Tesla launched the Model 3 as its affordable EV for the people back in 2016. The car scaled the tech and style from the Model S down to an affordable package that—at least for a hot minute back in 2019—started at $35,000. The current $38,990 starting price tag for the Model 3 would equate to below $30,000 in 2016 dollars, factoring in inflation. 

One key appeal of the Tesla Model 3 is its range. It has an exceedingly low drag coefficient, and in Long Range AWD spec, it offers some of the longest range of any electric vehicle

How much range does a Tesla Model 3 have?

The EPA estimates a top range of 341 miles for the 2024 Long Range AWD Tesla Model 3. The top-tier Performance AWD Model 3 is rated for 303 miles of range. The base Rear Wheel Drive Model 3 received a range estimate of 272 miles. 

Those figures are lower than previous EPA range estimates for the 2023 Tesla Model 3: 358 miles for the Long Range AWD and 315 miles for the Performance AWD. This is in large part due to the EPA changing its EV range testing methodology for 2024. The change affected range estimates for multiple Tesla vehicles

The Tesla Model 3 will have less range than that in real driving

Those official range numbers are theoretical for the most part. Tesla Model 3 owners will rarely charge the battery to a full 100 percent. Like most EV manufacturers, Tesla recommends an 80 percent charge during normal conditions; Tesla Supercharger stations may tack on a $1 per minute congestion charge if you go beyond that

Factoring in an 80 percent charge, the Tesla Model 3's effective range would be about 273 miles for the Long Range AWD, 242 miles for the Performance AWD and 217 miles for the base Rear Wheel Drive Model 3. 

Gallery: 2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range

Bigger wheels look cool but hurt the Tesla Model 3’s range

Adding bigger wheels to a Tesla Model 3 limits the range. Adding 19-inch Nova Wheels to the Rear Wheel Drive trim drops the range from the EPA’s 272 miles to a Tesla-estimated 248 miles. The Long Range AWD Model 3’s estimated range dips from 341 miles to 305 miles with the upgraded 19-inch Nova wheels. The Performance AWD Model 3 comes standard with 20-inch wheels as the only option. 

Cold weather can also hurt a Tesla Model 3’s range

Cold weather can significantly reduce the Tesla Model 3’s range. Tesla does not offer precise figures. However, the range loss was consistently shown in the testing. The Model 3 showed a 29.9% deviation from its official WLTP rating during a Norwegian winter range test. A 2023 study from Recurrent showed a 24 percent loss at the freezing point

Extreme cold can have an even more dramatic effect on Model 3 range. Tesla owners in Chicago experienced massive range and charging speed losses in below-zero temperatures. TFL Car tested a Model 3 in frigid conditions and received only 158 miles of range while all but completely draining the battery.

Tesla offers owners tips to achieve “the best ownership experience possible” in extreme cold weather, including preconditioning the battery and interior climate before departure.

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