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    Tesla Model 3 Propulsion: Charging Cost And Range Over A Long Journey Of 850 Km

    Aug 13,2022 | Chloe Lacour

    If for everyday life, electric vehicles pose no problem, during long journeys, the fear of too little autonomy sometimes slows down the purchase of an electric car. We will see what it can do with one of the references on the market: the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.

    In this new series, we show you how long journeys take place with an electric car in particular. Today, it is the queen of electric sedans that sticks to it: the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.

    We are going to use this Tesla Model 3 Propulsion as a standard meter for our comparison for long trips, where we will always use the same rules of the game: the departure will be at 100% battery, the arrival at 20%, and the vehicle will have to drive at speed limits.

    We will first recall the characteristics of the vehicle, so that we have in mind the promises of the manufacturer, before taking care of the planning of the journey strictly speaking.

    We will of course examine the costs, but also the duration of recharging and possible detours, to take stock of the long journeys with the chosen electric car. Without further ado, let's see together how the long journeys go in Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.


    The Tesla Model 3 was the queen of electrics in 2021 in France, and it is the entry-level that interests us today, namely the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion. We tested it when it arrived in France, and it must be recognized that it has everything necessary to be able to hit the road without the slightest problem.

    Equipped with a 60 kWh battery, the WLTP autonomy announced by Tesla varies according to the rims between 491 and 510 kilometers on the WLTP cycle. Of course, in real conditions, and a fortiori on the highway at 130 km/h, the autonomy will be much lower.

    The maximum charging speed is around 175 kW for this Tesla Model 3 Propulsion, but keep in mind that this power will only be reached briefly and that it will drop as the battery is filled.

    Tesla's big advantage lies in its network of Superchargers, which allow you to travel the roads of Europe in complete peace of mind, and the CCS Combo 2 port of the Model 3 Propulsion ensures that it can recharge wherever fast charging is available. For our long journeys, we will then accept to recharge ourselves with different charging operators: Tesla, Ionity, Fastned, or TotalEnergies when relevant.

    Without further ado, let's take a look at the different routes that we are going to simulate with the famous application A Better Route Planner which takes into account the characteristics of each car and the route to know the energy consumption and the charging needs as well as the travel time. 

    Before starting our long journeys, we will fully fill the 60 kWh battery of the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion at home (with a price per kilowatt hour in France located at 0.17 euros), which will cost us 10.20 euros. This cost will be taken into account when we take stock of the routes below.

    We are going to focus on two typical journeys, with the first of around 530 kilometers which will correspond to summer vacation: departure from Orléans in the Loiret, and arrival in Arcachon in the Gironde.

    The second will simulate a winter vacation, which is generally more difficult for electric vehicles due to weather conditions and the elevation gain: departure from Caen in Normandy, and arrival in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in Haute-Savoie, for a total of 850 kilometers.

    For the summer route, the parameters indicated in A Better Route Planner are as follows: 25 degrees Celsius outside temperature, no wind, arrival at a charging station with 10% battery remaining, and arrival at the destination at 20%. For the winter trip, it's essentially the same, apart from the weather, where we chose a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius.


    Fast chargers are not lacking on the Paris-Bordeaux axis, and A Better Route Planner offers us two different choices, always with around thirty minutes of recharge in total. The first possibility takes advantage of Ionity and the network of Tesla Superchargers, with a 5-minute charge in Poitiers (Ionity, 10 kWh) and a 25-minute charge in Angoulême (Tesla, 36 kWh) via the national A10, without adding any additional travel time.

    A second possibility consisting of traveling the A10 motorway will require adding a charge, but while maintaining the same total charging time, with 5 minutes still in Poitiers (Ionity or Tesla, 10 kWh), then 12 minutes near Niort (Ionity, 21 kWh), and finally 13 minutes in Saigon (Ionity, 25 kWh) using a total of 10 kWh more, due to the higher speed on the motorway than via the main road.

    In either case, if the recharge time does not change, the amount of energy to pay will be different. 46 kWh in the first case, compared to 56 kWh in the second, and from July 2022, Ionity like Tesla will charge for the amount of energy used and not for the time spent. There will therefore be a financial interest in favoring the first option, especially since there will be fewer tolls.

    Considering the price of Superchargers (0.50 euro per kilowatt hour) at the time of writing these lines, and of Ionity (0.69 euro per kilowatt hour from July 2022), the costs will be between 26 and 39 euros depending on route choice. The expected average consumption is displayed at 188 Wh / km, or 18.80-kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers in the case of the motorway journey.

    As we can see, on a journey of 4h40, it will be necessary to stop for a total of 30 minutes to recharge.

    You are probably aware that winter is a more difficult period for all-electric cars, and consumption will tend to soar. This does not seem to pose any particular problem for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion, which surfs the Ionity network and the Tesla Superchargers on our Caen-Chamonix route.

    No less than 5 recharges will be necessary to arrive safely, but none will exceed 30 minutes. The total recharge time to travel 850 kilometers in winter conditions is displayed at 1h42 for 7h33 of road.

    The first recharge is at the Buchelay Supercharger (14 minutes, 22 kWh), the second on the Ionity network in Nemours (22 minutes, 34 kWh), then the Avallon Supercharger (28 minutes, 39 kWh), Ionity in Mâcon ( 25 minutes, 36 kWh) and finally the Archamps Supercharger (14 minutes, 26 kWh).

    In total, it will therefore have been necessary to recharge 157-kilowatt hours, and at the rates of Superchargers and Ionity (respectively 0.50 and 0.69 euros per kilowatt hour), this, therefore, amounts to 92 euros to be paid for these 850 kilometers, starting at 100 % and arriving at 20%. Finally, note that for this trip, the estimated consumption is displayed at 235 Wh/km or 23.50 kWh per 100 kilometers, or 25% more than during the summer trip.


    We summarize the costs and charging times (including home charging at 10.20 euros) in the table below, and you will be able to visualize as we go along with our examples where the vehicle you are interested in is located. compared to others on a similar route.

    Vehicle Summer ride cost Summer ride charging time Total summer journey time
    Tesla Model 3 Drive 36 - 49 € 31 mins 5 h 09 min
    Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy 31 - 45 € 13 - 25 mins 4 hrs 56 mins
    Kia EV6 58kWh 52 - 60 € 38 - 43 mins 5 hrs 30 mins
    BMW i4 48 - 58 € 22 - 37 mins 5 hrs 11 mins
    Hyundai Ioniq 5 72 € 36 mins 5 hrs 16 mins


    Vehicle Winter trip cost Winter ride charging time Total winter journey time
    Tesla Model 3 Drive 102 € 1 hr 42 mins 9:16 a.m.
    Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy 101.3 € 1 hr 02 mins 8:27 a.m.
    Kia EV6 58kWh 120 € 1hr 54mins 9 h 59 min
    BMW i4 147 € 1 hr 32 mins 9 h 08 min
    Hyundai Ioniq 5 145 € 1hr 29mins 9:14 a.m.

    You will notice that when you count fast charges and home charging, the cost per 100 kilometers for long trips in Tesla Model 3 Propulsion varies between 7.5 and 12 euros between summer and winter and depending on the trip. . This corresponds to the cost of a thermal car which would consume between 4 and 6 liters per 100 kilometers if we consider the price of a liter of gasoline at two euros.

    This cost can be reduced if you opt for the Ionity Passport offer, which lowers the cost per kWh at Ionity to 0.35 euros. But in exchange, you will have to pay 17.99 euros per month, with a 12-month commitment, or 215.88 euros to be paid annually. It will then be appropriate to use this offer if you plan to charge more than 635 kWh per year at Ionity, which corresponds to approximately two round trips of 1,000 kilometers.

    The charging time is to be taken into account during these long journeys, but it is possible to limit the breaks to less than 30 minutes, even in the middle of winter and when the conditions are difficult. However, it is possible to extend a load to allow you to have enough energy to stop further than planned if, for example, you want to make a long load coincide with a meal break.

    On the contrary, to save a few minutes, it is possible to aim for arrival at each charger of less than 10%, but this will depend on your acceptance of the risk of driving with very little remaining battery. In fact, if you only have a few kWh left in your battery, there must be no last-minute unforeseen events, otherwise, the probability of running out of fuel could become very high. However, some cars have a “reserve” beyond the reserve, which means that there is still some power left at 0% battery.

    Anyway, the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion, which is an entry-level American manufacturer, shows that it has major advantages over competitors, and this is found in long journeys. It does not consume much, charges relatively quickly, and benefits from the network of Tesla Superchargers in addition to the other networks open to all. It will undoubtedly be a benchmark to beat on these long journeys.

    If you find the breaks too long in Model 3 Propulsion, the Long Range version should please you more, with its 80 kWh battery and its charging power of 250 kW. See you in the next episode!


    Back to TESLA MODEL 3.