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Latest Edmunds long term Model 3 update: not good

seattlite2004

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,186
1,427
Puget Sound
Great explaination on their consumption data in the comments section:

I need to clarify a few points about our data.
Average Energy (Wh/mi) is -- the meter readout in the car itself. We record the "since last chaerge" value each time we plug in. Average energy is the car reporting the rate at which it consumes electricity from the battery. Our average "Average Energy" reading is 254.4 Wh/mi. This is not a weighted average, which just added them up and divided by how many readings we had.

Lifetime Average Consumption (kWh/100) is fundamentally different in a way that explains why it is significantly higher (worse) than Average Energy. The unit here is kWh used per 100 miles driven, which is the standard used by the EPA for rating the consumption of electric cars and PHEV. But the difference is more than just the decimal point shift brough about by multiplying by 100 miles and dividing by 1000 watts to alter the unit. This measurement is based on the actual amount of electricity needed to REPLACE the electricity the car used. It is measured at the power panel upstream of the charge station -- which is the same as the number of kWh you get charged for on your electric bill.

This is crucual. Charging a battery generates heat. On-board battery cooling systems must be run to control it, and the energy required to run those systems is part of the metered inflow. There's resistance in the charge cord, too - you've felt them get hot, right? That's more energy lost. The total of these losses varies from charge station to charge station, but we've owned about a dozen EVs (three of the Tesla products, and we can say that charging losses can range between 20 to 30 PERCENT. 25% is typical. It's like spilling 2 or 3 gallons of gas on the ground (and paying for it) for every 10 gallons that makes it into the tank. So if you're a Tesla owner and you think the Average Energy reading describes your car's consumption, think again. Your're low by 25%.

Now, the EPA knows that all of this rightly counts charging losses as vehicle consumption, and their rating of 27 kWh/100 miles does include such losses. The data for range and comes from Tesla-conducted tests and Tesla-submitted documents that the EPA reviews. That's the way it goes with most cars, EV or not.

So if you take our average "Average Energy of 254.4 Wh/mi and tweak it into kWh/100, you get 25.4. Next, let's add a 25% charging loss onto that by multiplying by 125%. Care to guess the result? It's 31.75 kWh/100, a near-exact match of our Lifetime Average Consumption number that was generated by measuring electricity flow through the HPWC. (31.7 was indeed the real number - the 33.6 that was published was a typo based on incomplete data entry in our calculation spreadsheet)

So our 254.4 Wh/Mi Average energy equals 31.7 kWh/100 after you add in 25% for charging losses. You need to do that with your own Wh/mi readouts to get to a number that approximates how much electricity you are buying when you refill your car.

But none of this explains why our average is so far off the Model 3's 27 kWh/100 rating. I have a hard time with this, but it follows a pattern established by our Model S and Model X test cars because they fell short of their ratings, too. On the other hand, other EVs (just about ALL other EVs, I might add) have proven to be very accurately rated and even conservatively rated. I've easily beaten the range and consumption ratings of the Bolt, the Volt, the 2nd-gen Leaf, the eGolf, the BMW i3, the Fiat 500e, the Spark EV -- I could go on. I have driven 70 miles on a Volt (rated at 53) and 334 miles on a Bolt (rated at 238 miles.) But I have never even matched a Tesla rating using the same driving techniques. I'm not saying I can't, but it's not as easy. Just look at the Leaf and the Bolt LT data. Both are currently beating their ratings, and both are being driven by the same crew of Edmunds staffers.

How do we get our kWh data for our EVs? The non-Tesla's use our chargepoint station, which has a factory-installed meter. But the Telsa is filled with our own private Tesla HPWC, which is not a metered device like our Chargepoint station. To recitfy this we have had a meter installed by a certified commercial electrician, and it is a "revenue grade" meter that is tamper proof. Our drivers record the before and after kWh readings (the meter can't be rezeroed 'cause its revenue grade) when they plug in and unplug, and we subtract one from the other to determine the amount of electricity that was dispensed to refill the battery after the car was driven a known number of miles.​
 

jamnmon66

Member
Apr 10, 2018
572
416
Brighton, CO
Even if the car is 25% less efficient than stated, it will still cost me around $300/year to go 12,000 miles in my Model 3 at the $0.06/kwh that I pay to charge off-peak. I've averaged well over $2500/year in fuel for the past several years for about that mileage in my Jeep.

... and I'm not suffering in a boring, ugly Prius or Leaf to save the planet. This is by far the most fun car I've ever owned.
 

Msjulie

Active Member
Jun 26, 2016
2,448
1,809
Monterey Peninsula
My takeaway is quality consistency - I have nearly 6k miles and nothing is falling off my car. My screen is fine, car drives when I put it in D or R. It is comfortable, quick, quiet until pretty elevated highway speeds and the sound system is really pretty great.

I have seen some behaviors I attribute to software bugs, they are nearly impossible to reproduce and seem to be disappearing one by one when I get a software update. I'll admit to not looking into energy usage that close, something I'll check tomorrow.

My car is a relatively early example, VIN in the low 4xxx FWIW
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,588
16,772
New Mexico
The magazine is wrong, there is not a 25% charging loss.
The two places to look for additional energy consumption are
  1. car consumption at rest (call them vampire losses). Tesla expects these losses to be about 1% a day, or up to 800 Wh a day for the LR Model 3.
  2. Pre-conditioning the car with heating or cooling. My money would be here.

OP: I take it you are still banned on your home turf over at the GM website ?
 
Last edited:

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,313
12,844
Santa Barbara, CA
Those of you, me included, with Model 3's should comment on your experience with your car on the Edmunds article. I have done so. Please do as well.
 
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Unpilot

Sell order in at $5999.99
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2017
5,189
41,974
A Coast
I find it amusing that you can get a long-term review already on a 2016 or 2017 or even 2018 vehicle. Those years can only produce short-term reviews. Or current reviews?
Yeah long term review seems a stretch to say the least.
 

Regenshire

Member
Apr 10, 2016
41
42
Spokane, WA
Sounds like they have the phantom screen touch issue where the screen is registering touches when there are none. Most of the issues they describe are with weird software stuff happening. I think they need the touch screen replaced. That's my hunch.
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,065
10,530
San Diego
I’m not sure what’s confusing about the energy consumption. Teslas have always had ridiculous vampire drain and as far as I know that is not included in the EPA test. Obviously it should be. It’s too bad because the Model 3 is extraordinarily efficient otherwise.
 

DanH

Member
Dec 23, 2017
174
220
CA
Got my TM3 for 3+ weeks now and the experience has been excellent so far. Actually, I love it! I got use to the door handle pretty quickly. As for the touch screen, It’s not an issue for at all. If you’re navigating deep into the menus while driving, of course it’s not recommended and it can be a distraction. Just set your profile once and forget it. Most of the functions that I do while driving are through voice commands and using the two scroll wheels.
As for the fit and finish are fine, i didn’t detect any problems. My VIN is in the 15xx.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,695
2,768
SF Bay Area, CA
Yeah, Edmunds seems to have problems with their EVs...I mean looky here at their Bolt :eek::

Double Stranding Leads to Replacement Battery, Software Change - 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Road Test
For whatever reason, it looks like they didn't keep their '11 Leaf for long: 2011 Nissan Leaf Long Term Road Test - Wrap-Up. They only had for 6 months and the odometer ended at 3,551 miles. '11 was Leaf's 1st model year.
As far as reliability went, our limited six-month test equated to a spotless problem history. A tire rotation and cabin air filter change isn't even a consideration until 7,500 miles. Severe service intervals don't call for brake and battery inspections until 15,000 miles. We experienced no mechanical issues during our test.

Total Body Repair Costs: None
Total Routine Maintenance Costs (over 6 months): None
Additional Maintenance Costs: None
Warranty Repairs: None
Non-Warranty Repairs: None
Scheduled Dealer Visits: None
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: None
Days Out of Service: None
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None
They do have an '18 Leaf in their "long-term" fleet now. Hope they keep it for longer.
 

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,313
12,844
Santa Barbara, CA
Got my TM3 for 3+ weeks now and the experience has been excellent so far. Actually, I love it! I got use to the door handle pretty quickly. As for the touch screen, It’s not an issue for at all. If you’re navigating deep into the menus while driving, of course it’s not recommended and it can be a distraction. Just set your profile once and forget it. Most of the functions that I do while driving are through voice commands and using the two scroll wheels.
As for the fit and finish are fine, i didn’t detect any problems. My VIN is in the 15xx.
I am pleased to hear you are happy with your Model 3. You can help others in the larger world beyond TMC understand this by sharing your experience in the comments section of the actual article on Edmunds:
Monthly Update for April 2018 - 2017 Tesla Model 3 Long-Term Road Test
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,695
2,768
SF Bay Area, CA
I hadn't been following Edmunds's long term Model 3 and untll now, had only seen the intro and 1 of their videos.

Monthly Update for January 2018 - 2017 Tesla Model 3 Long-Term Road Test notes some probs and 1 thing they broke that was their fault.
Monthly Update for February 2018 - 2017 Tesla Model 3 Long-Term Road Test didn't note any probs other than their touchscreen blacking out and annoyance w/service.
Monthly Update for March 2018 - 2017 Tesla Model 3 Long-Term Road Test was when they got repairs done.
 

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