Full charged: Model 3 Performance reads 500km at 100%, not even damn close to NEDC rating

Electric Vehicles are finally happening in Australia and shooting straight to the top of the sales charts is the new Tesla Model 3. One of the big constraints typically...
Tesla Model 3 Supercharging in Wodonga

Electric Vehicles are finally happening in Australia and shooting straight to the top of the sales charts is the new Tesla Model 3. One of the big constraints typically used against EVs is their range, with the Model 3, the range anxiety can be finally put to bed.

While other manufacturers like Nissan and Hyundai target city drivers with just a couple hundred kms of range, Tesla are building cars that can drive substantial distances on a single charge, exactly what Australians need.

Daily commutes are one thing, but a car is supposed to offer freedom, the ability to take a road trip on a weekend, or a week-long holiday with the family. These journeys are often hundreds of kilometres and if your car can’t make it on the weekend, the fact your weekdays are sorted won’t be helpful.

I’ve now had my Model 3 LR AWD Performance for a couple of days and I wanted to find out what the actual fully 100% charged car would deliver.

The answer is 500km. Exactly 500 kilometres, I tested it.

Now it’s time for the discussion around the multiple rating systems that are around for EVs. The one promoted by most EV makers internationally is NEDC. Officially this stands for New European Driving Cycle.

Typically this is used not for its accuracy like a standard should be, but rather as marketing, as it often offers the highest numbers of an EV range figure. This is often referred to as ‘Not even damn close’ which is fairly accurate given it differs by 60km to real-world range numbers. This variance is a massive 11% off the stated NEDC figure of 560km.

While NEDC is shown on the vehicle configurator page, if you search through the Tesla support pages, it lists the ranges for each of their 3 vehicles (Model 3, Model S and Model X) in both NEDC and WLTP figures.

They also provide this statement on which figure you should set your expectations on.

Range is calculated according to the Australian Design Rule 81/02 static laboratory combined average city and highway cycle test (aligned to the NEDC standard as defined by UNECE R101/01).

Real world driving results will vary depending on a combination of driving style, type of journey, vehicle configuration, battery age and condition and use of vehicle features (such as air conditioning).

For an approximate real world range, refer to the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP)…

Source: Tesla Australia

WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure and is designed to be a more accurate estimation of what customers can expect of real-world range. At 530km for my car, the WLTP rating is off by just 6% (or 5% better than NEDC) from what’s on the screen in my car.

To add more complexity to the issue below is a photo of the Energy Consumption label on the front window of the car when it was delivered. You’ll notice the 595km of range doesn’t match either of the 560km, or 530km range estimates and is almost 100km higher than the range listed when I charged the car to 100%.

The numbers are from the third EV range rating, the Australian Design Rule 81/02. While this is supposed to be aligned to the NEDC standard, somehow the Model 3 LR AWD Performance, came out at 595km of range.

Naturally all of these numbers depend on how you drive, the mix of highway/street driving (for regen) as well as heating and cooling use, and the incline degree of the road. If you leverage Tesla’s DashCam it’ll also eat some battery while parked.

For those playing at home, here’s the sequence of time estimates as the charging progressed to 100%:

  • 9:48PM – 289km of range remaining, estimate of 40 minutes remaining
  • 10:07PM – 429km of range and estimated 25 minutes remaining
  • 10:11PM – 446km of range and 20 minutes left.
  • 10:18PM – 469km of range and 15 minutes left
  • 10:36PM – 495km of range and 5 minutes remaining.
  • 10:55PM – 500km range – Complete.

The charging session took 67 minutes, rather than 40 and would have cost A$19.74, had I not had free Supercharging thanks to those who used our referral link.

Tesla Referral Link
If you do buy a @Tesla Model S, 3, X or Y, please use our referral link to get 1,500km (2,000 miles) of free Supercharging – https://ts.la/jason45054

This cost represents around a third of what I used to pay for petrol in my 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer. It regularly achieved 430km of range for between $50-$60 per fortnight to fill up.

It is important to remember that if you have an EV, like the Model 3, it’s best for battery longevity to maintain charge levels in the 10%-90% range, only filling to 100% for longer journeys.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
3 Comments on this post.

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  • adrian ternouth
    3 October 2019 at 12:42 pm

    As a owner myself I can tell you that you will get much more than that range and much less than that range at times depending on how you drive it.

    It’s not hard to get a longer range if that’s what you want, especially with your aerodynamics.

    Your car is trying to tell you what you can expect as far as it can tell from your driving.

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  • Peter McBurney
    3 October 2019 at 1:59 pm

    I think that initial 500 is a preset figure just to get you started. Once you start driving the car it will come up with different estimates according to your previous trip and then as you are driving along on a particular “chargefull”

    For example if you’ve been driving gently around the city in mild weather, then your actual kilometres achieved on a full charge might be over 550 pro rata.

    Of course you don’t run the charge to 0. So when you charge it to 100% ready for a highway run from say Melbourne to Sydney, it might show an estimated range of 550 km. Great! But then a big cold front blows up from Antarctica. You’re driving at 110 kms through driving rain, at 0c with strong winds and the aircon on to keep your windscreen from fogging up and you suddenly realise that your elapsed kilometres and the estimated kilometres remaining only add up to 400!!!

    Where did my 150km of estimated range go? It’s all about how much work the car is doing. The same would happen to an internal combustion engine.

    More work, more energy, less range.

    I think the US EPA range is the best one to tell people. It tends to undersell an EV’s usual abilities a bit. Then they get a pleasant surprise instead of annoyance.

    For my Hyundai Ioniq Electric 28 kWh they say 200km. I usually get 225. But 180 on cold and stormy nights on a freeway! For my just arrived Tesla Model 3 Long Range, they say 499. We’ll see.

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  • Andy Vickery
    4 October 2019 at 7:24 am

    So, when you say “I tested it”, does this mean you actually drove for 500km on the charge?
    …or does running the ‘Test’ mean you ‘looked at the trip computer’s output’.

    My (ICE) car’s computer often gives me very optimisitic ‘Range’ projections which don’t correlate with real world experience.

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