We fully charge a 2020 Tesla Model Y and drive it at a constant 70mph until the state of charge reaches zero, to see just how far it can go. This is how to conduct the highway range tests at InsideEVs, so we can compare how far the cars we test go on while driving on the same course.
We recently did this same test with a 2019 Tesla Model 3 dual-motor, long-range, and finished up with 290 miles and an excellent efficiency rate of 4.25 mi/kWh (14.6 kWh/100 km). We knew the Model Y wouldn't match the Model 3's efficiency but weren't sure just how close it would get.
We were able to rent a Model Y for the day from PlugInShare, an electric vehicle car-sharing company that has about a dozen Teslas to rent. They are based in Jersey City, New Jersey, so if you live in the area and need a car, or just want to test drive a Tesla, you can view their inventory on the car-sharing app Turo.
We recently posted a Model Y video from InsideEVs contributor Kyle Conner's Out Of Spec Youtube channel. Kyle had a friend of his drive his new Model Y at 70-mph in Arizona with temperatures over 100 degrees to see how far it would go in those conditions. They managed to drive 253 miles with an efficiency rate of 283 Wh/mi. However, it was a little hotter than it was when I did my test and wasn't a round trip, so elevation changes and wind may have played a role in the results.
I managed to do much better in my Model Y range test, finishing up with 275.4 miles and an efficiency rate of 260 Wh/mi (16.1 Wh/10km). I'm sure I could have driven at least a mile further, so I'm going to round up the final result to 276 miles.
Model 3 vs Model Y 70mph range test comparison:
|EPA Range Rating||70mph Range Test||Wh/Mi||Mi/kWh||kWh/100km|
|2019 Model 3||310 Miles||290 Miles||234||4.25||14.6|
|2020 Model Y||316 Miles||276 Miles||260||3.85||16.1|
I always like to control as many of the variables as possible, but there are things out of our control, like outside temperature. It was in the high 80's to low 90's for the drive so I needed to have the air conditioning on the entire time. The huge glass roof of the Model Y does allow a considerable amount of radiant heat in, and I could really feel it on my head. I have removable sunscreens for my Model 3's glass roof that I install during the summer months and they really help.
During these highway range tests, I always drive in long loops so I end up approximately where I started to account for any change in elevation over the route. I set the tires set before the drive to Tesla's recommended 42 psi. The wind was a mild 4 mph and I used the standard driving mode & standard regenerative braking setting.
I also had Autopilot set to 71 mph for at least 90% of the drive. After checking the Model Y's speed with two GPS apps, I confirmed that 71 mph displayed in the car was the true 70 mph, so that's what I set the speed at.
About our highway range tests:
We always like to mention that these range tests aren't perfect. There are variables out of our control like wind, traffic, topography, and weather. However, we do our best to control what we can. We do these 70-mph range tests to provide another data point for potential customers that are looking for as much information on the driving range as they can get. Check out our previous 70mph highway range tests for the vehicles listed below:
- Hyundai Ioniq
- Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- MINI Cooper SE
- Chevy Bolt EV
- Nissan LEAF Plus
- smart Electric Drive Cabrio
So check out the video and let us know what you think. Did you expect the Model Y to do better or worse? Personally I was pleased with its efficiency. Only the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq were more efficient in our tests, and considering the Model Y is a high-sitting crossover, I'd say it performed very well. As always, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.