It was the 2021 Tesla Model 3's turn for the InsideEVs 70-mph highway range test this week and as expected, we now have a new highway range king. The long-range, dual-motor Model 3 managed to go 305 miles at 70 miles per hour (113 km) before the state of charge reached 0, and we continued on to drive another 5 miles before arriving at the Supercharger station where we started.
310 miles (499 km) is the farthest we've been able to drive any of the vehicles we've tested in the InsideEVs 70-mph range tests, beating out the RWD Porsche Taycan that Kyle Conner was able to drive 293 miles (472 km) on his highway test. That should change once we get a refreshed Model S to test out and then perhaps again when we get our hands on a Lucid Air.
It's interesting to note that we continue to see the trend of Tesla vehicles not being able to reach their highway EPA range rating when we do these 70-mph tests, while EVs from most other brands usually do. In this case, the highway EPA range rating is 333.8 miles (537 km), and we fell short of that by a considerable margin.
Perhaps if we continued to drive until the vehicle shut down we could have reached the highway range rating, but we did drive 5 miles (8 km) beyond the point when the state of charge reached zero. The EPA rating doesn't use a constant 70-mph as we do for its highway range rating, so the car isn't expected to achieve that. However, we have observed that most EVs do, which is why we like to compare the results of the test to it.
The temperature during the drive was in the low to mid 80° F (27° to 30° C), so we needed to use the air conditioning. We had it set to 68° F (20° C) and started out on fan setting #2, but needed to increase the fan to #3 as the day progressed and the cabin heated up. We drove in Chill mode and set the tires to the factory-spec 42 PSI in the morning before the test. We then supercharged the car to 100% before starting out.
The average efficiency for the drive was 234 Wh/mi, which translates to 4.27 mi/kWh (14.5 kWh/100km). That happens to be the exact same average efficiency we observed when we did the same 70-mph range test with a 2019 Model 3 last year. In that test, we drove 290 miles (467 km), 20 miles (32 km) less. However, we should point out that the car was a year old and had about 15,000 miles on it when we conducted the range test.
The 2021 Model 3 we tested is only 5 months old and has about 6,000 miles on it, so the battery likely has a higher percentage of its original capacity available than the 2019 Model 3 did when we tested it. At the end of the drive, the trip gauge showed that we used 73 kWh, compared to the 68 kWh used when we tested the 2019 Model 3.
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. We also understand that comparing our results to EPA ratings isn't "apples to apples" but it's the only standardized range test we can use for comparison. We're not trying to prove the EPA ratings right or wrong.
We think getting over 300 miles at 70-mph is really a great accomplishment. It makes road tripping a Model 3 so easy, especially when you factor in Tesla's advanced supercharger network. So check out the video and let us know what you think in the comment section below.