Hybrids & Electrics

Does the Tesla Model 3 Actually Make It to 300 Miles on 1 Charge?

The final act of Tesla’s “Secret Master Plan” is to bring electric cars to the masses with an affordable EV. That car is the Tesla Model 3, which, at a starting price of about $38,000, is very affordable for what it offers. Here’s a look at its features and, most importantly, its real-world range. 

What the Tesla Model 3 offers

Since the Model 3 is the most affordable option that Tesla currently offers right now, it won’t pack as many features and gadgets as the more expensive Tesla models do. That said, despite being relatively affordable, the Model 3 is still marketed as a luxury vehicle. As such, it still has quite a few great things about it compared to other cars in its class.

For example, like other Teslas, the Model 3 has a massive 15-inch touchscreen as standard. This touchscreen is hooked up to Tesla’s infotainment system, and so it’ll provide similar features that the infotainment systems on other Teslas will. On top of that, the Model 3 is as safe as any other Teslas are, and it’ll come standard with plenty of smart safety features too.

That said, Autopilot, which is Tesla’s semi-autonomous self-driving system, isn’t standard. But, at the very least, drivers will get to experience the Model 3’s powerful electric motors. The standard 2020 Model 3 can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.3 seconds according to U.S. News, and it has an estimated 250-mile range. The Long Range trim of the Model has an estimated 320-mile range, and it can hit 0 to 60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. 

Can the Tesla Model 3 actually hit 300 miles off of 1 charge?

InsideEVs wanted to test the Model 3’s real-world range. For this test, InsideEVs used a 2019 Long Range Model 3, which has a slightly lower estimated range of 310 miles on one charge. The reason why InsideEVs wanted to do this real-world test of the Model 3 was simple. As InsideEVs wrote, the EPA does a good job of testing a car’s fuel economy, but it’s not a truly real-world test. 

For this real world test, InsideEVs wanted to see how far the Long Range Model 3 can go at highway speeds on the highway. This test reflects what many people will do when they take their EV on a road trip. Like InsideEVs said, this highway speed test will be tougher than EPA’s city and highway tests.

As a result, the Long Range Model 3 didn’t hit 300 miles on one charge, but it almost did. It traveled 289 miles at 70 MPH on one charge, which is pretty close to what the EPA got for its tests at lower speeds.

How the Tesla Model 3 compares to its competition

RELATED: MotorTrend: The 2020 Tesla Model 3 Is the Best EV Under $50,000

Range is one thing since every EV can have more range if they had a bigger battery, but efficiency is another. InsideEVs said that in terms of efficiency, the Model 3 is 25 percent more efficient with its energy than the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan LEAF are. 

Other sites have done similar comparisons in the past, and generally speaking, it’s the same story. For example, carwow compared multiple EVs against each other in real-world driving tests, and the Model 3 came out on top with a 270-mile range. However, while carwow didn’t test the Bolt, it did test the LEAF, and the LEAF only managed to get 200 miles on a single charge.

That said, while the LEAF had less real-world range than the Model 3 did, carwow also found that the LEAF’s real-world range was closer to its estimated range than the Model 3’s is.