Bjørn Nyland recently had an opportunity to check - for the very first time - the brand new Made-in-China Tesla Model 3 RWD (former Standard Range Plus/SR+) with about 60 kWh LFP (lithium iron phosphate) lithium-ion battery.
The previous entry-level Tesla Model 3 was equipped with a 55 kWh battery (see full report here), which indicates that the new one should have noticeably .
According to the video attached at the bottom of this post, the ScanMyTesla app reveals a 60.6 kWh battery, which is 5.3 kWh or 9.5% more than previously (55.3 kWh).
The buffer is 2.7 kWh - 0.2 kWh or 8% more than previously (2.5 kWh), which means that the usable battery capacity is 57.9 kWh - 5.1 kWh or 9.7% more than previously (52.8 kWh).
- Capacity of the full pack (when new): 60.5 kWh (kind of initial/theoretical value)
- Nominal full pack capacity: 60.6 kWh (total; net + buffer) vs 55.3 kWh (+9.6%)
- Energy buffer: 2.7 kWh or 4.46% (between the current nominal value and usable value)
- Usable full pack capacity: 57.9 kWh (net) vs 52.8 kWh previously
Please note that the numbers reported by the ScanMyTesla app fluctuate depending on various factors, and should be treated like a good estimate, rather than a perfect value.
Anyway, it's expected that the latest LFP pack will improve the range of the entry-level Tesla by up to 10%.
Still Intel Atom
The tested car is not equipped with all the latest solutions that Tesla is introducing into Model 3/Model Y - as there is still an Intel Atom processor instead of the quicker AMD Ryzen.
We heard that the new system consumes more energy and affects range. Tesla recently issued info about that for Model 3 LR AWD also in Germany. It suggests that once the Tesla Model 3 RWD also gets AMD Ryzen, it might partially counter the increased battery capacity.
During the initial testing of the new Tesla Model 3 with a 60 kWh battery, Bjørn Nyland discovered a new thing.
Once the traction is limited - which happens often now in Norway - the acceleration and deceleration through regenerative braking are both significantly limited.
The nature of this is not yet fully explained, but it appears that Tesla applied some changes and once the car notices a slip, it automatically limits the power (much more than previously) and might also remain like that for a while.
Bjørn Nyland called it "Snow Mode," but it's actually not a mode (you can't select it or turn on/off). It's rather a more aggressive traction control setting (traction control light also blinks like a Christmas tree according to the video).
It makes the car much slower when accelerating in current conditions and also the regenerative braking is much weaker from time to time than previously.
We assume that the plan was to improve safety, but as we understand from Bjørn Nyland's report, it's now confusing. A few other Tesla drivers also confirmed the issue in the comments.