EPA Says Tesla Model 3 Charges Quicker, But Has Less Cargo Space Than Previously Claimed


Tesla Model 3 EPA

In mid-January, we exclusively reported on the improved MPGe figure for the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

As it turns out, that may not be the only improvement/change for 2018.

In addition to the  MPGe rating moving from 126 combined to 130 combined for 2018, it seems charging time has been reduced.

Under the specs tab on the EPA’s site we find the following:

2018 Versus 2017 Tesla Model 3 Specs Via EPA

Note that charging time on Level 2 has dropped from 12 hours to just 10 hours. There’s no explanation on the site for the reduced charging time. Perhaps Tesla was initially overestimating the figure?

The other notable difference is in luggage volume, which drops from 17 cubic feet for 2017 to 15 cubic feet for 2018. We could speculate all day as to why this alteration was made, but our best guess is that it either has something to do with the upcoming dual-motor version sapping some frunk space or perhaps it’s just how the EPA rates the frunk space, which could differ from Tesla’s own measurements.

2018 will bring more notable changes to the Model 3, like dual-motor availability and the launch of the base version. But still, these little minor changes here and there are interesting nonetheless.

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28 Comments on "EPA Says Tesla Model 3 Charges Quicker, But Has Less Cargo Space Than Previously Claimed"

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“EPA says…” is inaccurate. While EPA can directly test vehicles, it rarely does so. The so-called “EPA figures” are almost invariably figures calculated and self-reported to the EPA and the public by manufacturers, who are supposed to be rigorously using the testing regime required by the EPA. This is why the onus (and class actions lawsuits) gets put on manufacturers when the MPG for some vehicles have proved to be inflated, and consumers get riled.

Or, its just a miss-understanding of what “Charged” equals. Old Volts “charged” to allow only 65% discharge (10.4/16KWH). A “range charge” to a Tesla allows 90% discharge, but since everyone who owns one saves the battery by charging to the first hash-mark below this point, it makes more sense to time to the charge to this lower value. Most Tesla owners calls this a “90% charge”, but it’s less than that once the upper and lower buffers are also taken away. What “EPA says” is relevant, because lying to them gets expensive. Here, I believe the issue gets technical. More relevant would be the maximum miles of charge per hour, the cars can uptake. Here, EPA is wrong. They say “240v @80amps”. That’s a charge rate of 58 miles per hour, on the significantly less efficient Model S. So, no way would a Model 3 take even 6 hours to pack 90% of its range into its battery, at this rate. At the common NEMA 14-50, or 10KW, or 40amps, Model 3’s ~25% greater efficiency suggests it should load at 28(1.25), or 35 miles per hour. Again, less than 10 hours, even at half the amps EPA is showing. Most… Read more »

I think the EPA should just put a small graph on the window sticker of Miles vs Time, starting with an empty battery. That way you can see how much charging time it will take to reach any distance, until full.

They would probably save 2 hours of charge time by not controlling the temperature so aggressively when it’s plugged in, saving lots of energy.

Hoping they start taking a better approach there, there’s too much irony that such a nice vehicle with a brand draw for efficiency draws so much power just sitting in a garage.

Other companies like GM do this too, but the temperature range they allow when the car is off is far wider and different than when the car is on, which just makes sense.

The Tesla website had always shown cargo space as 15 sq ft. That includes the frunk.


Beat me to it. The 2017 EPA listing was simply incorrect.

The actual numbers (as per the European standard method (technically, German Automakers Association — VDA) for measuring trunk/boot space) are:
Trunk: 340 litres (12 cu.ft.)
Frunk: 56 litres (3 cu. ft.)

It’s unfortunate neither Tesla’s specs nor any of the articles ever bother to break this out, and only quote the overall capacity… It does matter for some uses, like carting furniture or camping.
12 cu.ft. is actually small for the trunk on a midsize car.

@”wavelet” 12 cu.ft. is actually small for the trunk on a midsize car.”

Tesla trunk looks fairly large compares with BMW 3 series. EPA only rate the rear trunk not the Frunk(Front Trunk), so the actual volume of Model 3 trunk is 15 cu ft, which is more than BMW 540i at 14 cf. Source: http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=38546&id=39836

Note: Tesla Model 3 is 184.8″ long vs 194.6″ long for BMW 540i.

Get your facts straight before posting FUD.

EPA considers the Model 3 to be a midsize car (110-119.9 cuft) based on passenger and cargo volume (112 cuft). While exterior dimensions match up with compact vehicles like the BMW 3 series (109 cuft) and Audi A4 (105 cuft). So when compared to compact cars, the Model 3 has more passenger and cargo volume.

@MTN Ranger, Tesla Model 3’s external dimensions are very close to BMW 3 series.
L x W x H in inch: Model 3 – 184.8 x 72.8 x 56.8
L x W x H in inch: BMW 330i – 182.5 x 71.3 x 56.3

BMW 5 series is much larger but the trunk space is less than Model 3 at only 14 cu ft. Passenger room is only 2 cu ft more.
L x W x H in inch: BMW 540i – 194.6 x 73.5 x 58.2

Summary: Tesla Model 3 is much more space efficient than BMW 3 and 5 series.

Straight facts — cut and pasted from Tesla’s website:

15 cu ft
Front & Rear Trunk Cargo Volume with Manual Trunk

“Get your facts straight before posting FUD.”

You are waaaaaay off-base. Whether or not Wavelet is correct here, he certainly isn’t posting FUD. Not here and, so far as I can recall, never.

If you disagree, then perhaps you don’t know what “FUD” actually means, in which case you can find the definition here:


Why don’t you get _your_ facts straight. Tesla only gives total cargo space — 15cu.ft. is both front+rear, _not_ the rear only. And like I was saying, I’m using the VDA spec, which actually is better for comparing non-rectangular volumes.
And being better than a 3-box ICE car isn’t something to brag about for a BEV.

I agree. But at the same time, it’s not like breaking the volume down per container actually tells you whether a specific item will fit into a particular container either. At the end of the day, it’s actually kind of tricky to boil down cargo-carrying ability and cargo-space usability to a single number (or two).

Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. I specifically remembered reading that the Model 3 had 15 cubic feet of cargo space since I discussed it with someone on an article months ago.

I’m sorry, EPA, but the MSRP of the Long Range Model 3 is NOT $35k. We all wish it was.

Wait, what do you know that we don’t? Has something happened to the standard range version?

I know how to read.

The picture clearly reads “2017 Tesla Model 3 Long Range”, underneath which it reads “MSRP: $35,000”.

All of the specs listed are for the Long Range Model 3. The standard range will not be 310 miles.

Yep, that is incorrect. The long range version doesn’t start at 35k. C’mon EPA, proof read. 😉

EPa chief Pruitt fired the proof reader guy in his efforts to gut the agency.

Dual Chargers?
Is that correct?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Level 2 has dropped from 12 hours to just 10 hours. There’s no explanation on the site for the reduced charging time.”

Maybe they should indicate the amperage rate when they tested the charging.

You guys should dig into the actual EPA filings and pull out some info that’s actually interesting.

1. Dyno testing discharged a total of 78,269 Wh from the battery pack.
2. Recharging after that test required 89,406 Wh from the wall using 208VAC.
3. Road Load HP using 18″ Aero wheels is 9.95hp while 19″ is 11.13hp.

If people really want to find out why the MPGe changed for the 2018 model, they need to look into what changed in the SAE J1634 standard issued 7/2017. The 2017 Model 3 testing was done prior to that revision, so they used the Oct 2012 revision of the standard.

Sorry, one detail left out. Road Load HP is at 50mph.

“1. Dyno testing discharged a total of 78,269 Wh from the battery pack.
2. Recharging after that test required 89,406 Wh from the wall using 208VAC.”

Does that mean there is a 12.45% energy loss in charging???

Probably so. Charging loss up to 15% is perfectly normal for a plug-in EV.

OTOH I have to wonder how accurate these figures are. Specifically:

“Dyno testing discharged a total of 78,269 Wh from the battery pack.”

That’s 78.27 kWh, from what is reported to be a 75 kWh battery pack, and if that means 75 kWh total capacity rather than usable capacity, then the usable capacity (total capacity minus reserve) is going to be even less, by something like 4-8%, based on what Tesla has done with its older models.

I have to wonder if they just measured the discharge for a short period of time and then used math to estimate the total. Either that, or Tesla is lowballing the true figure by claiming 75 kWh. (On further consideration… I think Tesla never actually claimed the LR Model 3 has a 75 kWh battery pack. I think that’s the conclusion industry watchers came to based on available evidence plus rumor.)

Next month i will put my ev to the test and try to determine what the charging loss is. This 12.5% is much more than i expected. I wonder if the losses are calculated into the mpge numbers or the kwh/m numbers?…they definitely should.

Charging loss of 15% is “perfectly normal”? Tesla has been touting the Model S as 85% efficient “plug to wheel” – which of course is the sum of charging and discharging and motor losses.