A burning question arises: how was Tesla able to improve the autonomy of the new Model 3 by almost 12% without changing the battery mechanics? Thanks to mastery of efficiency.
The Tesla Model 3 has always been a model of efficiency. With the recent update, dubbed the restyled Model 3 or Project Highland, Tesla has managed to raise the bar even further.
Although the majority of parts have been revised (50% to be exact), one in particular has sparked massive interest: how did Tesla increase the range by 11-12% without even changing the battery?
For context, the new RWD version of the Model 3 offers a range of 554 km (estimated) with 18-inch rims, and 513 km (according to the WLTP cycle) with 19-inch rims. The Long Range version (Long Range, LR) offers even more: 678 km (estimated) with 18-inch rims and 629 km (WLTP cycle) with 19-inch rims.
The keys to this performance: aerodynamics and tires
The first major reason for this increase in autonomy is improving aerodynamics. The front end of the vehicle has been lowered and less rounded, allowing air to flow around the car more smoothly.
This change made it possible to achieve a drag coefficient of 0.219an improvement over the previous Cx of 0.23.
In addition, Tesla equipped the restyled Model 3 more efficient tires. The Michelin e.Primacy for the 18-inch rims and the Hankook iOn EVO for the 19-inch rims also contribute to this impressive efficiency.
According to Automobile-Propre calculations, and according to WLTP standards, the entry-level version has a consumption of 13.2 kWh/100 km, while the Grande Autonomie increases to 14 kWh/100 km .
However, with batteries with a useful capacity of 57.5 kWh and 75 kWh respectively, the actual consumption values are 11.2 and 11.9 kWh/100 km. Tesla’s estimates are even more optimistic, suggesting consumption of 10.4 and 11.1 kWh/100 km for the sedan with the smaller wheels.
Tesla leads the pack
To put these figures into perspective, let’s take a few notable competitors: the Dacia Spring consumes 11.7 kWh/100 km, the Lucir Air Pure 12.1 kWh/100 km, and the Hyundai Ioniq 6 12.5 kWh/100 km. Tesla therefore remains in the lead in terms of energy efficiency.
If you want to know more about the new Tesla Model 3, you can read our article on the 40 new features between the old and new versions. We also recommend this reading: what’s wrong with the new Tesla Model 3.
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