The Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD variant has returned to the carmaker's US online configurator after a pause of almost nine months.
When the configuration was removed from the website last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the waitlist for the vehicle was too long. Now, however, the Model 3 Long Range AWD is again available to order in the United States, but it doesn't seem to be the exact same configuration from nine months ago.
There are several changes visible in Tesla's Model 3 design studio, chief of which is the range, which is listed at 325+ miles compared to the previous 358 miles. This suggests the Model 3 Long Range AWD features a different battery pack.
What type of battery, though? Well, considering the lower range rating and the fact this variant is only eligible for $3,750 in federal tax credits, it is likely that it features a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery.
The LFP chemistry is cheaper and less energy-dense, and therefore it has less energy in it – and less range – than a nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) pack with the same storage capacity.
An LFP battery would also explain why the Model 3 Long Range AWD only qualifies for $3,750 in US incentives as the LFP-powered Model 3 RWD is also eligible for only $3,750 in subsidies. The battery pack for the Model 3 RWD is supplied by Chinese manufacturer CATL.
While the battery chemistry for the Model 3 Long Range AWD remains unconfirmed, the new pricing for this variant puts it really close to the Model 3 Performance, maybe too close for comfort.
The Model 3 Long Range AWD has a starting MSRP of $47,240, compared to $53,240 for the Model 3 Performance (both prices excluding $1,390 shipping). With the federal tax credits deducted, the former ends up costing $43,490, while the latter is priced at $45,740.
A $2,250 price advantage for the Model 3 Long Range AWD may be too small considering the superior acceleration of the Model 3 Performance – 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds compared to 4.2 seconds – and its similar range of 315 miles.
The estimated delivery date for the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD is June 2023.