is braking. At least those miles don’t use more battery juice.

To add to what you’re saying, Bill: If an EV has an 85% mechanical efficiency (all powertrain losses, including tires), then that means the theoretical maximum regen recovery would be (0.85 x 0.85 =) 72.25%.

And that’s not counting wind resistance, which will be a substantial loss (>50%) at highway speeds, and a measurable loss at 35 MPH and above.

So Mr. Grape’s claim of a 90% recovery is complete and total B.S., even under optimal conditions.

Grape is trying to sell you something… including, perhaps, the proverbial bill of goods. Caveat emptor!

Large EV batteries have no problem accepting significant regen (e.g. Tesla’s 60kW max) except at very high SOC.

The comment about Hyundai Ionic’s weight having any impact on it’s efficiency in highway test is incorrect. Weight would only have an impact during acceleration. When traveling bat constant speed, energy is only used to counter friction, which is mainly generated by traveling through the air and the coefficient of friction is only related to the shape of the car, not it’s weight.

Weight also increases rolling resistance of the tires. However, the aerodynamics of the car makes a much bigger difference. Of course, Cd is not the only factor because it’s multiplied by the frontal area to get the total drag force.

Right: More weight increases rolling resistance. But as you say, that has fairly minimal effect on range. Upstream in this discussion, “DOA” reported that with his Model S, 50 lbs of additional weight gave him a 1% loss in range. I don’t know how precise that number is, but I think it’s at least within the ballpark of the correct figure, and the figure likely won’t be much different for the Model 3.


Maybe not directly but lower weight allows you to use narrow tires. ie. 205 vs 235 for IONIQ & M3.

Great series as always. All hail King Bjorn! The Nordic lord of all EV Vloggers!

Yeah, it’s very efficient. The dual motor long range would be great for me, but I think it is simply too expensive. I’ll be paying attention to the second hand market though in a year or two. Well, in thinking that now, but loads of other new EVs will of course exist by then… > we’ll just remind you that, while the South Korean car may demonstrate a higher efficiency, it’s also not burdened by a huge battery and enjoys a significant weight advantage to the Tesla. Weight is of little relevance in a test like this. At 120 km/h rolling resistance probably accounts for well under 10% of the energy used to overcome air resistance (drag). Elevation changes can make weight more relevant, but only if it’s steep enough to require braking (including regen braking) on the way down. Bjørn was coasting downhill a lot in this test, even allowing temporarily reaching nearly 120 km/h downhill in the 90 km/h run. Going up a hill at target speed and rolling down again at above target speed does lose more energy than going the same distance on a flat surface at constant target speed, but that’s because of aero, not… Read more »

I don’t think so… Kona is better

Technically – overall – Kona is better than AWD. It is not better than RWD and since Kona drives 2 wheels, that is probably a fair comparison.

If you watch his Kona video and this video, he proves that Model 3 AWD is more efficient at higher speed and Kona is only marginally more efficient at lower speeds. Model 3 RWD and MR RWD will blow Kona out of the water. After owning the Model 3, it is incomprehensible to me to buy a Kona or even any other EV… mainly because of Supercharger network and User Interface.

I like the double standard
“not burdened by a huge battery and enjoys a significant weight advantage”
For one, weight difference is pretty irrelevant while driving at constant speed on a motorway, with no continuous acc/dec. And two, using the same reasoning, both the model3 and ioniq are “unfairly” favored by a sleek shape as compare to, let’s say, a kona.

And Bjorn rules! … well, most of the time

If you’re serious about efficiency, start with:

You can list up to four vehicles with ‘city’ and ‘highway’ numbers to get reproducible metrics. For years, the Prius was king because their ‘city’ numbers were better than ‘highway’. When ever a Prius killer showed up, the EPA metrics quickly punctured those claims.

There is also an EPA “Test Car Database” if you really want to go anal in your analysis. There you can get the three roll-down metrics but it won’t help on the drive train efficiency.

Not really, and SparkEV is an example. Bolt is rated bit more efficient than SparkEV, but SparkEV is at least 10% more efficient. After 5K miles, Bolt is showing 4.9 mi/kWh whereas SparkEV after 30K miles was showing 5.5 mi/kWh.

SparkEV driven at 62 MPH for entire battery capacity resulted in 5 mi/kWh and BMW i3 was 4.8 mi/kWh. Yet i3 was rated higher MPGe than SparkEV. Not sure if 62 MPH (100 km/h) test was done with Tesla 3 and Bolt, but SparkEV is the most efficient EV tested at 62 MPH so far.

Source for the 100 km/h tests?

This guy was skipping out on the real challenge from News Coulomb on YouTube … highway speed efficiency test between Tesla Model 3 and Bolt EV … this was a video posted yesterday by News Coulomb in a EV Efficiency Throwdown challenge … No word from Bjorn Nyland … he’s not taking up the challenge.

I’ve posted this video a couple of times to Bjorn’s FB page….crickets.

Actually the challenge is on for Saturday. Confirmed by Eric Way.