Year-Old Tesla Model 3 Range Tested Until Battery Dies: Video


How much range does a Tesla Model 3 have after a year of ownership? What happens if you drive it until it dies?

Ben Sullins has owned his Tesla Model 3 for about a year. When he first took ownership, he drove it until the battery died. He got about 281 miles. Some people think that EV batteries degrade quickly and range loss may be imminent after a short time. While this may be somewhat true with certain models, it’s not really the case. In fact, Ben says he has been exceeding that 281-mile range with his Model 3 lately. So, he hopes that this follow-up range test will produce some excellent numbers.

Ben drives the same route that he did in the past. However, while the temperature is about the same, there is plenty of heavy wind. This not only hinders the car aerodynamically, but also makes it feel much colder outside. Much like the first trip, Ben’s Model 3 experiences some vampire drain during his stops.

He pulls off the road at about 231 miles when the car says its battery is at zero. At this point, he just circles a parking lot near a Supercharger until the car dies (at 244.7 miles). So, he gets about 14 more miles after the battery was supposedly dead. The total battery capacity used is at 71 kWh, whereas on the first trip he used 75 kWh. Energy consumption was at 291 wh/mile, compared to 281 on the prior test. Ben blames the 25-30 mph winds for the discrepancy.

Do you own a Tesla Model 3? Let us know how far you can go.

Video Description via Teslanomics with Ben Sullins on YouTube:

I Drove my Tesla Model 3 Until it Died 💀

I took my Tesla Model 3 out for another range test after owning it for 1 year. What followed I didn’t expect.

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47 Comments on "Year-Old Tesla Model 3 Range Tested Until Battery Dies: Video"

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I hope he makes enough money from the video to compensate for the shortened lifespan he’s causing to his battery.

Don’t worry, he got 2 free Roadsters with his Youtube referrals. That’s why Elon Musk killed the program.

Free? Not quite. Tesla got over 100 referrals in return — in other words, about ten million dollars in sales.

For the referral program to work, the buyer who gets referred must get some advantage, too, not just the referrer. That used to be free supercharging. I think that’s the part Tesla needs to shut down, not the extremely cheap sales work from guys like Ben. Try to find any ordinary salesman who’s happy to get a $200 cut from a $100,000 sale…

“Sales work” implies those people would not have bought a Tesla without Ben.

I bought mine, only reason I used referral was free charging for 6 mos. I used some random guy’s so I don’t give these Youtubers any more than they need. You say 100 referrals? I say, 99 of those were going to by a Tesla regardless of referrals or not.

Thanks for spreading the referral around, TJKR. Truly. Us regular folks appreciate it.

Thanks and thanks to the ones to that do the same, I can now launch an image of my dearly departed dog into space!

That only works if the people were not going to buy without the referral…

Ryan over at Ride the Lightning podcast likewise is getting half a million dollars of free cars. I think Tesla said 40, so 10 million dollars of advertising?

Most if not all people who used Ben’s code already made up their mind about buying a Tesla and they just wanted free super charging. Unless Ben actually convinced people who were on the fence irregardless of the free supercharging perk then he didn’t actually drive any sales for Tesla

He still will owe hefty taxes on those Roadsters. Maybe he can sell one to offset the taxes for both. $250k x 2 = $500k. 32-35% income tax due on income on income up to 500k…let’s call it 34%, so $500k x 0.34 = $175k tax due. Not quite so “free” anymore.

Yeah, just sell the extra. i don’t know why anyone would keep more than 2 or 3 or 4 Roadsters.

Ever seen Jay Lenos garage 😁

I haven’t seen Jay with more than one example of any car.

You mean Hoarders: The Car Edition.

A short bout at 0% SOC will not degrade the battery. You don’t want the battery to remain at 0% for long.

Keep in mind the BMS cuts off at likely around 3.3V per cell. Cellphone BMS cuts off far lower (some down to 2.7V). So the cells are not totally depleted which is when you start getting irreversible chemistry changes.

Thanks for sharing, IEV.

Can we get the VINs of Ben Sullins’ various Tesla’s? He’s wrecking them.

He doesn’t even have aero wheels on it. My wh per mile are less than 250 if I don’t run the climate control.

He used less energy to get there but ran out sooner, yet blames the discrepancy on the wind?? This guy is the epitomy of anti-scientific attitude! “My data from my experiment doesn’t support my theory, so I’ll just speculate and make up reasons why.” With regard to capacity only the energy spent is relevant. That dropped from 75 to 71 kWh and cannot be explained by wind. It’s a measured capacity loss of 5.33%. That’s surprisingly high in one year, although he didn’t say (or I didn’t catch?) what his mileage is. My 2012 Leaf has lost nearly 21% in seven years and gets blasted regularly by this website since it doesn’t have active cooling off the battery pack… even though the much smaller pack in first-gen Leaf (net 20.5 kWh versus 75 kWh when Ben’s Model 3 was new) gets more than three times as many charging cycles for the same mileage, with correspondingly faster degradation. Charging completely full and driving until it stops is the best way to measure capacity. But to test range it’s best to end in the same place you start. That eliminates any net elevation change and reduces the impact of wind (if you… Read more »

Reading skills are undervalued, it seems:
“Energy consumption was at 291 wh/mile, compared to 281 on the PRIOR test.”

If he stopped at all, the Wh/mile metric is useless to calculate total energy used from the pack. I own a 3 and can confirm the car does not track energy used (for hvac etc) when parked. Pretty annoying actually. To get an accurate picture of available capacity, you would have to drive non stop (you can stop momentarily, but can’t leave the drivers seat.)

I’ve stopped watching his videos – too many times they distort the reality.
I didn’t watch the video, but if the range was 231 miles (the extra miles will be only used if a lot of things go wrong) I’m not impressed. Battery degradation is still low but maybe not as good as it is with other Tesla cars.

Leaf is perfectly ok, it’s easy to complain but no other maker can make an EV as practical for the same price.

Should use a route like an oval track so he can spend the same time into and with the wind, eliminate any elevation changes. Maybe a figure 8 so he can spend a little time turn both directions.

I’d love to see Ben and his many friends drive Ben’s Tesla collection on a Figure 8 track in a competitive scenario!

I have a Model 3. How far can I go? Farther than any Leaf, any EV BMW, any EV Fiat, any EV Hyundai, any EV Jaguar, etc……

The math on the second test works out almost exactly to his numbers 71,000÷291. But the first numbers don’t work out. 75,000÷281 do not equal his first distance. Something does not make sense.

It’s those heavy ass wheels. If he had aeros on it would be a different story.

Performing a very unscientific test, he used 4 less kWh than his first very unscientific test. 71/75 = 5.3% degradation if 75 kWh is the full capacity of a new LR Model 3. I guess the question is how many miles is on his 3 (didn’t watch video).

He charged to full and ran it until it wouldn’t go both times, and his usable capacity went from 75 kWh to 71 kWh. What more “scientific” test would you suggest?

Granted, running it at a constant load on a dyno both times would be better, but who is going to pay for dyno time?

#golfclap for the patience to drive 14 miles of circles in a parking lot…

Really? He’s not the first. How soon we forget:

We still remember you, John Broder!

For someone such as myself whom is very close to buying a model 3 LR , I find these Numbers/Results on the 310 mile Model 3, Very Disturbing .. This means that a Mid Range will become aprox . A 194 miler While the Low will become an Aprox. 154 miler… * 🙁 * . That’s gonna be a tuff call.. Hyundai Niro is starting to look Better & Better ..

We have had our Model 3 LR RWD for 6 months. Taken 2 480 mile trips and 1 340 mile trip. The last 480 mile trip was a couple of weeks ago. On the way back it was in the mid 40s F average so we used seat heaters and heat on set to 67-68 F. We had two adults and one almost tween traveling at an average speed of 70-75 mph with luggage. We got something like around 265 wH/mile. On the way there it was a little warmer and we got something like 255 wH/mile. Normal driving in good weather always gets under 250 wH/mile. Around town by myself I can get in the 230s. As a side note being a mid-sized sedan many people assume from the listed cargo capacity that there isn’t very much cargo space. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much you can fit into that volume. What volume it has is very functional. My sister, her husband and my two nieces came to visit so I picked them up at the airport. I warned them that they might have to hold some backpacks and maybe a carry on in their lap. Turns… Read more »

Primarily, the wheels and performance tires contributed to the low range. Next, if you have ever driven from Temecula to Cabazon, the driving is in the mountains and foothills of San Jacinto. This is not representative of normal driving. I would urge you not to base ANY decision in buying a Model 3 on any of his videos. If you are concerned about actual range, there are plenty of articles and even videos with a much more representative test than this silly video.

To be more precise: As an example, today with standard OEM wheels (without covers) and standard tires, I drove from Irvine to Temecula at around 76 to 80 mph freeway speeds. With an overall elevation gain of about 1800 feet, my energy usage was 293Wh/mile. On the return trip my energy usage was 204Wh/mile with an average freeway speeds of 77 to 82 mph. This guy got 291Wh/mile going much slower, but with aftermarket wheels and tires despite going less than 10 miles per hour in a shopping parking lot for 14 miles.

The point is that tires REALLY make a difference. I have experienced this in the worst way when I put new tires on my Fiat 500e. I thought, what could go wrong. How about 10 miles of range on an EV that gets 75 miles to begin with.

One of the reasons so many people expect the short range to either not arrive at all or being sold in alibi numbers to a few reservation holders.

Rated 310 and he gets 281? 10% less than rated? Yikes.

It Was Worst than That ! He 0nly Got “244.7” Total Miles On A 310 Mile Battery & The Battery Went Dead , They had to Push the Car … I little scary I would agree ! … * 🙁 *

Looks like he has non-aero and oversized wheels. But still a 20% less than rated range. Snow and cold and uphill would be 150 range. Renting a Model 3 AWD LR for a test ride to Mt. Hood this weekend. This is going to be interesting.

Wh/mile in tbe 200s is good in winter. Naturally he is in a warm climate so he should be able to be in the 240s to 250s even with headwinds on the flats. Ben is simply suffering from the wider aftermarket wheels he installed on the car. I watched this video a week ago and cannot remember if he mentions the aftermarket wheels or lowered suspension mods. Most people disregard the practical penalties of appearance mods to efficiency. Ben does another video with his wife wherin she regrets that he lowered the car. Curb cuts, bottom rubs and large speed bumps + harsher ride become issues as well. You would think lowering the car would improve aero and decrease under car turbulence. These only make noticeable improvements in range if the tires are also narrow, and at constant speeds over 45-50mph.. Adding larger, lower profile rims also means wider tires, pushing more air. That, and larger diameter turbine rims that are NOT direction specific. Meaning one side is aero, while the other side has the opposite effect, essentially scooping air into the brake area. Unsprung weight has less effect on efficency at higher speeds, as aero has less at lower… Read more »

This article mentioned some Vampire Drain? I didn’t see any discussion of that other than the 309-310 miles statement. But I would chauk that up to variation in the guess-o-meter.

I’ve got 16,000 miles on my Tesla Model 3 LR (rear drive). Average consumption in mixed freeway and secondary road driving over that time: 248 Wh/mile

yes, we AWD 3 owners bow down to your normal efficiency.

pointless abuse of a EV. Post the VIN so that we can all avoid it.

I’ve 3 perf aerodynamic wheels. Simple rule. Rocket hard. Regen hard. Min brake. I avg 250-270

What kind of terrain do you travel? Flat? Hills? What are the temperatures in your region? When I was into hybrids back in the day – I noticed a lot of fish stories. People claiming 10-15 MPG more than they actually ever got…Like people who buy boats – They always add 10-30 mph to their speeds…. I’m not accusing you of doing such….But if you use the defroster at all, Sport Mode, or Standard Mode, and if you ever drive in the rain,…I find your numbers kind of hard to believe. I just got home from a 17 mile drive in 36F degree weather tonight. I had two passengers, including my teenager, who probably weighs 80 lbs. wet… I milked and milked, using Neutral and Standard Mode. I turned the heat completely off and used seat heating. 1/2 freeway at 60-65 mph , 1/2 light traffic secondary roads with stops and starts at traffic lights. No hard acceleration. No big hills – tried to ramp up speed and use as much regen as possible…. A little hill or two 1/4 mile up to my house – and I saw my hard-earned 245 wh/m melt to 285 by the time I… Read more »

280 miles driving the speed limit, started at the Meridian Supercharger W/294 miles indicated so not quite full. 18 miles left at the end so real close to what was expected, 50+ degree temps, aero wheels without the hubcaps, not much wind.

He has gotten his 15 minutes – and plugged McDonalds.