UPDATE #3: Tesla Model 3 Sets New Range Record At 606.2 Miles

Silver Tesla Model 3 charging


Well, the second Tesla Model 3 hypermiling attempt has come to a close and we’re pretty impressed.

Let me just say that Domenick Yoney is officially our “special assignments” guy. However, he was too busy this holiday weekend watching his grass grow, so tuning in to the round-the-clock coverage of this epic hypermiling attempt fell on me (sadly, the paint at my house was all dry, so I didn’t have a good excuse). Don’t feel bad though, at least I wasn’t in the 108-degree Tesla Model 3 with Sean Mitchell and Erik Strait (DAErik) driving in circles for 32 hours.

***UPDATE #3: Here it is folks. Sean Mitchell condensed the entire 32-hour Model 3 hypermile live broadcast into a highlight video that only runs about 20 minutes. If you weren’t lucky enough to watch the whole thing like us, you can get a better idea of the story by checking out the video below.

***UPDATE #2: Sean Mitchell reached out to us and shared his recent YouTube video explaining the situation with the hypermile Model 3. The battery is just fine, the car is back in the owner’s hands, as Tesla found and fixed the issue quickly and free-of-charge. Just as some pointed out in our comment section, the 12-Volt battery died and that’s why the car wouldn’t charge. Check out the video below for the rest of the details.

***UPDATE: We reached out to Sean to see if more details were available yet. It seems that they don’t have any answers, but the car is currently being towed to a Tesla Service Center:

The guys found a route near Denver, Colorado with only a 10-foot elevation change. It was essentially a one-mile loop in what appears to be a hotel park near the Denver International Airport. So, they just drove around the block at some 20 to 30 mph until the battery died. Let me tell you, it was fascinating to watch. Domenick should be jealous, since we’re sure his grass didn’t grow very much during this attempt.

The guys were not only out to beat Sean’s previous Model 3 range record (which we believe was the only record before now), but also to set a new production EV range record by beating Tesla Owners Italia’s 670-mile Model S 100D feat. They were hoping to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Record.

The pair started in the late afternoon on Friday, May 25. They stopped minimally to use the bathroom, but otherwise, kept driving. For food and beverage pickup, they used a fishing net and had their friend David throw the goodies into the net as they drove by. It took them a total of 32 hours and they hit 606.2 total miles.

Weirdly, the car was showing a lower percentage than expected and died at 66 kWh instead of 75. Additionally, when they were done they ran into difficulties charging the vehicle.

When we have more information, we’ll update this post.

Source: The Denver Post

Categories: Tesla, Videos

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

82 Comments on "UPDATE #3: Tesla Model 3 Sets New Range Record At 606.2 Miles"

newest oldest most voted

Stopped for bathroom breaks? They obviously aren’t real hypermilers

Scott Franco

Go by any aviation supply shop, they have “portable johns”, a bottle designed for use from a seat. Airplanes can’t just pull over.


Truck stops sell the “Trucker’s friend” for the same purpose.

Yeah, these guys are obviously amateurs when it comes to hypermiling!


How about a box of Depends?
Or ask NASA for astronaut diapers?


Two words: That’s disgusting…


Need to relieve the hips n back by standing…dumb n bad for bod to sit in same position for many hours


That’s what they make coke cans for. LOL


I crossed Texas without stopping once in an ’81 Tercel. SuperGulp of Jolt got me going, and I re-used the cup. Kept the Greens happy and the tires rolling. TMI, no? LOL!


Looks like there were 2 guys in the car for the entire test. Why? If they took turns driving they could reduce weight by 150-200 pounds.


So that means 625 miles might be doable?


Probably wouldn’t make a difference. “A body in motion tends to stay in motion”.


9.1 mi/kWh! That seems incredible. But if it checks out, WOW!


Lights out crazy! My eGolf if driven prius style will get close to 6 …and that’s it.


But, did they indeed brick it? If so, that’s not a very impressive fail safe design.


I agree if true the car should have shut down before the battery got destroyed.

Robert Weekley

I doubt that most engineers of gas cars expect their cars to go similar distances compared to their ratings, though!

However, the 2 times I have drained it dry in an ICE, once was a bit of a screw up, about a mile from the pumps; the other was a range test on a Prius! With the prius, I had to pull over, & wait fir a gallon of gas from AAA, on my CAA Membership, but the Pure ICE, a 1981 Chevy Citation, I was able to use a Fuse to jump the Clutch Lock Out Circuit, and Drive it Electricly enough to get over a little rise in the road, then coast it in to the pumps, on pure Silent Mode! (Strong Starter Motor & Good Battery! My first Ever “EV Drive!”)

Bot incidents were without further adue, after I added Go Juice! Startet up within 1-2 Seconds!

I suspect, this particluar “Hypermile Event” will provide some extra Data for Tesla Engineers, & might result in a software update, to not let you get to 0%! (Surprising that it let them get there, anyway!)


They drove quite a few miles at 0%, maybe the 12v battery was too low to operate the BMS, and once charged will let the HV battery take a charge?


Love that ev story. I just had my brother push me 1/4 mile

Don Zenga

Congratulation Sean Mitchell and Erik Strait.


So we can expect a real world mileage of 350 miles easily in a gentle 60 – 70 mile driving.
That means even for a 300 mile trip, we can charge up to 90% and finish the trip with 10% charge left as a buffer.
Maintaining between 10 – 90% is safer and will let the battery last longer.

Robert Weekley

Or, charge it up to 80%, drive 80 Mph, for 180-200 miles, supercharge for 15 Minutes, and do the last 170-150 Miles!


The opportunities are endless


If you do not need interior climate controls, are not going up a lot in elevation, and don’t exceed by a ton the payload of the two smallish, slender dudes in this test above.

Bill Howland

“Additionally, they ran into problems recharging the vehicle.”…..

Why would a statement be put in a story without an explanation? What Problems. The title page seems to indicate they COULDN’T recharge the vehicle. Assuming they eventually got it going again, what did they do to GET it going?


From the screenshot, the car was having some issues determining how much charge had been used, .. so you have to wonder if it knew when to shut down to prevent damaging the battery. …. I guess we’ll find out


They left it plugged in hopefully charging overnight?

That battery is confused.



Have to think back to what happened in the storms when Telsa unlocked extra capacity. Dave’s note about the 12volt battery makes sense. Time for another attempt at hypermiling but with one person and provisions. AV level 4 will help these efforts.


It would de interesting to see, also using a larger area to test, and cooler temps might improve things.


With one person in the car and less stops 630 miles should be possible. Sone owners showed usable energy 72.5kwh with that much should equal the record of Model S.


What’s the point of this. The only interesting bits are:

Why did the KWH guage show only 66KWH?—is it quite inaccurate or or was the battery not fully charged or is the real battery capacity 66KWH???

Why did the car die when fully discharged? Significant because it could happen in normal usage.


Thats another interesting detail..

Bill Howland

I’m sorry, but if this is typical for this car model then like “AutoPilot” this car isn’t ready for prime time. As far as I know the drivers did nothing out of the ordinary, nor mal-adjusted anything. Tinkerers will accept that since its a Tesla there are going to be these problems and issues, but they simply don’t exist with the typical gasoline vehicle that most car buyers are acclimated to.

Anyone who runs out of gas can simply get a gas can of gasoline and the car will start up where it left off. It should not take a ‘Service Center’ visit. So much for Musk’s “we don’t do recalls”. Only for those who believe the hype.

I don’t see any reason why life with a Tesla Vehicle should be like this. I didn’t have this kind of issue with my roadster.

Bill Howland
And yes, when I first got my BOLT ev I ran the battery down to where it wouldn’t put out any more and the car died. 59.9 kwh used according to the dashboard, and 67.77 kwh to refill it to the standard ‘full charge’. (100%). Was rather hot when recharging so the car MAY use somewhat less electricity in cool weather to recharge, but haven’t tested this myself. But the car behaved exactly as I expected it to. My roadster had also been in a similar situation. Although the car died on me a bit sooner than expected, (and all the 12 volt stuff AND the high-voltage heater KEPT ON RUNNING NORMALLY after the drive motor died, the car recharged normally from a 110 volt plug (at a bar 600 feet away since thats all I and a few Good Samaritans felt like pushing), and the car recharged absolutely normally a few miles until I could get to a proper charger docking station. So all these problems with the S and X with their 12 volt dead batteries, and now the ‘3’ mystify me. As proof there is absolutely no reason for it the first ROADSTER always kept the 12… Read more »

This test may have taken the battery into conditions never faced before. If it failed because of that it’s disappointing, but not that surprising. Or, it could just be a fluke.

Yes, it could have been tested for, but what is the chance this would ever cause a problem in normal use?

Bill Howland
This stuff isn’t rocket science. ANYTIME the vehicle is doing something, the DC to DC converter (alternator replacement) SHOULD be charging the 12 volt battery. There should NEVER be any problems in any tesla vehicle LESS than 7 years old with the 12 volt battery since it should NEVER get in a discharged state. Whenever the driver is near the car (either approaching, or sitting in the car, or turning the car on, or charging the high-voltage battery, the DC/DC converter should BE ON, charging the 12 volt battery. If the car is left abandoned at an airport or something or is extremely rarely driven, the car should ‘wake up’ for a bit every 168 hours (i.e. every week), recharge the 12 volt battery BACK to fully charged, and then check it again weekly. There should never have been problems caused by having the charging cord plugged in and not energized or whatever excuses have been given for dead 12 volt batteries. In the Roadster, anytime you did ANYTHING the battery was being charged. No load losses of modern day DC/DC converters are so low that there is no reason why they should not be run most of the time… Read more »

Well, now we know it was the twelve volt battery. So that’s good. The question still remains whether it was a design failure or a sample defect.


While I agree with you on all count, it’s a flaw that is also present on my 2012MY Leaf and show last month after only two week unplug and unused, even if the high voltage battery had plenty of energy.
Just couldn’t do nothing, but I knew it was a 12 volts problem because nothing respond, radio, accessories whatever, not even a sound.
I just put a 12 volts charger and it came alive just a few minutes later.
I heard the same from Volt owners.

I don’t know why they didn’t monitor and failsafe the 12 volts battery and circuit with trickle action keeping the charge since it’s the initial impulse of anything going in EV, and the DC/DC is there anyway.
But to make that work, you have to trigger the high voltage contactor and there might be a safety issue when the car is left alone.
Not sure why.

Or sometime, engineer just drop the ball.

Bill Howland

As far as the VOLT goes – if you put the car in Maintenance Mode the DC/DC converter will be shut down the whole time, and since the 2011 VOLT I had was so INEFFICIENT using 12 volt power, the battery will soon go dead. My ELR seems to use 12 volt power more efficiently, surprising since it is still a ‘Gen 1’ and only 3 years newer.

But on both the ELR and VOLT, the battery will not normally go dead since the car is only rarely put in maintenance mode.


It doesn’t sound like the Model 3 will “normally go dead” either. It sounds like it takes driving 600+ miles are low speeds for 30+ hours straight to kill it.

Considering how rare a corner case that is, it sounds like it is very much like the rare corner case where it is possible to kill the 12V battery in other EV/PHEV cars with 12v’s.

Bill Howland

The new Teslas (Roadster excluded) all have 12 volt battery problems. As I mentioned before, the Prime Tesla supporter at my Canadian Car Club admitted he’s had 5 of the 12 volt batteries replaced in 3 years (he’s on his 6th). But that is trivial compared to the number of times he’s had door handles replaced, mainly because THEY fail 4 at a time. The fact that Nissans also at times go dead just shows they are kinda brain dead also.

The first I heard of a 12 volt problem in an “S” was when they came out with a ‘3-phase (Mennekes) ‘ charger cord for the euro markets, (as well as a 16 ampere 11 kw car charger in lieu of the standard single-phase 40 ampere one in North America), and the battery seemed to go dead if the cord was connected too long. Now, for whatever reason, the battery continually fails, but it seems this is exacerbated by cold weather.

People who live in San Diego seem to have fewer Tesla troubles.


This seems like a normal battery run down test. Any modern ICE car protects its battery from being run down.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I had a GM car where I ran out of gas. Then the fuel pump cooked.
Why did it cook? Because the fuel pump was designed to be cooled by the gas in the tank. No gas no cooling and the small pump motor stopped working.
Don’t believe me? Google it.

I don’t see any reason why life with a GM Vehicle should be like this.

Bill Howland

Yeah GM does dopey, inexcusable things also. I learned never to let an EREV gm product run out of gas since the fuel pump will keep trying to pump even though the OTHER computer system knows the car is out of gas, and you have to push a BUTTON to open the filler port. So the point is, anyone who is not brain-dead can see that you should turn off the juice to the fuel pump at least until the driver pushes the BUTTON.

Bill Howland

I guess the statement for Trollnonymous is ‘Touche’; but in fairness to GM, the car WILL let you run out of gas, and if you refill it soon the fuel pump will survive without a service center visit. This Tesla problem is more severe since the ONLY recourse was a service center visit, and as I’ve mentioned, nowadays teslas have plenty of myriad 12 volt battery problems. If not this case, it will be something else.


These guys shoulda hired Lisa Nowak- astronauts are practically born and bred for hypermiling:


David in Ga

Using laptop batteries, when drained completely you’ll need over a 14 volt charger to bump start charging, then the regular charger will finish it. I do the same thing with used laptop batteries I buy on eBay that won’t take a charge, but have never been used. I’ve also been an electrician for 31 years and specialize in troubleshooting.

Bill Howland

My large laptop will RUN on 11 volts DC, but will not attempt charging its colocated battery (1/10th of a kwh) until the voltage is at least 18 1/2 volts (thankfully, the regulated supply starts out at 19 volts) . To recharge the laptop when at a coffee shop with the receptacle a few booths over, I added 10 feet of #18 AWG zip cord on the 19 volt side (in addition to the standard cord), and even though my current supply is only 65 watt rating its been powering my old laptop for far longer than the thing’s original 75 watt supply which died early on.


I do the same thing with my RC airplane batteries, but I have had a couple of them get mad when I do it and puff up…

jim stack

You should have a Lithium starter battery. That 12v should never run down even on a long range run. Get the LEAD out!!
If you only had 66 kWh available imagine how far you will go on the new hypermiler run. Many 700 miles.



This problem would have happened regardless of the type of battery installed.


Yeah! I was exactly right about what went wrong… :)~


Everything seems to be making sense now.

The car stopped at 66 kWh instead of 75 kWh probably because the 12V battery died, not because it was out of drive battery running out.

The 12V ran out because the rare corner case of driving for 30+ hours at low speeds for 600 miles simply isn’t in the design parameters, and doesn’t in any way represent normal usage. The long range is designed for getting you between supercharger stations at highway/interstate speeds.


ha. …. oooooohhhkaaaaaay

/might as well shove this thread back off the edge of the waterfall..


LOL!! Yes, I did post an unusually high amount of sheer speculation compared to my normal posts where I tend to only post what I can back up with sources. So I should couch my post with it being pure speculation that makes sense in my mind, and I don’t have documented evidence to back up my speculation.

There certainly can be other explanations besides what I posted. What makes sense to me is that the 12V failing ties together multiple parts of the equation, like not getting past 66 kWh, and not being able to recharge, and the extra draw on the 12v that driving for 30+ hours with all the electrics on for 30+ hours. They all seem to dovetail together in my mind. But like I said, I don’t actually have hard evidence to back that up.

Bill Howland

Yeah that’s the car I want….. ‘Design Parameters’ (?) (!!) So, if driving at slow speeds makes the battery go dead, then you can’t drive this thing day after day in slow rush-hour traffic either.

There was only one car I was aware of that you couldn’t drive too slowly. Apparently, certain AUDI models have so much electronic crap in them, combined with TOO LARGE a pulley on the alternator (making it spin too slowly in rush-hour traffic), that the battery will discharge if driven only in rush-hour traffic because the GREAT BRAINS at AUDI didn’t realize a 120 Ampere Alternator doesn’t always put out 120 amperes and much of the time is MUCH less since Alternators used in cars never have anything but Intrinsic Current Limit arrangements, and must not overload at high speeds, therefore, the output is very low at lower speeds.

But there are none of those complications with the plain-jane DC/DC converters used in EV’s. Whatever the reason turns out to be, it is surely a dumb one, since although the AUDI example is also plainly dopey engineering, at least there is a myopic design reason for it.


Do you drive 30+ hours continuously in 30 mph traffic without charging? If the answer is no, you won’t run into the same problem they ran into.

I’m not sure why this is difficult to understand?

Bill Howland

Haha! The superdope has spoken.

Your comment is truly worthy of your moniker. Name ANY other car in the last 100 years that cannot be driven 600 miles at a constant 30 miles per hour. If you said AUDI, i’d say ok, but that’s the only other car I can think of that might have that problem, although in the AUDI I’d think 30 mph would be fast enough to avoid any problem. A constant 15 mph might be a different story.

Perhaps it would be more instructive to list the types of driving styles that WILL NOT result in battery problems with the car.. After all, only modern teslas seem to have ‘leaky’ batteries. Other EV’s don’t lose ANYTHING overnight, only Teslas. And as I say, I know of no other brand which, in cold weather, the typical experience is to be on the 6th battery when the car is 3 years old.


This still leaves some questions open. How come the display and interior lights still worked if the 12V battery was dead? Why the battery went dead? Is this a design flaw or one off failure?


The lights and display might require fewer volts than the charger to operate? Hard to say without getting the low-down straight from Tesla.


If the 12V battery was run down, the question is why? Why would that happen if the main battery was on and operating the car? The 12V charge should be maintained. Defective 12V battery or DC-DC circuit?


Someone posted that they were driving with the emergency flashers blinking. If they did that for the entire 32 hours, then perhaps that is the cause… altho you would think that whatever it is in the car that keeps that starter battery charged, would provide enough current to run the blinkers along with the other 12v accessories.

Anyway, running for 32 hours with the blinkers on all the time certainly makes this a case of abnormal use, so I suggest we don’t “ding” Tesla too hard here.

Bill Howland

Since they are LED lighting and small lights at that, its an inconsequential drop in the bucket, even if they were all incandescent which they are not. HEADLIGHTS, which cars have had for several weeks now, they tell me have been successfully driven at night without the typical car going dead.


The whole stunt was abnormal use. I don’t think the blinkers had any part in it, though.

Bill Howland

Not necessarily that abnormal. I don’t think the drivers did anything that much out of the ordinary, and in some locales the car would suffer continual bumper-to-bumper traffic for 5 days out of the week, similarly operating things that way.


30+ hours of bumper to bumper driving in 5 days would be 6+ hours a day.

If someone is stuck in traffic for 6+ hours a day, and doesn’t charge when they get home for 5+ days, they MIGHT run into this problem, and have to mitigate the problem by plugging in every 4 days.

How common do you think that is? I don’t think you even bothered to do the math.

Bill Howland

Roger that….. “I don’t think”.

Seems like a goofy trouble to me. I’d love to hear an honest assessment by someone knowledgeable as to exactly why this happened. Whatever it is, I’m sure it will bring me a smile.

Murrysville EV

The only story here is that the Model 3 electrical system died – not good. Yet another Model 3 quality issue.


Forget about hypermiling! It’s not worth the extra constant care and attention. It* nothing but a sales sidekick show!


Correct. The whole thing is a total waste. Drive around in a circle for 32 hours. Total waste of a full charge and the gas/diesel to tow back to service center. Real hypermillers would have drive the car someplace, ie to work, shopping ect. How many people out there gonna drive in a circle for 32 hours? nobody.


Total waste – yes. What is the real world applicability of this test? And Elon encourages this because he knows it will generate a helpful 600+ mile headline. Never mind the big asterisk associated with that 600+ mile value.

Bill Howland

Not a total waste. This was educational. It merely shows this is another way to make a modern Tesla’s battery go dead, of which it just adds one to the multiple existing causes. Unknown to me is why Tesla owners in cold weather have to be on their 6th battery in 3 years. ICE vehicles in the same weather last 7-8 years with no special hand-holding by the ICE owner. As a BOLT ev, and ELR owner, I notice no degredation with either 12 volt battery, and I give them plenty of use.

Accidentally last week I ‘overcharged’ my BOLT ev to 100%. I have a very large lawn, so I fired up my 82 volt commercial grade lawn mower and went through 5 batteries worth of juice, the 360 watt fast charger of them I powered off the BOLT ev’s 12 volt battery, along with intermittently ‘turning’ the car on so as to lower the state of charge of the main battery down to around 93%.


Watched the first couple minutes of the long video. Why is the driver looking at his phone while driving?